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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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
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MerlinCross wrote:
Alric Rahl wrote:

And that is why we PLAYTEST. To find these types of things and report them. What the devs do with the information is ultimately up to them. This concept of people breaking the game is no different from people learning how to cheat at video games, or how to cheat the legal system, or be on welfare when they are perfectly fine to work. Nothing can be 100% perfect, all the devs at paizo have tried to do is to make that game breaking combo less game breaking,

I feel like when people read a blog they tend to focus on 1 or 2 things and forget all the other parts of the game. Yes a 1 Level dip into wizard nets you cantrips that scale, but you can either continue to take dedication feats or fighter feats, nothing is forcing to continue your wizard training. Since you only have access to multiclassing feats, you can’t choose any of the feats that are meant for wizard (save for the dedication feat that lets you take a wizard feat. This means a full wizard is going to have lots more options to make her single class unique, and since we don’t know what those feats are we really can’t speculate on the brokenness of multiclassing at this point. Hell a wizard might be able to take a feat such as signature spell where she can cast that spell using one less action. Being able to reduce a spell down to one action, and being able to do it because she is only a wizard (not a fighter with wizard multiclassing) is a pretty good feat in my opinion. But we don’t even know if that feat is an option, cause we just don’t have enough info yet, and we need to wait for the playtest to come out before we make any real decisions.

I for one am thrilled about all that I have read, I believe this is going to be a great game, knowing full well it isn’t going to be perfect, but that it will be better then anything I have played so far

I feel we can make real decisions. Because as I said, the game might be changing for better or for worse, the game is changing.

Why should I believe the community will?...

Do you also let other people dictate what clothes you should wear?

I've seen this worry in so many of your posts that I'm quite concerned that you're letting bullies ruin your fun and letting them dictate what kind of character or combination of classes you should play. Why is what some random person in e.g. a PFS game or on a forum thinks is badwrongfun important? Tell them to mind their own bloody character and play whatever you want.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
I know that was just an example

It was. I mean I could post my halfling bard (archetype) X/Dragon Disciple Y/Eagle Knight Z (I can't remember the exact classes he has levels in) that was most definitely viable, but then I'd get accused of being cheesy (despite the fact he is only just as powerful as your typical fighter). Suffice it to say, I do not expect to be able to recreate that character in PF2e via multiclassing (even if the Andoran prestige class was part of the playtest).

AnimatedPaper wrote:
but I really do think you are underestimating the customization the PF2 "everything is a feat" mindset does offer.

Sure. And one of the stress tests I plan on putting the playtest through is trying to make my halfling bard with the same restrictions he had when I first made him (he HAS to have 4 levels in bard as his first class). The bard specifically became a convoluted mess of classes because I found that a halfling bard wasn't really able to hold his own. So I went trawling through every splat book I could to salvage the character. He went on to become one of my favourite characters in PF1e. But had the bard been more forgiving I wouldn't have needed quite so many classes. I am hopeful I can recreate the character with him becoming a viable front line melee fighter without having to multiclass quite so much.

AnimatedPaper wrote:
The ability to create snares is a general feat. Trapfinding appears to be a rogue class feat. Poison use is a skill feat or general feat, I would imagine. I don't think the bluff bonus will carry over into PF2, but if it does it sounds like a skill feat.

We know there are going to be some abilities locked behind archetypes. Now it might not be the Spy/Trapfinder archetypes I listed above. But there will be abilities that do get locked behind them. You will not be able to gain access to those abilities AND multiclass like you can in PF1e.


Ssalarn wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

Odd question for those that really seem to love how flexible this is supposed to be.

Why do we even need classes at this point? Just double the Class Feats we get and do maybe some work on the Skills.

There, classes system that lets you build anything.

Because there's a huge difference between a fighter class that has a solid spine of fighter abilities and the ability to choose from more fighter abilities or some multiclass abilities, and a grab-bag of mechanics. Being able to play a Fighter (two-handed fighter)/Rogue without needing to lock myself out of other cool fighter stuff is sweet; I don't actually need a Two-Handed Fighter archetype, I can just take the appropriate class feats for a two-handed fighter, and even intersperse them with other abilities and skip the things I won't use. There's a humongous difference between a classless system and a system where I have a great depth of customization within a well-defined class.

A classless system takes away things like flavor, class role, world-building mechanical elements, and more. They're also generally a lot less popular, sell poorly, and are difficult for new players to get into, though each of those things individually often have at least one notable exception.

But with a classless system you can fully build that fighter as much as you want or as little. You have full customization.

I'm sorry I just find it weird that people love how much this new system seems to break down the classes into little feats and yet seem to shy away from what I see is one more step to a classless system.

Personally I find classless systems to be far to confusing so maybe people agree with me on that.


Hmm I suppose it would probably be realitvly easy to house rule a classless system with what we've seen of the rules. Now if its balanced or not is the only thing. If you try it let us know.


Who knows? Maybe in a few years, they'll release a supplement for building your own class or something.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Gavmania wrote:

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.

I would add:

4) for gameplay purposes. The archetype offers specific mechanics, or a unique spin on specific existing mechanics, that aren't readily duplicated elsewhere, and that change the game experience in interesting ways (regardless of option power level).


MerlinCross wrote:


Personally I find classless systems to be far to confusing so maybe people agree with me on that.

I'd say it's pretty much that (with a side order of sacred cow).

I remember trying to get people to play Rolemaster. And settling for MERP. And still having to do most of the work making characters. It was something of a nightmare for everyone involved (especially me), and doubled for the fact that long term, I knew perfectly well that a single wacky roll can hit the crit charts and that whole terrible process is wasted and has to start over.

Classes act as guidelines and rails, and even if people don't like the implementation or complain about this or that, knowing that class does X and values Y is super important for 'getting it.' And leveling takes care of filling in numeric gaps that particularly early on, they don't even know they need to fill.

The alternative is the white wolf system and having character creation not involve many real choices. Just throwing a handful of points at discrete categories. And people still easily find that they've made characters that can't do basic things or have horrible holes in defensive stats that actually matter. [Going by WW characters I've seen, you'd think most late 20th century americans were completely incapable of driving a car. But wow are they amazing with swords.]


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MerlinCross wrote:

Odd question for those that really seem to love how flexible this is supposed to be.

Why do we even need classes at this point? Just double the Class Feats we get and do maybe some work on the Skills.

There, classes system that lets you build anything.

Classes provide a strong conceptual baseline and mechanical framework to start from. Sure, a classless system allows you to build any character you want, but it also requires you to build that character from the ground up. Now, as a crunch gal, I’m fine with that, but a lot of players don’t want to have to put that much work into the mechanics side of their character. Classes allow those players to just say “I want to be a knight” or “I want to be a wizard,” and the class does most of that groundwork for them.

There’s also the fact that restrictions breed creativity. When your character can be anything you want, you often find yourself not knowing what you want that character to be. I love classless systems, but I do find myself making the same kinds of characters over and over, because with nearly limitless options, I just end up falling back on my go-to favorites. Classes give you a smaller number of easier to weigh options, and then Class Feats and Archetypes give you the tools to break free of the constraints of the option you pick.

There’s also the unfortunate fact that Pathfinder is a child of D&D, and being a child of D&D comes with baggage. We’ve seen what happens when a game from the D&D family tries to venture too far from player expectations. As someone who loved 4e, it is abundantly clear to me that even a well designed game will fail if it challenges too many expectations too fast. Classes are one of those things that players expect out of a D&D-family game.


A Ninja Errant wrote:
Cantriped wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
What you can't do is multiclass or even spend general feats on these feats. I'm still not seeing the flexibility.
General feats will have their own, hopefully build defining uses.
Is that confirmed? Do we know whether General feats are locked to being used only for General-type feats, or can they be re-purposed to some degree? For that matter, has anyone given any examples of what counts as a general feat? Sorry for going off-topic, just curious.

Well, Skill Feats are a subcategory of General Feats, so you can always take another one of those in General Feat levels if you want to. Other than that, we actually don’t know a ton about General Feats. I think the only example of one that’s been shown was from Ezren’s reference sheet. At 1st level he has the human ancestry feat General Training, which we know from Mark’s comments lets you take a General Feat. His General Feat is called Great Fortitude, and while the reference sheet doesn’t say exactly what that Feat does, but we can infer from the fact that he has a 14 Con and a +4 Fort save that he is an Expert in Fortitude saves, so we can assume that expertise is coming from Great Fortitude.

So, I’m guessing General Feats are effectively going to be like Skill Feats for things that aren’t Skills. Saves, Perception, weapon and armor Proficiencies, etc.


Voss wrote:
?? With the exception of the absurd grey maiden dedication (which makes it basically not worth printing), I haven't seen a single thing previewed that touches on fluff.

Let's say that everything was opened up. You could dip into as many archetypes and classes as you want. There would be little point in even having archetypes and everyone would dip into the same class to get the "must have" class feat at the appropriate level. There'd be little to no class identity left.


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John, for starters, I did not say that all cases of these things were terrible. Providing some anecdotes does not really refute my point.

Secondly, at lower levels, multiclass characters did work better. However, they began to really lag behind in power at higher levels.

Consistency and ease of use are absolutely virtues in game design. If the complexity brings with it more ways to build a character badly than not, it is absolutely not worth it.

Even as a veteran of the system I'd rather have this system than needing to figure out the optimal ratios of classes to not be weak.

Neither of us are right or wrong, I think. We want mutually exclusive goals from the game designs.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
This should mean rogues can give out DEX to Damage like candy for one or two feats on anyone, we'll see if that's good enough this edition.

I'm not a religious man, but if I were I'd be praying you're wrong.

If it is going to exist in PF2E at all, Dex2Dam needs to stay as part of the Rogue class, and not be handed out as a party favour to anyone who is willing to MC Rogue.

AnimatedPaper wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

Personally, I hope the addition of Cleric Devotion allows people to make Pseudo Paladins to fill the slot for those who wanted Holy Warriors, but couldn't do LG.

Nah, I'll just play a CG Paladin. The alignment system is meaningless as a mechanic anyways, no one will know the "LG" at the top of my sheet is a lie if I don't tell them.

It's funny, I hadn't yet decided what my fifth character class would be for doomsday dawn, but this post settled it.

So you won't actually be playtesting PF2E then? Good to know.

House rules are fine once the game is out at retail, but should be kicked to the curb for the playtest period.


From what i can see there is really nothing that stops you from using "Legacy" multiclassing other than some things might be a bit "weird" in terms of proficiencies, for the most part you could just add a level of X to your Y like before though its not completely supported.

This was kinda like a response to that one person that just had to have a character that was a Y and redeemed themselves with X class type of scenario.


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I don't understand why everyone is so bent out of shape, needing the Medicine skill to match Healing magic in speed and power. Is Athletics supposed to be able to keep pace with Transmutation magic that lets you fly? Can the Diplomacy and Bluff skill keep up with Enchantment, and Dominate and Confuse enemies while handing out big group buffs in combat?

Jeez, I hope not. I mean, I know that Legendary Proficiency starts to blur that line, but that's why I'm probably going to ban Legendary Proficiency. When a mundane skill can equal magic, then you're daring one of two things to happen - either the mundane skill might as well be magic, or the magic might as well be a mundane skill check. Either way, the magic in your fantasy setting is effectively irrelevant.

Look, roleplaying aside, tabletop RPG's are already basically just numbers on paper interacting with an RNG, interacting with more numbers on a different piece of paper; it's a reality I find myself needing to ignore sometimes already. Let's not break the system down further and make it so your numbers are the same as the other guy's numbers, and the only difference between your numbers is that your numbers have a skill label and the other guy's numbers have a magic label.

I'm not saying mundane skills shouldn't be useful; I can remember numerous times in past games where a PC died because they failed an important Swim or Acrobatics check. What I want out of my skills, though, is realism. And yes, this is a game where we have dragons, but those dragons still need to make successful Fly checks to do a simple 180 maneuver, and lots of times, they don't make them because they're so big and clumsy, so the system may have magic, but its laws of physics are still grounded in reality. The rules and limits of most skills are based on fairly real expectations. In the real world, the greatest Physician of all time (Legendary in his Proficiency) could never slap a bunch of medicine and bandages on a broken leg or lacerated chest and completely heal the patient in 6 seconds - it's just not possible. Maybe given an hour or so with the proper equipment, he could help the patient more than would otherwise ever be expected, but his patient would still need a significant amount of time to fully heal from their wound.

This is why I'm always left scratching my head why I see people demanding the Heal/Medicine skill work closer to healing magic - practically every other skill is grounded in reality; why is THIS particular skill supposed to break that mold? Adventuring endurance? Look, this is the game - it's got magic and s#it - you can't just ignore that, or prop up a mundane skill and pretend you HAVEN'T just turned the skill into magic. You wanna just head out on an adventure without a healing caster, or healing potions? You're going against the game's expectations just as if you head out on an adventure with a party of 2 instead of 4. Can you and your group work together to tweak the rules to better suit your preferences and style of play? Absolutely - that's always been the real super power of tabletop rpg's - but why on earth should built-in magic-healing-skill be part of the core rules?


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Dracoknight wrote:

From what i can see there is really nothing that stops you from using "Legacy" multiclassing other than some things might be a bit "weird" in terms of proficiencies, for the most part you could just add a level of X to your Y like before though its not completely supported.

This was kinda like a response to that one person that just had to have a character that was a Y and redeemed themselves with X class type of scenario.

There's nothing stopping you from not playing Pathfinder and switching to a system where "legacy" (5e uses it as well, as do other sytstems) multiclassing is actually supported and tested within the rules.

We're playing pathfinder because, as Buhlman as repeatedly said "you can build the characters you want". If you take this away as part of the core system, what's to keep us playing Pathfinder?

Note: As I said much earlier in the thread, I will have to see how this plays out. But generally speaking, this system seem like it has a lot of flaws:
1. Future class creation now basically also requires creating a second "archetype" class for multiclassing.
2. Rules are non-intuitive. Instead of saying "ohh, when you multiclass, X, Y, and Z happens", you know have to say "when you multiclass, refer to the specific multiclass rules for that class."
3. It locks in a class progression and your class abilities (not feats) at level 1. There's no swapping out those.
4. Honestly, it just kinda feels lazy. I understand why they did prestige and archetypes like this, but now we have a third thing competing for class feats. I can understand the criticism of people calling it "Featfinder". Yes, I want less and simpler systems in play when it comes to PF2, but not everything has to come at a feat cost.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The irony of people on these boards now saying, "Hell yeah it's like 4th edition- and that's why it's Grrrreat!" is really messing with my mind.

"Did you order the code red?"

"You want the truth? You can't handle the truth! Hell yeah I ordered the code red! Fourth edition was the superior edition all along and we have to get back to being like that!"


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Nathanael Love wrote:
The irony of people on these boards now saying, "Hell yeah it's like 4th edition- and that's why it's Grrrreat!" is really messing with my mind...

And here's where I defend the system I actually don't like :-P.

It's definitely similar in mechanics to the 4e multiclassing system, but I, at least, haven't heard anyone say *that's* why it's great. Multiclassing and classes in general had an issue that they all kinda felt "the same", so multiclassing essentially offered you abilities similar to those you had, but at a lesser power. What it offered was a false "diversity over power" trade-off, which is why a lot of people really disliked it, or at least, that's what I understand.

It's unclear to me if the 4e system would have been better received if the classes themselves had played better, but we'll see how this plays out for PF2E. Me, I'm not loving the way this was done, as essentially, there is no multiclassing, we just get more archetypes, but I'm also willing to see.

Dark Archive

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Cuup wrote:
Look, role playing aside, tabletop RPG's are already basically just numbers on paper interacting with an RNG, interacting with more numbers on a different piece of paper; it's a reality I find myself needing to ignore sometimes already. Let's not break the system down further and make it so your numbers are the same as the other guy's numbers, and the only difference between your numbers is that your numbers have a skill label and the other guy's numbers have a magic label.

Muhahahahaha!!!!


Albatoonoe wrote:
Secondly, at lower levels, multiclass characters did work better. However, they began to really lag behind in power at higher levels.

I can't say my Eldritch Knight was awful (from memory he did get more levels in fighter then just the 1) and he got up to around 16th level or so.

Albatoonoe wrote:
Consistency and ease of use are absolutely virtues in game design. If the complexity brings with it more ways to build a character badly than not, it is absolutely not worth it....Neither of us are right or wrong, I think. We want mutually exclusive goals from the game designs.

I want the game to allow me to present me with the most freedom to make good characters. I want all of the bad choices to be removed, so long as removing a bad choice doesn't consequently require good choices to also be removed.

I fully expect a fighter who takes the paladin devotion feat and then doesn't take any further paladin feats to have made a bad choice. Do you agree with that assumption? And are you okay with the game allowing a player to make that bad choice?


Nathanael Love wrote:

The irony of people on these boards now saying, "Hell yeah it's like 4th edition- and that's why it's Grrrreat!" is really messing with my mind.

"Did you order the code red?"

"You want the truth? You can't handle the truth! Hell yeah I ordered the code red! Fourth edition was the superior edition all along and we have to get back to being like that!"

For some people, it is the best system out there. That's perfectly fine. It is awesome that there are so many games out there that people can find something that works for them.

Personally, I think more people should try more games/systems. Lots of real cool stuff out there.


So, let me get this right....
You start with a base class, and if you want to multiclass, you have to take feets to gain abilities in your "second" class?

Sounds like D&D 4e to me.


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Nathanael Love wrote:
The irony of people on these boards now saying, "Hell yeah it's like 4th edition- and that's why it's Grrrreat!" is really messing with my mind.

One of a few scenarios are happening:

1) The differences in implementation are producing very real and tangible differences in how it will play out.
2) People are willing to accept it because Paizo is producing the rules.
3) The makeup of the forum has changed to no longer incorporate a whole bunch of anti-4e grognards and we now have a whole bunch of ex-4e players.

I won't speculate as to what category people actually fall into. But expect a whole lot of people claiming to fall into either #1 or #3.


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"Viable".

"Meaningful".

Please tell my Warforged Fighter (currently running through Book 1 of RotR here in PbP) who multiclassed into Warpriest with a Wisdom of 8 and so can't cast any spells; because he's a former slave from Magnimar and loves freedom and life and the new weird half-elf Alchemist who joined the party kept going on about this god, and so dedicated himself to an obscure "nature" "god" called Robori (at least as far as he understands it) that his choice was not "meaningful", and that his blessings of making his Ratfolk friend gain a poweful bite or allowing himself or his allies to add +4 instead of +2 on a successful Aid Another check is not...viable.

Okay, it's an another completely anecdotal build, but the wholesale removal of of choices whereby a deluge of options are sacrificed on the subjective altar of "viability" and "meaningful-ness" kinda tastes like corporate adspeak sandwiches mushed into ashes in my mouth. I'm being told that the corporate body has decided my choices are sub-optimal, and that if I just shove my yearnings for choice into the grey coloured cubicle and submit myself to blurgification I'll learn to love feats and any thoughts of beloved archetypes or class combinations were just the fervid dreamaginations of a malevolent demon please pass through the archway to be flavor reassigned.

I'll see if I have anough feats to multiclass the tester options in the PT, but really, given the flexibility of choice and the construction of interesting characters we had, the new system as currently designed is not living up to the promise of options, which as Paizo have said was a beloved and popular cornerstone of what made the system great. Without that, is the system great? Maybe, if other things make up for this great loss.

(But those other things would have to make up for the inclusion of resonance, feat'o'types, all the other things OSW 2.0 continues to harp on about.....um....resonance again....)


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tivadar27 wrote:
Multiclassing and classes in general had an issue that they all kinda felt "the same", so multiclassing essentially offered you abilities similar to those you had, but at a lesser power. What it offered was a false "diversity over power" trade-off, which is why a lot of people really disliked it, or at least, that's what I understand.

My understanding was that people wanted to be able to stop taking levels in Class A and start taking levels in Class B because being able to do so was important to their verisimilitude and to make sure the game didn't feel like a video game/WoW. Unfortunately the forum that had the most opinions on the issue has been removed from the internet so we'll never know which one of us remembers correctly.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
My understanding was that people wanted to be able to stop taking levels in Class A and start taking levels in Class B because being able to do so was important to their verisimilitude and to make sure the game didn't feel like a video game/WoW. Unfortunately the forum that had the most opinions on the issue has been removed from the internet so we'll never know which one of us remembers correctly.

Quick, he implied PF2 would be more like a video game, that means his point must be super valid because everyone knows that video games are terrible things that ruin RPGs!

Personally I wasn't a fan of the new system when I first read it, but I realised it's probably just me not liking change. I'm looking forward to seeing it in action, and I think it could enable some cool character concepts.

Scarab Sages

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A Ninja Errant wrote:

Everybody is getting hung up on Pirate. Pirate just gets used as an example because it's the one basic archetype they previewed. Being able to do basic pirate-y stuff without having to take pirate archetype doesn't change the argument, it just obscures it.

Quite frankly, I could probably make a hundred characters and never actually feel the need to take the pirate archetype, even if I was making an actual literal pirate. That's mostly because the pirate archetype looks pretty weak though. That doesn't change the fact that not having the capability to have an archetype and a multiclass simultaneously is a problem that needs to be addressed.
EDIT: Or that not being able to have an archetype from level 1 is also an issue that should be addressed.

While I completely disagree with other posters that are whining about not being able to be a Pirate (archetype) and multiclass simultaneously at higher levels as being character limiting as in they can't be a pirate (no archetype). This isn't true. You have several avenues to make your character good at pirating. You just don't get the archetype label. That isn't a huge deal in the game mechanics scheme of things.

But what I do agree with, is it can be a problem that they've designed a system for ultimate choices, and then created an archetype system that limits you to one archetype ever 6 levels. This also restricts you from taking the half-blood archetype and human regional ancestry at the same time as well, presumably.


Evilgm wrote:
Quick, he implied PF2 would be more like a video game

Not what I was saying, but sure.

Evilgm wrote:
Personally I wasn't a fan of the new system when I first read it, but I realised it's probably just me not liking change. I'm looking forward to seeing it in action, and I think it could enable some cool character concepts.

I've actually played around with a system that was awfully similar. 3.5e multiclassing, while allowing bad builds, was vastly superior in terms of making characters that actually feel different. I'll have to wait and see whether or not the tweaks that have been applied actually make a difference.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
The irony of people on these boards now saying, "Hell yeah it's like 4th edition- and that's why it's Grrrreat!" is really messing with my mind.

One of a few scenarios are happening:

1) The differences in implementation are producing very real and tangible differences in how it will play out.
2) People are willing to accept it because Paizo is producing the rules.
3) The makeup of the forum has changed to no longer incorporate a whole bunch of anti-4e grognards and we now have a whole bunch of ex-4e players.

I won't speculate as to what category people actually fall into. But expect a whole lot of people claiming to fall into either #1 or #3.

That all may be true, but I'm just going to say it doesn't alleviate any of the irony of a company/game/messageboard that only exists in its present form specifically because of 4th edition's problems/departures from 3.X now whole heartedly embracing moving away from 3.X even further than 4th ed did and incorporating some of the least popular mechanics of that system.

History may not repeat itself, but it sure as heck rhymes.


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Nathanael Love wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
The irony of people on these boards now saying, "Hell yeah it's like 4th edition- and that's why it's Grrrreat!" is really messing with my mind.

One of a few scenarios are happening:

1) The differences in implementation are producing very real and tangible differences in how it will play out.
2) People are willing to accept it because Paizo is producing the rules.
3) The makeup of the forum has changed to no longer incorporate a whole bunch of anti-4e grognards and we now have a whole bunch of ex-4e players.

I won't speculate as to what category people actually fall into. But expect a whole lot of people claiming to fall into either #1 or #3.

That all may be true, but I'm just going to say it doesn't alleviate any of the irony of a company/game/messageboard that only exists in its present form specifically because of 4th edition's problems/departures from 3.X now whole heartedly embracing moving away from 3.X even further than 4th ed did and incorporating some of the least popular mechanics of that system.

History may not repeat itself, but it sure as heck rhymes.

Most of the folks who left D&D for Pathfinder specifically because they didn’t like 4th Edition have gone back to D&D now that 5th Edition is a thing. The folks who stuck with Pathfinder are the ones to whom it appealed for more reasons than just not being 4e. Now, plenty of those people didn’t like 4e either, but disliking 4e isn’t the main reason most of them play it any more. But a lot of 4e fans are none too happy with 5e. So, since PF2 is embracing some of 4e’s better mechanics, and even improving on those ideas, a lot of 4e fans are thinking it looks like a preferable option to 5e. So now you’ve got a combination of PF1 fans who are more willing to accept certain mechanics that happened to be in 4e, as long as they serve PF2 well, and 4e fans who are just getting into Pathfinder now because it’s more to their taste than D&D 5e.

It’s not exactly the same situation as you had before, but the irony of 4e fans abandoning 5e for Pathfinder is not lost on me. Like you said, it rhymes.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
In pf1 once you took an archetype or class you were locked into those abilities.

We have already agreed these aren't classic archetypes. We are going to get classic archetypes. These are something else. With your analogy of the fighter these would be feats that can be taken with the combat bonus feats. There is an entry feat (combat expertise) and then additional feats behind that gateway feat (improved trip, improved disarm). You can invest as much or as little as you want into the feats.

What you can't do is multiclass or even spend general feats on these feats. I'm still not seeing the flexibility.

No, in my analogy these feats represent an archetype which replaces your bonus feats. In pf1, you didn't get to choose which bonus feats it replaced, and what abilities you got in replacement, in pf2 you do.


tivadar27 wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
The irony of people on these boards now saying, "Hell yeah it's like 4th edition- and that's why it's Grrrreat!" is really messing with my mind...

And here's where I defend the system I actually don't like :-P.

It's definitely similar in mechanics to the 4e multiclassing system, but I, at least, haven't heard anyone say *that's* why it's great. Multiclassing and classes in general had an issue that they all kinda felt "the same", so multiclassing essentially offered you abilities similar to those you had, but at a lesser power. What it offered was a false "diversity over power" trade-off, which is why a lot of people really disliked it, or at least, that's what I understand.

It's unclear to me if the 4e system would have been better received if the classes themselves had played better, but we'll see how this plays out for PF2E. Me, I'm not loving the way this was done, as essentially, there is no multiclassing, we just get more archetypes, but I'm also willing to see.

No. The classes were pretty distinguished in how they played and varied. The problem with multiclassing in 4E is a problem that Paizo hasn't shown they fixed in that feats that were fun cool and flavorful competed with feats that were dull as a used razor but kind of indispensable.


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Seems clear (to me) that the bold move here would be to ditch classes in favor of this new archetype/feat based system, then present the "classic" classes simply as templates that less experienced gamers can follow to play a more traditional class.

Meanwhile experienced players can build their perfect custom classless characters in any way they want.

You can also use this to simplify things a lot with regard to the hybrid classes (Paladin, Ranger, Bard)

I mean what is a Paladin really other than a more martial Cleric, who is just a more martial Priest?

I am liking this approach more and more as a class building system, rather than a multi-class system.


Dairian wrote:


I mean what is a Paladin really other than a more martial Cleric, who is just a more martial Priest?

The cleric doesn't have to be lawful good! The cleric has lots of spells and the Paladin doesn't. The Paladin also has a harsh code he must follow (cleric's does as well now, but it usually isn't so harsh).


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Re: I like playing characters with “non-viable” Multiclass combinations! Does that mean I’m having badwrongfun?”.

No. You’re not having badwrongfun. Obviously, if it’s more important to you to express your character by having the combination of class names and numbers you want on your character sheet than it is for that character to be able to contribute to the party on the same level as optimized characters, that’s torally fine. You do you. But you’re not the only person who plays Pathfinder, and lots of players have a bad experience when they build a Multiclass character they think sounds cool, only to find out that it’s worse at everything than the rest of their party. It’s one thing to build a suboptimal character with full knowledge that it won’t be the best, but that you know you’ll have fun playing. It’s a very different thing to build a character you think is going to be great but turns out to suck because you didn’t know better.

A system that reduces trap options will necessarily reduce your ability to play bad-but-fun characters on purpose. I think that’s a worthwhile trade off for reducing the risk of non-expert players creating bad unfun characters by accident.


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After reading a bit more this thread I have to agree that multi-classing is dead, and I'm very glad about it. I guess Paizo was afraid to said it so and chose to keep the name, from my perspective Paizo has never liked multi-classing or prestige classes (neither do I), so it makes perfect sense to remove them and convert them into archetypes.

Now we will have 3 types of Archetypes:

General Archetypes
Prestige Archetypes
Multi-class Archetypes


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This thread is complaining about being unable to make subpar choices to roleplay, while you can just roleplay without hampering your class build by, yannow, roleplaying.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

Personally, I hope the addition of Cleric Devotion allows people to make Pseudo Paladins to fill the slot for those who wanted Holy Warriors, but couldn't do LG.

Nah, I'll just play a CG Paladin. The alignment system is meaningless as a mechanic anyways, no one will know the "LG" at the top of my sheet is a lie if I don't tell them.

It's funny, I hadn't yet decided what my fifth character class would be for doomsday dawn, but this post settled it.

Playtesting while intentionally violating the rules of the game may not be a good idea. I'd recommrnd holding off and not doing that during a phase where the game is being tested.

You could run into sending a false positive.

If players lie about their alignment, but still play Paladins, Paizo could take that data and say:

"Well plenty of people are playing Paladins, there's no need to really consider making any other kinds of Paladins."


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Kerobelis wrote:
Dairian wrote:


I mean what is a Paladin really other than a more martial Cleric, who is just a more martial Priest?

The cleric doesn't have to be lawful good! The cleric has lots of spells and the Paladin doesn't. The Paladin also has a harsh code he must follow (cleric's does as well now, but it usually isn't so harsh).

And that is why every group I have ever gamed with HATED those goody two shoes Paladins! Seriously though, the way 5e handled paladins was pretty perfect, doubling down on the whole "intense dedication to a set of principles" thing, while opening up what precisely those principles were.

But from an abilities perspective, Paladin have always been essentially fighter/clerics, and the pathfinder rules presented so far really make it seem like a fighter who "multiclasses" into cleric, will be nearly indistinguishable, conceptually, from a straight paladin.

As others have pointed out, Pathfinder has become home to those who prefer a more "crunchy" system, rather than the more simplified, first timer friendly direction that WotC has been going.

By and large I feel that Paizo has really been knocking it out of the park with this new addition, but in some areas it feel like they are hedging their bets on "casuals".

And while I feel that making space for less experienced players is a great thing, I am seeing the potential here for a system that is truly capable of satisfying all levels of experience.

Present "Advancement paths" that mirror the traditional classes, but build them using a classless system under the hood, that will enable more experienced players to really open things up and build exactly what they want.

The pieces are all there, and I am really hoping Paizo can live up to that potential, if not in core, then in a supplement down the line.


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Charlaquin wrote:
A system that reduces trap options will necessarily reduce your ability to play bad-but-fun characters on purpose. I think that’s a worthwhile trade off for reducing the risk of non-expert players creating bad unfun characters by accident.

And I think that's the completely wrong direction to go... 5e handles this by making multiclassing rules optional. If it's stated clearly that multiclassing is not recommended for beginner players, then I don't really see what the issue is. Are we really going to reduce customization in the name of "no one getting something bad", even if it's pretty easy to state exactly what new players should do to avoid it?


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Secret Wizard wrote:
This thread is complaining about being unable to make subpar choices to roleplay, while you can just roleplay without hampering your class build by, yannow, roleplaying.

This is just reductive and wrong.

There are many multiclassed builds that aren't subpar even if they aren't broken power game choices.

Consider my Paladin (Tempered Champion) 13/Witch (Havackor) build-- effectively trading out Paladin spells for Witch spells and an infinitely repeatable blast for a ranged attack.

It might be slightly less powerful at certain levels- but I don't think you can make an argument that it is a strictly "subpar" choice that should be written out of the game as 100% never possible.

Sovereign Court

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edduardco wrote:

After reading a bit more this thread I have to agree that multi-classing is dead, and I'm very glad about it. I guess Paizo was afraid to said it so and chose to keep the name, from my perspective Paizo has never liked multi-classing or prestige classes (neither do I), so it makes perfect sense to remove them and convert them into archetypes.

Now we will have 3 types of Archetypes:

General Archetypes
Prestige Archetypes
Multi-class Archetypes

I'm growing more and more okay with this. A system with PF1 multiclassing has design pressure that makes lower levels less fun than they could be without it.

PF1 had several archetypes that poached abilities from other classes. They were the original multiclass archetypes. I hope PF2's version works out well.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Going to close this thread for a bit and let our moderators catch up with the flag queue.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Removed some posts.

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Nathanael Love wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
This thread is complaining about being unable to make subpar choices to roleplay, while you can just roleplay without hampering your class build by, yannow, roleplaying.

This is just reductive and wrong.

There are many multiclassed builds that aren't subpar even if they aren't broken power game choices.

Consider my Paladin (Tempered Champion) 13/Witch (Havackor) build-- effectively trading out Paladin spells for Witch spells and an infinitely repeatable blast for a ranged attack.

It might be slightly less powerful at certain levels- but I don't think you can make an argument that it is a strictly "subpar" choice that should be written out of the game as 100% never possible.

If your issue is optimization or personal expression in builds, nothing in this system forbids a build like that other than lack of enough bloat for you to scalp those options.

The structure is perfectly solid, and that's what you should be judging, not your ability to replicate 1E builds.

The only reason you want Witch is to scalp a SINGLE ABILITY. Why not angle for a feat that gets you access to that?


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Secret Wizard wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
This thread is complaining about being unable to make subpar choices to roleplay, while you can just roleplay without hampering your class build by, yannow, roleplaying.

This is just reductive and wrong.

There are many multiclassed builds that aren't subpar even if they aren't broken power game choices.

Consider my Paladin (Tempered Champion) 13/Witch (Havackor) build-- effectively trading out Paladin spells for Witch spells and an infinitely repeatable blast for a ranged attack.

It might be slightly less powerful at certain levels- but I don't think you can make an argument that it is a strictly "subpar" choice that should be written out of the game as 100% never possible.

If your issue is optimization or personal expression in builds, nothing in this system forbids a build like that other than lack of enough bloat for you to scalp those options.

The structure is perfectly solid, and that's what you should be judging, not your ability to replicate 1E builds.

So, all the options I like are just "bloat" and the fact that structurally I would never be able to build ANYTHING resembling a character with that level of customization I should just accept and move on because what?

So in this system I will be able to build a class with options from two classes and two archetypes, or no?

No, I can't. So a vast swath of character concepts and ideas are out the window and will never be able to be played.

But hey- the approved 12 classes and the approved 12 multiclass archetypes are going to be potentially slightly more powerful, so the fact that there are now going to be an incredibly narrow band of possible characters, and that those will be the exact same narrow band of characters that have been available in EVERY edition from 2nd ed AD&D on should make me happy?


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Yes... a narrow band of 23,400 different 2nd level single and multiclassed characters.


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Nathanael Love wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
This thread is complaining about being unable to make subpar choices to roleplay, while you can just roleplay without hampering your class build by, yannow, roleplaying.

This is just reductive and wrong.

There are many multiclassed builds that aren't subpar even if they aren't broken power game choices.

Consider my Paladin (Tempered Champion) 13/Witch (Havackor) build-- effectively trading out Paladin spells for Witch spells and an infinitely repeatable blast for a ranged attack.

It might be slightly less powerful at certain levels- but I don't think you can make an argument that it is a strictly "subpar" choice that should be written out of the game as 100% never possible.

If your issue is optimization or personal expression in builds, nothing in this system forbids a build like that other than lack of enough bloat for you to scalp those options.

The structure is perfectly solid, and that's what you should be judging, not your ability to replicate 1E builds.

So, all the options I like are just "bloat" and the fact that structurally I would never be able to build ANYTHING resembling a character with that level of customization I should just accept and move on because what?

So in this system I will be able to build a class with options from two classes and two archetypes, or no?

No, I can't. So a vast swath of character concepts and ideas are out the window and will never be able to be played.

But hey- the approved 12 classes and the approved 12 multiclass archetypes are going to be potentially slightly more powerful, so the fact that there are now going to be an incredibly narrow band of possible characters, and that those will be the exact same narrow band of characters that have been available in EVERY edition from 2nd ed AD&D on should make me happy?

wat

I mean, if you want to argue by yourself against things I'm not saying, go ahead, but what I AM trying to get across is:

1. Highly specialized builds won't be available in the CRB. The C stands for CORE. So only the most common CORE options will be there.

2. The options in the CRB are, in spite of being the expected 12 classes, HIGHLY MODULAR. This means that even if what you want isn't specifically in the book, there's a good chance that it will be possible when more options appear.

For example:

Blasting Paladin. I want to be a spell-less Paladin, a chosen champion from a specific deity, with the ability to blow up stuff from range too.
In 1E, I NEED archetype + multiclass combinations that allow me to pull it off, and then I'd still have a crappy 1d6 blast for the whole game.
In 2E, I can just pick up an archetype that grants me a blasting cantrip and then spend the rest of my archetype feats to improve that cantrip blast. Since the Paladin doesn't cast spells (and instead gets spell points to spend on general utility), I can fulfil my concept quite handily without needing a specific set of archetypes being released.
In D&D 5E, I can't do it effectively. I'd need to multiclass Paladin into Warlock or something, and dilute my class power heavily to achieve this.

Brawler.
In 2E, if I want to build a Brawler type, I only need to go Monk and focus on physical attributes (least restrictive).
In 1E, I need a specific class to be made for it, or a good archetype, plus good item support (restrictive, but workable).
In D&D 5E, I can't – Monks are DEX-based by design and there's no tool to fix it. I'd need the release of several specific materials to get this to be a thing, as the system doesn't support this.

If you think that I think your concepts and ideas and desires are trash, that's what should make you like PF2E – because in this system, it doesn't matter if the designers are attempting to specifically cater to your concept. The system is made in such a way that your concept will be VIABLE and ACHIEVABLE due to modularity, without the NEED for designer intent, which was important in 1E (and due to option bloat, you had a pick for options) and NECESSARY in D&D 5E (due to how hard the class system is there).


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Nathanael Love wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
This thread is complaining about being unable to make subpar choices to roleplay, while you can just roleplay without hampering your class build by, yannow, roleplaying.

This is just reductive and wrong.

There are many multiclassed builds that aren't subpar even if they aren't broken power game choices.

Consider my Paladin (Tempered Champion) 13/Witch (Havackor) build-- effectively trading out Paladin spells for Witch spells and an infinitely repeatable blast for a ranged attack.

It might be slightly less powerful at certain levels- but I don't think you can make an argument that it is a strictly "subpar" choice that should be written out of the game as 100% never possible.

If your issue is optimization or personal expression in builds, nothing in this system forbids a build like that other than lack of enough bloat for you to scalp those options.

The structure is perfectly solid, and that's what you should be judging, not your ability to replicate 1E builds.

So, all the options I like are just "bloat" and the fact that structurally I would never be able to build ANYTHING resembling a character with that level of customization I should just accept and move on because what?

So in this system I will be able to build a class with options from two classes and two archetypes, or no?

No, I can't. So a vast swath of character concepts and ideas are out the window and will never be able to be played.

But hey- the approved 12 classes and the approved 12 multiclass archetypes are going to be potentially slightly more powerful, so the fact that there are now going to be an incredibly narrow band of possible characters, and that those will be the exact same narrow band of characters that have been available in EVERY edition from 2nd ed AD&D on should make me happy?

Druid/wizard heirophants, cleric/barbarian Rage healers and EVERY combination of 144 different classes taking a single multiclass (not taking into account if you wanted to multiclass again later on or even take an archetype.) Not to mention that every class has much more customization due to you being able to pick and choose class features with class feats. Why does your character HAVE to be described as exactly: fighter3/rogue2/wizard6. Cant you have the same character concept using class feats/archetypes feats, IF paizo releases some that feat that fits your niche? What about the inherent system makes your character concept not work?


Charlaquin wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

Odd question for those that really seem to love how flexible this is supposed to be.

Why do we even need classes at this point? Just double the Class Feats we get and do maybe some work on the Skills.

There, classes system that lets you build anything.

Classes provide a strong conceptual baseline and mechanical framework to start from. Sure, a classless system allows you to build any character you want, but it also requires you to build that character from the ground up. Now, as a crunch gal, I’m fine with that, but a lot of players don’t want to have to put that much work into the mechanics side of their character. Classes allow those players to just say “I want to be a knight” or “I want to be a wizard,” and the class does most of that groundwork for them.

There’s also the fact that restrictions breed creativity. When your character can be anything you want, you often find yourself not knowing what you want that character to be. I love classless systems, but I do find myself making the same kinds of characters over and over, because with nearly limitless options, I just end up falling back on my go-to favorites. Classes give you a smaller number of easier to weigh options, and then Class Feats and Archetypes give you the tools to break free of the constraints of the option you pick.

There’s also the unfortunate fact that Pathfinder is a child of D&D, and being a child of D&D comes with baggage. We’ve seen what happens when a game from the D&D family tries to venture too far from player expectations. As someone who loved 4e, it is abundantly clear to me that even a well designed game will fail if it challenges too many expectations too fast. Classes are one of those things that players expect out of a D&D-family game.

And yet, at least for some old vets, seeing half the options ripped out as the base line feels weird. Sure you can get those back, and sure you can pick up new abilites but are you even a Fighter then? "Well yes because you have" no really, are you? To me this just seems to be as close to classless as they can get with still having the classes in the first place.

Build anything you want, however you want! Oh but you have to start from this predefined point.

Also about the whole "Building the same character again and again" I see that now with the restrictions in place.

I don't know. This whole system seems like they want to kill classes but not actually do so out of fear of losing players. So it's this weird half class, half gelsat system.

And I hate Gelsat.

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