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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Ragni wrote:

I understand(don't agree it's needed but understand) that they want to limit power-gaming/prevent trap builds but would allowing us to take an archetype dedication and a multi-class dedication with out taking 3 in the 1st really be that open to power-gaming ? I just can't get over the situation it causes. I'm repeating myself somewhat but I felt I explained it poorly last time.

Lets say there is a baker archetype, its 1st feat gives you bake cake action you take it at lvl2, then at lvl4 you can't learn to be a ranger because you need to learn to bake cookies and bread before hand. Where as if you had taken any class feat at lvl2 I could learn it fine. Why would learning to bake instead of to hit harder stop me learning the basics of another class?

I think the general idea behind archetypes in this style is "concepts that aren't distinct enough to warrant a class". So it's like getting into another class, but on its own the archetype doesn't warrant one.


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tivadar27 wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
rainzax wrote:


To be fair, I cringe too every time I see the word "feat" - but then I remember that it basically boils down to a "character choice", which is a good thing. Also, I can't think of a better name. Abilities? Powers? Features?

Someone in a thread proposed we could, at the very least, demarcate class feats, general feats, skill feats, and ancestry feats a little better by calling each one a different thing.

-Class talents
-General feats (or just Feats)
-Skill unlocks
-Ancestry traits

The change would be pretty cosmetic, as they'd all amount to the same thing and all follow similar rules, but it might help with organization and help us all not be overwhelmed by feats.

That seems like redundant demarcation to me. You are already have the adjective.
I tend to agree, but there are many who would disagree. Just like I go cross-eyed when adding eight or nine different integers but plenty of people can do it instantly in their heads. Or our earlier disagreements on whether the little action symbols are as helpful as advertised (now that I have a full example of them, I can flat guarantee I will read a three action activity as two, at least at first, but I believe you that you won't make that mistake). Sometimes a little extra differentiation is all someone needs to make the concept easier to grasp, and different people will have that threshold at different places.
Agreed here. People tend to remember nouns and forget adjectives. "Ohh you can spend a feat on that" is something that could get very confusing depending on what bin that feat falls into. Naming these differently might help that, even if they do all have the same formatting. After all, we don't call them "casting feats", we call them "spells" for a reason.

And I disagree, VEY STRONGLY. I am incredibly glad that they're all Feats, and differentiated by the preceding adjective. For how my mind works, MUCH easier to sort out. But I understand that isn't the case for everyone. I just wanted to make sure that people know that some of us like it this new way.


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This does allow me to make a Sorcerer who wants to get into "real magic" by taking Wizard multiclass feats. A Sorcerer who takes Wizard levels while still keeping up their Sorcerer levels was… suboptimal in PF1.


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nohar wrote:
Alric Rahl wrote:

I think the fact that the character table clearly spells out what you get at certain levels and each category of feats is going to be in a different part of the book then the way it is now is fine. We are just gonna have to get used to it.

Oh look I get a class feat at level 3 let’s go look at my class section. Oh now I get a general feat at level 4 let’s go look at the general feat section. Oh now I’m level 5 I get an ancestry feat I’ll go look at the human section since that’s what I am. This isn’t confusing at all

it really depends on how the feat section is organized...in 1e you had a giant chapter of feats organized alphabetically that you had to sift through to actually find feats you qualify for...if they do that here it will be a nightmare...if they are organized by class or ancestry or archetype and then by level and further in chains by prerequisite that will be much more useful...just a table at the beginning isn't good enough...it's too much to cross reference when the entire system is feat-based

Yeah, organization is going to be really important. If its organized like PF1, it's going to be incredibly frustrating. There are at least a half-dozen different ways to do it, and all of them bring drawbacks.

Hopefully nothing gets organized like the Starfinder weapons table. By damage type rather than by level was just baffling, and one of the least useful ways of organizing a table.

But the super massive table and just an alphabetical sprawl of feats that PF1 currently uses isn't going to work for this system.

On the other hand, organizing everything into individual tiny little subcategories (each individual race, each individual class, each individual dedication) makes cross reference difficult.

Classes are big enough and robust enough that the feats should be divided up by class, by ancestry feats should be a collective section, and skills should be another.


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Meophist wrote:
This does allow me to make a Sorcerer who wants to get into "real magic" by taking Wizard multiclass feats. A Sorcerer who takes Wizard levels while still keeping up their Sorcerer levels was… suboptimal in PF1.

Only because things like the Ultimate Magus prestige class (Sorc/Wizard equivalent of Mystic Theurge) never had a version appear in PF. . . ditto for the Druid/Wizard one (Arcane Hierophant) and the Cleric/Necromancer (True Necromancer). . .


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I have to say, I provisionally withdraw my objections to the multi-class/archetype clash.
The way I see it, there are 3 main reasons for picking archetypes in pf1:
1) for background reasons. Your character went through this background where it just makes sense to pick this archetype
2) for differentiation purposes. What's the difference between my bard and any other bard? I'm a bard (archaeologist).
3) optimisation. While this does include powergaming, there are times a certain archetype is just a straight up upgrade you'd be foolish not to take.

Much depends on how much these are covered by class feats. If they are, it would be no problem multi-classing at 2nd. It would feel slightly unsatisfying not to be able to put a label on your character that automatically differentiated you, but it's something I could learn to live with if class feats (and skill feats, ancestry feats, etc) step up.

I have to admit, the way multi-classing is implemented in and of itself is very good. Personally, I think ranger/,wizard multi-classes will become popular because of the importance of winning initiative for a caster, enabling them to e.g. buff fighters before they attack or cast fireball before the combat zone gets crowded with allies.


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willuwontu wrote:
They've said that the reason they didn't include class specific archetypes in the playtest is they already know how they work (from PF1, so presumably they'll only replace class features and nit eat class feats.), where as the archetypes in the playtest will only be general ones that anyone can take.

This is really all you need to very strongly suspect that class specific archetypes are eventually coming back.


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Quote:
3) optimisation. While this does include powergaming, there are times a certain archetype is just a straight up upgrade you'd be foolish not to take.

This is a big problem I see with this feat system. Taking a dedication feat (and even some later feats, like the spellcasting) IS a straight upgrade over a normal feat. Equal to 3-5 other feats according to Mark for fighter dedication, and getting 4 spell slots rather than 3 (for multiple levels) seems obviously better than the norm.

So at the moment, not multiclassing seems like a foolish decision for all characters.

The problem for the playtest with only 4 classes getting dedication feats, many characters will have to twist their stats around to take a dedication. In the full version, with dedication feats for all classes, it is going to be much, much easier to grab something. Almost all characters will have another class that shares a 'primary' stat.

Possibly to the point that things like fighter/barbarians and paladin/sorcerers become a default assumption. It seems vital to point out that 12 dedication feats will make the system far more usable (and abusable) than 4.


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I wonder though if it's an actual 1-to-5 trade. A fighter dedication might be equal to 3-5 general feats, but not necessarily that many class feats. This is an instance where being clear on what bucket Mark meant would have been helpful.


Traditionally there wasn't a penalty for entering a Prestige Class. But as to why we cannot 'serially dedicate' between categories I think it is because it allows 'triple-dipping' by 6th level in addition to your base class; thus having four classes worth of entry level scaling benefits at once. Which sounds damn broken if any of the Basic and Prestige Dedications are synergistic. 'One-Dip-At-A-Time' might be a hard line for this edition for good reason.


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Cantriped wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

In PF 1 the Pirate archetype gave Sea Legs as a bonus feat at 1st level (otherwise required 5 ranks in Profession sailor), and at level 2 gave Swinging Reposition which is an ability that isn't particularly duplicated elsewhere to my knowledge.

So, yes, you could take Level 1 Rogue (Pirate), level 2 Wizard and be that 3 part combination right away, then level 3 in Rogue (2nd level Rogue- Pirate) and have the core ability that the Pirate wants to get.

You misunderstand the point, and responded with a non-sequiter.

To rephrase: You cannot 'tri-class' Rogue/Expert/Wizard at 2nd level. This is equivalent to that.

Taking "Pirate Dedication" or any other archetype is functionally equivalent to taking class-levels in a non-prestige, non-base class in PF1... except without all the horrible, character-destroying penalties.

Right. So when can we see some real archetypes the New? Because according to you all we have gotten thus far are prestige classes. Archetypes are one of Pathfinder's most popular concepts. Surely they will be in the playtest?

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Cantriped wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

In PF 1 the Pirate archetype gave Sea Legs as a bonus feat at 1st level (otherwise required 5 ranks in Profession sailor), and at level 2 gave Swinging Reposition which is an ability that isn't particularly duplicated elsewhere to my knowledge.

So, yes, you could take Level 1 Rogue (Pirate), level 2 Wizard and be that 3 part combination right away, then level 3 in Rogue (2nd level Rogue- Pirate) and have the core ability that the Pirate wants to get.

You misunderstand the point, and responded with a non-sequiter.

To rephrase: You cannot 'tri-class' Rogue/Expert/Wizard at 2nd level. This is equivalent to that.

Taking "Pirate Dedication" or any other archetype is functionally equivalent to taking class-levels in a non-prestige, non-base class in PF1... except without all the horrible, character-destroying penalties.

Right. So when can we see some real archetypes the New? Because according to you all we have gotten thus far are prestige classes. Archetypes are one of Pathfinder's most popular concepts. Surely they will be in the playtest?

Archetypes are Pathfinder's most popular and played concept. Why would it need to be playtested?


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Spell's are Pathfinder's most popular and played concept. Why would it need to be playtested?


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Feats are Pathfinder's most popular and played concept. Why would it need to be playtested?


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KingOfAnything wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Cantriped wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

In PF 1 the Pirate archetype gave Sea Legs as a bonus feat at 1st level (otherwise required 5 ranks in Profession sailor), and at level 2 gave Swinging Reposition which is an ability that isn't particularly duplicated elsewhere to my knowledge.

So, yes, you could take Level 1 Rogue (Pirate), level 2 Wizard and be that 3 part combination right away, then level 3 in Rogue (2nd level Rogue- Pirate) and have the core ability that the Pirate wants to get.

You misunderstand the point, and responded with a non-sequiter.

To rephrase: You cannot 'tri-class' Rogue/Expert/Wizard at 2nd level. This is equivalent to that.

Taking "Pirate Dedication" or any other archetype is functionally equivalent to taking class-levels in a non-prestige, non-base class in PF1... except without all the horrible, character-destroying penalties.

Right. So when can we see some real archetypes the New? Because according to you all we have gotten thus far are prestige classes. Archetypes are one of Pathfinder's most popular concepts. Surely they will be in the playtest?
Archetypes are Pathfinder's most popular and played concept. Why would it need to be playtested?

Because if the rest of the system is changing, then I think it would be reasonable to test how well classic archetypes work in this new system. Granted, I'm not super worried about them, but I do think this is one of the places where just assuming something that worked in 1e will be able to be ported wholly to 2e could come back to bite them, if they're not careful. Since it's not like they can just unprint classes if they discover issues, like if for instance, rogues don't have enough going for them, just based on class features, to have sufficient recourse if they want to print a sneak-attackless rogue archetype.

Granted, it's hard to test all cases that might be problems, but I think just assuming is dangerous.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Spell's are Pathfinder's most popular and played concept. Why would it need to be playtested?

To see how they work in the new success/fail system.

Also, I don't know how a playtest would work if you took out the basics. Archetypes are not a must. Having feats and spells (If a magic user, anyway) are.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Feats are Pathfinder's most popular and played concept. Why would it need to be playtested?

See above.


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The reason (my guesses and assumptions) they're not playtesting classic archetypes is, while pf2 is a new system, they have a wealth of experience with classic archetypes, and don't want them to distract from the general archetypes that are in the book, of which they have almost no experience designing and implementing. Based on the playtest they might change what and how they grant abilities and bonuses and so on.

obtuseness for the sake of being obtuse wrote:
Spell's are Pathfinder's most popular and played concept. Why would it need to be playtested?

Because spells are undergoing a unified change with the removal of caster level as a factor and how heightening works. Also despite this change there aren't old spells coming back using pf1 casting, whereas for archetypes that is both possible and highly likely.

more obtuseness for the sake of it wrote:
Feats are Pathfinder's most popular and played concept. Why would it need to be playtested?

Go ahead and run the playtest without them since you don't think that they need to be playtested. I feel that since there's new feats and they're a part of the system and not distracting from anything else it's fine to include them.

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Combat Monster wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Spell's are Pathfinder's most popular and played concept. Why would it need to be playtested?

To see how they work in the new success/fail system.

Also, I don't know how a playtest would work if you took out the basics. Archetypes are not a must. Having feats and spells (If a magic user, anyway) are.

This. They are changing how spells and feats actually work. We don't need to change anything about PF1 archetypes for them to work with the new system.


ENHenry wrote:
Temperans wrote:
Stuff about PF1 MC posibilty using Zen Archer/Fighter/Arcane Archer/and a lv of some Archer Bard or Eldritch Archer for pre req as an example.
While it is a cool concept, in play this is one of the types of multiclassing build that is no fun for anyone but the player of the super-sniper in play. The sniper can kill things from literally several combat mats away, with no harm, while the other players get results reported in with no challenge. The GM basically sets up straw targets for sniper to shoot, or (just as bad) has all the action take place in enclosed spaces with anti-missile magics, where the thing the character specked for is useless, and then the character sits out on the fun. While I like the 3e multiclassing simplicity, there are too many specialized archetypes and prestige classes in PF1 than can be mixed together to make characters with abilities that no designer can foresee and balance for.

While it sounds easy and very much like it could deal a ton of dmg, the actual stats are very underwhelming at max of ~+3 to hit at max range ~3k ft, with a max dmg of ~1d8+12. Feat wise if I had not use Zen Archer my build would be dead in the water as I need 12 feat just to get the archery feats I want going (thx you Zen Archer) and at least 2 feats for natural flight. Anyways the real benefit of this character is being able to scout from 3.5k ft in the air and essentially become a spy plane. close range is not a problem due to Zen Archer.

ENHenry wrote:
Temperans wrote:
The ability req however seems kind of strange as you could make a 10 int wizard and still play the class (probably not best) but can't multiclass wizard? The other possible problem is that the gains are probably too good compared to the low cost. Using the wizard MC as an example: You gain 8 lv spell for 4 feats, or you can spend the feats for 4 powers that are probably meh compared to 6th+ lv spells.
The 10 INT wizard vs. 16 INT multiclassing can be explained in-game by the idea that, if someone spent years training for something, they can overcome a lack of natural talent, to some extent. However, if...

Yeah the explanation that makes sense and the dinamic might work overall, but it just feels weird, you know? Do notice I said "it seems kind of strange", not "it is strange" or (much worse) "it's [insert negative word here]".

Im just glad the stat req is itself not more than a speed bump.


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Do we know how classic archetypes will work in the new system? Will they be the exact way that PF1e archetypes work? In that they aren't modular and replace abilities in a set order? Will they restrict what "feat chain archetypes" and multiclassing you can take? Will they result in overpowered combinations when combined with feat chain archetypes and multiclassing?

We don't actually know how they will interact with the larger ruleset. We're just pretending to. The rules have completely changes from PF1e which will change how rules elements interact with each other.

I don't know when we will get the classic archetypes. But I won't be surprised if they are featured in a playtest first. Which means the second year hardcover at the earliest.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:

Do we know how classic archetypes will work in the new system? Will they be the exact way that PF1e archetypes work? In that they aren't modular and replace abilities in a set order? Will they restrict what "feat chain archetypes" and multiclassing you can take? Will they result in overpowered combinations when combined with feat chain archetypes and multiclassing?

We don't actually know how they will interact with the larger ruleset. We're just pretending to. The rules have completely changes from PF1e which will change how rules elements interact with each other.

I don't know when we will get the classic archetypes. But I won't be surprised if they are featured in a playtest first. Which means the second year hardcover at the earliest.

We've had Barbarian rage powers, Oracle revelations and Rogue talents for as long as we've had archetypes. I think we have a handle on how modular design and static changes overlap.


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There is still design space for archetypes that morph something specific in a class. However, putting out several of them for each class would take a pretty big footprint in the playtest book, and the thing we have less testing on is these types of archetypes anyone can take.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:

Do we know how classic archetypes will work in the new system? Will they be the exact way that PF1e archetypes work? In that they aren't modular and replace abilities in a set order? Will they restrict what "feat chain archetypes" and multiclassing you can take? Will they result in overpowered combinations when combined with feat chain archetypes and multiclassing?

We don't actually know how they will interact with the larger ruleset. We're just pretending to. The rules have completely changes from PF1e which will change how rules elements interact with each other.

I don't know when we will get the classic archetypes. But I won't be surprised if they are featured in a playtest first. Which means the second year hardcover at the earliest.

We've had Barbarian rage powers, Oracle revelations and Rogue talents for as long as we've had archetypes. I think we have a handle on how modular design and static changes overlap.

Only if you for some reason assume the broad and specific system changes elsewhere will have no effect, which is a terrible assumption to make for testing.


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Voss wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:

Do we know how classic archetypes will work in the new system? Will they be the exact way that PF1e archetypes work? In that they aren't modular and replace abilities in a set order? Will they restrict what "feat chain archetypes" and multiclassing you can take? Will they result in overpowered combinations when combined with feat chain archetypes and multiclassing?

We don't actually know how they will interact with the larger ruleset. We're just pretending to. The rules have completely changes from PF1e which will change how rules elements interact with each other.

I don't know when we will get the classic archetypes. But I won't be surprised if they are featured in a playtest first. Which means the second year hardcover at the earliest.

We've had Barbarian rage powers, Oracle revelations and Rogue talents for as long as we've had archetypes. I think we have a handle on how modular design and static changes overlap.
Only if you for some reason assume the broad and specific system changes elsewhere will have no effect, which is a terrible assumption to make for testing.

Time constraints and space lead to not including them.

There is still design space for archetypes that morph something specific in a class. However, putting out several of them for each class would take a pretty big footprint in the playtest book, and the thing we have less testing on is these types of archetypes anyone can take.

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Voss wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:

Do we know how classic archetypes will work in the new system? Will they be the exact way that PF1e archetypes work? In that they aren't modular and replace abilities in a set order? Will they restrict what "feat chain archetypes" and multiclassing you can take? Will they result in overpowered combinations when combined with feat chain archetypes and multiclassing?

We don't actually know how they will interact with the larger ruleset. We're just pretending to. The rules have completely changes from PF1e which will change how rules elements interact with each other.

I don't know when we will get the classic archetypes. But I won't be surprised if they are featured in a playtest first. Which means the second year hardcover at the earliest.

We've had Barbarian rage powers, Oracle revelations and Rogue talents for as long as we've had archetypes. I think we have a handle on how modular design and static changes overlap.
Only if you for some reason assume the broad and specific system changes elsewhere will have no effect, which is a terrible assumption to make for testing.

Not no effect, but predictable effects. That makes their testing priority much lower than things that have not actually been widely played. As willuwontu reiterated, they take up a lot of space for relatively low applicability. They are high-cost, low-priority for testing. Easy call to cut.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:

Do we know how classic archetypes will work in the new system? Will they be the exact way that PF1e archetypes work? In that they aren't modular and replace abilities in a set order? Will they restrict what "feat chain archetypes" and multiclassing you can take? Will they result in overpowered combinations when combined with feat chain archetypes and multiclassing?

We don't actually know how they will interact with the larger ruleset. We're just pretending to. The rules have completely changes from PF1e which will change how rules elements interact with each other.

I don't know when we will get the classic archetypes. But I won't be surprised if they are featured in a playtest first. Which means the second year hardcover at the earliest.

We've had Barbarian rage powers, Oracle revelations and Rogue talents for as long as we've had archetypes. I think we have a handle on how modular design and static changes overlap.

Great. SO why do we need feats again? After all we've had general feats, skill unlocks, rogue talents (rebranded as feats) and even feat chains. I think we have a handle on how modular design and static changes overlap.

There's a lot in this playtest that is very familiar. The only thing being singled out by fans (Mark's post doesn't say they don't need playtesting, he says other things need playtesting for the core rulebook release) as not needing testing are classic archetypes. I personally don't know how they will interact with the new multiclassing rules (in fact no-one does. Perhaps not even Paizo if they haven't gotten around to building any yet). So trying to say they don't need playtesting when even Paizo admits they do seems presumptuous at best.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:

Do we know how classic archetypes will work in the new system? Will they be the exact way that PF1e archetypes work? In that they aren't modular and replace abilities in a set order? Will they restrict what "feat chain archetypes" and multiclassing you can take? Will they result in overpowered combinations when combined with feat chain archetypes and multiclassing?

We don't actually know how they will interact with the larger ruleset. We're just pretending to. The rules have completely changes from PF1e which will change how rules elements interact with each other.

I don't know when we will get the classic archetypes. But I won't be surprised if they are featured in a playtest first. Which means the second year hardcover at the earliest.

We've had Barbarian rage powers, Oracle revelations and Rogue talents for as long as we've had archetypes. I think we have a handle on how modular design and static changes overlap.

Great. SO why do we need feats again? After all we've had general feats, skill unlocks, rogue talents (rebranded as feats) and even feat chains. I think we have a handle on how modular design and static changes overlap.

There's a lot in this playtest that is very familiar. The only thing being singled out by fans (Mark's post doesn't say they don't need playtesting, he says other things need playtesting for the core rulebook release) as not needing testing are classic archetypes. I personally don't know how they will interact with the new multiclassing rules (in fact no-one does. Perhaps not even Paizo if they haven't gotten around to building any yet). So trying to say they don't need playtesting when even Paizo admits they do seems presumptuous at best.

Don't put words in my mouth. That archetypes don't need to be in the public playtest is not to say that they shouldn't be (internally) playtested.


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This of course is a very big tangent as a result of people wanting to pretend that the Pirate Archetype is a prestige class. It isn't. We have Gray Maidens as an example of a Prestige Class. Pirate is an actual archetype and under the new multiclassing rules you get to choose whether or not you want to multiclass or take an archetype. Which is in fact less choice. Pretending otherwise does not help the discussion at hand.


I agree that it might be another year before we get PF1 style archetypes because if it isn't going to fit in the playtest, how is it going to fit in the CRB? Even including 2 Archetypes for every class would probably add 20+ pages. In that light, it is probably unlikely we will see their new class-less archetypes either because they are going to need space for the 8 additional Multi-class feat chains that the game will be dead in the water with out. My guess is that the Archetype thing as a whole is something they really want stress tested and the Class-less archetypes are so new they will probably need 2 rounds of play-testing before they are ready to be officially codified.

Personally, I would rather that be the case. We know we have two more full APs for PF 1 coming out and possibly some more modules as well.
If the PF2 core rule book doesn't give enough options to make you feel ready to switch, there is probably enough material for you to go at least 2 years past the release of the PF2 rule book, and by then, the game will probably have a lot of this stuff more closely figured out.

A really big issue for Pathfinder though seems like it might be branding of its new ideas. Right now people seem really confused about some of the core terminology. Hopefully the new rulebook blows us away with the way it explains all these changes to us, or at least, with the expanded word count, we will get a better picture of the things that keep confusing us in the blogs (somatic casting actions, feats+feet of feats, Casting cantrips at spell levels with full character level, etc.)

With Archetypes and Multiclassing, it almost seems like the flexibility of the class design is holding a lot of players back from seeing just how many customized concepts will be able to fit in base classes with specific class feat options, or not. It is a play test of one book for a game that has 10 years of expansions. Once we see the full list of each classes feats and how well they are balanced against each other, we will probably have a much better sense of what concepts can be made into feats and which ones require some other dynamic.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
This of course is a very big tangent as a result of people wanting to pretend that the Pirate Archetype is a prestige class. It isn't. We have Gray Maidens as an example of a Prestige Class. Pirate is an actual archetype and under the new multiclassing rules you get to choose whether or not you want to multiclass or take an archetype. Which is in fact less choice. Pretending otherwise does not help the discussion at hand.

But it in itself is a new choice, since this kind of Archetype (the kind anyone could take) didn't exist previously.

And, maybe the archetypes that alter specific classes alter class features, and not class Feats, and will therefore not be incompatible with the other things.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
This of course is a very big tangent as a result of people wanting to pretend that the Pirate Archetype is a prestige class. It isn't. We have Gray Maidens as an example of a Prestige Class. Pirate is an actual archetype and under the new multiclassing rules you get to choose whether or not you want to multiclass or take an archetype. Which is in fact less choice. Pretending otherwise does not help the discussion at hand.

Grey maiden is not a prestige class in PF2, it is a prestige archetype.

In pf2 they got rid of multiclassing, see the dedication feat for wizard

Quote:
Archetype, Dedication, Multiclass

Everything is an archetype now aside from initial class selection.

If they truly wanted to separate archetypes and multiclassing, they could just remove the archetype tag from the multiclass feats (and change the subsequent multiclass feats to have the multiclass tag instead of archetype tag) and change the "dedication" tag to "multiclass dedication", and prevent people from taking multiclass dedication feats until the have x multiclass feats of that multiclass line.


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If we have to wait a year or two for them to feel comfortable enough with the system they have to introduce alt-classes, I think that might be for the best.

One aspect that they do have extensive enough testing on is that we as a community like the ability to swap out class features. A cleric that loses access to any domain, a rogue that doesn't get sneak attack or piles of skill feats, a fighter that gets legendary armor instead of their second variable class feat, all of those the community is ready to see and will accept whenever they get around to providing them.

These dedication archetypes on the other hand didn't exactly go over well in Starfinder, and so getting it correct or scrapping the plan altogether is possibly a more immediate concern.

As an aside, I wish they hadn't called them archetypes. I wish they had said "We aren't going to be putting out class feature altering archetypes in the playtest; instead, we are trying out a new system that is similar to an archetype for every class, called a dedication." It's a semantic difference, but acknowledging the separate concept space might have saved some friction.


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Yes and no. Traditional archetypes wont work as dedication feats because they have to kick in at 1st level to modify class features, since (EDIT:) that is the place where most of these class features exist now.

My issue right now is that multiclassing archetypes are looking really good because it looks like all of them will scale. Classless archetypes are really starting to look like a poor character's trap for rushing into something that looks like it gives several feats at once, but all of those feats might eventually become a mute point for your character, but if you have built up that archetype, it is going to take a long time to retrain out of it once your attributes allow you to qualify for a scaling multi-class feat that does what the archetype did better.


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Mbertorch wrote:
But it in itself is a new choice, since this kind of Archetype (the kind anyone could take) didn't exist previously.

Theyy aren't new though. We've had them in PF1e for a long time (and depending on what you consider them to be, we've had them since the CRB). If we consider them actual archetypes then we could take them and multiclass at the same time. If we're going to say they're different to archetypes then the closest thing they are is feat chains in which case we could still take them and multiclass at the same time (in fact we could have a archetype, multiclass AND start investing in a feat chain all by level 2 in PF1e).

Making me choose between mutliclassing or an archetype isn't giving me more choice then letting me choose whether to have an archetype/start a feat chain and whether to also multiclass or stay single classed.


willuwontu wrote:
Grey maiden is not a prestige class in PF2, it is a prestige archetype.

Prestige archetypes are the closest we have and are likely to get to prestige classes.

willuwontu wrote:
In pf2 they got rid of multiclassing, see the dedication feat for wizard

Sure. But it's the closest thing we have (and are likely to have) to multiclassing.

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Another way to look at the "classic archetype" issue: most of the PF1-style archetypes involve trading one thing for another thing of presumably equal value at fixed points in a class's progression. Part of the playtest right now is making sure that things are actually as good as they seem in a closed environment once they've been turned out to the wider world. If players are swapping out fixed features while they're also swapping out modular features, then there's no stable fixed baseline to extrapolate data from. That means that one of the best ways to playtest classic archetypes at this point in time is to not include them in the playtest so that the data is consistent and reliable, drawn from a broad enough pool of participants to firmly establish the value of the base class features. If your Fighter (tactician)/Rogue was terrible in play but that person's Fighter (tactician)/Sorcerer was amazing, and that person's Barbarian/Rogue was really good, it's not going to be clear where the actual issue was. Was it with the tactician archetype? Was it with your build? But if the playtest ensures that those main class features are fixed, it's easier to gauge whether the assumed values of those class features are accurate, which makes designing classic-style archetypes later easier.
There's not much that's going to change between systems regarding the structure; tons of classes already use a set-up where they're built around a modular flex feature at even (or odd) levels and a fixed, archetype-friendly option at odd (or even) levels. That's a simple, time-tested formula, and as long as there's good data about what the value of the options being traded is, it'll work just as well in PF2 as in PF1.


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Ssalarn wrote:
Part of the playtest right now is making sure that things are actually as good as they seem in a closed environment once they've been turned out to the wider world.

Sure. I totally get not including class archetypes in the playtest (although I think one would have been helpful to see how it interacts with the other archetypes). The point still stands that you cannot multiclass and take an archetype at the same time though. That's not great from a customisation point of view.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
Grey maiden is not a prestige class in PF2, it is a prestige archetype.

Prestige archetypes are the closest we have and are likely to get to prestige classes.

willuwontu wrote:
In pf2 they got rid of multiclassing, see the dedication feat for wizard
Sure. But it's the closest thing we have (and are likely to have) to multiclassing.

Closest thing != that thing


Essentially 2e classes are fighters, and the archetypes swap out the fighters bonus feats (class feats) for features (archetype feats), but not the class features. These archetypes are also more flexible in that they let you choose what bonus feats to replace with the restriction that you have to have x of them at minimum and if you don't have x of them by level y you can't take another archetype yet.


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willuwontu wrote:
These archetypes are also more flexible in that they let you choose what bonus feats to replace

I disagree. The previewed archetypes are feat chains that lock you out of "mutliclassing" until you reach a certain point in the feat chain.

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Ssalarn wrote:
Part of the playtest right now is making sure that things are actually as good as they seem in a closed environment once they've been turned out to the wider world.

Yeah, it is important to remember that the point of the playtest is to test things through play. Not having every point of customization in the playtest is necessary to effectively test the material.


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willuwontu wrote:
Essentially 2e classes are fighters, and the archetypes swap out the fighters bonus feats (class feats) for features (archetype feats), but not the class features. These archetypes are also more flexible in that they let you choose what bonus feats to replace with the restriction that you have to have x of them at minimum and if you don't have x of them by level y you can't take another archetype yet.

Not really?

The way these archetypes are written you essentially HAVE to swap out your class feats at 2nd/4th/6th level to get through the dedication for them.

You COULD not do so, but it seems that the system is very clear-- 2/4/6 is the RIGHT answer and doing anything else is a trap option and your character will be worse for doing it.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
These archetypes are also more flexible in that they let you choose what bonus feats to replace
I disagree. The previewed archetypes are feat chains that lock you out of "mutliclassing" until you reach a certain point in the feat chain.

They aren't feat chains, more like feat groups. Yes, they do lock out out of other archetypes, but you have freedom within them how to progress, if you want to progress at all.

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