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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The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
John Ryan 783 wrote:
I like the idea, and it seems fun. But I really do hope they actually release more narrow archetypes after core rulebook. I get why for space they can't here, but in the future I hope we do get archetypes limited to types of magic, or classes or specific religions.
I am very excited about these possibilities moving forward. But first let's find out all the cool concepts you guys can build with these archetypes in the playtest! That might uncover even more interesting ideas of ways to grow the design space.
But how will the terminology around that work in the future. If we have these feat-based-archetypes and then add on class-based-archetypes later, will they still both be called archetypes? Because they will be using fairly different mechanics and that could get confusing to talk about.

Call it alternate class. Like the pf1 samurai.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
I'm pretty sure I would never take the Pirate archetype, even in a nautical campaign. Class feats are a pretty massive opportunity cost, and even in situations where these archetype feats would come up I don't see myself ever wanting them over the more reliable class feats that I could have taken instead. It's pretty much the exact same issue that the various pirate-themed archetypes in PF1 had, really.

Seems like this is going to make it tricky to playtest things like the pirate archetype, since if the PCs aren't expecting a nautical theme, nobody is going to take the pirate archetype. I wonder if there's a heavy sailing component for Doomsday Dawn just to get data on this.

Like if people avoid taking an option because it "looks weak" that's not actually *play*testing.

To be frank, if there's an option that is so obviously bad that nobody takes it at all then saying "b-b-but you didn't PLAYTEST it" is just plain stubbornness. The kindest interpretation you can get out of that scenario is that the option is uninteresting, which is almost as bad as it being bad.


Azih wrote:
Melkiador: I'm pretty sure any 'class archetypes' will be just like these general 2E archetypes but with a prerequisite that the character must have X number of levels in a class or the class feat being replaced must be a class feat for class Y.

See, though. The terminology is already causing confusion. With these new archetypes around, it's hard to know what you are talking about when someone says "archetype".


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Very nice to see Oriana again. I guess she has now become the iconic Grey Maiden. :)

As for the archetypes, do the class feats you give away also include higher level spellcasting? Without all the rules at a glance, it is becoming ever more difficult to keep up with what all the reveals so far mean for class design. August can't come fast enough!


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I'm wondering, will there be specific archetype feats for those of us that want to spec into specific schools of magic like Necromancy or Illusions?


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I'm not sure I like this very much. I'll have to see much more on it before I finish making up my mind. :/


magnuskn wrote:

Very nice to see Oriana again. I guess she has now become the iconic Grey Maiden. :)

As for the archetypes, do the class feats you give away also include higher level spellcasting? Without all the rules at a glance, it is becoming ever more difficult to keep up with what all the reveals so far mean for class design. August can't come fast enough!

I'm pretty sure the higher-level casting is a class thing, and not a class feat that you choose. Except the level 20 10th-level spells one.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

This is basically exactly how I hoped the more general archetypes would work, and I'm happy with the way lore-based prestige classes are being folded into the system.

I am enthuse

Liberty's Edge

Sigh wrote:
I'm wondering, will there be specific archetype feats for those of us that want to spec into specific schools of magic like Necromancy or Illusions?

I think this will likely be contained within the Wizard School Feature for the time being, but I can see this being available to further specialize in School Specialization in PF2.0 Magic Focus Supplement Book (Possibly 2020 q3 Release).

EDIT: WILD SPECULATION WARNING!!


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Not sure if anyone's mentioned this, but the some of the Pirate abilities suggest rules for ships and rope-swinging are going to be in the core book.

Sovereign Court

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I like these, this is much more flexible than SF and I'm happy about that. I Bard Bard Bard Bard Bard Bard. Bard Bard Bard Bard Bard Bard Bard Bard Bard. Bard Bard Bard Bard Bard, Bard Bard Bard Bard.

~Bard


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knightnday wrote:
I'm not sure I like this very much. I'll have to see much more on it before I finish making up my mind. :/

Yeah. Maybe once I see all of the rules as a whole, this will look like a good idea, but right now, it looks more like they are shooting themselves in the foot.


Melkiador wrote:
knightnday wrote:
I'm not sure I like this very much. I'll have to see much more on it before I finish making up my mind. :/
Yeah. Maybe once I see all of the rules as a whole, this will look like a good idea, but right now, it looks more like they are shooting themselves in the foot.

Bang!


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I will say, the more I think about it, the more I do think archetypes, as the exist in 2e, on their own aren't quite enough. I do like the 2e system, assuming that we find the right balance of being good enough to take, but not being so powerful that they're the automatic choice, but thinking about stuff like Archaologist Bards, or Bolt Ace gunslingers, I think there needs to be something that allows for the inverse of what this archetype system is: instead of applying a different set of optional choices on the chassis of a class, I think there needs to be something which modifies the class' chassis, while still allowing the base class' feats to work with that.

I don't know if this idea itself needs to be core, but I think if they go this route, whatever they call this (I'm leaning towards alternate classes myself), it should probably be something the designers keep in mind in core, so they don't paint themselves into a corner if they want to try this in whatever the 2e APG will be.


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Out of curiosity, is there a reason given that we can change out class feats for other archetype feats, that we actually need classes at all? At this point it's probably just as easy to design it so that sneak attack progression is a feat chain with the class feat subtype, and so is martial proficiency, and so is armor proficiency, and so is BAB and so are skill ranks per level... So you just custom Frankenstein a class that uses sneak attack and spells and pirate theme and so forth, choosing what to increase at what levels with caveats like 'sneak attack dice cannot exceed half your level' and 'you cannot have two saves at this rank or higher'.

The level of customization we're seeing is amazing, but I can't help but feel there's absolutely no reason not to just finish the job and make it entirely classless, perhaps designating class based feats with the class name as a tag so people know that by default a fighter would be built with X.


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I do feel like it was a very odd choice to call this system archetypes. It is... completely unlike the archetype system in the first edition and doesn't even fulfill the same design goal. While I more or less like the idea of the new system, calling it archetypes doesn't really seem to accomplish anything other than pissing off fans of the old system.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tholomyes wrote:

I will say, the more I think about it, the more I do think archetypes, as the exist in 2e, on their own aren't quite enough. I do like the 2e system, assuming that we find the right balance of being good enough to take, but not being so powerful that they're the automatic choice, but thinking about stuff like Archaologist Bards, or Bolt Ace gunslingers, I think there needs to be something that allows for the inverse of what this archetype system is: instead of applying a different set of optional choices on the chassis of a class, I think there needs to be something which modifies the class' chassis, while still allowing the base class' feats to work with that.

I don't know if this idea itself needs to be core, but I think if they go this route, whatever they call this (I'm leaning towards alternate classes myself), it should probably be something the designers keep in mind in core, so they don't paint themselves into a corner if they want to try this in whatever the 2e APG will be.

It's a design space that definitely needs to be covered but not in core, and archetypes are more fitting for these feat packages to be quite honest. I'm partial to class variant, mostly because alternate class sounds like a complete package alternative to another class, rather than a variation on a standard class.


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My body is extremely ready for Gray Maiden prestige archetypes.

magnuskn wrote:
Very nice to see Oriana again. I guess she has now become the iconic Grey Maiden. :)

It's certainly just my ego talking, but I do wish that one of mine had gotten the spot. ^_^

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Interesting. I look forward to trying them.

One quibble, Sea Legs would be a better name for the mechanic covered under Pirate Dedication. The original term refers to getting used to the rolling of the deck.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cyouni wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

Very nice to see Oriana again. I guess she has now become the iconic Grey Maiden. :)

As for the archetypes, do the class feats you give away also include higher level spellcasting? Without all the rules at a glance, it is becoming ever more difficult to keep up with what all the reveals so far mean for class design. August can't come fast enough!

I'm pretty sure the higher-level casting is a class thing, and not a class feat that you choose. Except the level 20 10th-level spells one.

Alright, thanks! I had feared that all class abilities had been farmed out to the class feats.


Shiroi wrote:
Out of curiosity, is there a reason given that we can change out class feats for other archetype feats, that we actually need classes at all?

Wow. Flashback. I remember thinking something like this way back in the day with 3.0. I figured 4.0 would be a lot like how you suggest. I'm not always the best psychic.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I do like this system all right, though as others have said, they're less "archetypes" and more "special feat chains". Looking forward to actual class-altering archetypes in the days to come.

Still, though, looks solid. ^_^


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Shiroi wrote:

Out of curiosity, is there a reason given that we can change out class feats for other archetype feats, that we actually need classes at all? At this point it's probably just as easy to design it so that sneak attack progression is a feat chain with the class feat subtype, and so is martial proficiency, and so is armor proficiency, and so is BAB and so are skill ranks per level... So you just custom Frankenstein a class that uses sneak attack and spells and pirate theme and so forth, choosing what to increase at what levels with caveats like 'sneak attack dice cannot exceed half your level' and 'you cannot have two saves at this rank or higher'.

The level of customization we're seeing is amazing, but I can't help but feel there's absolutely no reason not to just finish the job and make it entirely classless, perhaps designating class based feats with the class name as a tag so people know that by default a fighter would be built with X.

I think the long and short of it is that classless systems are harder to learn and rely much more on system mastery than class based systems. Its fine for GMs and super nerds like all of us hanging around on the forums but for a more casual player it is choice paralysis galore. That said having a modular design to facilitate Gms building new or custom classes with players I think would be fine but the concept of a class is just too useful to abandon entirely.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Do we know what kind of 'feat' Rope Runner is?


Not a fan.

Only thing I like is that they've shot(or attempted to) power gamey builds in the foot. We'll see how people get around it and how wide spread it is later.


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Overall I am a big fan of this new archetype system. Good Job!

Scarab Sages

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Mark Seifter wrote:


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

Ooh, could «Aerokineticist» be an archetype? :)


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It occurs to me that these arch2types could/should probably branch off into trees as well. Pirate is probably a bad example, but imagine there is another desired arch2type called fisherman. He'd want the exact same abilities as Pirate Dedication and Sea Legs, but would want a different ability from Boarding Action, like "Big Fish".


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Am I the only one that absolutely hates that practically EVERYTHING in 2nd edition has been reduced to a freaking feat.
racial abilities: nope, they're ancestry feats now so you have to be a 7th level dwarf to get what 1st level dwarves used to get for free.
automatic improved skill abilities: nope, they're now skill feats that you have to take in order to do the same stuff you could do for free just for putting ranks in the skill.
class features: nope, they're now class feats that you have to take just to acquire the class features you used to get for free.
archetypes: nope: they're now feats you have to take instead of taking one of your limited class feats.

I realize that one of the goals of 2nd edition was to simplify and streamline character creation, but there must have been a better way to accomplish that goal.


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My takeaways:

Next blog is resonance (see that last sentence). Calling it right now.

Pirate archetype looks neat, though I'm curious as to the choice of spear training. Never really associated pirates with spears (other than harpoons), I'd think light crossbow would fit better. If new equipment is released in future books, such as pistols or cutlasses, any chance they will let a pirate substitute training in spears or scimitars?

Archetypes taking feats up seems like a great way for adding flavor to classes that don't have great class feats. But it feels like it will be particularly punishing if class feats are as appealing as most of them seem.

Kinda sad about the grey maiden being the only prestige archetype in the playtest. Hope that this gives enough prestige "class" calibration that others released later (in the core or later books) are also pretty nice.

Question: Any chance of getting archetypes that replace fixed abilities in the core rulebook (if not the playtest)?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Bardarok wrote:
I think the long and short of it is that classless systems are harder to learn and rely much more on system mastery than class based systems. Its fine for GMs and super nerds like all of us hanging around on the forums but for a more casual player it is choice paralysis galore. That said having a modular design to facilitate Gms building new or custom classes with players I think would be fine but the concept of a class is just too useful to abandon entirely.

This is how I see it too. Having played for years with my wife and kids, I've gotten used to knowing when something causes what you refer to as "choice paralysis." Easier to know you can just build a fighter and if you're looking for a pirate type there's a way to do it later.

As for taking archetype feats at level 1, there are likely some of those available. This just happens to be one example and it doesn't start at level 1.

What I want to know is, are there any 1-for-1 conversions of popular PF1 archetypes in the playtest? For example, a phalanx soldier that isn't just for fighter anymore but offers class feats like Deft Shield and Irresistible Advance.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Only thing I like is that they've shot(or attempted to) power gamey builds in the foot.

Power gamers will always find a way. Though in this case, I couldn't imagine any power gamer ever taking this arch2type. You'd have to have some really bad class feat options for those things to look tempting.


Paladinosaur wrote:

Cool!

Is Sea Legs a Skill Feat?

No, all archetype Feats replace Class Feats.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Archetypes in the Pathfinder Playtest consist of a series of feats you can choose in place of your class feats.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Childeric, The Shatterer wrote:

Am I the only one that absolutely hates that practically EVERYTHING in 2nd edition has been reduced to a freaking feat.

racial abilities: nope, they're ancestry feats now so you have to be a 7th level dwarf to get what 1st level dwarves used to get for free.
automatic improved skill abilities: nope, they're now skill feats that you have to take in order to do the same stuff you could do for free just for putting ranks in the skill.
class features: nope, they're now class feats that you have to take just to acquire the class features you used to get for free.
archetypes: nope: they're now feats you have to take instead of taking one of your limited class feats.

I realize that one of the goals of 2nd edition was to simplify and streamline character creation, but there must have been a better way to accomplish that goal.

It's all just names and labels, man. :) Call them racial traits, class features, and archetypes to your heart's content. At this stage of PF1, they're all practically feats in some way anyway, just not blatantly so.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Only thing I like is that they've shot(or attempted to) power gamey builds in the foot.
Power gamers will always find a way. Though in this case, I couldn't imagine any power gamer ever taking this arch2type. You'd have to have some really bad class feat options for those things to look tempting.

Haha, stepping into power gamer mode for a moment, what technically qualifies as a boat? Do I have to have water? Or can the boat be on land?

If I declare something is my boat, even, say a tub of sorts, could I haul a tub around with me, jump from it onto a rope, and swing at my enemy to get the extra damage?

Clearly, that table could be used as a boat in the right circumstance! Boats boats boats.


malcolm_n wrote:

Haha, stepping into power gamer mode for a moment, what technically qualifies as a boat? Do I have to have water? Or can the boat be on land?

If I declare something is my boat, even, say a tub of sorts, could I haul a tub around with me, jump from it onto a rope, and swing at my enemy to get the extra damage?

Clearly, that table could be used as a boat in the right circumstance! Boats boats boats.

Lol. Boat shoes. Shoes in the shape of boats.

Hmm. That made me think about the other side of things. Does a ship that's run aground count as a ship for that feat? Does the ship have to be on water? What about an air ship?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:
Lol. Boat shoes. Shoes in the shape of boats.

If a boat is defined as anything capable of floating on water and supporting my weight, I could find a way to craft these...

See, now I have my heart set on finding a way to make a useful pirate without it being a nautical campaign. ;) Cap'n John Cardinal I'll call him.

I'll post my results as the playtest progresses.


Ok, the Grey Maidens sound pretty good. Is this a campaign specific archetype, since it's the only one included in the Playtest?

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:
I do feel like it was a very odd choice to call this system archetypes. It is... completely unlike the archetype system in the first edition and doesn't even fulfill the same design goal. While I more or less like the idea of the new system, calling it archetypes doesn't really seem to accomplish anything other than pissing off fans of the old system.

PF1 archetypes covered many different areas. I love that one Pirate archetype can take the place of the 11 or so various pirate archetypes for different classes, and I'm eager to see what other themes have become archetypes for the playtest.

Some PF1 archetypes helped tweak and customize your class, and some of those will be represented in the selection of class feats.

We may have to wait for more of the truly class-altering archetypes. But, those were more of a later addition to PF1 as well.


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Colour me impressed. I like this.
I would expect a pirate archetype to be niche - it's a fairly specific concept with a narrow application. I don't imagine I'd want to play a pirate in a typical dungeon/urban adventure. In it's niche it looks like it'll be quite handy though.

On future concept archetypes that amend class features rather than class feats I see no reason they can't also be called archetypes. I see no reason to differentiate them. The abilities tag line or archetype intro can tell you what they replace if the base rules don't.


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Mark, the only real reason I saw to call a prestige archetype a prestige archetype is because 3.5 Legacy. Any thoughts about that?

Why not just call it an archetype, since the rules looks exactly the same? (To identify heavy prerequisites we need just to read the prerequisites).

Also, the Special text is totally unnecessary. You should just say in the general/standard archetype rules that one can't select a new dedication feat until he have choosen three feats of the same archetype.

You'd save a lot of space to give us more new archetypes in the final corebook (and in future, new books).


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Melkiador wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Only thing I like is that they've shot(or attempted to) power gamey builds in the foot.
Power gamers will always find a way. Though in this case, I couldn't imagine any power gamer ever taking this arch2type. You'd have to have some really bad class feat options for those things to look tempting.

Most Pirate/Water based Archetypes are bad, and usually by nature. The moment you're not in water/on ship, you're sub-par.

But no hopefully this puts a bit of a speed bump(Or better planning) to do really silly Archetype class dips.

Not a fan that, I was right, them being just Feats. With an odd Feat chain lock on them that is for power gaming issues but should I have an idea or need an emergency pick up, I can't do that anymore. I need to retrain, remake, or write up a new character.

I'll withhold full final judgement after play test. Though I'll probably have a bit more to say as we see... I hate to say Proper Archetypes, but yes Proper Archetypes. At least the ones we picture when we see the word.


Shady Stranger wrote:
Ok, the Grey Maidens sound pretty good. Is this a campaign specific archetype, since it's the only one included in the Playtest?

The Grey Maidens are an organization on Golarion. They were originally the personal bodyguard of the very-much-evil Queen Ileosa, but since her death there's been more of an ideological split as to what the members of the organization should do now.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

A lot of what will help archetypes sink or swim (see what I did there?) will be their presentation. If they're still presented as a dedicated standalone 1-ish page option that lists all of the things they offer (including class feats), then blending in class feature altering abilities will be cake.

^^This is how I believe they will be presented^^

If they're just piles of feats among the other feats, it'll take more away from them than just flexibility. They'll lose identity too.

Scarab Sages

Childeric, The Shatterer wrote:

Am I the only one that absolutely hates that practically EVERYTHING in 2nd edition has been reduced to a freaking feat.

racial abilities: nope, they're ancestry feats now so you have to be a 7th level dwarf to get what 1st level dwarves used to get for free.
automatic improved skill abilities: nope, they're now skill feats that you have to take in order to do the same stuff you could do for free just for putting ranks in the skill.
class features: nope, they're now class feats that you have to take just to acquire the class features you used to get for free.
archetypes: nope: they're now feats you have to take instead of taking one of your limited class feats.

I realize that one of the goals of 2nd edition was to simplify and streamline character creation, but there must have been a better way to accomplish that goal.

I agree with you on the racial stuff, but it does appear that perhaps the stuff you don't get until higher level is a bit more powerful than what you used to get at 1st level. So we shall see once the playtest document hits the streets.

But I think you are mistaken on the skills. Because trained gets you your level in ranks in the skill. So you aren't assigning skill points to individual skills anymore. If you are trained in it and are 1st level, you get +1 (1 rank in PF1), 10th level, +10 (10 ranks in PF1). The skill feats actually do more for you than what you could do in PF1.

As to the class features, doesn't matter to me really. If I want to be a basic fighter, I just take the feats that more or less equals what a PF1 fighter could do.

The main thing I'm seeing with PF2 and all of this, is that it appears that they are nerfing the entire system. It generally looks like you will need to be about 11th level to have the same ability you had at 5th level previously. But once you hit 13th level or so, your abilities ramp up to really interesting things you can do, that you couldn't do before without magic. Which really intrigues me.

I just wish they didn't call everything "feats".


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
I do feel like it was a very odd choice to call this system archetypes. It is... completely unlike the archetype system in the first edition and doesn't even fulfill the same design goal. While I more or less like the idea of the new system, calling it archetypes doesn't really seem to accomplish anything other than pissing off fans of the old system.

PF1 archetypes covered many different areas. I love that one Pirate archetype can take the place of the 11 or so various pirate archetypes for different classes, and I'm eager to see what other themes have become archetypes for the playtest.

Some PF1 archetypes helped tweak and customize your class, and some of those will be represented in the selection of class feats.

We may have to wait for more of the truly class-altering archetypes. But, those were more of a later addition to PF1 as well.

Debatable. If your Pirate Archetype yes made you more Piratey, but also kept/enforce what your main class role was on the ship, to me that's good. I could easily see a more Piratey version of Alchemist - Chirurgeon that fills the role of a Ship's doctor(maybe being able to use booze/rum as pain killers or put together a makeshift healer's kit. Better chance at healing Drown/suffocate damage).

If all they did was just add "Ship movement/balance easier" to all of them, that can go. Though I would rather see such feats as more Background than actual Feats.

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Now each archetype has hefty prerequisites, a feat tax, and a feat tree associated with it? That feels like one step forward and two steps back.

So much hinges on that dedication feat granting you an ability to make it all feel worth it.


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Hmm. Seems cool. I don’t even know what a gray maiden is, though. Curse your setting specific archetypes!

I agree with other people that Pirate archetype seems a little underwhelming. Even pirates are gonna spend a lot of time at port as part of a larger party. I feel like I’d want to find a way to replicate the dedication feat with skills feats rather than burn some of my class mechanics on it. Sea legs is maybe worth it for a lot of classes though; signature athletics seems nice.

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