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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Dire Ursus wrote:


Did you have this same complaint when PF1e came out? And if so, then you do remember when the advanced player's guide came out and introduced a TON of new original classes. Why wouldn't you expect the same thing to happen with 2e?

We didn't switch fully from 3.5 allowing PF as third party material to PF as the core rule system until Ultimate Magic came out.

houser2112 wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
To be honest-- there's a much greater chance I will just go to 5th ed instead than go to PF2 as it looks now because of the lack of any new/interesting idea other than "everything's a feat and you get a buttload of them".
Judging by what I've seen you write, I don't think you'll be very happy with 5E. The character building options are quite shallow. 5E is fun to play, but not so fun to think about away from the table like the 3.PF family of games are.

No, it is very shallow that's true.

But it has actual multiclassing that works so it's strictly better than PF2 on that front, and if I have to go to something new with much fewer options I can't imagine why I wouldn't go to the game with the largest number of players.


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Xenocrat wrote:

The reddit guy who had an early copy's agreement with Paizo not to talk expired today, and he says the only archetypes in the book are the two we knew about (Pirate and Grey Maiden), the multiclass ones (Cleric, Fighter, Wizard, Rogue), and Cavalier.

Surprised there aren't more, but Cavalier is a good archetype idea.

Cavalier as in "person on a horse" or Cavalier as in "martial teamwork-based support"?

Silver Crusade

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This will be awkward when they give us a Cavalier class, unless they rename it Knight (which I'd be fine with).

But then we do have like 4 different Dawnflower Dervishes...


The Sideromancer wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:

The reddit guy who had an early copy's agreement with Paizo not to talk expired today, and he says the only archetypes in the book are the two we knew about (Pirate and Grey Maiden), the multiclass ones (Cleric, Fighter, Wizard, Rogue), and Cavalier.

Surprised there aren't more, but Cavalier is a good archetype idea.

Cavalier as in "person on a horse" or Cavalier as in "martial teamwork-based support"?

Sounds like the former, with some banner and challenge mechanics available.


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Nathanael Love wrote:
Except I keep trying to be open and persuadable here.

Seriously, it doesn't feel like that.

Nathanael Love wrote:
To be honest-- there's a much greater chance I will just go to 5th ed instead than go to PF2.

Maybe thats better.

I don't want to shoo people away but you made your point that you don't like pf2 like 5 threads ago and thats basically all I ever read from you.


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Nathanael Love wrote:
Except I keep trying to be open and persuadable here if Paizo would just put in a new idea that makes me want to play it.

No you haven't been. You've obtusely refused to accept the validity of anyone else's examples; via every logical fallacy you could possibly commit. It is okay not to like something. But I find it insulting that you're pretenting to engage in a dialetic argument, when what you really seem to want is a soapbox to cry 'the sky is falling' from...

And why? Is it because they aren't going to republish, in the Core Rulebook, your favorite element(s) from the literally thousands of pages worth of game elements they've published in the last decade (maybe even tens-of-thousands)? Or is it just because they closed purely mechanical exploit that you liked to abuse?


Rysky wrote:

This will be awkward when they give us a Cavalier class, unless they rename it Knight (which I'd be fine with).

But then we do have like 4 different Dawnflower Dervishes...

What makes you think 'Cavalier' will be a pf2e class? What niche would that fill that the Cavalier archetype on a fighter, bard or paladin wouldn't?


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Your own arguments that nothing is "new" because the names haven't changed is just as, if not more, repeated over and over. The classes have been redesigned from the ground up, everything works differently, and yet you keep begging for "new" like the entire system isn't new. But you know what, sure, here's some things you can do 'new' now:

- Wield the full, raw mystical power of nature (like Druids do) without having to prepare it ahead of time.

- Build a functional (maybe not that exciting, still not a huge fan of the exact mechanics, but given Wildshape is a level 1 ability it will be functional) shapeshifter character from level 1. Not even casters could do this in PF1e because (unless I'm extremely mistaken) the earliest Polymorph spell is spell-level 2, and that only gets you Humanoids.

- Be so angry you literally shapeshift... without even needing to look at Druid supposedly.

- Become an omnicaster, wielding nearly the full force of magics Druidic, Arcane, and Divine. In the end product you'll be able to get limited casting of a fourth kind too.

And that's just a few off the top of my head.

Silver Crusade

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CraziFuzzy wrote:
Rysky wrote:

This will be awkward when they give us a Cavalier class, unless they rename it Knight (which I'd be fine with).

But then we do have like 4 different Dawnflower Dervishes...

What makes you think 'Cavalier' will be a pf2e class? What niche would that fill that the Cavalier archetype on a fighter, bard or paladin wouldn't?

Tactician and Challenge (Resolve if you count Samurai), in 4th edition they had a Warlord class I believe? So maybe something like that, Martial buffer.

I never played with the mounted stuff, not interested. Disciple of the Pike, Green Knight, Houndmaster, and Sister-in-Arms are my favourite archetypes, and I love Resolve from Samurai.


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Megistone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I mean my group is probably going to continue to play PF1 until a few books come out. I'll buy as they come at some point we will just move forward when we think we have a good base. Its full on crazy to expect a new edition to immediately have everything with their first book that was in the last 10 years of the previous edition.

I think it's crazy too!

But I don't think it's crazy to be worried about if the frame work we are going to be testing will allow for concepts from PF1 to be brought over as is. Or at least closer to how they feel.

At worst they don't come over and the excuse is "Fighter/Monk is what you want". "Cleric Paladin.... no wait Cleric Fighter. Yeah that's it" or any other combo/feat build that can be tossed out because "It's just like it right?"

When they go to make the Gun Splatbook, and Gunslinger is just an archetype, well I'll probably have my answer then.

Wait why is your concept literally just class + class = concept? Thats not a concept that's how you build a concept. A concept is I want to play a guy that excels in punching people. Or I want to play a OCD Wizard who like illusions etc. etc.

Totally agreed. I think that people are loving labels more than the characters themselves.

Of course, a rather simple character concept shouldn't be too complicated to build: if there is a class dedicated to it like in PF1, that's the easiest I can get. But making a class for everything is not viable, either.

I'd also like to remember to some people here that this is just the playtest, not even the CRB. We will get all the options we want, eventually: it's in the best interest of Paizo to release more books.

Because I actually like having the baseline the 'label' provides?

Vid you want to make a guy that punches people. Okay. Monk, Brawler, Fighter, Warpriest, Ranger, Vigilante, heck you can probably do a Punchy Summoner. You can take archetypes and the right feats to make them all punch. However, they each still have a baseline. A starting point of abilities that unless you take 2-3 archetypes, you aren't going to fully remove.

And I'm someone that actually LIKES that. Both for mechanics and character fluff. It also helps that I tend to start at either Race, or Class first when drawing up characters.

PF2 however is asking me to draw up that new baseline, while still providing part of it, and that part might not be what I want. Because mechanically, Fighter with Horse is't the same as Class Cavalier.

It's Knight, Horsemaster, Cavalier, Mounted archer, Lancer, Dragoon, Calvary; it can be fluffed any way you want. Fighter/Cleric or Fighter/Paladin can easily be said to be Templar Calvary.

But maybe, maybe I don't want to have to build that baseline. Maybe I don't want to to have to cover everything through feats. Maybe I get overwhelmed by the idea of having to design HALF a character rather than build off of.

It's great that you can go off and build whatever you want, however you want. Hopefully without breaking the game this time. I'd rather just pick the Cavalier Class as a my framework to build off.

Related question; If the labels don't mean anything, why don't we go classless again?

Also yes it is in Paizo's best interest to supply more books. I'd like to see Classes in those books but I can easily see that not happening due to the new modular system. Do we need a class for everything? No I don't think we do. I mean I'd like to see a Mechanic like class from Starfinder just for constructs/golems instead. But a strange idea like that would probably be better suited for archetype. At the every least something to bolt onto Alchemist. But as a full class, no.


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To the few earlier responses suggesting 5e build options were stifling... You really don't know what you're talking about.

The fact is Multiclassing is extremely easy in 5e and while it is also easy to do wrong, it opens up a lot of viable builds. In addition, multiclassing *doesn't require feats*, so it's not competing with another resource (yes, it's got a separate feat progression chain, but it's not eating feats if you dip four levels). Honestly, it's a well-thought-out system that discourages *too* many shallow dips by having them delay your feat/skill bonus progression.

I'm not going to go and say that 5e has more build options than 2e will, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. The fact is at every level in 5e, you get to choose:
* a class to progress in
* feats/stat bonuses every 4 levels
* a class ability choice every few levels (archetypes)
In pathfinder 2e, these are all lumped into the same choice, so we're getting more options, but fewer choices (if that makes sense). Granted, yes, these are happening approximately once per level, but that was also true of 5e...

There's certainly a lot that 5e gets wrong, such as shallow and flat proficiency bonuses (umm, maybe 2e will fix this with skill unlocks?) and their multiattack/action system (2e does fix this!), but their class and leveling systems isn't one of those things.


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tivadar27 wrote:

To the few earlier responses suggesting 5e build options were stifling... You really don't know what you're talking about.

The fact is Multiclassing is extremely easy in 5e and while it is also easy to do wrong, it opens up a lot of viable builds. In addition, multiclassing *doesn't require feats*, so it's not competing with another resource (yes, it's got a separate feat progression chain, but it's not eating feats if you dip a few levels). Honestly, it's a well-thought-out system that discourages *too* many shallow dips by having them delay your feat/skill bonus progression.

I'm not going to go and say that 5e has more build options than 2e will, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. The fact is at every level in 5e, you get to choose:
* a class to progress in
* feats/stat bonuses every 4 levels
* a class ability choice every few levels (archetypes)
In pathfinder 2e, these are all lumped into the same choice, so we're getting more options, but fewer choices (if that makes sense). Granted, yes, these are happening approximately once per level, but that was also true of 5e...

There's certainly a lot that 5e gets wrong, such as shallow and flat proficiency bonuses (umm, maybe 2e will fix this with skill unlocks?) and their multiattack/action system (2e does fix this!), but their class and leveling systems isn't one of those things.

What do you mean it's not competing with another resource in 5e? You're trading levels for levels that's a big trade off. In PF2, since most class abilities come from class feats trading class feats for another classes abilities is a similar trade off.

In PF2 your skill ups, general feats, and ancestry feats are unaffected by multiclassing.

In 5e the only equivalent thing is the feat or Ability Score Boost you get every four levels which if you multiclass in anything other than increments of four is pushed back.

Looking at the number of build options in 5e vs PH2 I think it is out of the realm of possibility that 5e has more potential build diversity.

You choose a subclass once for each class at level three and that locks in most of your abilities. Spells are the biggest point of customization that 5e has and that is similar to PF2.


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There were options in 5e, sure, using multiclassing there were a lot of things one could do
but if one wants to stick to one class...well, thats rather boring

and to decide if you get a feat or a stat bonus...nah that feels bad (for me)

and the archetypes is one decision at level 3 and not mich thereafter

there was sure as heck not one choice per level in dnd 5 except for multiclassing and spell choice


A single 'level' in PF2 is comperable to one-and-a-half levels worth of choices in PF1. Class Feats are basically functioning as extra class levels worth of features disguised as 'Rogue Talents'. Making a 20th level Fighter/Wizard more equivalent to a Fighter 20/Wizard 10*
*Except they have twice the effective CL, and about a third of their total slots.


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tivadar27 wrote:
The fact is Multiclassing is extremely easy in 5e

This is definitely less true in 5E than it is for 3.PF. In 3.PF (base classes, we'll leave PrCs out because there's no 5E comparison to them), MCing is easy as can be: pick a class, add the numbers that are in common, and gain the features. In 5E, there are ability requirements, and not all features are available when a class is not taken at 1st level (notably, saves and skill proficiencies). A fighter/wizard is a lot different than a wizard/fighter. It's true that both systems allow you to make suboptimal choices, but 5E precludes you from even making certain choices if you didn't plan them from the start.

Quote:
In addition, multiclassing *doesn't require feats*, so it's not competing with another resource (yes, it's got a separate feat progression chain, but it's not eating feats if you dip four levels). Honestly, it's a well-thought-out system that discourages *too* many shallow dips by having them delay your feat/skill bonus progression.

Your proficiency bonus is one of the few things that is based on character level and not class level.

Quote:
I'm not going to go and say that 5e has more build options than 2e will, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

I think the PF2 playtest alone has almost more build diversity than core 5E, but I strongly dispute that full PF2 will be less diverse than 5E.

Quote:

The fact is at every level in 5e, you get to choose:

* a class to progress in

No. I explained why in my first paragraph.

Quote:
* feats/stat bonuses every 4 levels

As you said, only if you take your classes in 4-level chunks. This contradicts your "easy" assertion if you have to pay close attention to how you take your levels to not lose out on that precious ASI. This alone (ASIs being granted by class level) is bad enough, but the fact that feats compete with ASIs for the same resource is adding insult to injury.

Quote:
* a class ability choice every few levels (archetypes)

For most (many? definitely not all) classes, the archetype is a choice you make once.

Quote:
In pathfinder 2e, these are all lumped into the same choice, so we're getting more options, but fewer choices (if that makes sense). Granted, yes, these are happening approximately once per level, but that was also true of 5e...

Only spellcasters have choices to make every level. Other classes do not, for the most part. Your skills are locked by your race/background/first class. Your saves are locked by your first class.


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I have played 5E extensively and really enjoy it. In fact, I stopped playing PF1 in favour of 5E several years ago. However, it is patently false to say that 5E has anywhere near as many character build choices upon level up as the Pathfinder Playtest does. For some single-class characters in 5E (e.g. Berserker Barbarian, Champion Fighter, etc.), you literally do not make a single choice upon level up for your entire career, except for ability score increases every four levels. For most characters, the only choice you might make upon level up at a given level is a new spell known. Multiclassing in 5e is highly restrictive and easy to screw-up. It's definitely not a free-for-all cornucopia of choice.

5E is a great game, but it's not a game with extensive mid-career character build choices. You make a few big choices fairly early on (Class, Race, Subclass, Background) and that's pretty much it.

Pathfinder Playtest may or may not be as flexible as PF1 in terms of mid-career character build decisions—I happen to think it's more flexible, but that's certainly open to debate—but it's definitely waaaaaay more flexible than DnD 5E.

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tivadar27 wrote:

To the few earlier responses suggesting 5e build options were stifling... You really don't know what you're talking about.

The fact is Multiclassing is extremely easy in 5e and while it is also easy to do wrong, it opens up a lot of viable builds. In addition, multiclassing *doesn't require feats*, so it's not competing with another resource (yes, it's got a separate feat progression chain, but it's not eating feats if you dip four levels). Honestly, it's a well-thought-out system that discourages *too* many shallow dips by having them delay your feat/skill bonus progression.

I'm not going to go and say that 5e has more build options than 2e will, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. The fact is at every level in 5e, you get to choose:
* a class to progress in
* feats/stat bonuses every 4 levels
* a class ability choice every few levels (archetypes)
In pathfinder 2e, these are all lumped into the same choice, so we're getting more options, but fewer choices (if that makes sense). Granted, yes, these are happening approximately once per level, but that was also true of 5e...

There's certainly a lot that 5e gets wrong, such as shallow and flat proficiency bonuses (umm, maybe 2e will fix this with skill unlocks?) and their multiattack/action system (2e does fix this!), but their class and leveling systems isn't one of those things.

Before I begin, I want to apologise for the wall of text! Big analysis coming up!

I prefer to think of it another way (and particularly in one situation where one person claimed that every PF2 build is going to look the same). In a lot of senses, 5e has a large number of builds, helped by it being fairly hard to build a bad character from scratch. You can make a lot of different characters and yes, multiclassing works fine and doesn't really feel stifling unless you do it badly. However, it manages this without really a lot of content for character components (bar races and spells). As I've mentioned elsewhere, it has a lot of "black box balancing" -behind the scenes work to make everything play on par, making it hard to expand non-racial options without causing an issue. For instance, in 5e there hasn't been a single additional official class added in its time (mystic is something that has been slowly developed and playtested for years now).

Pathfinder 2, at least based on the information we have regarding the playtest, has taken a vastly more modular and standardised approach than 5e. Every single level you get one or more things you select from a list for all characters, and most classes seem to follow a similar layout (which makes officially adding or homebrewing new classes easier, as compared to 5e where the full casters pretty much all have their own unique progression of class feats -compare cleric to wizard for instance). While some classes vary from the following slightly (e.g. missing level 1 feats for full casters and two additional later game feats for fighters) all characters gain a standardised ladder with a large number of variables, as follows (anyone let me know if my proof reading failed).

PF playtest character ladder:

    Level 1: Ancestry HP, ancestry features, ancestry feat, ancestry stat adjustments, background feat, background stat adjustment, class stat adjustment, starting skills, class features, class feat, 4 stat adjustments.
    Level 2: Class feat, skill feat.
    Level 3: Class features, general feat, skill ranks.
    Level 4: Class feat, skill feat.
    Level 5: Class features, ancestry feat, skill ranks, 4 stat adjustments.
    Level 6: Class feat, skill feat.
    Level 7: Class features, general feat, skill ranks.
    Level 8: Class feat, skill feat.
    Level 9: Class features, ancestry feat, skill ranks.
    Level 10: Class feat, skill feat, 4 stat adjustments.
    Level 11: Class features, general feat, skill ranks.
    Level 12: Class feat, skill feat.
    Level 13: Class features, ancestry feat, skill ranks.
    Level 14: Class feat, skill feat.
    Level 15: Class features, general feat, skill ranks, 4 stat adjustments.
    Level 16: Class feat, skill feat.
    Level 17: Class features, ancestry feat, skill ranks.
    Level 18: Class feat, skill feat.
    Level 19: Class features, general feat, skill ranks.
    Level 20: Class feat, skill feat, 4 stat adjustments.
    This doesn't include spells or level 1 domain/school features and how each of those scale.

As you can see, even only in the playtest of PF2 you get at least two variable options (feats, stat increases, skill ranks) every single level, even if you're a martial class.
For 5e, I'll compare it to the Fighter, as that's one of the most flexible 5e classes.
5e fighter:

  • 5e Fighter gets 1 or more options at the following levels: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19.
  • The options at the following levels are stat adjustments (these levels are why the Fighter is so flexible), which compete with feats: 4, 6, 8, 12, 14, 16, 19. These levels grant only a single option taken.
  • The following levels have no choices to be made within the Fighter class: 2, 5, 9, 11, 13, 17, 20. Outside of multiclassing, these levels are entirely pre-determined.
  • Level 1 has race, background, and fighting style.
  • The following levels are archetype levels, and are so either predetermined past level 3, or give you one or more options (I won't generalise): 3, 7, 10, 15, 18.

  • 5e spellcasters get to choose spells every single level, but so do PF2 playtest spellcasters, at what seems to be an equal or greater rate. If equipment is brought in, then PF2 has the apparent options advantage for weapons -weapons in PF2 have explicitly different subpowers beyond what 5e offers (e.g. a greataxe plays differently to a greatsword, even though they have the same damage die in PF2, while in 5e the difference in play is d12 Vs 2d6).

    Bardarok wrote:
    What do you mean it's not competing with another resource in 5e? You're trading levels for levels that's a big trade off. In PF2, since most class abilities come from class feats trading class feats for another classes abilities is a similar trade off.

    In 5e, it is also worth noting that a level for level trade offsets stat adjustments and therefore feats, and delays spell progression (but not spell slot progression, and spellcasters can rack up a large cantrip count by multiclassing).

    As I've said, 5e has a fair few number of builds, but its apparent capacity for variation is vastly below what we've seen of PF2 (even in playtest stages). Provided Pathfinder 2 works out to be even reasonably balanced, I think it stands to reason that being able to take multiple options every single turn makes it overwhelmingly likely that PF2 will have drastically more options than 5e, and from what we've seen it's my personal opinion that in a lot of ways it already does.

    The next bit is pure opinion, but I always felt a bit sad that access to feats was so limited in 5e and competed with essentially stat upgrades, the fact that they no longer conflict is a good point in my book.


    Bardic Dave wrote:
    5E is a great game, but it's not a game with extensive mid-career character build choices. You make a few big choices fairly early on (Class, Race, Subclass, Background) and that's pretty much it.

    The way I see it, Pathfinder lets you make a million different characters, with maybe a hundred of them being any good. D&D5 lets you make about 50 (with some minor variations), but they're all pretty useful (some more than others, but rarely useless).

    (Edit - Clarification: Don't get hung up on the exact numbers. My point is that PF allows for many more choices than D&D5, but many of those choices are bad, and even if the number of viable characters in PF1 is larger than the number of viable characters in D&D5, it's harder to find them because they're hidden in a bigger haystack.)


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    Staffan Johansson wrote:
    Bardic Dave wrote:
    5E is a great game, but it's not a game with extensive mid-career character build choices. You make a few big choices fairly early on (Class, Race, Subclass, Background) and that's pretty much it.
    The way I see it, Pathfinder lets you make a million different characters, with maybe a hundred of them being any good. D&D5 lets you make about 50 (with some minor variations), but they're all pretty useful (some more than others, but rarely useless).

    That's why we are getting PF2.


    To the plethora of responses: I concede that 2e will have more options than 5e. This is particularly valid when considering skill ranks and feats, so essentially you're getting two choices every level, which is definitely more than you have in 5e, and the advancement is more granular. Thanks to those who did a bit deeper of an analysis

    That being said, there is a pretty wide variety of choices available in 5e with multiclassing, and the suggestions about the limits of choice in 5e are being greatly overstated (50 different characters is easy to prove false, 10 classes, 5 feats/boosts, ~5 archetypes per class = easily 250 characters before you consider multiclassing).

    More importantly, however, it might be fair to compare 2e with 1e, to some extent. You're certainly getting more feats, but this is coming at the expense of wider diversity of stats and finer-grained multiclassing. In addition, I'd argue you get *less* diversity due to the way stat boosts will work in 2e, as 4 skill boosts really means choosing two skills to ignore, and capping things at 18 in many cases will be the obvious way to go.

    All this being said, it really remains to be seen how character diversity will compare. I think it *is* fair to worry about a "sameness" among characters relative to 1e.

    @Houser2112: I was comparing to Pathfinder 2e. While it's not optimal to do so, without getting any stat boosts, you *can* in fact multiclass into every class in the game in 5e. 5 points for a 13, 27 point buy, 6 stats, Constitution not a requirement for any multiclassing class. That being said, it's fair to say you probably don't want to. This is impossible in Pathfinder 2e, and, granted, still probably undesirable.


    Also, for giggles regarding multiclassing in 5e:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZCIh_3b5K8


    Not sure why the 5th Ed comparisons in this light, totally different approaches; talk about chalk and cheese.


    tivadar27 wrote:

    To the plethora of responses: I concede that 2e will have more options than 5e. This is particularly valid when considering skill ranks and feats, so essentially you're getting two choices every level, which is definitely more than you have in 5e, and the advancement is more granular. Thanks to those who did a bit deeper of an analysis

    That being said, there is a pretty wide variety of choices available in 5e with multiclassing, and the suggestions about the limits of choice in 5e are being greatly overstated (50 different characters is easy to prove false, 10 classes, 5 feats/boosts, ~5 archetypes per class = easily 250 characters before you consider multiclassing).

    Yeah, as the GM of a 5e campaign I can't say it ever felt like my players were limited for options, though it might feel like that if I were a pathfinder 1 player moving to 5e.

    tivadar27 wrote:
    More importantly, however, it might be fair to compare 2e with 1e, to some extent. You're certainly getting more feats, but this is coming at the expense of wider diversity of stats and finer-grained multiclassing. In addition, I'd argue you get *less* diversity due to the way stat boosts will work in 2e, as 4 skill boosts really means choosing two skills to ignore, and capping things at 18 in many cases will be the obvious way to go.

    This is fair. Personally I think exact stats are going to feel less important than feat choices by a considerable margin. I don't think the 18 will be the go-to situation though a +20% (+4) to crit chance in your primary stat is nice.

    tivadar27 wrote:
    All this being said, it really remains to be seen how character diversity will compare. I think it *is* fair to worry about a "sameness" among characters relative to 1e.

    Yeah, this is fair. While I didn't play much PF1, I think at level 1 at least there looks like good differentiation. In a lot of ways it will be more limited, but that's due to lacking a decade of supplements. I think if PF1 style archetypes ever come around, then we'll end up with a system that could feel really close to class-less.

    tivadar27 wrote:

    @Houser2112: I was comparing to Pathfinder 2e. While it's not optimal to do so, without getting any stat boosts, you *can* in fact multiclass into every class in the game in 5e. 5 points for a 13, 27 point buy, 6 stats, Constitution not a requirement for any multiclassing class. That being said, it's fair to say you probably don't want to. This is impossible in Pathfinder 2e, and, granted, still probably undesirable.

    I think the most you'd probably want to be in a zany build is around 4 classes IMO? I know that's the worst it got when I was trying to cheese (I think one involved rogue, warlock, fighter, and sorcerer or something, while my silliest build with a (non-combat) purpose was cleric/rogue/druid/warlock). PF2 can just about manage this (unlocking every spell list in the process it seems up to at least level 8) if this system stays, though it might not be very functional outside of niches.


    I hope the feats for wizard spells and cleric spells are pretty similar. I think if and when I convert Ironfang Invasion I might take a stab at making dedication and spell slot feats for the druid. This strikes me as the best way to emulate the PF1 vanilla Ranger, and I've got a player of one of those in that campaign. She's leaned really hard into the Ranger spell list and I just can't imagine the character will feel the same using the divine list instead of the primal.

    I probably won't attempt druid feats beyond that-- stuff like wild shape on other classes would be awesome but tricky to balance. But the basics look easy. (Obviously I wouldn't be using this in the playtest adventure itself.)

    First Attempt at Druid Multiclass Archetype:

    Druid Dedication Feat 2

    Archetype, Dedication, Multiclass

    Prerequisites Wisdom 16, trained in Nature

    You cast spells like a druid. 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 the common primal spell list. You're trained in spell rolls and spell DCs for casting arcane spells and in attacks you make with primal spells. Your key spellcasting ability for these spells is Wisdom. You can use wands, scrolls, and staves, but only for spells of a spell level you can cast. Nature is a signature skill for you.

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

    Basic Druid Spellcasting Feat 4

    Archetype

    Prerequisites Druid Dedication

    You gain a single level 1 spell slot that you can use to prepare a level 1 common spell from the primal spelllist. At 6th level, you gain a level 2 spell slot that you can use to prepare a level 2 common spells from the primal list. At 8th level, you gain a level 3 spell slot that you can use to prepare a common level 3 spell from the primal spelllist.

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

    All that assumes the cleric list looks like that for the divine list.


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    Bardic Dave wrote:

    I have played 5E extensively and really enjoy it. In fact, I stopped playing PF1 in favour of 5E several years ago. However, it is patently false to say that 5E has anywhere near as many character build choices upon level up as the Pathfinder Playtest does. For some single-class characters in 5E (e.g. Berserker Barbarian, Champion Fighter, etc.), you literally do not make a single choice upon level up for your entire career, except for ability score increases every four levels. For most characters, the only choice you might make upon level up at a given level is a new spell known. Multiclassing in 5e is highly restrictive and easy to screw-up. It's definitely not a free-for-all cornucopia of choice.

    5E is a great game, but it's not a game with extensive mid-career character build choices. You make a few big choices fairly early on (Class, Race, Subclass, Background) and that's pretty much it.

    Pathfinder Playtest may or may not be as flexible as PF1 in terms of mid-career character build decisions—I happen to think it's more flexible, but that's certainly open to debate—but it's definitely waaaaaay more flexible than DnD 5E.

    ...and it’s by design. It’s not just new players, but there are a lot of players with several years’ experience in RPGs who don’t want tons of build complexity in their d20 fantasy, and 5e is excelling at collecting new players over the past three years better than any version before it. A lot of those who want the higher diversity of choice move on to other game systems, often Pathfinder because its niche is customization of characters and because of its commonalities with D&D. (I want to be a ranger? PF has rangers, too! AND they have a favored target type of thing!)

    If PF2 didn’t have more complexity and customization than D&D5, I’d be worried - that is its wheelhouse.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Why the high (16) intelligence requirement? Do normal wizards need a 16 intelligence? Why would a dabbler require such a high stat?


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    Vylatka wrote:
    Why the high (16) intelligence requirement? Do normal wizards need a 16 intelligence? Why would a dabbler require such a high stat?

    I got two answers for ya.

    1. To reflect the fact that in addition to learning their main profession at the normal rate, they're also learning a whole new profession - so they better have some aptitude for the new profession.

    Kinda like having a minor in college - say, English major with a Physics minor. If you don't have the ability and skill to handle a whole different field at the same time, you're destined for failure.

    2. And, of course, balance - same reason two-weapon fighting requires a 15 Dex. Multiclassing is a great damn feat, its going to have higher pre-requisites than normal.


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    Vylatka wrote:
    Why the high (16) intelligence requirement? Do normal wizards need a 16 intelligence? Why would a dabbler require such a high stat?

    From a game design perspective, it's obvious. Rampant multi-classing is seen as exploitative and undermines the game. By requiring a 16 in the primary stat, this is going to curtail triple and quadruple classing. It means a character is going to have to invest in the class and this also discourages min/maxing. If you're wizard and you're motivated to multi-class in order to get the armor and weapon proficiency with no intention of actually leveling up as Fighter, then you're having to put boost your STR and get comparatively little benefit from it.

    On an IC level, it would seem the obvious reasons is supported by the general idea that for a person to pick something up later in life, s/he needs an aptitude for it.

    Yes, it's possible to make all kinds of in-game backstories that justify someone with a 10 INT become a Wizard. I'm a fan of Paizo saying this is how its going to work for multi-classing, unless you start out as a wizard.

    Will this stop all the min/mazing, obviously not, but hopefully it limits the boundaries of how powerful a build can become.

    EDIT: NINJA'D!!!!


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    lol, its to stop the dip.


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    N N 959 wrote:
    Rampant multi-classing is seen as exploitative and undermines the game.

    I'm pretty sure requiring you take 3 feats in a row before being allowed another is doing that already.

    Ngai M'katu wrote:
    To reflect the fact that in addition to learning their main profession at the normal rate, they're also learning a whole new profession

    For me, that really isn't a satisfying answer. As you're only learning it as a 'hobby' and not your main profesion, it make more sense to me that it'd have LOWER requirements not higher ones. You aren't learning the actual profession as the core abilities aren't feats.

    Orville Redenbacher wrote:
    lol, its to stop the dip.

    Doesn't the entire archetype system already do that? I wouldn't call 3 feats a 'dip' as that's at least 6 levels of feats.


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    My big issue with multi classing in PF2e so far, is that while on a certain level it may technically offer more choices than 5e, you are a still a (class) + Feats.

    I don't want to play a fighter who has some wizard abilities, I want to play a fighter 2/wizard 3, rogue 2/ blade dancer 5.

    Digging into the classes, and there abilities, and planning fun, weird builds that take a while to come online has always been one of my favorite parts of table top role-playing.

    If you are still the class you started as, you are not multi-classing, you are just poaching some abilities.

    If this rule stays as is, I will be left with no option but to home brew something with my fellow grognards, at least until some other company comes along to eat Paizo's lunch, the way Paizo ate WotC's after the 4e debacle.

    I really hope that Paizo fixes this before the final version, I am rooting for them.


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    Personally, "I gave up on being a fighter, because I learned magic" never made a lick of sense to me. Of all the various kinds of multiclassing in this family of games, the 3.x kind is by far my least favorite, and it's not like I'm going to win a grog-off but I started back when "Elf" was a class.


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    graystone wrote:
    N N 959 wrote:
    Rampant multi-classing is seen as exploitative and undermines the game.
    I'm pretty sure requiring you take 3 feats in a row before being allowed another is doing that already.

    Maybe. If the goal is to discourage certain behaviors through design, the more impediments, the better.

    Quote:
    For me, that really isn't a satisfying answer. As you're only learning it as a 'hobby' and not your main profesion, it make more sense to me that it'd have LOWER requirements not higher ones. You aren't learning the actual profession as the core abilities aren't feats.

    I've never seen multi-classing described as a "hobby." If an entire class could be taken as a "hobby," that would really undermine the gravitas of a pure class.

    Based what I've read on these forums, "hobby" is really a code word for wanting to steal mechanics without being committed to the class, something Paizo is seemingly against.

    If players want a second class to be a "hobby," I see no reason why they can't house rule it into something that has that feel.

    Quote:
    Doesn't the entire archetype system already do that? I wouldn't call 3 feats a 'dip' as that's at least 6 levels of feats.

    Three feats does not stop the single-class dip, not at all. In fact, Mark has conceded that the Dedication feats have been made intentionally strong. I would not be surprised if this is an attempt to determine if the strength of the Dedication feat increases dipping. If it does, then it would suggest that multi-classing is driven by mechanics and not concept.


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    I predict no one will ever make a 3.5 style multiclass that makes the least bit of sense with PF2's system of proficiencies.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

    I read the blog post and I think:"Damn, the developers really love spellcastrs! Now we'll get wizards keeping full caster progression and poaching martial stuff as well!"

    Then I read the comments and I realize a good part of the fanbase is irritated because said poaching has a few limitations set in place and they want none at all...

    I'm extremely worried by this choice. I fear the game will end with everyone being casters and people that choose to play a pure martial character will be left far behind in the powercurve. Which is exactly THE problem D&D 3.X had (so including PF1).


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    Rogar Valertis wrote:
    I'm extremely worried by this choice. I fear the game will end with everyone being casters and people that choose to play a pure martial character will be left far behind in the powercurve. Which is exactly THE problem D&D 3.X had (so including PF1).

    Well, in about 16 hours we can find out what exactly a fighter would be giving up to get spellcasting. Since we can always discourage "everybody picks up a 2nd class" by making class feats really quite strong.

    But "pure martial characters" will still be able to cast rituals, so everybody's a caster anyway.


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    Rogar Valertis wrote:
    Then I read the comments and I realize a good part of the fanbase is irritated because said poaching has a few limitations set in place and they want none at all...

    I've never seen a community, as a whole, embrace the notions of limitations can be positive. There's a tongue-in-cheek quote from my days on the City of Heroes forms I'll never forget

    "The game is balanced when my character is the strongest." - Ladymage

    People are all in favor of nerfing their competitors, but no group recognizes the value in nerfing their thing. Sure, individuals who play Druids may say, "Darn, we did have it all." Or people can say, "Yeah, I suppose my WIzard did ruin that compaign." But when it comes to the nitty gritty of what to do, everyone screams bloody murder when they are asked to take a pay cut.

    Designers have to have the will and fortitude to do what's right, even though it may not be popular. Not always an easy task for a human being.


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    Rogar Valertis wrote:

    I read the blog post and I think:"Damn, the developers really love spellcastrs! Now we'll get wizards keeping full caster progression and poaching martial stuff as well!"

    Then I read the comments and I realize a good part of the fanbase is irritated because said poaching has a few limitations set in place and they want none at all...

    I'm extremely worried by this choice. I fear the game will end with everyone being casters and people that choose to play a pure martial character will be left far behind in the powercurve. Which is exactly THE problem D&D 3.X had (so including PF1).

    I think martials multiclassing into spellcasting are trading combat specializaiton/focus for less effectiveness in combat and some utility/buffing flexibility. A fighter will probably benefit more from multiclassing Barbarian (for rage) or Rogue (for Sneak Attack) if it wants to enhance DPR beyond what its own feats provide.


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    I don't see that as a problem.

    In a world where Magic is a thing, why wouldn't everyone want some?

    In terms of maintaining a semblance of balance, casting restrictions while wearing armor can cover that ground, as well as tying melee ability to AC, particularly in a system that generates a crit when you beat ac by 10. This would expose casters to serious pain, requiring more martial characters to protect them.

    Plus, I mean not everyone always wants to deal with the complexities of playing a caster.

    Pure melee builds are great for beginners, or people who just want to hit stuff.

    That is another great thing about this type of gaming, everyone can play the way they want, and it is up to the DM to ensure that everyone is having fun, has a role to play etc.

    Let's not forget that this is a COOPERATIVE game, and it is about more than just who's character is the most powerful.

    That is why I feel like balance needs to take a back seat to letting people build the kinds of character they want to build.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
    Xenocrat wrote:
    Rogar Valertis wrote:

    I read the blog post and I think:"Damn, the developers really love spellcastrs! Now we'll get wizards keeping full caster progression and poaching martial stuff as well!"

    Then I read the comments and I realize a good part of the fanbase is irritated because said poaching has a few limitations set in place and they want none at all...

    I'm extremely worried by this choice. I fear the game will end with everyone being casters and people that choose to play a pure martial character will be left far behind in the powercurve. Which is exactly THE problem D&D 3.X had (so including PF1).

    I think martials multiclassing into spellcasting are trading combat specializaiton/focus for less effectiveness in combat and some utility/buffing flexibility. A fighter will probably benefit more from multiclassing Barbarian (for rage) or Rogue (for Sneak Attack) if it wants to enhance DPR beyond what its own feats provide.

    What gives you "more" than gaining full caster progression? From what I've seen until now spells are still game changers. So on top of being able to fight well enough you'll also get to cast fireballs, turn invisible, raise the dead, and the like...

    Instead of making each class unique and therefore compelling this choice risks making everyone choose to multiclass into a spellcaster, because spellcasting is so damn powerful, versatile and not having it when everyone does means being left behind.

    I really hope I'm wrong. I really do.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Rogar Valertis wrote:

    I read the blog post and I think:"Damn, the developers really love spellcastrs! Now we'll get wizards keeping full caster progression and poaching martial stuff as well!"

    Then I read the comments and I realize a good part of the fanbase is irritated because said poaching has a few limitations set in place and they want none at all...

    I'm extremely worried by this choice. I fear the game will end with everyone being casters and people that choose to play a pure martial character will be left far behind in the powercurve. Which is exactly THE problem D&D 3.X had (so including PF1).

    Isn't this problem(if it even is one) easily handled by a session 0 where the DM and players outline what is/isn't available in their game?


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    The right solution might be to ditch proficiency for melee and magic, and return to good ol'e fashioned bab, and caster level.

    Leave proficiency for skills to cut the book keeping, as it shines there.

    I know this isn't going to happen, but another solution is to make Vigor/wounds a core mechanic, rather than an option, and add bab to melee defense.

    Then if a fighter gets within striking distance of your uber-caster, they will soon be a dead caster.

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