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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5 people marked this as a favorite.
Starbuck_II wrote:

Thinking of letting people get an 1 archetype feat for free when I do playtest.

Why slow down ability to be who they want to be.

After all, it seems they gave an extra feat to everyone during official playtests.

Please do not skew the playtest. It kinda defeats the purpose.

Plus, one can be who they want to be without referencing mechanics. For example, no pirate archetype needed to call your PC a pirate (or assassin/Viking/knight/ninja...)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Alchemaic wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

By stating Rogue you make it seem like you have to do one of those for each class. But you don't. So its

"Characters get feats at every level. You are told what type of Feat it is. Look at the relevant section of the book for that list of Feats." Done, for every class EVER.

EDIT: Removed some antagonistic text. Sorry

Cheburn wrote:
<CLASS> get FEATS at every level. Odd levels give GENERAL FEATS (see list) or SKILL FEATS, while even levels give CLASS FEATS (see class-specific list) and SKILL FEATS (see list). Rogues in particular get an additional SKILL FEAT at every odd level. See? That just replaced the mess of bullet points I gave above.
Maybe I'm not being clear. What I'm NOT saying is that in 2e Rogues should have talents, Clerics should have domain powers, Barbarians should have rage powers, and Alchemists should have discoveries. What I AM saying is that EVERY class should have Meringue Pies. Meringue Pies = needs a specific class, Feats = just needs prerequisites. For example, let's say Word of Healing gets reprinted. Does that become a Meringue Pie, requiring that whoever wants it is a Paladin, or does it become a Feat, allowing whoever happens to get Lay on Hands through another source (prestige classes, archetypes, or Believer's Hands) can use it?

Word of Healing would probably be a meringue pie, and whatever things let you pilfer things from other classes will just also let you get their pies. It is trivial to say that an archetype gets Lay on Hands and can spend its class feats on Lay on Hands related Paladin feats.

Alternatively, Word of Healing won't get reprinted, because Lay on Hands is now a spell and therefore able to be used with the Reach spell metamagic, which does the same thing.

Either way, Word of Healing shouldn't be cluttering up the general feat list, and Paladins shouldn't have to dig through that feat list to find it.


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Ultimatecalibur wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
feat chains

I do not think that term means what you think it means.

Feat chains are when Feat Z requires you to take Feat Y which requires Feat X which needs Feats W and V.

PF2's Archetypes are closer to unlockable Feats Pools. Taking Feat A allows you to take any combination of Feats B, C, D, E, and F in the future.

Except we are seeing that. All pirate feats require Pirate dedication. But we also see Boarding action, which requires Rope Runner, which presumably also requires Pirate dedication. Sure there may be branching chains, just like there were in 1e, but we can already see the beginnings of feat chains here, which they claimed to be moving away from.


Castilliano wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:

Thinking of letting people get an 1 archetype feat for free when I do playtest.

Why slow down ability to be who they want to be.

After all, it seems they gave an extra feat to everyone during official playtests.

Please do not skew the playtest. It kinda defeats the purpose.

Plus, one can be who they want to be without referencing mechanics. For example, no pirate archetype needed to call your PC a pirate (or assassin/Viking/knight/ninja...)

Pirate archetype needed to be a Rogue who wields a scimitar, though. Weapon proficiencies that can't be taken at level 1 are very frustrating when it comes to creating your concept.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
Castilliano wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:

Thinking of letting people get an 1 archetype feat for free when I do playtest.

Why slow down ability to be who they want to be.

After all, it seems they gave an extra feat to everyone during official playtests.

Please do not skew the playtest. It kinda defeats the purpose.

Plus, one can be who they want to be without referencing mechanics. For example, no pirate archetype needed to call your PC a pirate (or assassin/Viking/knight/ninja...)

Pirate archetype needed to be a Rogue who wields a scimitar, though. Weapon proficiencies that can't be taken at level 1 are very frustrating when it comes to creating your concept.

I'm pretty sure there will be ways to get the scimitar at level 1, at bare minimum for humans.

I still think it is weird you can't get into pirate before level 2, mind.


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Castilliano wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:

Thinking of letting people get an 1 archetype feat for free when I do playtest.

Why slow down ability to be who they want to be.

After all, it seems they gave an extra feat to everyone during official playtests.

Please do not skew the playtest. It kinda defeats the purpose.

Plus, one can be who they want to be without referencing mechanics. For example, no pirate archetype needed to call your PC a pirate (or assassin/Viking/knight/ninja...)

It's how you word it/report it during playtest.

"Paizo, my players felt bottle necked when they couldn't start out as a Pirate or if they could, would lose out on other more key feats just to BE a pirate. This resulted in a lower amount of fun and engagement at my table. However, when I ran the game again and changed it to work X way, my players had a much better time. Perhaps you could find a better way to do X than I did?" -GM

Someone can probably word it better than me, but you get the idea.


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Picking up the weapon proficiency through other means just makes the Pirate dedication even more of a useless tax to our Rogue, who already gets Acrobatics as a signature skill.


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Malk_Content wrote:

Ooh are we getting into the game mechanics equal in world terminology again?

Lets say hypothetically the Pirate archetype didn't exist. Would you be happy calling your level 1 character who does piratey things a Pirate? Does the existence of an archetype really change that?

And yeah, at level 1 you aren't a very good ANYTHING.

But one of the fun things about Archetypes in PF1 is that they let you smuggle things into your backstory- If you're a Magaambyan Initiate, you don't need to get into the school- you already qualified; if you're a Hellknight Armiger the Hellknights are aware of you and are okay with you on a provisional basis; if you're a Constructed Pugilist Brawler you are a mutant with a messed up limb so you use a prosthetic one; if you are an Arakineticist you have been suffering under a dark curse that you have learned to channel as power; if you are a Chosen One Paladin you're just a nobody with a talking animal who discovers a great destiny; etc.

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

So archetypes shouldn't just be mechanics- they can also tell you a lot about who you are and where you've been already.


Tholomyes wrote:


Except we are seeing that. All pirate feats require Pirate dedication. But we also see Boarding action, which requires Rope Runner, which presumably also requires Pirate dedication. Sure there may be branching chains, just like there were in 1e, but we can already see the beginnings of feat chains here, which they claimed to be moving away from.

There is a difference between a Two-Weapon Fighting -> Improved Two-Weapon Fighting -> Greater Two-Weapon Fighting style feat chain that cost feats so that a character can maintain what they natural should be able to do after taking the first feat and unlocking the ability to take another feat that expands capabilities by taking a previous feat. The feat chains they are moving away from are the first not the second.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Castilliano wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:

Thinking of letting people get an 1 archetype feat for free when I do playtest.

Why slow down ability to be who they want to be.

After all, it seems they gave an extra feat to everyone during official playtests.

Please do not skew the playtest. It kinda defeats the purpose.

Plus, one can be who they want to be without referencing mechanics. For example, no pirate archetype needed to call your PC a pirate (or assassin/Viking/knight/ninja...)

It's how you word it/report it during playtest.

"Paizo, my players felt bottle necked when they couldn't start out as a Pirate or if they could, would lose out on other more key feats just to BE a pirate. This resulted in a lower amount of fun and engagement at my table. However, when I ran the game again and changed it to work X way, my players had a much better time. Perhaps you could find a better way to do X than I did?" -GM

Someone can probably word it better than me, but you get the idea.

I don't know. Seems to me anyone can be a pirate simply by committing acts of piracy regardless of class or archetype. Same with most of the things that might conceivably be made into archetypes actually..


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Captain Morgan wrote:


I still think it is weird you can't get into pirate before level 2, mind.

Of course you can, you just don't get any benefit at level 1. It is no different from the dozens of PF1 archetypes that don't grant you any benefit at 1st level - 2-4th level is not uncommon, 4th especially for rogues. (I'm fairly sure I've seen some that don't affect you as late as 8th, but I can't locate any at the moment).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
dragonhunterq wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


I still think it is weird you can't get into pirate before level 2, mind.
Of course you can, you just don't get any benefit at level 1. It is no different from the dozens of PF1 archetypes that don't grant you any benefit at 1st level - 2-4th level is not uncommon, 4th especially for rogues. (I'm fairly sure I've seen some that don't affect you as late as 8th, but I can't locate any at the moment).

Eh, that's fair. As is the point that you can just do Pirate stuff without pirate feats.

I think the reason it feels off is because these archetypes just feel so thematic, much more so than many of the PF1 archetypes did.

Dark Archive

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Unfortunately, I couldn't even see using this archetype even in a nautical campaign.
Crit success on balancing on ships or swimming instead of normal success?
How is this possibly worth losing half of my class?

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Folks,

Let's drop the "everything is called a feat" discussion, as it is not really relevant to this thread. Although I must say it is kinda fascinating watching all of you mirror the internal debates we had about 18 months ago when the issue was raised in house.

I also want to say that the archetypes in this book are quite experimental. There are not a lot of them (only 7 in the playtest book) because we really wanted to just get a proof of concept out there before putting them into wider use. The folks in this thread have already given us a few ideas on how we might change them.

This is why we playtest.


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Childeric, The Shatterer wrote:

On multi-classing: I kinda hope it does work like VMC. I thought that was a cool system, but with a poor execution. It always felt like they had this neat idea, but due to time constraints/lack of playtesting/whatever, the implementation fell short. 2nd edition, gives them the opportunity to fix that.

Another thing I want to say is that (as evidenced by my pessimistic remarks in most of the playtest blog threads) even 'tho overall I don't like how 2nd edition is shaping up, one thing I do appreciate is the fact that Paizo seems to be trying to take high level play into consideration and make it an integral part of the new game from the ground up. Given how high level play was basically ignored in 1st edition, this is a welcome change for those of us who like to play (or hell, sometimes even start games) at level 11+.

Couldn't agree more. Conceptually VMC was great, and some of the classes provided flavor with crunch of approximately equal value to the spent feats. Others were less fortunate providing only flavor abilities, or abilities that needed to scale appropriately to ever be useful. Pooling uses under the spell point umbrella and tagging things to shareable proficiencies should help the VMC concept considerably. Or it could get botched by inherited abilities being too reserved and meaning very little to any facet of the character.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I will reiterate my personal "Carthago delenda est" that I earnestly hope that archetypes will exist to strip spellcasting out of secondary and tertiary casters (Bards, Rangers, Paladins, and so forth), even if we don't see one in the playtest.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Let's drop the "everything is called a feat" discussion, as it is not really relevant to this thread. Although I must say it is kinda fascinating watching all of you mirror the internal debates we had about 18 months ago when the issue was raised in house.

Sort of tangential to the topic of the thread, but is there any chance of getting a sort of "developers' notes" to go with the playtest so we can be aware of arguments y'all have already been over and what was decided and why? I figure this sort of thing might seem unprofessional in a finished product (though they are literally in the core rules as sidebars in 13th Age, which is kind of charming), but it would be fair to do for the playtest.

I mean, I for one would find this fascinating, but y'all are likely too busy.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Let's drop the "everything is called a feat" discussion, as it is not really relevant to this thread. Although I must say it is kinda fascinating watching all of you mirror the internal debates we had about 18 months ago when the issue was raised in house.

Sort of tangential to the topic of the thread, but is there any chance of getting a sort of "developers' notes" to go with the playtest so we can be aware of arguments y'all have already been over and what was decided and why? I figure this sort of thing might seem unprofessional in a finished product (though they are literally in the core rules as sidebars in 13th Age, which is kind of charming), but it would be fair to do for the playtest.

I mean, I for one would find this fascinating, but y'all are likely too busy.

I actually loved that about 13th Age. I love it when the why of something is explained, "this is what we were thinking and why we did it this way." It gives an additional frame of reference to consider when changing stuff - you can agree with the reasoning but not the actual decision, or you can disagree with the reasoning and get a better sense of why the decision rubs you the wrong way.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Fuzzypaws wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Let's drop the "everything is called a feat" discussion, as it is not really relevant to this thread. Although I must say it is kinda fascinating watching all of you mirror the internal debates we had about 18 months ago when the issue was raised in house.

Sort of tangential to the topic of the thread, but is there any chance of getting a sort of "developers' notes" to go with the playtest so we can be aware of arguments y'all have already been over and what was decided and why? I figure this sort of thing might seem unprofessional in a finished product (though they are literally in the core rules as sidebars in 13th Age, which is kind of charming), but it would be fair to do for the playtest.

I mean, I for one would find this fascinating, but y'all are likely too busy.

I actually loved that about 13th Age. I love it when the why of something is explained, "this is what we were thinking and why we did it this way." It gives an additional frame of reference to consider when changing stuff - you can agree with the reasoning but not the actual decision, or you can disagree with the reasoning and get a better sense of why the decision rubs you the wrong way.

As much as I would love this… I feel it would hurt the playtest.

So, the problem with putting out all of your thinking out to others with any sort of thinking problem is that you can put other people into the same frame of reference and point of view that you have. If you want other people to agree with you, this is fine, but if you want different and fresh frames of references and points view, this can be quite a hindrance. New ideas on how to do things can be great, but they're less likely to come up with the players share the same thought process as the developers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
Boo, the Starfinder archetypes suck.
captain yesterday wrote:
Ugh, I hate how archetypes are done in Starfinder.
Then you two should be happy to see archetypes in 2e don't work like Starfinder archetypes?

I hope so.

With how the blog is titled that's the first place my brain went to.

No worries, I figure everything will make more sense to me when the play test is released.

Edit: And looking back, hate is too strong a word by me, the archetypes in Pact Worlds are alright.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Finally reached the end of this thread.

Some thoughts:

*If multiclassing doesn't wind up being an Alchemist Dedication (which gives certain base class abilities) and access to that class's feats, I think they would be wise to make it an option somewhere down the road. Some class combos would be less useful, but enough might be interesting enough to be worthwhile (and a would allow the majority of the ACG to be brought into print very quickly). And also I think the design would be neat.

*We can even reverse that. If a certain archetype proved popular, go ahead and start a new class using that dedication and the archetype feats as the seed.

*I agree that these can be called something else. Themes might have worked, but I wouldn't have minded calling them dedications.

*That said, I don't particularly want PF1 archetypes to return. Heresy, I know, but I'd rather just have a whole new class that shares some (or all) class feats with a parent class. Archeologist bard gets mentioned frequently; why not simply ask for an Archeologist class? Give them access to a bard's spell list and the non-music related class feats, and done.

Besides, with so few features that aren't already class feats available to trade out, I'm not sure PF1 style archetypes are really workable. But maybe I'm wrong and it'll be fine.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
*That said, I don't particularly want PF1 archetypes to return. Heresy, I know, but I'd rather just have a whole new class that shares some (or all) class feats with a parent class. Archeologist bard gets mentioned frequently; why not simply ask for an Archeologist class? Give them access to a bard's spell list and the non-music related class feats, and done.

If what the devs have cryptically hinted at is true (i.e. that the Bard spell list is Occult), then I'd suspect that the eventual Occultist might fill a similar role, but I do think there is still space for not having everything be either just a new class or just a 2e archetype. It saves more space in 1e, and likely will save even more in 2e, by just listing what gets replaced or modified, rather than creating a new class. If there's a concept that works as a 1e archetype, but would require a class' worth of page space to print in 2e, I don't see why the PF1e archetype model shouldn't be used.


MerlinCross wrote:
Castilliano wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:

Thinking of letting people get an 1 archetype feat for free when I do playtest.

Why slow down ability to be who they want to be.

After all, it seems they gave an extra feat to everyone during official playtests.

Please do not skew the playtest. It kinda defeats the purpose.

Plus, one can be who they want to be without referencing mechanics. For example, no pirate archetype needed to call your PC a pirate (or assassin/Viking/knight/ninja...)

It's how you word it/report it during playtest.

"Paizo, my players felt bottle necked when they couldn't start out as a Pirate or if they could, would lose out on other more key feats just to BE a pirate. This resulted in a lower amount of fun and engagement at my table. However, when I ran the game again and changed it to work X way, my players had a much better time. Perhaps you could find a better way to do X than I did?" -GM

Someone can probably word it better than me, but you get the idea.

That's misleading, as your players haven't felt any such thing yet, nor do we need a free feat in order to label our PCs whatever that PC wants to be. Ex. I have an 11th level PC who introduces himself as a "Farmer" because he thinks of himself that way, despite having no mechanics supporting that, not even a skill point. (He does drudge work.)

If, after playing, they felt behind their target curve that would be more valuable than making an assumption about and tweaking an untested system.
Now, if you did do a compare and contrast by running it normally first, that would be above and beyond, getting some good data!


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The only issue I have with the Gray Maiden prestige archetype is that it's the only one in the book. In a playtest you should include stuff that's useful and open to as many characters as possible. The pirate archetype is the same, it's way too specific to be in an opening playtest.


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I am mostly upset that the archetype and prestige class feats don't have ALL the prerequisites located in a single uniform location. If you don't want players to take a specific archetype feat before a certain level, put in the prerequisite line. Don't sneak it in at the upper right hand corner ambiguously.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Tholomyes wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
*That said, I don't particularly want PF1 archetypes to return. Heresy, I know, but I'd rather just have a whole new class that shares some (or all) class feats with a parent class. Archeologist bard gets mentioned frequently; why not simply ask for an Archeologist class? Give them access to a bard's spell list and the non-music related class feats, and done.
If what the devs have cryptically hinted at is true (i.e. that the Bard spell list is Occult), then I'd suspect that the eventual Occultist might fill a similar role, but I do think there is still space for not having everything be either just a new class or just a 2e archetype. It saves more space in 1e, and likely will save even more in 2e, by just listing what gets replaced or modified, rather than creating a new class. If there's a concept that works as a 1e archetype, but would require a class' worth of page space to print in 2e, I don't see why the PF1e archetype model shouldn't be used.

Sure, but let's seriously think on what's left for a class to trade out. Clerics were brought up as pretty bare bones in PF1, but thats even more true now. If we're not touching class feats, what can they give up now?

Domains seem like it's about it, and losing the first level domain seems to lock you out of any possible domain, as well as spell point abilities. We'll have to see the exact wording of the classes to be sure, but that's what the blogs implied to me.

Signature skills maybe? Deity? Channeling I suppose. More than I thought, I'll admit, but all of it is level 1 stuff. You can reduce the number of spells too.

All stuff that can be done. Just not sure it's wise to do it.


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Unbreakable! They alive dammit! Grey Maidens are strong as hell!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
sunderedhero wrote:
The only issue I have with the Gray Maiden prestige archetype is that it's the only one in the book. In a playtest you should include stuff that's useful and open to as many characters as possible. The pirate archetype is the same, it's way too specific to be in an opening playtest.

I dunno, I'm getting the impression that stuff which is universally useful or broadly applicable seems like it should fall under the general feats, skill feats, or class feats. Archetypes seem to be for doing really specific things that are important to certain character concepts but not relevant to most.

The sorts of archetypes I'm predicting are for things like:

Pirate
Vigilante
Cavalier (Mounts shouldn't be class locked, and the cavalier mechanics are distinct but maybe not enough to carry a whole class.)
Gunslinger (Not on the playtest, but eventually)
Dirty Trick/Improvised Weapon warrior

Stuff like that. But I'm not really sure what to expect if Pirate isn't the most representative sample.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Folks,

I killed a few posts talking about the Gray Maidens, and the fact that they only allow women into their organization. This topic has been heavily discussed elsewhere and not really relevant here.


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I hope there's something (at least two things) for every class in the archetypes that are not specialized for a specific class.

As a pirate-wizard, I won't want the boarding action feat. I would like my area effects to match the ship's movements instead of remaining at their position, or something like that.


Captain Morgan wrote:


Cavalier (Mounts shouldn't be class locked, and the cavalier mechanics are distinct but maybe not enough to carry a whole class.)

Actually this reminds me, do we have any info on how mounts/animal companions are gonna work?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
sunderedhero wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


Cavalier (Mounts shouldn't be class locked, and the cavalier mechanics are distinct but maybe not enough to carry a whole class.)
Actually this reminds me, do we have any info on how mounts/animal companions are gonna work?

A decent chunk on how they level up and what sort of abilities they have, but very little on how you gain access to them. I'm pretty sure druids of a specific order get the best ones right now, but other druids can get them through a feat. We know Rangers will be able to get them, too, and will really enjoy their new "fight together" functions.

But I don't think we know how a Fighter gets a mount or a rogue gets a panther or whatever yet.


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Does mounted combat need to be part of the core rules? It seems to me that, much like guns, this is a thing that needs to be looked at in a focused way as to make it clear, balanced, and fun. I'd rather nobody be able to ride a horse in combat for 8 months until the 1st hardcover comes out than have to deal with mounted combat rules as muddy as PF1 had.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Does mounted combat need to be part of the core rules? It seems to me that, much like guns, this is a thing that needs to be looked at in a focused way as to make it clear, balanced, and fun. I'd rather nobody be able to ride a horse in combat for 8 months until the 1st hardcover comes out than have to deal with mounted combat rules as muddy as PF1 had.

Well, we also know the "Mount" trait is a thing that exists for animal companions, so regardless of whether it is necessary we are probably getting it.

That being said, yeah, I think we should probably have rules for mounted combat. Riding a horse is too worked into the genre, and if you ride a horse out in the wider world in exploration mode it will eventually turn into encounter mode.

That doesn't mean we need mounted combat to be especially complicated though. There's almost certainly got to be ways to make it easier than what we had before. Even if it winds up not being that realistic or is overly abstracted out.


Yes, it does. Pirate Archetypes can be dropped if they need more space for mounted combat.
It's not really a space issue, there doesn't need to be many paragraphs spent on it. Just get it right.
While I welcome the Prestige stuff (replacing the generic 3.x stuff with Golarion specific in due course),
I don't see the NEED for Archetypes like Pirate in Core, in fact see people who enjoy "Core Only" wanting more concise Core.
So it is more matter of time and development focus, which I think can be well spent on getting the basics right,
not worrying about including N# of Archetypes which offer parallel track to Ancestry/Class/Skill/General.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Let's drop the "everything is called a feat" discussion, as it is not really relevant to this thread. Although I must say it is kinda fascinating watching all of you mirror the internal debates we had about 18 months ago when the issue was raised in house.

Sort of tangential to the topic of the thread, but is there any chance of getting a sort of "developers' notes" to go with the playtest so we can be aware of arguments y'all have already been over and what was decided and why? I figure this sort of thing might seem unprofessional in a finished product (though they are literally in the core rules as sidebars in 13th Age, which is kind of charming), but it would be fair to do for the playtest.

I mean, I for one would find this fascinating, but y'all are likely too busy.

I do not see why that would be "unprofessional" at all. Like you say, 13th Age has them, and they're one of my favorite bits about that system.

I also wouldn't mind having sidebars explaining how things are meant to work, instead of just the bare-bones descriptions. Or at least give some tips on various interactions and tactics. For example, you could have a sidebar about the monk saying something like "The baseline monk is fairly fragile compared to a front-line warrior like a fighter or a paladin, so you might want to rely more on their speed and positioning. For example, Stride up to a foe, use Flurry of Blows to attack twice, and then Stride away. If you want a sturdier monk who can take a bit of a beating, then you might want to consider the following class feats: ________." It would also be nice to have some example builds for each class, similar to the way Starfinder gives you four examples for each class.

But as Meophist said, I don't think the playtest is the best place for this, because it might "pollute" the results. I'd rather see it in the actual core book.


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I've seen an infinitely higher number of pirates at my table than mounted characters, but ymmv of course.


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I think mounted characters would be more common if it was easier to bring mounts into adventure areas like dungeons, but that's been a problem since forever and is not something that is particularly Pathfinder's "fault."

It might be good for mounted abilities to come with a lesser side ability or fallback that you get when not mounted, so you aren't just wasting half your class and feat abilities half the time. Stuff that at least allows you to benefit allies a la teamwork or bard abilities, or that gives you yourself half the benefit you were otherwise going to give to your mount. Or maybe follow the structure of the Boarding Action, so you have

Some Mounted Feat
* You can do A!
* If you are mounted you can also do B!


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

I think mounted characters would be more common if it was easier to bring mounts into adventure areas like dungeons, but that's been a problem since forever and is not something that is particularly Pathfinder's "fault."

It might be good for mounted abilities to come with a lesser side ability or fallback that you get when not mounted, so you aren't just wasting half your class and feat abilities half the time. Stuff that at least allows you to benefit allies a la teamwork or bard abilities, or that gives you yourself half the benefit you were otherwise going to give to your mount. Or maybe follow the structure of the Boarding Action, so you have

Some Mounted Feat
* You can do A!
* If you are mounted you can also do B!

I know I can only speak for myself, but I never played a Cavalier until the Daring Champion came out in the (I think?) ACG, not because I didn't want to deal with mounts in a dungeon, or because the class didn't interest me, but because I didn't want to deal with mounts. Mounted combat added nothing to my enjoyment, and just caused more hassle, because I had to deal with all the complications of having a mount. Now I could have just left the mount forever in a stable somewhere, but I didn't like the idea that so much of the class focused on mounted combat.

Given that context, I agree in part. Firstly, I'm sure it would be more common to see mounted characters if adventures were more friendly to them, but I don't think the impact would be as large as you thing. But more to the point, I think if mounted abilities are solely the result of choosing to focus on those abilities, then your solution works. If they're not, I know I'd hate the feeling that just because I don't want a mount, I'm stuck with a lesser fallback ability. Now, that probably will be the case, but if they resolve to bring back the Cavalier as it's own class, I don't know how that would pan out.


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Well, not every character archetype is for everyone. Some people won't play casters, some people won't play martials, and some people won't play mounted characters. That's totally fine. I was just proposing a way to help make those people who do go mounted, not suck half the time.

There are other ways to do it, and it just varies from ability to ability. Some feats can maybe apply to the mount whether you're actually on them or simply fighting beside them, which would then work great for animal companions. A few such abilities could even apply to any companion whatsoever, so it doesn't even have to be an animal.

There could be a feat that gives a Spell Point ability like: "Activate to transform your mount or animal companion into a tiny figurine. When you dismiss this ability, they turn back to normal." Then you can use that to get them through a tight space in a dungeon to an area where they can be active again, dismiss it to bring them back into play, and because spell point abilities come with 2 spell points each you can then use it again on the way out.

And so on. I do want mounted to be more viable, I miss seeing that style of play.


Fuzzypaws wrote:

I think mounted characters would be more common if it was easier to bring mounts into adventure areas like dungeons, but that's been a problem since forever and is not something that is particularly Pathfinder's "fault."

It might be good for mounted abilities to come with a lesser side ability or fallback that you get when not mounted, so you aren't just wasting half your class and feat abilities half the time. Stuff that at least allows you to benefit allies a la teamwork or bard abilities, or that gives you yourself half the benefit you were otherwise going to give to your mount. Or maybe follow the structure of the Boarding Action, so you have

Some Mounted Feat
* You can do A!
* If you are mounted you can also do B!

Mounted combat has two conceptual problems in D&D-derived games:

1. It's usually not very useful in typical adventuring areas (dungeons). That means players are wary of devoting feats or other resources to get good at it.

2. PCs typically become very powerful in fairly short order. Unless your mount is the result of some sort of class ability (e.g. ranger animal companion or paladin steed), it's not going to keep up, and thus be easy prey for whatever stuff you're fighting - often, without even trying (such as when using AOE attacks).

Once you have those problems solved, then you can start worrying about exactly how it's going to work.


MerlinCross wrote:
Castilliano wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:

Thinking of letting people get an 1 archetype feat for free when I do playtest.

Why slow down ability to be who they want to be.

After all, it seems they gave an extra feat to everyone during official playtests.

Please do not skew the playtest. It kinda defeats the purpose.

Plus, one can be who they want to be without referencing mechanics. For example, no pirate archetype needed to call your PC a pirate (or assassin/Viking/knight/ninja...)

It's how you word it/report it during playtest.

"Paizo, my players felt bottle necked when they couldn't start out as a Pirate or if they could, would lose out on other more key feats just to BE a pirate. This resulted in a lower amount of fun and engagement at my table. However, when I ran the game again and changed it to work X way, my players had a much better time. Perhaps you could find a better way to do X than I did?" -GM

Someone can probably word it better than me, but you get the idea.

I'm pretty sure I've seen a couple of devs say they want people to playtest the game in different ways. After all, PF2 is meant to appeal to all Pathfinder players, which includes Society players, AP fans, home brewers, and those who never touch Golarion. Obviously you want a majority of feedback to be in the same controlled environment, but "Can people still play PF2 the way they played PF1?" is a very important question to answer.


Grovestrider wrote:
I am mostly upset that the archetype and prestige class feats don't have ALL the prerequisites located in a single uniform location. If you don't want players to take a specific archetype feat before a certain level, put in the prerequisite line. Don't sneak it in at the upper right hand corner ambiguously.

All feats have their level requirement in the same place, the upper right hand corner, since I imagine that will be one of the key ways they are organized.

Not that I'm disagreeing that the level number could be in a pre-req line, but all feats, whether skill or archetype or class or otherwise, are currently formatted that way.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Staffan Johansson wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

I think mounted characters would be more common if it was easier to bring mounts into adventure areas like dungeons, but that's been a problem since forever and is not something that is particularly Pathfinder's "fault."

It might be good for mounted abilities to come with a lesser side ability or fallback that you get when not mounted, so you aren't just wasting half your class and feat abilities half the time. Stuff that at least allows you to benefit allies a la teamwork or bard abilities, or that gives you yourself half the benefit you were otherwise going to give to your mount. Or maybe follow the structure of the Boarding Action, so you have

Some Mounted Feat
* You can do A!
* If you are mounted you can also do B!

Mounted combat has two conceptual problems in D&D-derived games:

1. It's usually not very useful in typical adventuring areas (dungeons). That means players are wary of devoting feats or other resources to get good at it.

2. PCs typically become very powerful in fairly short order. Unless your mount is the result of some sort of class ability (e.g. ranger animal companion or paladin steed), it's not going to keep up, and thus be easy prey for whatever stuff you're fighting - often, without even trying (such as when using AOE attacks).

Once you have those problems solved, then you can start worrying about exactly how it's going to work.

I don't think I agree. While you may spend 90% of an adventure not using a mount, it is quite likely that at some point over the course of the story you will find yourself using one and get ambushed on the road while you ride one. When this happens, it is important that a system as rules heavy as Pathfinder makes it clear how riding a horse in battle works.

It is pretty similar to swimming in that regard. At some point, you're gonna wind up in the water. I don't think riding and swimming need a ton of feats devoted to them or anything but they need to at least have clear rules, especially because they won't come up often and will be easy to forget if the rules are confusing.

Shadow Lodge

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Folks,

I killed a few posts talking about the Gray Maidens, and the fact that they only allow women into their organization. This topic has been heavily discussed elsewhere and not really relevant here.

Now I'm wondering if that has changed in the setting as well.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Folks,

I killed a few posts talking about the Gray Maidens, and the fact that they only allow women into their organization. This topic has been heavily discussed elsewhere and not really relevant here.

Now I'm wondering if that has changed in the setting as well.

My own thoughts in a more appropriate thread.

Dark Archive

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

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