Archetypes for All

Friday, June 22, 2018

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

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

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

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

Pirate Dedication Feat 2

Archetype, Dedication

Prerequisites Dexterity 12, trained in Acrobatics and Sailing Lore

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

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

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

Sea Legs Feat 4

Archetype

Prerequisites Pirate Dedication, trained in Athletics

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

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

[[AA]] Boarding Action Feat 6

Archetype

Prerequisites Rope Runner

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

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

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

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

Gray Maiden Dedication Feat 6

Archetype, Dedication, Prestige

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

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

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

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

Unbreakable Feat 8

Archetype

Prerequisites Gray Maiden Dedication

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

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

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

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Second Seekers (Roheas)

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This feels REALLY underwhelming and also REALLY easy to screw up on the design end, much like the utter failure that is the Starfinder archetype system.

I am getting to the point where I just want them to get rid of this particular version of the class system altogether in favor of full modularity if this is the approach they want.

This just feels like it is trying to be half and half. The result is a system that feels strictly worse than going full modular or full pre-selected.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Two big thumbs up. I like almost everything here, though reading through the comments has made me wonder a bit about whether these don't seem too perquisite heavy. Lots of thoughts to comments as I was reading through the thread, so just gonna try and do it all in one or two posts.

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

They could, but they shouldn’t. These are very niche feats. If you want to be a pirate, you should have all the pirate stuff grouped together. If you don’t want to be a pirate, then pirate feats shouldn’t clog up the general feats.

Quote:

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

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

Huh, that is weird. If “Feat 2” means you can’t trade out your 1st level class feat for an archetype, I am scratching my head at that one. These things absolutely seem like part of your core character that should be almost as baked in as background.

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

No, the design space is still open for them, they just won’t be in the playtest.

Quote:

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

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

I think you are missing that PF2 classes are already way more modular, and lots of base class features have now become optional feats (and you get a lot of feats.) Base Monks don’t even get ki powers unless they opt into them, for example.

Also, we have been assured that feat trees will be way less of a thing, so you can really throw together some wacky combinations.

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

I think the Grey Maiden is probably intentionally more powerful because you have to go through a process to join the group. It is essentially a reward for some kind of narrative accomplishment—access to a higher caliber of feat. I think this is a pretty interesting decision, because I don’t think there were very many prestige classes in PF1 that felt more rewarding than just staying single class, despite having great role-play hooks attached.

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

These seem like good points.

Quote:

So will there be more archetypes that are class specific? Cause as of right now, I am not into the new archetype system. As of right now, they just add additional themed options to the core base class you are building as Kwik mentioned. There are archetypes that alter/change a Paladins Smite Evil, a Cleric's Channel, or a Magus' spell strike/spell combat that make them similar but totally different. Paladin's that smite evil with a gun only or against different creature types etc. Now it seems like you will get a base class but it can optionally do themed stuff.

I think my worry also stems from the fact that certain class features were "removed" but you have to "re-add" them. Like the recent Monk reveal. The unchained monk had access to monk weapons and stunning fist at level 1. Now the new monk has to focus on one or the other. Sure a monk in PF1 could focus on one facet of his features over the other but at least we had access to both. It never feels good to have less psychologically, especially when you use to have more before. I could be wrong. Now if you were to take an archetype for a monk, level 1 you would have to decide if you wanted your new themed thing vs your "normal" monk stuff. This is similar to how it was in PF1 where it replaced Monk Features but I don't know.

You have two ideas here which contradict each other: getting all the features you got before and having the ability to pick and choose completely different things. Also, the cleric no longer has channel (though it has a Heal/Harm pool that works on similar principles) and the Paladin no longer gets Smite Evil (it has to opt into a similar thing.)

Now, I don’t necessarily disagree that it will feel rough if we get less total stuff than we did before, but I think the “buying it back” point doesn’t seem especially relevant, especially if you want something akin to PF1 archetypes. (People who have actually played 1st level characters seem to think they have plenty of cool stuff, so I’m waiting to see here. If nothing else, the feats we have seen give waaaay more than most feats in PF1.)

Quote:
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".

Of course there’s confusion, we don’t have the actual book yet. XD People keep making this complaint, and I find it really bizarre.

Quote:

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.

Having niche feats that are accessible for all classes does not come anywhere close to what you describe. A Paladin’s class feats are completely different than a rogue’s class feats, and until we see multiclassing we have no evidence that a Paladin can get rogue feats (or features) or vice versa. One imagines multiclassing will open up some ways to snag stuff like this, but will probably come with an opportunity cost you wouldn’t have in a classless system. If I take 10 levels in Rogue and 10 in Paladin, then I can’t get level 12 Paladin feats. (Or something like that. Like I said, we got nothing on multiclassing yet.)

Quote:
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.

They absolutely do fill some of the same design goals—these archetypes take the place of making an archetype for every single class that adds the same set of features. So now if you want a Paladin who uses guns or a cleric that uses guns, you can get both from the same archetype instead of making two separate ones. The other thing PF1 archetypes did was let you trade out base features for other things, but the new modular class feat system has already covered a lot of this. (What little we can’t swap out through class feats will probably get class specific archetypes eventually. It feels like it took a while for them to make a Rogue archetype without sneak attack for example.)

Quote:
One thing I like about this is how homebrew friendly this is. It'd be easy to give a free dedication feat if you want to incentivize players to deepen their character concept with archetypes, or you could give out a free archetype specific to the campaign/setting you're playing. Houseruling with PF1 archetypes was much more difficult without breaking things, and campaign-specific archetypes were a disaster waiting to happen since only certain classes could use them.

*Nods.* Good point, I think Mark mentioned it somewhere in here.

Quote:
Personally, I don't see what was wrong with the 1e archetype system.

It is pretty much redundant in PF2. That, and it’s not super user friendly TBH. I love archetypes, but they are tough to explain and can be tough to parse. These new ones are easier to explain and also more flexible.

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The pirate archetype shown above and the starfinder archetypes (including the pact worlds' ones) are so weak because they don't make you better at what your class does, they just give you random, almost always worst abilities.

Pirate doesn’t give you random abilities. It gives you the option of taking abilities related to being a pirate. If you don’t want to be a pirate, you don’t take them. They don’t make you better at what your class does per se, but they add entirely new things your class couldn’t do before.

Quote:
The fact these seem to replace prestige classes and replace multiclassing into them and instead simply get feats after taking a gateway feat is a strong indication this will be how multiclassing works. You'll take a multiclass feat and then you can take class feats of the second class in place of your own class feats.

Nah, if that were the case, how would you get spellcasting on a barbarian? Also, there are lots of class feats that already cross over between classes. I have no idea what multiclassing will look like, but I think it pretty much CAN’T be just feat access.

Second Seekers (Roheas)

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Kalindlara wrote:

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. ^_^

This is the real hotness.

It just feels like they are replacing something really cool with something way less cool and just calling it the same name.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Quote:
The fact these seem to replace prestige classes and replace multiclassing into them and instead simply get feats after taking a gateway feat is a strong indication this will be how multiclassing works. You'll take a multiclass feat and then you can take class feats of the second class in place of your own class feats.
Nah, if that were the case, how would you get spellcasting on a barbarian? Also, there are lots of class feats that already cross over between classes. I have no idea what multiclassing will look like, but I think it pretty much CAN’T be just feat access.

It depends on what they'd consider spellcasting (in so far as whether spell-point systems feel enough like magic to people or not). But I do think Multi-class archetypes might be more likely than you think. PF is taking a number of clues from Unchained, and unchained's Alternate multiclassing looks a lot like this, only with less flexibility. I don't know if that's reading too much into things, but it does seem like there'll definitely be a system other than Cleric X\Fighter Y in PF2e, since so much seems tied to individual classes.

If nothing else, I'd expect something like this to replace hybrid classes. A bloodrager just becomes Barbarian (Archetype Sorcerer). An investigator becomes either Alchemist (Archetype Rogue) or Rogue (Archetype Alchemist), ect.


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I like this mechanic, much better than the starfinder archetype mechanic and it fits well with the new structure of the classes. Though I feel like Pirate is far too niche (even in the pirate campaign I had, a boarding/disembarking combat didn't happen very often). In addition, I really hope there is text in the general rules for archetypes that says something like "If an archetype dedication feat would grant you a proficiency you already possess, you gain an additional proficiency of the same type".

.... I probably wont end up playing an alchemist until further supplements add in archetypes that remove undesired class features.


Tholomyes wrote:
If nothing else, I'd expect something like this to replace hybrid classes. A bloodrager just becomes Barbarian (Archetype Sorcerer). An investigator becomes either Alchemist (Archetype Rogue) or Rogue (Archetype Alchemist), ect.

That sounds like something fun to play with even if there is also more traditional multiclassing.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
Quote:

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

This seems like it will rule out any archetypes that heavily modify a character's core concept, and it seems like level 1 class features are pretty much baked in to every character now.
Huh, that is weird. If “Feat 2” means you can’t trade out your 1st level class feat for an archetype, I am scratching my head at that one. These things absolutely seem like part of your core character that should be almost as baked in as background.

Yeah, this is one of the weirder things about the Pirate. I find it difficult to envision a character who'd want to take it and wouldn't want to get it at 1st level. Like, I'm building my cutlass wielding acrobatic character, but I don't get my proficiency in either of those things until second level? That's kind of awful. Or I already have those proficiencies from my class, in which case I'm just not getting anything out of the feat other than unlocking future feats.

Not to mention the overly specific nature of this stuff. Like if you took every one of the pirate feats that mentions a boat or ship and just made them not specific to a boat or ship I could maybe see them being worth taking, but as it stands how can you possibly justify them? A 6th level feat that only triggers when you're entering or exiting a boat? How many times in the course of even a pirate themed campaign is that possibly going to come up?


Bardarok wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
If nothing else, I'd expect something like this to replace hybrid classes. A bloodrager just becomes Barbarian (Archetype Sorcerer). An investigator becomes either Alchemist (Archetype Rogue) or Rogue (Archetype Alchemist), ect.
That sounds like something fun to play with even if there is also more traditional multiclassing.

Yeah, I'm reserving judgement on traditional multiclassing (in so far as whether it's there or not, and how well it will be handled if it is there), but since rereading Unchained and coming up with that idea, I've been wondering whether that system could solve some of the monk identity crisis threads from the past couple weeks. If you could be a Fighter or such, and get Ki from this system, then maybe you could play a mystic warrior that isn't so focused on the unarmed/unarmored chassis of a monk.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
I think the Grey Maiden is probably intentionally more powerful because you have to go through a process to join the group. It is essentially a reward for some kind of narrative accomplishment—access to a higher caliber of feat. I think this is a pretty interesting decision, because I don’t think there were very many prestige classes in PF1 that felt more rewarding than just staying single class, despite having great role-play hooks attached.

I hope not, that'd mean it'd be intentionally overpowered in non-Golarion games.

rooneg wrote:
A 6th level feat that only triggers when you're entering or exiting a boat? How many times in the course of even a pirate themed campaign is that possibly going to come up?

Only happened twice in mine.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Nah, if that were the case, how would you get spellcasting on a barbarian? Also, there are lots of class feats that already cross over between classes. I have no idea what multiclassing will look like, but I think it pretty much CAN’T be just feat access.

Are you going on the record that if they do what I say (multiclassing purely as feats) that you will be advocating they change the system back to PF1e style multiclassing? Because I know exactly how they can address this very specific scenario.


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Milo v3 wrote:
I hope not, that'd mean it'd be intentionally overpowered in non-Golarion games.

You could never meet the prereq membership in a non-Golarian game without introducing houserules, so it's a non-issue.


Milo v3 wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I think the Grey Maiden is probably intentionally more powerful because you have to go through a process to join the group. It is essentially a reward for some kind of narrative accomplishment—access to a higher caliber of feat. I think this is a pretty interesting decision, because I don’t think there were very many prestige classes in PF1 that felt more rewarding than just staying single class, despite having great role-play hooks attached.
I hope not, that'd mean it'd be intentionally overpowered in non-Golarion games.

The Grey Maiden stuff appears to be roughly the power level of a good class feat. I really do think the gap in power between the two is just because the Pirate archetype sucks rather than the Grey Maiden one being overpowered because it's "balanced" against required fluff; Mark has made it very clear in prior posts that fluff restrictions are not associated with increased mechanical power in PF2.


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Barathos wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
I hope not, that'd mean it'd be intentionally overpowered in non-Golarion games.
You could never meet the prereq membership in a non-Golarian game without introducing houserules, so it's a non-issue.

What stops you from making a group named that in a non-Golarion game? Nothing stops me from joining the Grey Maiden quilting club... :P


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Tholomyes wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Quote:
The fact these seem to replace prestige classes and replace multiclassing into them and instead simply get feats after taking a gateway feat is a strong indication this will be how multiclassing works. You'll take a multiclass feat and then you can take class feats of the second class in place of your own class feats.
Nah, if that were the case, how would you get spellcasting on a barbarian? Also, there are lots of class feats that already cross over between classes. I have no idea what multiclassing will look like, but I think it pretty much CAN’T be just feat access.

It depends on what they'd consider spellcasting (in so far as whether spell-point systems feel enough like magic to people or not). But I do think Multi-class archetypes might be more likely than you think. PF is taking a number of clues from Unchained, and unchained's Alternate multiclassing looks a lot like this, only with less flexibility. I don't know if that's reading too much into things, but it does seem like there'll definitely be a system other than Cleric X\Fighter Y in PF2e, since so much seems tied to individual classes.

If nothing else, I'd expect something like this to replace hybrid classes. A bloodrager just becomes Barbarian (Archetype Sorcerer). An investigator becomes either Alchemist (Archetype Rogue) or Rogue (Archetype Alchemist), ect.

I dunno. I think a feat buy in might be possible to multiclass, but I sincerely doubt it will only give you feats in return, but they might give you FEATURES. Keep in mind, many of the class feats don't seem to do squat without a certain basic class feature. Why multiclass into barbarian if you don't get rage?

If anything, I'd guess it works like Unchained and you don't get to take the new class's feats at all, except I still think you can probably get casting somehow.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

I like it and figured this would be more-or-less how it'd work. Nomenclature is a non-issue for me, but these certainly feel like the spiritual brethren of PF1 archetypes.

I will add my voice to the chorus asking for archetypes that modify static, core class features. Being able to swap out some of these fundamental components is key to certain concepts.

Shadow Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I like the idea but think with all the feats around there needs to be very clear guidelines and identifiers on feat types, as others have said.

That in mind. Why do we need the feat level indicator on the right hand of the name? Why not leave out the level and use this to indicate feat type - class, general, skill. This means the pirate one would have a header containing archetype, dedication, skill in the header rather than just under. I say skill since this particular feat seems to be more akin to a skill feat than a class. Wouldn’t this be easier toID the skill type? It still sets you up as pirate, still has the necessary prereqs and does all its meant to do. Why indicate or limit level when prereq can do that? Why limit to class feats when skill feats would also work, shouldnt a pirate be focussed on different skills?

If that seems cumbersome then put the “subtypes” underneath, so the header says skill rather than feat 2 and the first line of the feat is archetype, dedication.

Since dedication is in he feat name perhaps the actual header needs to just say skill (archetype) rather than feat 2.

I dont think the header will become to crowded unless there are weird feats that have more than 4 types. The gray maiden header would be longest...

Gray maiden dedication............................archetype, class, dedication, prestige

Or

Gray maiden dedication..............................................class (prestige)

That would render a lot of the description irrelevant - the feat describes what type it is. Do you need to have more than class (prestige) to ID the purpose? Wont the actual rules clarify what a dedication is, or what a prestige is? Archetypes could then use any feat type applicable, but you could only acccess those particular skill, general etc feats with that appropriate archetype.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Nah, if that were the case, how would you get spellcasting on a barbarian? Also, there are lots of class feats that already cross over between classes. I have no idea what multiclassing will look like, but I think it pretty much CAN’T be just feat access.
Are you going on the record that if they do what I say (multiclassing purely as feats) that you will be advocating they change the system back to PF1e style multiclassing? Because I know exactly how they can address this very specific scenario.

My guess is multiclassing is, in fact, exclusively feat based in PF2. There will be an equivalent to a Dedication feat (possibly even literally a Dedication feat with each multiclass literally being an archetype) that gives you a couple of the class abilities of the class you want to dip, and allows access to that class's feat list.

Spellcasting picked up via multiclassing will be a feat that lets you choose one or two spells which are used as Spell Point abilities.

(Note I am not advocating this system. It's just pretty much my guess for how it's going to happen. There are multiple perfectly workable ways to fix 3.x style multiclassing, but Paizo is most likely not going to use them, or have that style of multiclass available.)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Yeah, I'd bet heavily that PF2 Playtest multiclassing will essentially be VMC.


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Barathos wrote:
You could never meet the prereq membership in a non-Golarian game without introducing houserules, so it's a non-issue.

There is a very big level of difference in effort required between "I'm ignoring this prerequisite because my group isn't playing in golarion and such a restriction makes no sense outside of it" and "I'm ignoring this prerequisite because my group isn't playing in golarion and such a restriction makes no sense outside of it, AND I now I have to rewrite the whole archetype so it doesn't break the game".

Arachnofiend wrote:


The Grey Maiden stuff appears to be roughly the power level of a good class feat. I really do think the gap in power between the two is just because the Pirate archetype sucks rather than the Grey Maiden one being overpowered because it's "balanced" against required fluff; Mark has made it very clear in prior posts that fluff restrictions are not associated with increased mechanical power in PF2.

Is abit hard to judge the power level of "a class feat" admittedly since most of the examples have been pretty swingy when it comes to power.

Fuzzypaws wrote:


My guess is multiclassing is, in fact, exclusively feat based in PF2. There will be an equivalent to a Dedication feat (possibly even literally a Dedication feat with each multiclass literally being an archetype) that gives you a couple of the class abilities of the class you want to dip, and allows access to that class's feat list.

Spellcasting picked up via multiclassing will be a feat that lets you choose one or two spells which are used as Spell Point abilities.

I really hope that isn't the methodology they use. That would make it impossible to actually stop doing what you were previously doing and change from advancing one skill set to another, removing a lot of character concepts. I wouldn't be able to have my kobold wizard character who started a rogue before he was able to put together a spellbook from his adventures, because the character would be stuck still getting rogue levels despite that not making any sense for the character.

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I have a questikn regarding boarding action. Why does it have a prereq other than pirate dedication? It doesnt seem that powerful to require a three feat investment? I could see this as a general or class feat since it modifies movement and strikes so im happy with thst but im unclear on the wording of the very first sentence...

Do i need this feat to be able to swing on a rope?

Do i need it to be able to swing on a rope up to twice my speed?

If i use it is it one action to swing or stride and i get to move double my movement for that one action?

Also...

The feat is two part correct? The added dice of damage in independant of the first part. I dont need to be boarding or leaving a boat to swing or stride at doube?

If the feat makes a stride or swing a double move for one action then this is a great that i think is worth the two feat investment - i just increased my mobility by a huge amount for a single action. Certainly in line with the gray maidenfeat.

The other pirate feats, sea legs and the dedciation, seem like skill feats to me.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
My guess is multiclassing is, in fact, exclusively feat based in PF2. There will be an equivalent to a Dedication feat (possibly even literally a Dedication feat with each multiclass literally being an archetype) that gives you a couple of the class abilities of the class you want to dip, and allows access to that class's feat list.

I find that unlikely. I'm pretty sure you're just going to end up taking levels in classes - what I'm not sure about is what that's going to do to progression. The skeletal champion in the Glass Cannon Playtest was very likely Antipaladin 1/Fighter 1, and had the appropriate number of abilities. If that was some sort of feat, I think he'd have been too high level to handle - either that, or he'd have been short on feats by my math.

Liberty's Edge

John Lynch 106 wrote:

These aren't archetypes as we have come to know them. These are themes.

Archetypes are great because they let you swap out class features for different class features. Feats are already modular and swappable. Quarantining a bunch of feats into a package is very underwhelming. I'm disappointed they're attaching the name "Archetype" to these and would much rather have had them called theme, prestige class, paragon path, whatever and instead had the name Archetype unused so we could get PF1e style archetypes at a later date.

They've specifically said that they will probably include classic Archetypes as a thing (just not in the playtest since they know those work). Probably not even under a separate name. So I'm not sure why people are still harping on them being gone.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Quote:

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

The old system allowed two fighters to be very different, almost as different as a fighter and a ranger, even at first level. The new system sounds like all fighters will have the same generic base

I think you are missing that PF2 classes are already way more modular, and lots of base class features have now become optional feats (and you get a lot of feats.) Base Monks don’t even get ki powers unless they opt into them, for example.

Also, we have been assured that feat trees will be way less of a thing, so you can really throw together some wacky combinations.

I remember the Rogue and Monk preview stressing how flexible the two classes are, but the Fighter didn't strike me as more flexible than the Pathfinder 1 version, maybe because that class is the most flexible in the Core book. I reread the preview and there are phrases like "the fighter has the largest selection of feats out of all the classes" and "a conscious effort to give fighters a number of paths...These paths are pretty open". The Pathfinder 1 fighter has the largest selection of feats, and gets the most feats in the game, but still has several baked in class abilities that assume the tank style. And the second phrase sounds almost like Ranger styles, which are customization, but not at the level of a P1 archetype. If the description had been more like the Monk, where they expressly stated Monks don't get ki powers or any weapon proficiency without spending feats, it would have been more clear.

I know the feat trees are getting pruned. These archetypes are basically trees of dependent feats, so the analogy to the Pathfinder 1 feat trees (graphs technically) seemed appropriate. Having wasted feats on Mobility and Spring Attack in D&D 3.0 (when you only got character feats every third level) to get Whirlwind Attack to become a Weapon Master, I appreciate the pruning.


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Tallow wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

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

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

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

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

Yeah, but can you get rid of sneak attack or flurry?

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Agree 100% deadman. I think the playtest is being used to fireprrof the concept and im persoanlly looking forward to seeing what else is in the book. Im not super enthusiastic about the pirate but i think the idea has a lot of merit.

Whats your gut feeling on limiting these to class feats alone? Or have i got the wrong end of this in my reading?

Designer

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Cat-thulhu wrote:


The feat is two part correct? The added dice of damage in independant of the first part. I dont need to be boarding or leaving a boat to swing or stride at doube?

Correct. Even if you don't get the damage die, it's still a more powerful version of Sudden Charge (which is itself a very powerful class feat). If you needed to board to use it at all, it would be in the Requirements section.

EDIT: Misread.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:

These aren't archetypes as we have come to know them. These are themes.

Archetypes are great because they let you swap out class features for different class features. Feats are already modular and swappable. Quarantining a bunch of feats into a package is very underwhelming. I'm disappointed they're attaching the name "Archetype" to these and would much rather have had them called theme, prestige class, paragon path, whatever and instead had the name Archetype unused so we could get PF1e style archetypes at a later date.

They've specifically said that they will probably include classic Archetypes as a thing (just not in the playtest since they know those work). Probably not even under a separate name. So I'm not sure why people are still harping on them being gone.

Oh, did they? I missed that! That’s a pretty big relief if that’s the case.

Liberty's Edge

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:


The feat is two part correct? The added dice of damage in independant of the first part. I dont need to be boarding or leaving a boat to swing or stride at doube?

Correct. Even if you don't get the damage die, it's still a more powerful version of Sudden Charge (which is itself a very powerful class feat). If you needed to board to use it at all, it would be in the Requirements section.

Uh...by my reading it only grants the attack if you're embarking or disembarking. If the intent is that only the damage be limited in that fashion, a wording change may be in order.

Shadow Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
SilverliteSword wrote:
Tallow wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

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

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

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

Considering that most class features are now class feats, I'm not sure you are going to get what you want.
Yeah, but can you get rid of sneak attack or flurry?

Dont play a rogue or monk

Seriously i suspect no is the playtest answer. They want the playtest to look at the class designs and get some constructive feedback on the basic design. I do suspect if you want this level of customization you, and others will need to give this feedback during the test.

“Yes the rogue sneak attack appears balanced, works well with the feats and conditions available but i feel there is a niche for rogues without this ability now that we have seen it works fine in PF2”


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps Subscriber

Another nitpicking wordsmith comment about "Sea Legs"

As a sailor, you get your 'sea legs' when you learn to balance on a rocking boat or ship so that you no longer fall into things when the deck tilts.

There's even a reverse phenomenon when you start walking on land after a few days walking on decks. Even though your footing is stable, your balance muscles still rock you back and forth.

Please, for those of us who are actual sailors, don't hijack a perfectly good nautical term and use it in a nonsensical way for a game.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I think the Grey Maiden is probably intentionally more powerful because you have to go through a process to join the group. It is essentially a reward for some kind of narrative accomplishment—access to a higher caliber of feat. I think this is a pretty interesting decision, because I don’t think there were very many prestige classes in PF1 that felt more rewarding than just staying single class, despite having great role-play hooks attached.
I hope not, that'd mean it'd be intentionally overpowered in non-Golarion games.
The Grey Maiden stuff appears to be roughly the power level of a good class feat. I really do think the gap in power between the two is just because the Pirate archetype sucks rather than the Grey Maiden one being overpowered because it's "balanced" against required fluff; Mark has made it very clear in prior posts that fluff restrictions are not associated with increased mechanical power in PF2.

Well, what he said was that role-play restrictions shouldn't grant mechanical benefits.. Accomplishing something in narrative is not a role-play restriction. This would be a reward-- like getting a boon from a deity or a sweet piece of magical loot.

For example, the PF1 Chernasardo Warden Prestige Class has this prerequisite: you must defeat an evil enemy of a CR 5 levels higher than your character level. This victory must be witnessed by a Chernasardo Ranger.

That is a REALLY specific and impressive accomplishment, and probably deserves a reward. But the Chernasardo Warden isn't really an upgrade over the base classes, even with granting level progression in your old class every other level.

All that being said, [urlhttp://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lkvj&page=2?Archetypes-for-All#58]from this post I think I'm probably wrong[/url]. It does seem pretty wildly powerful if you can just write down on your sheet that you are a Grey Maiden at character creation.

I hope not, that'd mean it'd be intentionally overpowered in non-Golarion games.

As Barathos said, you wouldn't be able to join the Grey Maidens in a non-Golarion game. IMO, the only real reason to have prestige classes anymore (or prestige archetypes) is if they tie into specific things in world. This means they might as well not exist for folks like you who only do homebrew, but I imagine that's why they only included one in the playtest. Prestige classes should really come from APs, modules, or campaign setting books.

Quote:
Are you going on the record that if they do what I say (multiclassing purely as feats) that you will be advocating they change the system back to PF1e style multiclassing? Because I know exactly how they can address this very specific scenario.

Either I don't understand what you are saying, or I can't understand how you reached that conclusion. I'm not advocating for anything on multiclassing. I just don't think what you predicted would make an awful lot of sense. Spending feats to gain other feats doesn't seem sensible when A) so many classes seem to get the same class feat anyway (Sudden Charge, Attack of Opportunity, Whirlwind Attack, various metamagic) and B) so many of the class FEATS depend on specific class FEATURES.

You COULD pay a feat cost to get those features, though. Some amount of feats might let you get rage on a fighter, for example. If you can't get rage on a fighter, then granting access to rage feats does exactly the sort of false choice/messy categories/trap options PF2 is trying to avoid. Once you have rage, you might indeed be able to take rage feats. (This is much closer to Unchained Variant Multiclassing than what I think you are predicting.)

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I'll see what Paizo has in store and give it a shot. I doubt I'll be heartbroken.

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:


The feat is two part correct? The added dice of damage in independant of the first part. I dont need to be boarding or leaving a boat to swing or stride at doube?

Correct. Even if you don't get the damage die, it's still a more powerful version of Sudden Charge (which is itself a very powerful class feat). If you needed to board to use it at all, it would be in the Requirements section.
Uh...by my reading it only grants the attack if you're embarking or disembarking. If the intent is that only the damage be limited in that fashion, a wording change may be in order.

Is it an upgrade? i just noticed it takes 2 actions (fancy missign that!) though the formatting is odd on this one- [[AA]] rather than the [[A]][[A]] weve sen before. In that case isnt the base effect use two actions to do what you would with the two actins anyway, with a situational bonus on top? Isnt this slightly less that sudden charge? Of course i may be missing some nuance here.


If archetypes have become feat chains, I assume that multi-classing is a similar feat chain like concept with classes having their own dedication feat and minimum feat buy in before grabbing another class dedication. If that's the case, then I'd expect your core class to be little more than a free or boosted class dedication feat granted at first level.

If I have to guess how they'll manage archetypes that would swap out a cavalier's mount, rogue's sneak attack or monks flurry, I assume that certain types of class abilities would be the same type of feat and others would progress based on class level but be mutually exclusive in some capacity. Such as making a "companion feat" umbrella giving a selection from animal companion, familiar, eidolon, or an opt out feat.

I hope the feats are made slightly more general than the examples given, or the PF1 feats. A book full of feats that are typically useless will make those more general feats the go to choice for most players. A setting specific feat pool would probably be the only way to make those specific feats appealing to the average player.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
As Barathos said, you wouldn't be able to join the Grey Maidens in a non-Golarion game. IMO, the only real reason to have prestige classes anymore (or prestige archetypes) is if they tie into specific things in world. This means they might as well not exist for folks like you who only do homebrew, but I imagine that's why they only included one in the playtest. Prestige classes should really come from APs, modules, or campaign setting books.

1) So your view is that even if the mechanics are neat, that because I'm not playing in Paizo's setting my group shouldn't be allowed to use the archetype?

2) Based on the fact that Paizo seems to have just started making what would be Campaign Setting books in the past RPG-line books, I don't think Campaign Setting books are going to be an actual separate thing anymore.


graystone wrote:
What stops you from making a group named that in a non-Golarion game? Nothing stops me from joining the Grey Maiden quilting club... :P

Sure, but aren't you the person who always points out to me that you can't count on your GM to cooperate with/make exceptions for you? :)


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I'm not a fan.

These feel like feat taxes. In PF1, I would trade out a list of class features for a new list. Now, I have to lose TWO Class Feats to get the one I want (unless you like the Dedication Feat).

The Pirate feats are garbage. Even if I was playing in a pirate campaign, I wouldn't grab these feats. (Unless all other feats are approximately just as garbage, then I'm skipping this game.)

The first feat lets me up my balance check successes to critical successes on boats, but it also lets me ignore difficult terrain caused by being on a ship, so that probably won't come up at all.

I then get proficiency in 3 weapons that most classes should be proficient with already.

Finally, I treat Acrobatics as a signature skill, which, while I don't know exactly what that means, doesn't sound too good. (Don't signature skills just change the progression of when you can raise your Proficiency?)

The second feat let's me use a level 1 Fighter Class Feat, but I get an extra die of damage when I leave/enter a boat. (This costs THREE feats vs the fighter's ONE feat!) There is no way in hell I am dumping 3 feats for a situational ability like that.

Maybe if I can cheese the feat by constantly carrying around a boat, it MIGHT be worth it, but probably not.


thflame wrote:


Maybe if I can cheese the feat by constantly carrying around a boat, it MIGHT be worth it, but probably not.

Ride desert boats, skidded and pulled by camels.

Or maybe ice boats with skis sailing across the glaciers.

Maybe the dreaded saurian land boat, a wheeled monstrosity powered by dinosaurs on treadmills.

Finally, the favorite of Final Fantasy fans, the sky boats, soaring through the clouds with the energy of air elementals.

Designer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:


The feat is two part correct? The added dice of damage in independant of the first part. I dont need to be boarding or leaving a boat to swing or stride at doube?

Correct. Even if you don't get the damage die, it's still a more powerful version of Sudden Charge (which is itself a very powerful class feat). If you needed to board to use it at all, it would be in the Requirements section.
Uh...by my reading it only grants the attack if you're embarking or disembarking. If the intent is that only the damage be limited in that fashion, a wording change may be in order.

That's what I get for trying to answer one last question before heading home for work. You are correct that you don't get the Strike (though you do get the Stride/swing no matter what).


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If I understand this correctly, a player loses "class feats" and chooses "archetype feats" that are just a regular feat tree with some linked theme.

That assumes that "class feats" are just feats that you gain when you level.

If I am correct, how is this new or different from anything?

Isn't this exactly the same as not having archetypes at all?


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:


The feat is two part correct? The added dice of damage in independant of the first part. I dont need to be boarding or leaving a boat to swing or stride at doube?

Correct. Even if you don't get the damage die, it's still a more powerful version of Sudden Charge (which is itself a very powerful class feat). If you needed to board to use it at all, it would be in the Requirements section.
Uh...by my reading it only grants the attack if you're embarking or disembarking. If the intent is that only the damage be limited in that fashion, a wording change may be in order.
That's what I get for trying to answer one last question before heading home for work. You are correct that you don't get the Strike (though you do get the Stride/swing no matter what).

But that's two actions to go twice your speed. So two action to do something that normally costs two actions. I am not seeing the non-boat benefit here.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:

These aren't archetypes as we have come to know them. These are themes.

Archetypes are great because they let you swap out class features for different class features. Feats are already modular and swappable. Quarantining a bunch of feats into a package is very underwhelming. I'm disappointed they're attaching the name "Archetype" to these and would much rather have had them called theme, prestige class, paragon path, whatever and instead had the name Archetype unused so we could get PF1e style archetypes at a later date.

They've specifically said that they will probably include classic Archetypes as a thing (just not in the playtest since they know those work). Probably not even under a separate name. So I'm not sure why people are still harping on them being gone.

Link Please? I've seen them say they will make class specific archetypes, but that is vastly different to classic archetypes. Replacing class feats for 1 class vs any class is hardly the same thing as classic archetypes.


Komoda wrote:

If I understand this correctly, a player loses "class feats" and chooses "archetype feats" that are just a regular feat tree with some linked theme.

That assumes that "class feats" are just feats that you gain when you level.

If I am correct, how is this new or different from anything?

Isn't this exactly the same as not having archetypes at all?

You can normally only spend your class feats on classes you have levels in. Your barbarian cannot take druid feats. Class feats are not "just feats that you gain when you level", they're "a type of feat you gain when you level that can be used to gain abilities from your class"

Archetypes provide a set of feats that any class can take assuming you meet the prerequisites.


I was going to touch on several things that Captain Morgan already did in the long post above. In general I'm just slightly confused how people can't see that this does pretty much the same as archetypes in PF1, but with more options.

As for the prestige archetype, you can easily port this to other settings too with a rewording of the campaign specific text. For established settings it could easily be a stand in for Purple Dragon knights from Forgotten Realms, or certain factions within The Zhentarim.
Knights of Solamnia from Dragonlance would be a fitting order too.
Knightly orders in most campaigns require some sort of dedication/sacrifice/requirement to join, so not just anyone could call themselves a member and gain the benefits.

The pirate archetype and its abilities could easily be given a broader scope by letting its abilities be used in/on/around vehicles in general. So the abilities would not just be useable on the rolling deck of a waterborne ship, but also when fighting on the back of a horse-drawn carriage, on the deck of an airship, on the howdah of a war elephant or the elemental trains of Eberron.


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On the topic of RP requirements for prestige classes, I kind of wish that those would just go the way of the legacy dodo. In 3.x, these restrictions were designed around the notion that they were primarily the domain of NPCs, hence why they started out in the DMG. As more of them were added to books that weren't the DMG, it became this weird question of "Should a PC have access to this?" which was never really answered in 3.x or PF, though PF eventually moved more away from this model, in favor of non-RP requirements. But even so, in PF, PrCs seemed like a legacy since their introduction, as PF moved away from the reason that most people chose PrCs (i.e. Classes were relatively uninteresting in 3.x, and PrCs not only gave you most of what you'd get in class levels, but even more, and often more interesting things).

I can certainly understand the notion that if you have a "Hellknight" or "Gray Maiden" prestige class, you want the members to be a part of those individual orders, but I don't understand why, especially given the downtime mechanics codified in PF2e, that that can't be part of it. It just seems weird to me that this legacy of 3.x, where for the most part PrCs were only a major thing because Base Classes were made to be so boring otherwise, would continue in PF2e. There's certainly design space for this concept, but not all legacy elements are worth revisiting.

Liberty's Edge

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Given how much this edition seems to like using <phrase># in the rules, I'm surprised the feats have a "Special" line rather than "Dedication 2".

Liberty's Edge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Link Please? I've seen them say they will make class specific archetypes, but that is vastly different to classic archetypes. Replacing class feats for 1 class vs any class is hardly the same thing as classic archetypes.

Sure, Mark says it here.

Contributor

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I think this mechanic looks neat, but I'm a little confused by the pirate archetype. All of its baseline abilities look like they're skill based. Shouldn't this be a skill feat? Or am I missing the distinction between the two?

(All of the class feats we've seen so far are these big, flashy powers that do cool stuff, and the pirate archetype's like, "Here are some skills guys!" It just feels really off for that reason.)


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
kwiqsilver wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Quote:

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

The old system allowed two fighters to be very different, almost as different as a fighter and a ranger, even at first level. The new system sounds like all fighters will have the same generic base

I think you are missing that PF2 classes are already way more modular, and lots of base class features have now become optional feats (and you get a lot of feats.) Base Monks don’t even get ki powers unless they opt into them, for example.

Also, we have been assured that feat trees will be way less of a thing, so you can really throw together some wacky combinations.

I remember the Rogue and Monk preview stressing how flexible the two classes are, but the Fighter didn't strike me as more flexible than the Pathfinder 1 version, maybe because that class is the most flexible in the Core book. I reread the preview and there are phrases like "the fighter has the largest selection of feats out of all the classes" and "a conscious effort to give fighters a number of paths...These paths are pretty open". The Pathfinder 1 fighter has the largest selection of feats, and gets the most feats in the game, but still has several baked in class abilities that assume the tank style. And the second phrase sounds almost like Ranger styles, which are customization, but not at the level of a P1 archetype. If the description had been more like the Monk, where they expressly stated Monks don't get ki powers or any weapon proficiency without spending feats, it would have been more clear.

I know the feat trees are getting pruned. These archetypes are basically trees of dependent feats, so...

There a few problems comparing the PF1 Fighter to the PF2 Fighter for flexibility.

1) All classes at least one new class of feat-- skill feats. So even setting aside pure combat feats, you're gonna wind up with a whole boatload of feats to make your fighter feel distinct (some of which will have combat applications.)

2) Individual Feats will be more powerful. Many of them outright scale with level, for example.

3) Feats won't tend tend to just give you more +1s like Weapon Focus and whatnot. They will instead open up entirely new actions, which will make your character feel more distinct. One sword and board fighter might focus on feats for improved mobility, while another might focus on things like Aggressive Shield to instead shove enemies around the battlefield.

4) You touched on this with feat trees being pruned. In general, it seems like it will be easier to make a specific concept go. Examples I think we can expect: You won't need high Dex to two weapon fight. You won't need to devote 10 feats to make a whip viable. You won't need to lock in 4 feats just to Whirlwind Attack. You don't need feats for basic combat maneuver usage.

5) Weapons are more nuanced. Traits and Critical Specialization mean a fighter with a sword will feel even more different from a polearm fighter than he did in PF1.

6) There is no "best" armor in any specific category, so not every heavy armored fighter will want to wear full plate.

7) While I'm not a fan of getting much less racial features at level 1, Ancestry Feats (and their limited number) will unarguably offer another point of distinction between characters. A gnome fighter can have a familiar at level 1 for example, which already puts you on the path of the PF1 Eldritch Guardian. It can also grant you a cantrip, which opens up all sorts of doors.

8) The new action economy means you can do lots of stuff that needed feats out the box. You don't need spring attack to move > attack > move for example.

9) You're talking about 10 years of archetypes and feats from dozens of books compared to one new CRB.

10) Despite point 9, lots of PF1 archetypes seem like you can do their thing in the playtest anyway. The big selling point of Two-Weapon Warrior was being able to use both weapons and still move at level 9. All character can do this in PF2 at level 1 and Double Slice makes you substantially better at it than other characters. Skill feats will almost certainly let you cover the UMD boons of Relic Master. Pirate is a much more flexible version of the Corsair archetype. For the Polearm Master, we don't really know how reach works yet but if you can't hit adjacent squares out the box I bet there will be a feat for it. Brewing your own Elixirs is now just a skill feat so it doesn't seem hard to get that Mutation Warrior thing going. Mobile Fighter and Dervish of Dawn aren't needed in the new action economy. The Fighter will get feats it can swap out on the reg, similar to the Martial Master.

I guess all that is to say there were a lot of fighter archetypes, but I'm skeptical that they offer that many things we don't already get in PF2 despite the huge publishing edge. Remember, most of abilities for these archetypes just shuffled some bonuses around. They usually only granted one or two unique abilities, and those unique abilities are trivially easy to turn into class feats so you can mix and match them as you like.

That got longer than anticipated.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
As Barathos said, you wouldn't be able to join the Grey Maidens in a non-Golarion game. IMO, the only real reason to have prestige classes anymore (or prestige archetypes) is if they tie into specific things in world. This means they might as well not exist for folks like you who only do homebrew, but I imagine that's why they only included one in the playtest. Prestige classes should really come from APs, modules, or campaign setting books.

1) So your view is that even if the mechanics are neat, that because I'm not playing in Paizo's setting my group shouldn't be allowed to use the archetype?

2) Based on the fact that Paizo seems to have just started making what would be Campaign Setting books in the past RPG-line books, I don't think Campaign Setting books are going to be an actual separate thing anymore.

1) Yes, but with some asterisks. If the mechanics are just straight up more powerful versions of things you can already do? Yeah, I'm cool with that getting setting locked. According to the above, Unbreakable gives you the benefits of two general feats, and you get less general feats than class feats so many of us have assumed they are more precious/powerful.

If the mechanics are just NEAT, like letting you do cool new things that aren't strictly better than others, than nah. You should have access to them.

I don't think it is wrong for Paizo to publish some setting exclusive content-- there should just be as little as possible of it in core books. I also don't think you should only be able to use Campaign Traits in the campaign they were made for. And I think getting a sexy new prestige class/archetype as a reward for pulling off a thing in narrative is a nice idea. Part of why I think these should be setting/campaign/achievement locked is because they represent a power boost, and as such the particular game should be balanced around them.

That being said, if you are comfortable giving your players some more powerful options and can handle the power bump, I don't see why you couldn't come up with your own prerequisites for gaining Grey Maiden feats. They can be as loose or stringent as you want, and they don't necessarily have to involve memberships.

For example, I introduced Path of War content into my own home game to players that had never heard of it. I first dropped an NPC built using it who did some kickass stuff. Then I introduced an expert in these esoteric fighting styles who offered to train the characters around the time they were about to hit 6th level, and they able to start taking levels in the Path of War classes. This was a pretty substantial bump in power but I was ready for it.

All of this is moot if the intent of prestiage classes isn't for them to be kind of OP and achievement locked. *shrug*

2) APs and modules, then. You can stick a prestige class in a specific AP where it would be appropriate.


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

Maybe something like salt strider as a name

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