Multiclassing and Archetypes

Friday, July 27, 2018

One of the trickiest parts of the rules is multiclassing. At its heart, multiclassing allows you to build almost any character you can envision, taking parts from multiple classes to build the perfect version of your character. Making these rules play well with the rest of the game, unfortunately, has always been a challenge. Concepts that really should work together just fell flat, leaving you with a character who could not perform at its level and keep pace with single class characters. This was especially the case for certain classes, like most spellcasters, that had a central class feature or features that you would fall sharply behind in if you weren't constantly progressing in that class.

Suffice to say, when it came time to redesign the system for the Pathfinder Playtest, we knew that multiclassing needed work.

Then came the rules for archetypes. The new design for this emblematic part of the game allows archetypes to be taken by any class, so you can decide exactly how much you want to invest into an alternative path for your character. The more we worked on that system, the more it began to sound like it shared almost exactly the same goals as multiclassing. Our thought was, shouldn't they just be the same system?

Multiclass archetypes are one of the more experimental parts of the Pathfinder Playtest. So much so that there are only four of them in the book, one for cleric, one for fighter, one for rogue, and one for wizard. Just like ordinary archetypes, you must take a special dedication feat to gain access to the archetype, but you cannot be of the same class as the archetype (so you can't take the rogue dedication feat if you are already a rogue). Let's take a look at one of these feats.

Wizard Dedication Feat 2

Archetype, Dedication, Multiclass

Prerequisites Intelligence 16, trained in Arcana


You cast spells like a wizard and gain a spellbook containing four arcane cantrips of your choice. You gain access to the Cast a Spell activity and the Material Casting, Somatic Casting, and Verbal Casting actions. You can prepare two cantrips each day from those found in your spellbook. You're trained in spell rolls and spell DCs for casting arcane spells and in attacks you make with arcane spells. Your key spellcasting ability for these spells is Intelligence. You can use wands, scrolls, and staves, but only for spells of a spell level you can cast. Arcana is a signature skill for you.

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

Right away, this lets you cast a few simple cantrips; allows you to use wands, scrolls, and staves; and makes Arcana a signature skill for you (meaning you can advance your proficiency in the skill to master and legendary). Like other dedication feats, once you've taken Wizard Dedication, you gain access to other wizard archetype feats, each of which makes you a more powerful master of the arcane arts. Take a look.

Basic Wizard Spellcasting Feat 4

Archetype

Prerequisites Wizard Dedication


Add two level 1 spells to your spellbook. You gain a single level1 spell slot that you can use to prepare a level 1 spell from your spellbook. At 6th level, add two level 2 spells to your spellbook, and you gain a level 2 spell slot that you can use to prepare a level 2 spell from your spellbook. At 8th level, add two level 3 spells to your spellbook, and you gain a level 3 spell slot that you can use to prepare a level 3 spell from your spellbook.

Even though you can cast spells, the spell level of your cantrips and arcane powers is half your level rounded up.

This feat pays dividends all the way up through 8th level, giving you more spells you can cast, and if you take it later on in your career, you get all of that spellcasting all at once. Better still, there are additional feats you can take to gain spells of up to 8th level! But let's say you want to be even more of a wizard—you want to get some of the other class features that make wizards fun to play. Take a look at these feats.

Arcane School Feat 4

Archetype

Prerequisite Wizard Dedication


Select one school of magic from those found in the wizard class. You gain the level 1 school power tied to your school and a pool of Spell Points equal to your Intelligence modifier that you can use to cast that power.

If you already have a pool of Spell Points, use the higher ability score to determine the pool, as normal, and your Spell Point pool increases by 1.

Basic Arcana Feat 4

Archetype

Prerequisites Wizard Dedication


Gain a level 1 or level 2 wizard feat of your choice.

Advanced Arcana Feat 6

Archetype

Prerequisites Basic Arcana


Gain one wizard feat. For the purposes of meeting its prerequisites, your wizard level is equal to half your level.

Special You can select this feat more than once. Each time you select it, you gain a new wizard feat.

There's even a feat that gives you additional spell slots of every level except for your two highest, giving you more versatility in your spellcasting. It's important to note that these powers come at the cost of some of the flexibility of your primary class, but not at the cost of core features. A cleric who multiclasses into fighter will keep all of her spellcasting abilities, but she will have to trade out some of the feats that allow her to be better at casting heal or at using domain powers in exchange for increased proficiency in weapons and armor, added hit points, and the ability to make attacks of opportunity. You might even choose to multiclass into several classes. You could play a cleric who, in addition to all her cleric spells, also has up to 8th-level druid spells and 8th-level wizard spells, though such a three-tradition spellcaster would have few cleric feats to speak of!

Well, that about covers the rules for multiclassing in the Pathfinder Playtest. If these archetypes work, you can expect to see one for each class in the final version of the game, giving you the flexibility to build characters that draw on more than one class to make their concept click. We hope you'll give these a try during the playtest and let us know what you think!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

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I really like this system for several reasons which I needn't go into 10 pages into the thread.

However, I'd like to give voice to my concerns. The dedication feats seem very powerful compared to the class feats they are using as a 'cost, so dipping is still going to be a thing, though how jarring that'll be is yet to be seen.

I think all Archetype feats should have the Archetype/Class as a descriptor. I don't know if multi-class needs to be a descriptor but if it does it should be used on all Class Archetype feats.

I have my reservations about the spell progression on Basic Wizard Spellcasting. I think the progression of spells should key of your Wizardiness not your base class progression. I.e. the more Wizard Archetype/Class feats you have. Maybe fold basic spells into the dedication feat but only grant 2 cantrips. I'd also settle for having the first casting action available at dedication, with the others unlocked through an expert and master spellcasting feat, uncapping casting new casting levels and giving an additional cantrip. I don't know if that'd be crippling their casting too much from the outset.

Further, by having the Archetype/Class as a descriptor,you don't need feats like Basic Arcana and Advanced Arcana. Instead, you could just have a flat statement for multiclassing to the effect of "You qualify for Class feats for any class you have taken the Dedication feat for. Your level in that class is equal to the number of feats you have of that class." Given the limited number of class feats gained, it has thdd same effect.


Blueskier wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
All I want to know is: Did the healer Barbarian have the Cleric multiclass archetype?
Yep. Some of you guessed it right away because I described her as unhealthily obsessed with Gorum.
Cool, so martial classes are dead then. If you don't have spells, you can borrow them from a class who does. Sigh...

Nope

Mundane character concepts are dead. Which is good.

I don't think it's that good, sometimes it's nice to play characters that are completely sans magic.

I like this VMC, though the Bard blog led me to believe there would also be multiclassing via taking class levels.


I'm personally thinking I can house rule some for multiclassing taking class levels but I wanna try the method presented and see if it works better or worse.


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I like it.

In the end, it will all depend on the quality of the "normal" class feats. If they can compare in power to te mulitclass feats, everything will work out just fine.

I was mostly unimpressed by many of the class feats revealed so far, however. So it might be hard to justify taking about 10 them without at least some of them feeling like "least useless" choice instead of "most useful". If that's the case, I can see multiclassing quickly becoming "least unoptimized" instead of the "most optimized" dips from PF1.

We'll have to see how that all works out.

Liberty's Edge

Mathmuse wrote:

Each background, class, and feat has a meaning. I need to piece together the meanings properly so that her story supports the campaign's story. Most players say that a GMPC is an abomination to be avoided in all cases. My players like my GMPCs, such as Amaya Kaijitsu and Val Baine, because I make sure that those GMPCs raise up the PCs the same way the campaign raises them up. I don't need a PF2 character identical to the PF1 character, but I would need to paint the same art of the character.

PF2 seems to have the pieces necessary, though the price is higher than in PF1. In PF2 multiclassing costs feats. In PF1 it is free but turns its back on the previous classes, which might sabotage progress.

This is basically all I was trying to say, though I might disagree that a Feat is a higher price to pay than that you pay in PF1.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
Now we can argue about how true that is(Sadly it very much kinda is), but to a new player; they join a game, they pick a class(es) they have fun and then they go online...., only to see something they think is fun is completely belittled and dumped on in forums and posts. How dose that make the player feel to just see thread upon thread of "Oh.... I messed up". I don't even know if Rogue IS bad because I've never played the class! It just IS bad.

Don't worry, nobody reads forums except for a small group of hyper-invested nerds. Out of my 20+ regular players I am the only one with a Paizo.com account an aware of some silly "this is trash and garbage and whoever designed it should just stop breathing" nonsense that goes on since 2009 and is yet to stop people from playing Rogues :)

Liberty's Edge

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Aiken Frost wrote:

Nope, Martial characters are dead, because some people, for some reason, can fathom that a lot of other people want to play as mythical swordsmen, not an arcane caster that can use a sword.

Why do people think that I want to play a mundane character just because I want to focus his skills in weapons instead of spells? Even though The Book of Nine Swords and Path of War exists?

Given that healing is a very specific role, and that the Barbarian in question used maybe one Cleric spell per day to supplement her other healing abilities, I'm not convinced that multiclassing into a Caster Class is at all necessary to be an effective PF2 character, or even a pretty effective healer.

This is particularly true given that many of the Class Feats available to martial characters (which they must give up to multiclass) are very good.


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Gorbacz wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Now we can argue about how true that is(Sadly it very much kinda is), but to a new player; they join a game, they pick a class(es) they have fun and then they go online...., only to see something they think is fun is completely belittled and dumped on in forums and posts. How dose that make the player feel to just see thread upon thread of "Oh.... I messed up". I don't even know if Rogue IS bad because I've never played the class! It just IS bad.
Don't worry, nobody reads forums except for a small group of hyper-invested nerds. Out of my 20+ regular players I am the only one with a Paizo.com account an aware of some silly "this is trash and garbage and whoever designed it should just stop breathing" nonsense that goes on since 2009 and is yet to stop people from playing Rogues :)

I don't have quite as many players as you but Yeah its the same boat for me. None of them care about all that C/MD stuff or have problems with paladins etc. Their just like I wanna play this! I even had to encourage a player to play a unchained rogue once saying hey its only an improvement but he would of been happy with the OG.


Yeah, I don't think taking caster multiclass feats will be a requirement to keep up, that would be inherently stupid.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Now we can argue about how true that is(Sadly it very much kinda is), but to a new player; they join a game, they pick a class(es) they have fun and then they go online...., only to see something they think is fun is completely belittled and dumped on in forums and posts. How dose that make the player feel to just see thread upon thread of "Oh.... I messed up". I don't even know if Rogue IS bad because I've never played the class! It just IS bad.
Don't worry, nobody reads forums except for a small group of hyper-invested nerds. Out of my 20+ regular players I am the only one with a Paizo.com account an aware of some silly "this is trash and garbage and whoever designed it should just stop breathing" nonsense that goes on since 2009 and is yet to stop people from playing Rogues :)
I don't have quite as many players as you but Yeah its the same boat for me. None of them care about all that C/MD stuff or have problems with paladins etc. Their just like I wanna play this! I even had to encourage a player to play a unchained rogue once saying hey its only an improvement but he would of been happy with the OG.

Yeah, some players I expose/encourage them to maybe multi-class or take this or that feat, I would never coerce, just let them know of some fun options that might help them realise their concept, because they don't really know or care that much, they just want to dive in and start doing their thing, which is great!

Lantern Lodge

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I want to like this, but there are a number of concerns that I think I share with earlier posters
1: It doesn't really allow for the "change of heart" that earlier multiclassing rules provides. The rogue who becomes a paladin.
2: Those dedication feats seem really powerful. If they are as good as they seem, I think we are going to see they become virtually compulsory, especially at high level. And here I am thinking PFS where you don't always end up with a balanced table... so having a strong second string to your bow can be important.

Quite honestly, losing two or three feats to be able to cast 3rd (or 6th) level wizard spells seems to be so much a no-brainer... especially as apparently armoured spell failure is a thing of the past.

-=-=- waxing lyrical on the past for a moment -=-=-=-=-
Way back in AD&d, changing your class was a once in a life type thing (apart from bards). Multiclassing (for demi humans) was a decision you made at the start and couldn't change.
This didn't work well for anyone.

Then 3rd edition came along. And we moved from having lots of tables to look up for your THACO and saves, to generic abilities that you could pick and choose.... and multiclassing and all the options that come from it became a viable option.
Add in Prestige classes for extra power and options...

And it was too viable. Especially with splat-book-bloat, you ended up with some PrCs that gave full BAB and full caster progression along with other bonus abilities thrown in. This really didn't change with 3.5.

Then PF came along. And one of my favourite innovations was the favoured class bonus. Suddenly there was an incentive (no matter how small) to stick with a single class. And it worked. Yes there are still multi-class characters, but they are fewer.

Of course PF introduced archetypes which is the Paizo bloat equivalent of the 3.x PrCs (which PF does have, but not as many). These were not even that new, as 3.x had various ACF (alternative class features) that were the predecessors of archetypes.

I do like that characters are being discouraged from taking multiple archetypes. That the same mechanism is being used to limit multi-classing... I'm less taken with, but willing to give it a shot.

Given the move to a more or less flat BAB/skill/saves progression, I can see that the old way of doing multiclassing might not make as much sense in PF2.

In summary, lets try it, but I'm wary, this is a big, big change. I think some of my concerns is that it is going to end up with characters being mechanically less distinct from each other than they are now.


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MerlinCross wrote:
I read somewhere in another topic that General Feat can be turned into other feats. Can we get some confirmation there? Not a fan of using 1 feat to buy into another but maybe that might make some people stand the Dedication.

Well, we know a general feat can be used to buy an ancestry feat, and we know general feats can be used to buy skill feats. I suspect the ancestry feat can only be done once, though.

MerlinCross wrote:
Why would this change in PF2? Does multiclassing break the game? Heck if I know, it's not out yet. But you can be sure someone's going to try to break it, share the breakage, forums talk about the breakage, people say how trash something else is because it can't get to the breakage level, etc etc.

One major thing I suspect you're overlooking is that the ability to manipulate the math in PF1 is what causes breakage, and the math is being significantly more restrained in PF2. That will make it significantly harder for things to scale wildly out of control (presuming devs keep an eye on it, of course) and for things to become therefore universally more powerful.

Will there be things that are more versatile than others, and therefore more inherently powerful? Very likely so. Will that proceed to such a degree that all other options are weak in comparison? Probably unlikely.

Basically, if the math can be firmed up and a solid base created as a result (with less trap options, especially), then that problem can be mostly resolved.


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I like this, but the more I think about it, the more a few minor niggles get me:

The opportunity cost for multiclassing into a class that shares the same primary stat as you is pretty low. For a wizard, 16 strength to multiclass fighter might be a huge investment, but for a barbarian or strength-druid, it's a non-investment. If you don't intend on actually multiclassing, you can just take the entry feat for its strong bonuses. Likewise, I see a lot of Alchemists learning cantrips.

A spellcasting class multiclassing into a second spellcasting class gets more spell slots than either class alone would normally have. It more or less reverses PF2's nerf to spells per day if say, a druid takes the cleric multiclass and solely uses it to gain more spells, or a Bard takes the (not-yet-existent) Sorcerer multiclass.

Otherwise, I really like where this is going. Featifying races was a bad idea, but featifying multiclassing is great. I really like not losing progression in my main class if I want to multiclass. It's like VMC, but actually good!


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Oh yeah, minimum ability score requirements, like 5th Ed, you can start out as a Wizard with an 8 Int, but if you want to multiclass into Wizard from another class, you need a minimum of 13.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Yeah, I don't think taking caster multiclass feats will be a requirement to keep up, that would be inherently stupid.

You're right, it would be stupid if you needed some form of spellcasting to be competitive. Good thing there isn't any precedent for that paradigm...


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Felinus wrote:
However, I'd like to give voice to my concerns. The dedication feats seem very powerful compared to the class feats they are using as a 'cost, so dipping is still going to be a thing, though how jarring that'll be is yet to be seen.

This is a concern I've been having too. It seems like these feats might just be too good to pass up, compared to most of the others out there. I know in PF1 I very often have a hard time finding a good feat that fits my concept at a particular level and end up juts taking something basic and functional. It seems like at these points a multi-class archetype feat will just call out as the best choice. I mean taking one of the +1 to a save feats is rather nice, but compared to giving a fighter cantrips which are more useful than in PF1 and scale with level just like a wizard? The later is much more powerful in my view. Especially shield as others have stated is very useful for a melee type. So I do worry that we might end up to the point that everyone multi-classes because it's the best option available. Fighter is a particular concern, if any martial class is better off taking a few feats in the fighter chain to get better weapon proficiencies and such. So is a bit of a dip in fighter going to be standard for anyone getting into melee?

I like multi-classing being available to facilitate a particular vision for a character, but if it becomes the default, then there is a problem. This might be the reason for the 16 Int requirement and Dedication mechanics, to make it more of a deliberate choice to go that direction instead of a "Well I can't see a better feat at this level, I'll take another class." I had concerns that this might be too restrictive, and I still do. But perhaps it needs to be this restrictive, or maybe more-so but in a different way.

I think there's a very tricky balancing act to be done on this. I do think it has some great potential though.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Yeah, I don't think taking caster multiclass feats will be a requirement to keep up, that would be inherently stupid.
You're right, it would be stupid if you needed some form of spellcasting to be competitive. Good thing there isn't any precedent for that paradigm...

Total, hopefully they rein in magic, or bring martial up to speed, or something.

Dark Archive

Arachnofiend wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Yeah, I don't think taking caster multiclass feats will be a requirement to keep up, that would be inherently stupid.
You're right, it would be stupid if you needed some form of spellcasting to be competitive. Good thing there isn't any precedent for that paradigm...

Well even if fighter in 1e had to use buffs to be super deadly at high levels, they didn't really need to buff themselves because that was another character's role.

You could play through complete martial party in 1e even at high levels, even if it was dangerous as hell though. Like I think level 20 cavalier can still solo Cthulhu if they really want to as long they somehow make the will save


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Not a fan at all....

People always seemed to have unrealistic expectations of MC in PF1.

This new mechanic seems to be very VMC like which I hated in PF1.

A 10 Fighter/10 Druid should have significant obstacles.

For me MC always seemed thematically appropriate for taking small dips.

And in terms of 'all-class' archetypes, these to me seem like professions that anyone could take (eg spy, merchant, medic.... etc).

I would still want most archetypes to be class specific as this IMO was a big success for Paizo. Although I have to say that they probably overdid it as some of the archetype concepts just seemed non-sensical from a thematic stand point. A class archetype should make meaningful and significant changes.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
This might be the reason for the 16 Int requirement and Dedication mechanics, to make it more of a deliberate choice to go that direction instead of a "Well I can't see a better feat at this level, I'll take another class." I had concerns that this might be too restrictive, and I still do. But perhaps it needs to be this restrictive, or maybe more-so but in a different way.

My concern is that the As is are very generous so the 16 requirement feels like a minor hurdle, with some stats having more value than others, some dips may be more common than others.

Is getting a signature skill necessary at the dedication stage? Does it becoming a signature skill automatically grant training in it?


Felinus wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
This might be the reason for the 16 Int requirement and Dedication mechanics, to make it more of a deliberate choice to go that direction instead of a "Well I can't see a better feat at this level, I'll take another class." I had concerns that this might be too restrictive, and I still do. But perhaps it needs to be this restrictive, or maybe more-so but in a different way.

My concern is that the As is are very generous so the 16 requirement feels like a minor hurdle, with some stats having more value than others, some dips may be more common than others.

Is getting a signature skill necessary at the dedication stage? Does it becoming a signature skill automatically grant training in it?

Yeah, it's possible that 16 might not be more than a speed-bump. Especially at higher levels when you've got a few stat boosts, or if it's the same as your main stat. An alchemist taking wizard or a barbarian taking fighter for example.

As for signature skill and training, not sure. But the example feat requires training in the skill it makes a signature skill, so it might not matter in that regard.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
As for signature skill and training, not sure. But the example feat requires training in the skill it makes a signature skill, so it might not matter in that regard.

Missed that. Little less concerned.


Moro wrote:
N N 959 wrote:


In AD&D, Wizard had a starting age of like 35 while Fighters were like 19. WotC got rid of that because it made the game more complicated, not because magic was intended to be learned from Cliff Notes.
Looking at the 1st edition AD&D PHB now, and there is nothing about starting ages in there at all that I can find.

DMG Page 12. Human fighters are 15+1d4, human magic users are 24+2d8.


Yeah sometimes in the 1st edition books information is unfortunately divided between multiple books.


N N 959 wrote:
In AD&D, Wizard had a starting age of like 35 while Fighters were like 19. WotC got rid of that because it made the game more complicated, not because magic was intended to be learned from Cliff Notes.

TSR got rid of it themselves back in AD&D 2e, which just had a single starting age for each race regardless of class. Wizards added some of it back in, albeit not to the degree AD&D 1e had.


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Shinigami02 wrote:


Well considering in PF1e it's not unreasonable for a Fighter to whack her hand just right, curse at it with just the right inflection, and discover the hard way that her Grandma was very friendly with the neighborhood's dragon... then two weeks later have some God somewhere decide she was simply *perfect* for some Divine plan or other and inflict the Blessing and Curse of Oracleness on her... and then a week later get approached by a mysterious white fox offering yet more magical power if she would only make a contract...

You've made me feel sorry for a hypothetical Fighter.


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Moro wrote:
Only if the class feats you give up for multiclassing are such inferior options to the class features you pick up with multiclass dedication and feats. And we don't know the details yet, so that is a big if at this time. Granted, such a balancing act for every class and class feature would be a momentous feat of balanced game design if they are all even within spitting distance of one another, but there is hope. And a playtest, this is why we are testing, after all.

My impression is that PF2 classes will be similar to the Starfinder classes in structure - a relatively small number of core abilities that determine the "spine" of the character (weapon/armor/casting proficiency levels, hit points, and such), while the things you can actually do are selected from a list based on each class. In SF, these abilities have different names for each class (envoy improvisations, operative exploits, etc.), but in PF2 they'll all be called "class feats".

Multiclassing essentially lets you trade out these abilities for those of other classes, but you'll still keep your own "spine". For example, my guess is that the Fighter multiclass will get you proficiency in weapons and armor, but you'll use your proper class's progression regarding proficiency level, it'll just apply to a wider set.


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Red Griffyn wrote:
I don't like that you guys are bundling so many things on class feats. Why are archetypes, archetype multi-classes, and your core classes all competing for this one resource. In 1e these things were all independent. Furthermore, you are now charging a 2 feat exit tax on all archetypes, which I think further limits and drains this singular class feat resource. What if I only want to take the dedication feats for 3 archetypes but not go further than that? You just moving feat taxes from front loaded to back loaded. I think you are severely limiting the customization and creativity allowable by putting these all onto the one 'class feat' resource pool. Especially since you moved so many iconic class features from a baked in feature to a "take this class feat at Level X".

I would argue that that is filed under "working as intended." If you want your paladin to study unholy sorcery (Wizard dedication), their paladin abilities are going to suffer for it. The difference from PF1 is that you'll be trading out class features rather than class levels. Think of them as electives when getting an education - instead of taking electives that directly apply to your major, you'd take electives that broaden your scope.


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Old multiclassing doesn't work when you're dealing with the new d20 engine. Your first level determines your hp and whether or not you get full or partial casting. Looks like most of the node features for every class will be accessible to everyone, but some of the core features won't. This should mean rogues can give out DEX to Damage like candy for one or two feats on anyone, we'll see if that's good enough this edition. Once you tweak your proficiency a little bit, seems like that's the only noticeable difference, assuming there's ways to improve your effective levels for feats as you progress.

This modular spellcasting is way better than VMC was, or the vigilante archetypes and the fighter/rogue archetypes that gave up half their stuff just for spellcasting. I like how the power levels of the effective spells are likely incorporated in, but I'm curious how that plays out, if it takes 3 feats. The first one gets you 3 spell levels, does the second give you 3 and the last one only 2? Curious...

I like what this means for partial casters, it means spellcasting rangers and paladins are prestige classes again in a way. I also like that bloodragers are now accessible too, and the magus is now parallel with them. Are there going to be feats for some of the caster classes that might be built around the inclination that someone would want to multiclass? Something like a Spellstrike metamagic feat that let's you deliver spells through a weapon could create the bad touch clerics, arcane archers, shocking grasp magi, and whatever else you want in whatever combination. Fighter seems like an obvious option both in a way to have a chassis that has more class feats and as a way to open up more proficiency and combat feat options on other characters. But given all the abilities to hybrid, this makes me feel even less like the ranger and the paladin should be called the ranger and the paladin since they don;t play like the classes did in the last edition, at all. Favored Enemy and Smite Evil are both gone, if we could buy them back with the spellcasting packages and changed the classes names it would make more sense to me.

Given that the dedication feats grant you proficiencies, and the only real difference other than hp and casting between the classes is proficiency, it seems this is the only real solution tbh. I think you should only have to dip 2 feats for multiclassing, so by 5th level you can Prestige out, which would be something familiar to us.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Out of my 20+ regular players I am the only one with a Paizo.com account an aware of some silly "this is trash and garbage and whoever designed it should just stop breathing" nonsense that goes on since 2009 and is yet to stop people from playing Rogues :)

This is me with blaster wizards (aside from those who crawled out of a dragon/orc breeding pit at birth).


I'm a little bummed we don't have a druid multiclasssing option yet. We don't have anything to toy with the primal spell list, which would be great if someone wanted to convert the old vanilla Ranger. And wild shape would be one of the more exciting abilities to get on a martial.

Currently, I'm guessing the four archetypes let you infuse weapon and armor, skills, healing and divinity, and arcane spells into whatever class you want. That's a pretty good spread. Paladins and sorcerers are a little redundant for all that, and the barbarian isn't far off. The occult list is am omission, but Bards get so many new thing I can't wrap my head around what it would look like yet. But druid is a pretty glaring hole to fill.

Also, it occurs to me that an alchemist package would be a really good way to build either an investigator or one of those bombless archetypes people miss from PF1. Just take whatever alchemy feats you want for the concept on a rogue.

In fact, I suspect that will be a solid work around for lots of stuff. If you have a class where you don't want some or all of their class features, just use a different class as your base and take the multiclasssing archetype. Instead of building a rogue without sneak attack, just be a Ranger with the rogue dedication feats.

I'm hoping that without monk or druid the playtest still has support for unarmed combat and animal companions for all classes through the right feats. Mama wants her brawlers and cavaliers.


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Greylurker wrote:

Well my initial reaction here is "isn't this just 4E multiclassing"

Sure it's tweaked for Pathfinder since they don't use the silly "powers for everyone" thing but brass tacks this is 4E multiclassing.

Which I was not a fan off.

So yeah this one goes in the negative collum along with Resonence for me

Resonance also reeks of 4th ed IMO.

Secret Wizard wrote:
4E wasn't bad because multiclassing didn't work (there were other motivating factors)

One of the bad things about 4e was it's "multiclassing".


Disk Elemental wrote:

I'm very disappointed that this is the direction 2e has chosen to go.

Multi-classing was one of the most interesting and skill-expressive mechanics in 1e, allowing players to create a character that's both unique and wholly their own. Reducing such mechanics to a handful of pre-defined packages is a massive loss for everyone who enjoyed the customization of 1e. If anything is reverted in playtesting, I hope this is it.

That's true, for non casters, imho.

Things like wizard/druid combos were pretty hard to pull off, because of how spellcasting and spell levels used to work.


Gorbacz wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Now we can argue about how true that is(Sadly it very much kinda is), but to a new player; they join a game, they pick a class(es) they have fun and then they go online...., only to see something they think is fun is completely belittled and dumped on in forums and posts. How dose that make the player feel to just see thread upon thread of "Oh.... I messed up". I don't even know if Rogue IS bad because I've never played the class! It just IS bad.
Don't worry, nobody reads forums except for a small group of hyper-invested nerds. Out of my 20+ regular players I am the only one with a Paizo.com account an aware of some silly "this is trash and garbage and whoever designed it should just stop breathing" nonsense that goes on since 2009 and is yet to stop people from playing Rogues :)
The problem is that you are ignoring the issue that the game is so borked that one could just accidentally build a better rogue out of multiple different core classes. There are about three to four different core classes that all are different variations of rogue and each one having a mechanical hook that differentiates and makes them more interesting than the base class.
John Lynch 106 wrote:


Secret Wizard wrote:
4E wasn't bad because multiclassing didn't work (there were other motivating factors)
One of the bad things about 4e was it's "multiclassing".

Multiclassing in 4E took a while for them to release and even then it was in a state of brokeness that 3E exhibited which was that if you didn't know what you were doing you would end up with a worst mechanical class. Also the other form of multiclassing in 4E was odd in that conceptually it was much more involved than just take x,y, and z feats but I don't remember how well it worked. Halfway through the game you could just change class progression to a ranger or rogue but I dont remember how viable it was.


Interesting way of handling multiclassing this way. This may scratch that itch for other class abilities better than previous implementations. Looking forward to testing this method out.


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Is there any word on if retraining will allow you to change your primary class?


In retrospect, my only complaint with regard to this blog is that the Bard archetype wasn't included in the playtest. It would have been very useful to test early for the following reasons:
A) To work out how Spell Repertoire works when a character drawn from two different spontaneous traditions (aka a Primal Sorcerer +Bard).
B) To be able to compare 'pure spontaneous', 'pure prepared', and 'hybrid prepared/spontaneous' characters to one another (aka, Sorcerer+Bard vs. Druid+Cleric vs. Sorcerer+Wizard), as well as their single-classed bretheran.
C) It would have involved fewer uncontrolled variables than including sorcerer would have for the same purposes; due to bards always being Occult, instead of cropping up in every Tradition.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This is the most depressing thing yet about PF2 past its initial revelation.

This is essentially no multiclassing.

Eating all your choice resources for not good enough spellcasting is just bad, bad, bad.

It's a half step from "No multi classing ever" and ensures that the type of characters I like to build/play will NEVER be able to exist.


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This is the most 4th Edition D&D thing you have done yet. To me that betrays the whole reason Pathfinder took off (i.e. to avoid the monstrosity that is 4th ed.)

I understand why you wanted to break from your 3.5 edition roots and redesign from the ground up. I understand how that Multiclassing is clunky and needs some kind of overhaul. But I really am not pleased with the way 2ed PFRPG looks and this is the worst I've seen so far.

No hate, guys. Much love. I'm buying new 1st edition Pathfinder stuff left and right. I love the system, it's not perfect, but it is the best I've seen. Better than 2nd edition, IMO.

I won't be buying second edition but I don't want you guys to think I'm going nuts and hate you and all that crazy internet stuff. I'll just be quietly cleaning out your backstock of 1st edition stuff as time marches ever on.

P.S. Your stuff is such good quality, maybe 2ed will grow on me in the years to come. But just my luck, it will be just in time for your 3rd edition. :P

Silver Crusade

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Nathanael Love wrote:

Eating all your choice resources for not good enough spellcasting is just bad, bad, bad.

It's a half step from "No multi classing ever" and ensures that the type of characters I like to build/play will NEVER be able to exist.

Hold up a second here. Isn't PF1 multiclassing much *worse* on this count? Eating choice resources (levels) for "not good enough spellcasting." It takes what, three or four class feats in the playtest model (out of 10?) to get 8th level spellcasting.

So compare, e.g., a Fighter 16/Wizard 4 in PF1 to a Fighter/Wizard in the playtest who sinks 4 class feats into Wizard MC. Who's better off here? Pretty clearly it's the playtest MC (both in terms of fighting prowess and in terms of having "good enough spellcasting").

So, genuine question: What kind of "characters do [you] like to build/play [that] will NEVER be able to exist" in this kind of system?

I have some concerns about this system and will push it hard in the playtest. But I'm not following your concern as articulated in this post, would be interested to hear more.


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Tallow wrote:


I suppose this is a matter of perspective really. From the perspective of trying to make this game as approachable and easy to learn for new players, you are absolutely correct.

From the perspective of a burnt out 5-star PFS GM with almost 350 GM credits, its much more important to me personally, that legal builds that break the game can't dominate PFS anymore.

Do let me know when PFS designers stop abusing mechanics like adding class levels to monsters, to produce ridiculously under-CR'ed monstrosities, or effectively making swarm fighting tools an absolute requirement for every character...


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Joe M. wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

Eating all your choice resources for not good enough spellcasting is just bad, bad, bad.

It's a half step from "No multi classing ever" and ensures that the type of characters I like to build/play will NEVER be able to exist.

Hold up a second here. Isn't PF1 multiclassing much *worse* on this count? Eating choice resources (levels) for "not good enough spellcasting." It takes what, three or four class feats in the playtest model (out of 10?) to get 8th level spellcasting.

So compare, e.g., a Fighter 16/Wizard 4 in PF1 to a Fighter/Wizard in the playtest who sinks 4 class feats into Wizard MC. Who's better off here? Pretty clearly it's the playtest MC (both in terms of fighting prowess and in terms of having "good enough spellcasting").

So, genuine question: What kind of "characters do [you] like to build/play [that] will NEVER be able to exist" in this kind of system?

I have some concerns about this system and will push it hard in the playtest. But I'm not following your concern as articulated in this post, would be interested to hear more.

Read the feats again- it's not "8th level casting", it's casting up to 3rd level spells-- we haven't seen the feats to get past 3rd level spell slots yet-- is it a single extra feat to cast up to 8th level spells? Or is it 5 more feats?

I like to play characters who will usually have 2 or more classes and 1-2 archetypes per class. I like to use every possible combination to make each character completely unique, something which is only possible in PF (and to a lesser extent 3.5), but was impossible in previous editions and in 5th Ed DnD, and apparently in PF2.

I'd never build a "Fighter 16/Wizard 4"- PF1 has tools like Eldritch Knight (and Magus), and archetypes like Eldritch Guardian and Child of Whoever and Whoever (the fighter with spells) to mix and match.


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I would say it is more possible then ever in PF2, of course you invest feats - but thats better then you class abilities falling flat
and you still can add multiple archetypes, they just have no class specific ones (yet)
And comparing this to dnd 5? thats kinda like comparing lego to playmobil

Silver Crusade

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@Nathanael Love: Ah, I didn't see that the feat count wasn't in the blog. Thanks. Per this post from Mark upthread, it takes a total of 4 feats to get 8th level spells.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Cantriped wrote:

Overall I am really happy with the specific examples shown and their implications for feat-based multiclassing. The scaling notation of the Cantrip confused me at first. But now that I understand it I am very happy with it. I like that a basic Bookish Rogue is so easily built with just Wizard Dedication, or you can take Basic Wizard Spellcasting if you desire all the classic arcane trickster spells.

I am curious how it will progress beyond 3rd level spells. How many more feats does it cost to gain those 8th level spell-slots?
I imagine at least two, but dread it will be as many as five.
Just two more, your minimum guess!


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Joe M. wrote:

@Nathanael Love: Ah, I didn't see that the feat count wasn't in the blog. Thanks. Per this post from Mark upthread, it takes a total of 4 feats to get 8th level spells.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Cantriped wrote:

Overall I am really happy with the specific examples shown and their implications for feat-based multiclassing. The scaling notation of the Cantrip confused me at first. But now that I understand it I am very happy with it. I like that a basic Bookish Rogue is so easily built with just Wizard Dedication, or you can take Basic Wizard Spellcasting if you desire all the classic arcane trickster spells.

I am curious how it will progress beyond 3rd level spells. How many more feats does it cost to gain those 8th level spell-slots?
I imagine at least two, but dread it will be as many as five.
Just two more, your minimum guess!

So it takes almost half of your 10 class feats, and by the way all your class abilities are also now class feats so you don't get anything real from your "main" class either, and by the way everything that was a feat in PF1 is ALSO a feat so you get none of those either?

Silver Crusade

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Nathanael Love wrote:
I like to play characters who will usually have 2 or more classes and 1-2 archetypes per class. I like to use every possible combination to make each character completely unique, something which is only possible in PF (and to a lesser extent 3.5), but was impossible in previous editions and in 5th Ed DnD, and apparently in PF2.

This type of concern is probably at the top of my list, too, I think.

Silver Crusade

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Nathanael Love wrote:
So it takes almost half of your 10 class feats, and by the way all your class abilities are also now class feats so you don't get anything real from your "main" class either, and by the way everything that was a feat in PF1 is ALSO a feat so you get none of those either?

Ah, I think you may have a slight misunderstanding of the advancement system in the playtest. Playtest characters get class talents (like PF1's class features) every odd level and class feats every even level, I believe. They also get ancestry feats, skill feats, and general feats. So spending 4/10 class feats on a MC archetype still leaves you with all of your other goodies.

See e.g. the leveling up blog: http://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lklr?Leveling-Up


The following is purely anecdotal, but since I've started running/playing Pathfinder I've never seen its version of multi-classing used to represent a character who decided to pursue a different profession. My mother has a favored story from AD&D involving Duel-Classing due to amnesia... but thats not quite the same as the GM played out that loosely instead of by RAW.

Most of my players (myself included as GM) don't seem to associate our character's 'class(es)' with their profession or life-style. Classes, archetypes, and prestige classes are treated as nothing more than thematically (and sometimes arbitrarially) assembled packages of game elements. We mix and match to cobble together the closest emulation of our concept we can, and ignore all the extraneous features and flavor-text we get as necessary evils of the game design. Same goes for 'core elements of our backstory we cannot represent until 3rd level'. Though as a GM I discourage concepts whose backstories cannot be represented with the character you can right build now. Such as a 'master' anything at 1st level.

I've personally only built a few pathfinder characters that dipped (A Human Swashbuckler 1/Gunslinger 1 for a pirate-themed campaign, and a Lawful Evil Half-Elf Slayer 2/Brawler 1, an ex-assassin turned adventurer I used as a GMPC to keep the group on track). I admit, every element was selected for power-gaming reasons, and then justified (sometimes rather thinly) afterwards. Otherwise most of my characters are single-classed-archetyped humans and half-elves with a gimmick.

I've always considered myself a pro-multiclassing GM. I usually start campaigns at 2nd level for many reasons, one of which happens to be the ability to represent your dual-tradition Cleric-Wizard at the begining of play. As well as using fractional advancement so that such a character has a usable BAB at 2nd level, but cannot abuse saving throw bonuses. Regardless, most of my players have chosen to play single-classed-archetyped characters.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Joe M. wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
So it takes almost half of your 10 class feats, and by the way all your class abilities are also now class feats so you don't get anything real from your "main" class either, and by the way everything that was a feat in PF1 is ALSO a feat so you get none of those either?

Ah, I think you may have a slight misunderstanding of the advancement system in the playtest. Playtest characters get class talents (like PF1's class features) every odd level and class feats every even level, I believe. They also get ancestry feats, skill feats, and general feats. So spending 4/10 class feats on a MC archetype still leaves you with all of your other goodies.

See e.g. the leveling up blog: http://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lklr?Leveling-Up

From that blog:

"How does gaining feats at every level shake out? Every class has special feats just for them, which you gain every other level. When your cleric hits 2nd level and gets that cleric feat, do you want to become a better healer? Learn another of your deity's domains? Turn undead away from you? Your class feats give you these options, so you're not locked into the same path as every other cleric."

So you ONLY have 10 class feats to get a LOT of what was core in the cleric before.

That means that giving up half of those for spellcasting does SUBSTANTIALLY reduce your "clericness".

Skill feats, to my understanding, only affect skills, and ancestry feats don't seem to really substitute in for these at all.

Silver Crusade

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Sure, there's a cost. But I was thinking specifically of your claims that "you don't get anything real from your "main" class either" (not true, since you still get all of your class talents/features at the odd levels) and "and by the way everything that was a feat in PF1 is ALSO a feat so you get none of those either?" (not exactly right, since you still have all your general feats and skill feats (plus the other 6 class feats)).

I don't think I'm on board with your assessment of the costs here. (Especially the idea you started with that there were lower costs in PF1 for multiclassing.)

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