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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Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Cyouni wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

Can you really get +4 to an ability score at 5th level? (16 is still the printed target number, after all.)

And this still requires forethought and at-creation character design. Even if you're going in planning for it, it's something you can't do until 6th level at the earliest... for many campaigns, that's a huge chunk of time.

As noted, I didn't cover the four free +2s that you get at 1st and every 5th level.

Though that is accurate, I think this is also one of the more difficult-to-achieve multiclass examples, only matched by one where you want to multiclass into, say, cleric as a goblin.

Indeed. My original examples were dwarf wizard or elf cleric.


Kalindlara wrote:
Hm. Do you get four discretionary +2s at first level? That'd definitely soften my feelings about lack of ability score customization.

As I understand it: 1 (or 2 if human) Discretionary bonus from your ancestry.

1 Discretionary bonus from your background.
No discretionary bonuses from your class (but you might get to pick between two things)
4 Discretionary bonuses at the last step.

So +2/+2/-2 ancestries can manage an 18/16/14/12/10/8 or 16/16/16/12/10/8 array easily.


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CraziFuzzy wrote:
A Ninja Errant wrote:
Snip
Frankly, i just don't think you will see as much archetype play as in pf1e. In 1e, archetypes were required to get the class to be custimized the way you want - that's not the case in pf2e. The class can already be tweaked quite a bit just with the class feat selection, so taking archetypes is not really necessary for a lot of concepts that used to depend on them. Because of this, I don't see it as a real 'conflict' problem between multiclass and general archetypes.

It sure looks like a conflict problem to me. If left as is you'll see a lot less non-multiclass archetypes in play simply because taking them has actually become a fairly major sacrifice, and if the pirate is anything to go on, they kind of aren't that good. They certainly don't appear to be any competition for multiclass archetypes. Somehow I don't see bonuses to boarding actions competing with spellcasting levels regardless of how much time you spend on ships. Personally, I feel like that's a major loss to the game.


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A Ninja Errant wrote:
It sure looks like a conflict problem to me. If left as is you'll see a lot less non-multiclass archetypes in play simply because taking them has actually become a fairly major sacrifice, and if the pirate is anything to go on, they kind of aren't that good. They certainly don't appear to be any competition for multiclass archetypes. Somehow I don't see bonuses to boarding actions competing with spellcasting levels regardless of how much time you spend on ships. Personally, I feel like that's a major loss to the game.

This is a really solid take. Multiclassing and other archetypes shouldn't be competing with one another unless they're legitimately comparable. And if the archetypes are going to be as good as multiclassing, why not just make them into full classes with their own MC Dedications?

Granted, with what we've seen of pirate, archetypes are probably better off just being onesie-twosie feats, rather than dedicated packages.


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I must admit I've been skim-reading posts a lot more than I usually do (slow reader + other demands on my time), but I think the comparisons to 4th Edition multiclassing are doing a disservice to Paizo here.

For those who may not be aware, 3rd Edition multiclassing was a weird WotC fruitcake of an idea that got a huge amount of negative feedback from fans of the game in it's 1st & 2nd editions, and which they backpedalled away from in 4th edition quite hard... and given the abominations that masqueraded as PCs in 3.5, it should be easy to understand why.

Barbarian/Chaos Monk/Fighter/Totemist/Totem Rager/Fist of the Forest who at 15th level had a naked AC over 70, ridiculous hp, enormous saves and could pounce on things from 120ft away for up to (nat 1's happen) a couple of hundred damage? Barbarian/Sorcerer/Fighter/Dragon Disciple/Abjurant Champion/Eldritch Knights using a mix of spells (including enlarge person, naturally) and combat reflexes to not only be nigh unkillable and have enormous damage, but completely control the battlemap? These are things that cause the mechanics of the game to shatter like cheap glass, and I have seen both (and dozens more like them) at various tables over the 3rd edition gaming years.

The legacy of 3.5 character mechanics was a system whose floor was too low, and ceiling too high. For the betterment of the game, and those who play it, character mechanics needed to be pushed towards a narrower middle-ground, where a new player can't blunder their way into ineptitude, and a veteran can't completely overshadow the rest of the party combined.

But getting back to the topic of multiclassing...

Pathfinder 2 multiclassing has less in common with 4th edition multiclassing than it does with the Pathfinder 1 archetype system. Class feats are called "feats", but are actually pick-from-a-list class features (e.g. how Rage Powers work for PF1 barbarians). If you were to reverse engineer this into PF1, it would be like a 6th level barbarian giving up their 2nd and 4th level rage power to gain an extra skill (Knowledge [religion]), two prepared orisons and a single 1st and 2nd level spell slot they can prepare cleric spells in. It's not the same as PF1 multiclassing, but it achieves a similar overall character concept - raging barbarian channelling the might of Gorum.

It is less flexible - but much easier to work with - than the 3.5 style multiclassing, while being a lot more flexible than the 1st & 2nd edition style multiclassing (and not having the crazy split-XP thing).

It's a bold idea, and I'm keen to see how it actually plays at the table, as that is the only true test there is.


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Ooh! I just realized that this effectively allows people who want a spellcasting ranger to get it with a couple Class Feats by taking the Druid archetype. Or heck, if you want to go really old school, splash some Wizard Archetype Feats in there too!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Charlaquin wrote:
Ooh! I just realized that this effectively allows people who want a spellcasting ranger to get it with a couple Class Feats by taking the Druid archetype. Or heck, if you want to go really old school, splash some Wizard Archetype Feats in there too!

That's a good point. I was hoping ranger would have class feats that could give it casting if you wanted, but functionally multiclassing into druid works as well.


Mechalibur wrote:
Charlaquin wrote:
Ooh! I just realized that this effectively allows people who want a spellcasting ranger to get it with a couple Class Feats by taking the Druid archetype. Or heck, if you want to go really old school, splash some Wizard Archetype Feats in there too!
That's a good point. I was hoping ranger would have class feats that could give it casting if you wanted, but functionally multiclassing into druid works as well.

Eyup.

No reason to have a Ranger spell list if they can just yoink it from someone else. Wait....

And I'm sure someone will come along and say that the spell list was junk anyway so what's the big deal.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
Charlaquin wrote:
Ooh! I just realized that this effectively allows people who want a spellcasting ranger to get it with a couple Class Feats by taking the Druid archetype. Or heck, if you want to go really old school, splash some Wizard Archetype Feats in there too!
That's a good point. I was hoping ranger would have class feats that could give it casting if you wanted, but functionally multiclassing into druid works as well.

Eyup.

No reason to have a Ranger spell list if they can just yoink it from someone else. Wait....

And I'm sure someone will come along and say that the spell list was junk anyway so what's the big deal.

Me. I will say it. Ranger and Paladin both had rubbish spell lists. With the new spell systems in place they can roll them into divine and natural spell lists as appropriate, while leaving the option to still attain a spell list. Personally I though the spell-less archetypes for both Ranger and Paladin were far more interesting than having a tiny spell list, particularly the Paladin one.


Mechalibur wrote:
Charlaquin wrote:
Ooh! I just realized that this effectively allows people who want a spellcasting ranger to get it with a couple Class Feats by taking the Druid archetype. Or heck, if you want to go really old school, splash some Wizard Archetype Feats in there too!
That's a good point. I was hoping ranger would have class feats that could give it casting if you wanted, but functionally multiclassing into druid works as well.

Yeah, I also think they mentioned a spellcasting Ranger archetype (spell points, like the paladin). So, you could mix both, and really go for a caster-focused Ranger.


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delbert thompson wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
Charlaquin wrote:
Ooh! I just realized that this effectively allows people who want a spellcasting ranger to get it with a couple Class Feats by taking the Druid archetype. Or heck, if you want to go really old school, splash some Wizard Archetype Feats in there too!
That's a good point. I was hoping ranger would have class feats that could give it casting if you wanted, but functionally multiclassing into druid works as well.

Eyup.

No reason to have a Ranger spell list if they can just yoink it from someone else. Wait....

And I'm sure someone will come along and say that the spell list was junk anyway so what's the big deal.

Me. I will say it. Ranger and Paladin both had rubbish spell lists. With the new spell systems in place they can roll them into divine and natural spell lists as appropriate, while leaving the option to still attain a spell list. Personally I though the spell-less archetypes for both Ranger and Paladin were far more interesting than having a tiny spell list, particularly the Paladin one.

And this any unique spell list is dead if everyone is expected to share Bard, Druid, Cleric and Wizard as their multiclass.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:

And this any unique spell list is dead if everyone is expected to share Bard, Druid, Cleric and Wizard as their multiclass.

I'm pretty sure unique spelllists were mostly dead anyways heading into PF2. One of the issues they ran into as time went on was that, everytime they added a new spell, they had to think about how it fit into everyone's spell lists. Making everyone run off the same four spell lists intead of the, what, ten different lists we had in PF1, will make updating and adding to those lists a lot easier. Especially with the four essences guiding those decisions behind the scenes.

I'm sure there will be some variations. We see Bards get unique cantrips, and the powers aren't on any spell list and can be assigned to a class as appropriate, but those will be the exceptions.


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Raynulf wrote:

For example: If you want a spellcasting paladin, you can swap out your 2nd and 4th level class feats for cleric spellcasting of up to 3rd level spells by level 8. Sure, you only get 1 slot of each level without further feats, but you get access to spells while they're still relevant - unlike in PF1 where you didn't see 3rd level spells until 13th level. A few more feats and a paladin can cast up to 8th level divine spells... while still being a smiting, armoured, martial juggernaut.

That is awesome

This means you CAN have your spell casting ranger - just not yet with primal (druid) spells yet.

On the other hand, you can literally make a certain archytypal Dunedain ranger, since you can take clerical healing abilities and spells to affect ghosts and spectres.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

And this any unique spell list is dead if everyone is expected to share Bard, Druid, Cleric and Wizard as their multiclass.

I'm pretty sure unique spelllists were mostly dead anyways heading into PF2. One of the issues they ran into as time went on was that, everytime they added a new spell, they had to think about how it fit into everyone's spell lists. Making everyone run off the same four spell lists intead of the, what, ten different lists we had in PF1, will make updating and adding to those lists a lot easier. Especially with the four essences guiding those decisions behind the scenes.

I'm sure there will be some variations. We see Bards get unique cantrips, and the powers aren't on any spell list and can be assigned to a class as appropriate, but those will be the exceptions.

I'm sorry, I liked having unquie spell lists. One reason I'm ticked about Alchemist is that we're losing that. Witch too ail just share with Druid or Bard now.

But this is more about spell lists not multiclassing so ill drop it. Well after one more bit. They said they wouldn't give Rangers in the playtest spell casting. Want to see how how the core mechanics do and maybe add them in later. An option to do so.

If the option is to just Splice into Druid, I feel ... Not cheated but mislead.


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And here I am sitting thinking about Sorcerer Multiclassing - I mean think about it, you can basically get whatever spellcasting liste you want and bloodline powers

Imagine a Tiefling multiclassing into demon/devil bloodline sorcerer -> making them even more a demon

Or a Dragon Totem Barbarian dabbling into dragon sorcerer

jeez I should stop to add posts with a few concepts every few pages or so... xD


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MerlinCross wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

And this any unique spell list is dead if everyone is expected to share Bard, Druid, Cleric and Wizard as their multiclass.

I'm pretty sure unique spelllists were mostly dead anyways heading into PF2. One of the issues they ran into as time went on was that, everytime they added a new spell, they had to think about how it fit into everyone's spell lists. Making everyone run off the same four spell lists intead of the, what, ten different lists we had in PF1, will make updating and adding to those lists a lot easier. Especially with the four essences guiding those decisions behind the scenes.

I'm sure there will be some variations. We see Bards get unique cantrips, and the powers aren't on any spell list and can be assigned to a class as appropriate, but those will be the exceptions.

I'm sorry, I liked having unquie spell lists. One reason I'm ticked about Alchemist is that we're losing that. Witch too ail just share with Druid or Bard now.

But this is more about spell lists not multiclassing so ill drop it. Well after one more bit. They said they wouldn't give Rangers in the playtest spell casting. Want to see how how the core mechanics do and maybe add them in later. An option to do so.

If the option is to just Splice into Druid, I feel ... Not cheated but mislead.

Considering they mentioned Spell Points, like a Paladin specifically, and not "regular casting," I doubt that's what they meant as the possibility.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:

I'm sorry, I liked having unquie spell lists. One reason I'm ticked about Alchemist is that we're losing that. Witch too ail just share with Druid or Bard now.

But this is more about spell lists not multiclassing so ill drop it. Well after one more bit. They said they wouldn't give Rangers in the playtest spell casting. Want to see how how the core mechanics do and maybe add them in later. An option to do so.

If the option is to just Splice into Druid, I feel ... Not cheated but mislead.

Oh, I agree. I think they're getting a bit too cute reducing all of those spell lists to just four. I'll give it a chance, because I see why they did it and can recognize the balance advantages, but I'll definetely miss the use of custom spell lists as a developer tool to make a class unique.

I hadn't even thought that they might have meant "We'll totes give you a spellcasting ranger later" as "druid archetype." That makes a horrible amount of sense and I'm vaguely annoyed if that's what they meant.

I mean, at least throw in some powers.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

I'm sorry, I liked having unquie spell lists. One reason I'm ticked about Alchemist is that we're losing that. Witch too ail just share with Druid or Bard now.

But this is more about spell lists not multiclassing so ill drop it. Well after one more bit. They said they wouldn't give Rangers in the playtest spell casting. Want to see how how the core mechanics do and maybe add them in later. An option to do so.

If the option is to just Splice into Druid, I feel ... Not cheated but mislead.

Oh, I agree. I think they're getting a bit too cute reducing all of those spell lists to just four. I'll give it a chance, because I see why they did it and can recognize the balance advantages, but I'll definetely miss the use of custom spell lists as a developer tool to make a class unique.

I hadn't even thought that they might have meant "We'll totes give you a spellcasting ranger later" as "druid archetype." That makes a horrible amount of sense and I'm vaguely annoyed if that's what they meant.

I mean, at least throw in some powers.

Really? I don't think it makes sense at all, considering what the blog actually says:

"...it would be easy to create a spellcasting build of the ranger later using Spell Points (like the paladin)..."


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Nathanael Love wrote:
But we DO know that channeling is only accessed by a feat.

Actually, we know the opposite. Channelling is a Cleric class feature, not a feat. WHat we do not know is What or how many features cleric get at higher leves (apart from spellcasting).

John Lynch 106 wrote:
Resonance also reeks of 4th ed IMO.

Despite there being nothing in D&D 4e which even remotely resembkes it?

There used to be a limitation on how many daily item powers a single character could use, but that was literally for daily item powers only and had nothing to do with worn items or consumables, increased throughout the day as you had more encounters, had nothing to do with Charisma, and frankly had minimal impact. So minimal that they decided that it was not necessary and removed it in the errata.

And that is the closest 4e ever had to Resonance which is to say, not at all close.

On the subject of PF2 multiclassing, it shares with 4e that it is feat based, but it is very much not just a straight copy of the 4e system. Nor could it be in context, since the 4e multiclassing system refers to things in the 4e system a a whole that do not exist in the same way or at all in PF2 (there are no paragon paths in PF2, and "power" means something very different).

Similarities between 4e and PF2 multiclassing:

1. Feat based.
2. You keep all the class features of you original, but not necessarily all the class feats/powers.
3. The initial feat is above average strength but there are further restrictions on how many you can take beyond available feat slots.

Differences:

1. The restrictions on taking additional classes are different: A two feat tax in PF2, none ever in 4e (except if you were a Bard, in which case you could take the dedication-equivalent (herefter "DE feats") for as many classes as you like).
2. Multiclassing in PF2 uses class feats which are siloed off from general feats, and seem to cover some of what would have been class feats in 4e (which are just general feats with a class prerequiite) and also some of what would have been powers.
3. Taking the DE feat in 4e made you count as the multiclassed class for all purposes except powers, so you could take class feats and paragon paths for your new class as long as they did not build on features you do not have.
4. 4e DE feats give you training in a key classs skill, whereas PF2 dedication feats require it as a prereq. This is a small thing, but my 4e Bard (who took advantage of his unlimited-multiclassing class feature to have a lot of multiclass feats) eneded up redundantly trained in arcana about five time over. Of course, "trained" meant something rather different in 4e too.
5. The subsequent feats that the DE feat unlocked were generic rather than class specific (and there were only three of them for most characters).
6. The post DE feat multiclass feats in 4e were swaps rather than additions, so to get a power from you multiclass cost you a feat slot and a power slot. The PF2 equivalents we have seen so far are swapping a single feat for a single feat.
7. OTOH, the swapped powers were level appropriate in 4e, rather than being a couple of levels behind (for spells) or half-level (for class feats).
8. Paragon Path multiclassing obviously does not exist in PF2.
9. There were eventually a few different DE feats for each class, although to be fair I do not think this was true in PHB1, and it could eventually be true in PF2 eventually.

All in all, based on what we know so far it adds up to similar at first glance, but very different in specifics and almost certainly very different in play. PF2 multiclassing is definitely more similar to 4e multiclassing than Resonance is to 4e's body-slots-&-gold item limitations, but that is a pretty low bar.

_
glass.


Mbertorch wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

I'm sorry, I liked having unquie spell lists. One reason I'm ticked about Alchemist is that we're losing that. Witch too ail just share with Druid or Bard now.

But this is more about spell lists not multiclassing so ill drop it. Well after one more bit. They said they wouldn't give Rangers in the playtest spell casting. Want to see how how the core mechanics do and maybe add them in later. An option to do so.

If the option is to just Splice into Druid, I feel ... Not cheated but mislead.

Oh, I agree. I think they're getting a bit too cute reducing all of those spell lists to just four. I'll give it a chance, because I see why they did it and can recognize the balance advantages, but I'll definetely miss the use of custom spell lists as a developer tool to make a class unique.

I hadn't even thought that they might have meant "We'll totes give you a spellcasting ranger later" as "druid archetype." That makes a horrible amount of sense and I'm vaguely annoyed if that's what they meant.

I mean, at least throw in some powers.

Really? I don't think it makes sense at all, considering what the blog actually says:

"...it would be easy to create a spellcasting build of the ranger later using Spell Points (like the paladin)..."

Late and on mobile so hard to double check at time of writing. So if they worded it differently than how I put it, I will admit I am in the wrong here. I just recall the point of no Spellcasting for Ranger during playtest and we might/should see a way to cast spells later.

Though interested in seeing what classes/archetypes get casting if we can simply take a Dedication for it.


MerlinCross wrote:
Mbertorch wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

I'm sorry, I liked having unquie spell lists. One reason I'm ticked about Alchemist is that we're losing that. Witch too ail just share with Druid or Bard now.

But this is more about spell lists not multiclassing so ill drop it. Well after one more bit. They said they wouldn't give Rangers in the playtest spell casting. Want to see how how the core mechanics do and maybe add them in later. An option to do so.

If the option is to just Splice into Druid, I feel ... Not cheated but mislead.

Oh, I agree. I think they're getting a bit too cute reducing all of those spell lists to just four. I'll give it a chance, because I see why they did it and can recognize the balance advantages, but I'll definetely miss the use of custom spell lists as a developer tool to make a class unique.

I hadn't even thought that they might have meant "We'll totes give you a spellcasting ranger later" as "druid archetype." That makes a horrible amount of sense and I'm vaguely annoyed if that's what they meant.

I mean, at least throw in some powers.

Really? I don't think it makes sense at all, considering what the blog actually says:

"...it would be easy to create a spellcasting build of the ranger later using Spell Points (like the paladin)..."

Late and on mobile so hard to double check at time of writing. So if they worded it differently than how I put it, I will admit I am in the wrong here. I just recall the point of no Spellcasting for Ranger during playtest and we might/should see a way to cast spells later.

Though interested in seeing what classes/archetypes get casting if we can simply take a Dedication for it.

Early and on mobile... Haha!

But yeah, no worries. Just didn't want you to be unhappy about something I actually knew wasn't the case and could do something about correcting.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
glass wrote:

There used to be a limitation on how many daily item powers a single character could use, but that was literally for daily item powers only and had nothing to do with worn items or consumables, increased throughout the day as you had more encounters, had nothing to do with Charisma, and frankly had minimal impact. So minimal that they decided that it was not necessary and removed it in the errata.

Didn't potions run off healing surges? I can see the similarity between those two, although you're right that it quickly breaks down after that.

Frankly, I think I'd rather have healing surges, which is not a sentence I'd ever thought I'd say.


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The people bugged about the 4 spell lists really aren't thinking forward very far. It would be trivial for Paizo to release the Witch and say: "The Witch gets access to the arcane spell list, and also adds these spells as options: ~list of spells to add to the arcane list for Witch~"


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

Well, like everything, will have to wait and see what it looks like in practice, but my initial reaction is to be a bit concerned.

I wonder how many of the following (perfectly doable in 1E) can work here?

Archetypical Annie
Loves the flavour of archetypes - has 2 levels in one class with an archetype and 3 levels in another with two archetypes. (but she had her thing going right from level 2)

Bit of Both Ben
Ben is a Scarzni enforcer. He takes equal amounts of levels in rogue and fighter. He has his flavour from level 2 and always has an even mix of abilities from both classes.

Change of Heart Carol
Carol started as ranger but after a couple of levels had a deeply moving religious experience and became a cleric, which she's put all her levels in since. At level 8 she is ranger 2, cleric 6 - cleric is her main thing now even though her original class was ranger.

Do It All Dave
Dave travels around alot, getting studying how to fight from all sorts of different teachers and traditions. In 1E he is a fighter 1, monk 1, paladin 1 (and is looking with interest at slayer, cavalier & swashbuckler for his future plans...)

My fear is that Annie will have to chose between multiclassing or archetypes, Ben can't keep it even and has to pick a side to favour, Carol will always be a ranger with a sideline in cleric even when she hasn't been out in the wilderness for a ton of levels and Dave's adventuring career is mostly done before he gets his 3 class flavour.

Willing to be proved wrong but worried there'll be a lot less choice (especially without the hybrid classes for at least a while)


I care not for and reject your name archetype that are reminiscent of MTG archetypes. (billy spike etc.)


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It seems like a lot of people's perspective on Multi-classing shifts radically if they are used to playing characters that never get out of the 5-7 level range, or if they go to the 16-18 range. The impetus of PF2's new multi-classing shifts that dynamic radically in favor of higher level multi-class characters, which a lot of people have probably never played before, or maybe played with just one concept.


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JulianW wrote:

My fear is that Annie will have to chose between multiclassing or archetypes, Ben can't keep it even and has to pick a side to favour, Carol will always be a ranger with a sideline in cleric even when she hasn't been out in the wilderness for a ton of levels and Dave's adventuring career is mostly done before he gets his 3 class flavour.

Okay Annie has really no chance but that seems like a really wild concept.

Ben might not be able to keep it even but if he can pick a favorite he will have the capstones and high level of it and probably profit from it

carol should speak with her gm, retraining is a big thing and doesnt cost anything, I don'T know about the class but I would let her exchange her main class and multiclass

and dave...wow, that might work but I would still guess that he gets problems in the later game with that setup. Of course many of those things work together but for having such a hodge-podge you pay with having nothing really good

So while those players may not be able to do what they have done I have to ask: is it really that bad that one cant have such a muddled combnation?


Charlaquin wrote:
Ooh! I just realized that this effectively allows people who want a spellcasting ranger to get it with a couple Class Feats by taking the Druid archetype. Or heck, if you want to go really old school, splash some Wizard Archetype Feats in there too!

really hope you weren't looking to take the horizon walker archetype there or else you'll probably have zero ranger feats by the time you are done. Yay I guess?


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It also seems like there is a secondary argument about what having one level in a class means.

What is the character concept of 1 level of Monk, 1 level of fighter, 1 level of paladin, 1 level of Slayer, 1 level of cavelier, 1 level of swashbuckler? Is it rambling martial character who has a diverse array of abilities? Depending upon how wide a spread of stuff fighters can pick up with class feats, My guess is that this character is a fighter that picks up feats to be more of a generalist combatant that often fights with his fists? from horseback? That is probably all doable with a straight fighter build.

It might not be possible in the play test, because the playtest has to focus on some core mechanics before it can introduce every possible contingency, but I can see a lot of this build being possible with picking level 1 fighter class feats, skill feats, and general feats, and probably be a more competent character design by level 10 then Dave was going to be on his own.

If the point of picking all of these different classes was for Dave to call himself a member of all of these classes, I think that is less of a playable character concept than just a mechanical exercise. Dave is a character that struggles to commit to any one kind of training and will probably be better represented in PF2 by picking feats that grant a lot of different trainings and ability to jack of all trade it, which will very likely be a supported build.

If there is a narrative reason Dave chose each of those classes in the order that he did, it might be difficult to replicate exactly, but that seems like a theoretical edge case that represents something that can be addressed in year 4 or 5 of PF2, rather than being a development focus of the game itself.

My overall point is that if you approach character design as a character is the combination of abilities that they have, this system could be much more flexible than it seems, especially since the design focuses on having abilities you pick early continue to be relevant at higher levels. The biggest difference is that the trade off for having abilities scale with time, is that it can't let you front load those options, because the abilities are far more powerful.


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Unicore wrote:
It seems like a lot of people's perspective on Multi-classing shifts radically if they are used to playing characters that never get out of the 5-7 level range, or if they go to the 16-18 range. The impetus of PF2's new multi-classing shifts that dynamic radically in favor of higher level multi-class characters, which a lot of people have probably never played before, or maybe played with just one concept.

This could be a key factor.

My PF1 mindset is very much driven by playing adventure paths and PFS, so I tend to see the character's career as in the 1-10 range, maybe a little bit longer - so I'm very hesitant about anything where they are 40%+ through their story before the stats capture their basic flavour and concept.


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Seisho wrote:


So while those players may not be able to do what they have done I have to ask: is it really that bad that one cant have such a muddled combnation?

Its bad to restrict choice & variety just because some players might build messed up characters with it.


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delbert thompson wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
Charlaquin wrote:
Ooh! I just realized that this effectively allows people who want a spellcasting ranger to get it with a couple Class Feats by taking the Druid archetype. Or heck, if you want to go really old school, splash some Wizard Archetype Feats in there too!
That's a good point. I was hoping ranger would have class feats that could give it casting if you wanted, but functionally multiclassing into druid works as well.

Eyup.

No reason to have a Ranger spell list if they can just yoink it from someone else. Wait....

And I'm sure someone will come along and say that the spell list was junk anyway so what's the big deal.

Me. I will say it. Ranger and Paladin both had rubbish spell lists. With the new spell systems in place they can roll them into divine and natural spell lists as appropriate, while leaving the option to still attain a spell list. Personally I though the spell-less archetypes for both Ranger and Paladin were far more interesting than having a tiny spell list, particularly the Paladin one.

Back in D&D 3rd Edition and the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, the ranger received a bunch of second=hand divine spells that did not fit the ranger's combat style nor survival methods. Summon Nature's Ally I was too weak for 4th level or higher. What was a ranger supposed to do with Detect Snares & Pits? I just stuck with a few utility spells, such as Longstrider for journeys and Endure Elements for harsh climates. Cure Light Wounds as a 2nd-level ranger spell let the ranger use wands of CLW, but he seldom prepared it in his own spell slots. I never reached 11th levels of ranger, so I never tried the 3rd-level ranger spells.

Then the Advanced Player's Guide was published, with a new set of ranger spells designed for the ranger: Gravity Bow and Lead Blades to aid weapon damage, Aspect of the Falcon for better archery, Hunter's Howl for a one-shot +2 favored enemies bonus. I heard from other players that 3rd-level Instant Enemy, the scaling one-shot favored enemy bonus, was a must-have spell.

If the PF2 ranger is going to multiclass to gain access to divine or primal spells, what is that chance that those spell lists will have spells that work well with the ranger's abilities?

I had a similar problem with my high-level bloodrager last year. She had gained 3rd- and 4th-level spells, but did not like the selection. Why cast Ball Lightning or Phantasmal Killer when she can kill opponents just fine with her sword? What is Countless Eyes (can't be flanked) doing on the spell list of a class that learns Improved Uncanny Dodge before learning 3rd-level spells? Her skald and magus friends could more easily afford the slot to cast Haste on the party. She found a few useful spells, such as Burrow and Heroism and Monstrous Physique II, and she needed only a few, but the bloodrager spell list struck me as better for a character that wanted to damage with spells rather than with rage.


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JulianW wrote:
Seisho wrote:


So while those players may not be able to do what they have done I have to ask: is it really that bad that one cant have such a muddled combnation?
Its bad to restrict choice & variety just because some players might build messed up characters with it.

It might be a oint of perpective but I don't feel restricred at all by the new system, on the contrary, for me this opens up so many possibilities that were simply impossible to make work in pf1


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JulianW wrote:
Seisho wrote:


So while those players may not be able to do what they have done I have to ask: is it really that bad that one cant have such a muddled combnation?

Its bad to restrict choice & variety just because some players might build messed up characters with it.

Or, one person's "muddled combination" is another's finely wrought gem.


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And the circle is complete.

Who would have thought that after 10 threads, over 200 class concepts, having an entire Paizo book very familiarly deal with our concept repackaged as Hybrids and the end of an edition, Paizo would use the incredibly clunky name we foolishly clung to for years.

Multiclass Archetypes. From 2011 to 2018.


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So at 2nd level, instead of being a first level x and 1st level wizard, you are now a 2nd level x with a feat that doesn't give you a 1st level wizard's abilities, and then you can spend three feats at 4th level to closer resemble the wizard concept you couldn't reach at 1st level, in between 2nd and 4th (so 3rd and 4th) to be a 3rd level wizard. Do you even have three feats to spend at 4th level? If you do, wow, pity you couldn't just be a 1 x/3 wizard and use all those feats for...anything else!?! (i get one of those Feat 4s is essentially a gateway to Wizard feats, but still...

More feats. Or as rainzax wants me to call them: "choices". But my main choice, to choose to be two or more classes is not possible in this [playtest] system.

This is not multiclassing. It's ersatz cherrypicking with feats, and disappointing in the extreme.

So, given the books are likely almost here, this is my tally:

Pros: action economy, weapon dice/special abilities, criticals, sorcerors

Cons: backgrounds, resonance, "archetypes", "multiclassing", druid orders

I'll go back though my posts and see if I can find some more Pros, because they aren't weighing nearly as much as the Cons.

Now I know this is but a playtest, but it feels a lot like Feat-test of PF2, and it really feels crap to me. Luckily the group I'll playtest with are mostly novices, so the only one annoyed will be me. So the real playtest will be of they find anything grating or counter intuitive - free from my bias and edition carryover nonsense. I'll report their feedback faithfully and present mine with observed bias.

But personally, I'm pretty unhappy with this direction.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My first reaction when I heard about this system (because of a leak thread) was simple anger.

Because it reminded me too much of VMC which I despise, because I saw that the multiclass characters I did in PF1 would not be feasible (or would not feel the same), because I was extremely angry at the leak phenomenon, and because other posters had guessed it would be this kind of system and I did not want to believe it.

This is the very first thing in PF2 that elicited such a negative emotion in me. It is also the very first blog thread where I read almost all posts (except those that lost me when getting technical on 4e MC).

I admit that Mark's answers on this thread, as well as the many debates here, mollified my views.

I see very clearly how this system makes all multiclass-like archetypes unnecessary. And I see how it actually makes caster's MC not the trap it usually was in PF1. Ditto for martials that dipped into 3/4 BAB classes.

What I still dislike (and hope will change) :

- That you MUST plan your multiclass early on, maybe even from creation. If you created a character that dumped INT and would later make sense to go into Wizard, you are stuck for however long it will take to raise it to 16, or maybe forever if the career change happens late in life. Mark implied that retraining could affect your stats, so maybe it will not be that hard. I hope so

Actually the stat requirement is troubling because as many have said there is no such requirement in the base classes, and it seems almost no such requirement in the entire system except for archetypes.
Also it seems to pigeonhole the role of stats for classes : want to be a part-Fighter, get high STR. But what about a DEX-based character then ? Why restrict them from gaining Fighter goodies that apparently do not depend on high STR ?

- The early planning thing also stings for characters that start with a certain class for a few levels then decide to branch into another one completely. Because then they should really have started with the second one and get the first one as MC. But the player did not know it at creation time. I read many posters saying GM will help, but I sincerely hope there is a system in place (maybe retraining) that enables it, rather than have a poor GM trying to create something from scratch and hoping it does not wreck the character's and party's balance

- That it competes with archetypes. Not all archetypes can be done with class feats, skill feats or MC feats. Why remove the ability of MC so far from these archetypes' reach compared to base classes ? Maybe MC dedication and non-MC dedication should be followed (and restricted) separately ?

- 3 class feats total before branching into another MC makes it 6 levels IIRC. That is almost a third of your adventuring career if you go 20. Half of your career in PFS. Would it be that unbalancing to make it 2 feats only ? I feel this would open more possibilities while still making all-around dips impossible

Finally, I realize that I love my single PFS PC, who multiclassed heavily in an attempt to be a STR-dumping frontliner aiming for the Halfling Opportunist Prestige Class. He was mostly inept at DPR but covered for it with a great variety of abilities supplemented by wands, lot of wands.

I feel that this kind of useful but not-so-efficient character that was great fun to play will not have its place in PF2, because the system aims for overall efficiency for all characters, no matter how you build them, at some cost in character concepts that could somehow hold their own in a fight but were not really efficient

I guess that is the price to pay to ensure that new players can fully play what they envision and still feel that they fully contribute to the party's victory. So be it then. We need to get more new blood and fresh ideas in this game of ours if we want it to have a future :-)


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I am quite optimistic about feat chains being the way multiclassing is being handled in Pathfinder 2e. The wizard multiclass seems quite similar to 5e's Magic Initiate and Ritual Caster, though I see the wizard multiclass's best use as adding noncombat utility to characters such as barbarians and fighters, who might struggle with noncombat utility otherwise.

For one, it allows designers to create class options without worrying about dippability. For two, it allows any abilities gained via multiclassing to actually be level-appropriate and scale properly. For three, it enables main class abilities remain level-appropriate and to remain scaling properly.

This is superior to Pathfinder Unchained's variant multiclassing, because it allows a character to either dabble just a little, or dedicate themselves to their secondary class. This is superior to 4e's multiclassing, because it makes multiclass feats beyond the entry feat actually worthwhile, rather than sideways swaps.

However, I am worried about the ability score prerequisites. Requiring a 16 in an ability score seems like a brutal limitation, and it makes it difficult for, say, barbarians and fighters to pick up a progression in noncombat utility magic to give themselves something to do outside of battle. Perhaps the prerequisite should merely be 14?


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One cool thing about this is that two feats can change any spell point caster’s pool. While I’m not sure how the DCs work, a Paladin can probably take two feats to get a Wisdom-based pool from Cleric, and a Monk can spend two feats to get an Int pool from Wizard. It also adds one to your pool


Colette Brunel wrote:


....it allows designers to create class options without worrying about dippability. For two, it allows any abilities gained via multiclassing to actually be level-appropriate and scale properly. For three, it enables main class abilities remain level-appropriate and to remain scaling properly.

Excellent points. And I can applaud those three functions.

Colette Brunel wrote:
This is superior to Pathfinder Unchained's variant multiclassing, because it allows a character to either dabble just a little, or dedicate themselves to their secondary class.

I like this.

Colette Brunel wrote:

This is superior to 4e's multiclassing, because it makes multiclass feats beyond the entry feat actually worthwhile, rather than sideways swaps.

I don't understand this, but that is probably ok.


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I reread the whole and kinda stumbled upon something in the wording.
The Wizard dedication feat says you get two cantrips and doesn't state anything about their power.

The basic Spellcasting tells that Cantrips, Spell Powers etc are scaling at half you level.

I guess the info how all the wizard related stuff scales should be in the dedication feat (or individual in the feats with only the stuff its relevant too listed)

It also opens up the question what the cantrips strength is withoug basic spellcasting

and how well half your level is when you want to use cantrips in high level


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Seisho wrote:

I reread the whole and kinda stumbled upon something in the wording.

The Wizard dedication feat says you get two cantrips and doesn't state anything about their power.

The basic Spellcasting tells that Cantrips, Spell Powers etc are scaling at half you level.

I guess the info how all the wizard related stuff scales should be in the dedication feat (or individual in the feats with only the stuff its relevant too listed)

It also opens up the question what the cantrips strength is withoug basic spellcasting

and how well half your level is when you want to use cantrips in high level

Cantrips always scale to your highest spell level, or half your level rounded up if you don’t have spell slots. (That’s the same as the highest spell level of any of the casters.) because you’re getting spell slots slower, the second feat has to keep your cantrips from getting weaker.


yeah it seems like there has to be a better way of saying this and points to the issue of level for everything. It looks like they have gotten rid of the wording of caster level, but that only seems to confuse people further because their caster level (MC or not) is always = character level.

I guess the wording is important for spells like detect magic that you need to know that it is not a 0th level spell it is a spell heightened automatically to your highest level of spell known, for the sake of what you can detect with it.

I get it, but it is definitely confusing for folks used to PF1 wording.


Thanks Quid

Hmm... I thought about characters taking dedication and then mostly powers etc - so they would stop growing at half level if one doesnt take further spellcasting feats? that would be kind of a bummer tbh.
If thats the case I hope there are some possiblities to leverage that (like for example the pf1 feat that allows to increase the effective level when calculating your animal companion strength)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Seisho wrote:

Thanks Quid

Hmm... I thought about characters taking dedication and then mostly powers etc - so they would stop growing at half level if one doesnt take further spellcasting feats? that would be kind of a bummer tbh.
If thats the case I hope there are some possiblities to leverage that (like for example the pf1 feat that allows to increase the effective level when calculating your animal companion strength)

No.

Cantrip scaling is only a problem if you have other spell slots. You only have other spell slots if you take that feat for spell slots. (If your class has casting, that progresses at the full rate.)


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Seisho wrote:

Thanks Quid

Hmm... I thought about characters taking dedication and then mostly powers etc - so they would stop growing at half level if one doesnt take further spellcasting feats? that would be kind of a bummer tbh.
If thats the case I hope there are some possiblities to leverage that (like for example the pf1 feat that allows to increase the effective level when calculating your animal companion strength)

The wording's pretty bad, but your Cantrips/Powers don't "stop growing" at half level.

Their Spell Level is equal to half your character level, rounded up. So a Fighter 7 with Wizard Dedication has Cantrips/Powers that are automatically scaled to 4th spell level (7/2= 3.5, rounded up to 4). Which is the same level of spell you'd be able to cast if you were a full Wizard/Cleric/etc; of the same level.

Or to put it in a simpler way: your Cantrips/Powers will always scale at full power. This isn't like the PF1 Ranger Animal Companion, to use your example.

If you take Wizard Dedication and Arcane School, but never touch Basic Wizard Spellcasting, your Cantrips/School Power will always be as powerful as if you were a full Wizard.


Okay thanks again for the explanation

But it'S rather weird that cantrips and powers effectively are weaker if you pick up MC spellcasting and dont go fully through with it


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Seisho wrote:

Okay thanks again for the explanation

But it'S rather weird that cantrips and powers effectively are weaker if you pick up MC spellcasting and dont go fully through with it

It is weird that your cantrips could be cast as 8th level spells if you are a 16th level, even if you don't have the ability to cast 8th level spells, is how I think that would work.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Also it seems to pigeonhole the role of stats for classes : want to be a part-Fighter, get high STR. But what about a DEX-based character then ? Why restrict them from gaining Fighter goodies that apparently do not depend on high STR ?

Has anything explicitly said the Fighter Dedication feat will require 16 STR? I sort of assume that Fighters would be picking either STR or DEX.


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Seisho wrote:

Okay thanks again for the explanation

But it'S rather weird that cantrips and powers effectively are weaker if you pick up MC spellcasting and dont go fully through with it

They aren't though. That's what this line in Basic Spellcasting is for:

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

It's basically saying you keep max Spell Level Cantrips/Powers (Spell Level = half-character level) even though you shouldn't.

What is weird is what Unicore says; being able to cast 8th level cantrips without being able to cast 8th level spells.

And I wonder how this interacts with 10th level slots. Do Classes with Wizard Dedication get 10th level Cantrips/Powers when they hit 19th?

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