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

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
1,151 to 1,191 of 1,191 << first < prev | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | next > last >>

I think a big thing that's going to keep martials from wanting to grab a multiclass dedication is going to be "this locks you out from ASAP entry to a Prestige Archetype unless you just don't want class feats."

I think the only PrC for the playtest is the Gray Maiden one, but early accounts are that it is quite strong, so I kind of wish there were more.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Dairian wrote:

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.

...

1. Because this game has classes. If some options are so much better than other options then, inevitably, the "less powerful options" will be less appealing than the "powerful" ones. On these same boards we have people who kept posting stuff like "rolling a martial is suboptimal. They can't carry their weight! Play a caster instead!". Classes need to have their identity and their strong and WEAK points. Making classess that can do everything well is not going top make the game good.

2. Saying that's fine to have an imballanced system because the GM can always enforce ballance is not a solution. Especially because those players who want to be able to do whatever they want and build whatever they feel like with no restrictions are usually the same people who then make a fuss when the DM says no to them.

3. This is a cooperative game but you also want the freedom to build characters with no limitations and therefore able to solve any problem on their own? So why do you need to cooperate with other players? Why not solve everything by yourself? Why do you need those other people if not to witness your greatness while you vanquish every challenge and win at D&D???
Yeah, right. This is exactly why I think giving such freedom to players is not going to be a good thing for the game.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rogar Valertis wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:


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.

A fighter doing that is going to be worse than a dedicated spellcaster doing it. Lower spell slots, fewer spell slots, lower DCs, no metamagic or other class feats to enhance their power or flexibility of spells they cast. You're better off focusing on your combat role and letting someone else cast those spells for/on you. Or get an item.

You've made an argument for playing a spellcaster, not for playing a martial who multiclasses into spellcasting.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think a big thing that's going to keep martials from wanting to grab a multiclass dedication is going to be "this locks you out from ASAP entry to a Prestige Archetype unless you just don't want class feats."

I think the only PrC for the playtest is the Gray Maiden one, but early accounts are that it is quite strong, so I kind of wish there were more.

There are a lot of reasons:

1. Not everyone wants to play a caster.

2. Not every martial will have a 16 starting Int, Wis, or Charisma.


HWalsh wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think a big thing that's going to keep martials from wanting to grab a multiclass dedication is going to be "this locks you out from ASAP entry to a Prestige Archetype unless you just don't want class feats."

I think the only PrC for the playtest is the Gray Maiden one, but early accounts are that it is quite strong, so I kind of wish there were more.

There are a lot of reasons:

1. Not everyone wants to play a caster.

2. Not every martial will have a 16 starting Int, Wis, or Charisma.

The starting 16 isn't a big deal as long as you have a 14. Spending your level 2/4 class feats on your primary class before spreading out might be pretty smart unless those low level feats are garbage and you're better off preserving in-class feats for higher level.


HWalsh wrote:

There are a lot of reasons:

1. Not everyone wants to play a caster.

2. Not every martial will have a 16 starting Int, Wis, or Charisma.

I mean, one of my planned playtest characters is a monk (for whom 16 dex is not a problem) who multiclasses rogue. I don't want magic so much as "skills".


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


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.

A fighter doing that is going to be worse than a dedicated spellcaster doing it. Lower spell slots, fewer spell slots, lower DCs, no metamagic or other class feats to enhance their power or flexibility of spells they cast. You're better off focusing on your combat role and letting someone else cast those spells for/on you. Or get an item.

You've made an argument for playing a spellcaster, not for playing a martial who multiclasses into spellcasting.

Nope. As far as I can see right now, a full caster will be always viable but getting martial stuff to cover your own deficencies may very well be appealing as well. As far as I can see things right now, this will make parties made of full casters to be the norm, some will be full dedicated casters, other will be multiclasses as there will be very little incentive to include full martial classes in the mix.


Rogar Valertis wrote:
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...

Given Mark's earlier statement that they are trying to make the average F6/W6 work, I'm concerned as well. I share your sentiment that spells are game changers, but on the surface Paizo seems to be trying to reduce (nerf is too strong a word) the level of game-changing. So my concern isn't that the fireballs are as good as they were, my concern is that the F6/W6 will be every bit as functional as the F12 or W12, but have far more utility.

It would stand to reason that an F6/W6 should be half as good a fighter or wizard as an F12 or W12. What the MC character gets is a more robust PC or greater agency/utility. What I fear is that Paizo wants to make the F6/W6 stand toe-to-toe with the F12 or W12.

Quote:
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 think the versatility of magic is problematic. Or rather that those who can cast, inherently get all that versatility.

Let's hope it works out.


One of the problems I see is that there is no penalty to casters for multiclassing compared to pf1. Before a Wizard who dipped to gain better armor would lose at least 1 cl and 1 of tge highest slot in exchange for getting hit less by arrows and other attacks. Now a wizard is able to both get their super high level spells, the best armor, and be able to recast said high level spell.

Meanwhile, it takes the martial 4 feats to catch up to the best part of a caster (high level spells) so they might aswell just gone wizard with lots of martial feats. The argument of HP is mute when its balanced around litterally bending the world to your whims vs surviving a few hits. Which btw the spell contingency will still probably be a thing so the caster can just teleport "when attacked by an enemy".

For those complaining about pf1 multiclass:
From what I heard/know most failed characters are described as, "I want to be fighter 6/wizard 6." and that, "It's sub optimal because you lost spell lvs." Well I see it and can only think of you guys seeing that multiclass as horrible cause what you guys want is everyone to be game breaking wizards or not at all; also from how I understand it, the multiclass would be played as a wizard who can sometimes melee which is not wrong but is not the good point of the build. The good point of it however is being able to control the battlefield while maintaing a decent fighting capacity as you flank for the rogue, and boost your team (aka it would be easier to just play the spell disruptor bard).
What I'm trying to say is that multiclassing was seen as bad cause people where only looking at the numbers when playing not the possibilities (Ex: oh I lost 10 points of damage when I got shield spell and can now 2h free for no feat investment).


Rogar Valertis wrote:
Dairian wrote:

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.

...

1. Because this game has classes. If some options are so much better than other options then, inevitably, the "less powerful options" will be less appealing than the "powerful" ones. On these same boards we have people who kept posting stuff like "rolling a martial is suboptimal. They can't carry their weight! Play a caster instead!". Classes need to have their identity and their strong and WEAK points. Making classess that can do everything well is not going top make the game good.

2. Saying that's fine to have an imballanced system because the GM can always enforce ballance is not a solution. Especially because those players who want to be able to do whatever they want and build whatever they feel like with no restrictions are usually the same people who then make a fuss when the DM says no to them.

3. This is a cooperative game but you also want the freedom to build characters with no limitations and therefore able to solve any problem on their own? So why...

1. I concur, that is why I think ditching BAB was a bad idea. Especially in a system where beating ac by 10 means crit. If they went with vigor/wounds(unlikely, I know), and added bab to melee defense(ac) then a caster becomes VERY vulnerable to melee, and requires protection from physical threats.

2. I wasn't trying to imply that balance was not important at all, just that it needn't be a top concern, sorry if that wasn't clear on that point.

3. Limitations are great! The system as presented doesn't offer as many! as even the designers pointed out, the archetype multi-classing system allows you to avoid sacrificing your classes core abilities, while dipping into another class. In classic multi-classing, your have to sacrifice core class progression, you have to make trade offs, you have to balance how MAD your build will be, etc.


Rogar Valertis wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:


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.

A fighter doing that is going to be worse than a dedicated spellcaster doing it. Lower spell slots, fewer spell slots, lower DCs, no metamagic or other class feats to enhance their power or flexibility of spells they cast. You're better off focusing on your combat role and letting someone else cast those spells for/on you. Or get an item.

You've made an argument for playing a spellcaster, not for playing a martial who multiclasses into spellcasting.

Nope. As far as I can see right now, a full caster will be always viable but getting martial stuff to cover your own deficencies may very well be appealing as well. As far as I can see things right now, this will make parties made of full casters to be the norm, some will be full dedicated casters, other will be multiclasses as there will be very little incentive to include full martial classes in the mix.

This is the same thing I'm seeing. Full casters can patch holes or (or even and) give themselves a caster edge. Martials can become... lesser casters, just getting that edge. but forever shut out of the real deal.

For a caster, picking up a dedication and maybe a feat or two for armor, some tricks and maybe some action economy adjustments is pretty low cost.

Now whether this translates to martials still not playing the same game is still a question, but a caster/martial multiclass is a very different beast to a martial/caster multiclass, even with the exact same classes!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The big limitations in combat are actions and resources. You want to maximize the efficiency of your available actions, and have more resources.

A spellcaster who multiclasses into martial trades potentially trades away some resources (spell points, extra arcane focus or similar ability uses) and some efficiency (metamagic and other feats to enhance spellcasting) in return for some versatility and flexibility through proficiencies and martial feats.

Is that armor helpful to your AC? You're only going to have trained proficiency, leaving you eventually up to 3 behind the Paladin (or Fighter who invests), not counting their potential shield advantage, and you suffer speed reduction, ACP, and required WBL investment.

Is that weapon proficiency helpful to your DPR? It costs you a hand that could have held a shield/wand/staff/whatever, requires investment of more WBL, won't enable you to adopt a two handed style for maximum damage, puts you at risk in melee (where you don't have the HP or even close to the AC of a frontliner) and loses you the ranged benefit (and sometimes touch AC) of your cantrip alternative.

I'm not sure it's worth it. Focus on better spells, more spell point powers, more wealth supporting your core mission, and slightly lower AC.

A martial who multiclasses into spellcasting potentially trades away some resources (manuevers, critical abilities, DPR enhancers, etc.) for more resources (spells) and flexibility (spells can address things you can't ordinarily do, like fly). This may end up equivalent to trading martial capability for WBL savings on things you could have bought, though.

I suspect those spells won't make you better overall in combat than using actions on attacking/manuevers would be, and in the cases they are they won't last very long at all.

I suspect those who want to optimize will stay single classed or take synergistic classes, possibly just with the dedication feat. As more archetypes and prestige archetypes appear I suspect multiclassing will be less popular.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I mean, a fighter who sinks 2 feats into the Wizard multiclass archetype nets
-Arcana as a signature skill
-Can use wands, etc.
-4 cantrips
-2 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level spells
-1 1st, 1 2nd, and 1 3rd level spell slot.

I don't know if that's necessarily better than spending 2 feats on fighter stuff (plus the cost of an Int of 16 and being trained in Arcana), the most attractive bit is the cantrips I think. Most of the costs inherent to multiclassing (and archetypes) are opportunity costs which we are not in position to really judge without the full picture.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Temperans wrote:
For those complaining about pf1 multiclass...

IMO, the 3.5 MC system has a fundamental flaw. Let me demonstrate.

At 1st level, a multi-class character doesn't exist yet. At worst, they posses skill assignments/feats/abilities scores orthogonal to their primary class in preparation for subsequent MCing.

At 2nd level, your F1/W1, might be in in a party with a F2 or W2 and there's not a whole lot of difference between the three. In fact, the F1/W1 might solve problems that the F2 or W2 couldn't solve.

By level 4, you're teamed with an F4 or W4. The F2/W2 is still serviceable. You don't have fireball, but you might have Power Attack. You don't have Cleave, but you have Shield. You don't have that many feat choices, so bad choices compared with good ones is not that manifest.

Fast forward to level 12 and the game has changed. Now, the encounters anticipate the effectiveness of an F12 or a W12 and not the F6/W6. Now, the MC PC has to make exceedingly shrewd and clever choices in how to survive these encounters. Liberal use of magic is going to be necessary to bolster frontline duties, and you're simply not going to have the caster levels to contend with magic at that level.

What should be exceedingly obvious is that even if an F6/W6 sounds cool, the PC that wants to be equal parts fighter/wizard is not sufficient as either a Fighter or Wizard when pitted against the appropriate CR encounters. The fact that there are lots of things the F6/W6 can do that the pure classes can't, isn't beneficial when the competency required is based on the character level. The game doesn't reward individual versatility at the expense of high level competence. The reason is that the encounters anticipate the versatility at a party level, not an individual level.

Paizo seemingly wants to fix this. Mark suggests that P2 wants to make the F6/W6 a viable contributor in a CR 14 encounter, but you have the inherent P1 problem that you can't be as good at one thing if you're split between two things that do not inherently compliment each other. And while an F6/W6 can still contribute, the bar appears to be set at a level matching the F12 or W12, which isn't going to happen for the average player. So it looks like Paizo is trying to change the paradigm of multi-classing (probably inspired by other games). It would seem the goal is to identify key functionality that defines the class to scale with PC level, not traditional class level.

The problem is that players are getting to choose feats and that opens the door for players to figure out which feats are actually "best" and mask the deficiency resulting from feats not chosen. For example, ignoring class abilities that improve AC from the Fighter in favor of class feat mechanics that can be leveraged from both classes and then masking the loss of AC with spells or items. The result is higher damage than either the Fighter or Wizard, with a lower AC that is easily compensated for via other methods.


N N 959 wrote:
Temperans wrote:
For those complaining about pf1 multiclass...

IMO, the 3.5 MC system has a fundamental flaw. Let me demonstrate.

At 1st level, a multi-class character doesn't exist yet. At worst, they posses a skill assignments/feats/abilities scores orthogonal to their primary class in preparation for subsequent MCing.

At 2nd level, your F1/W1, might be in in a party with a F2 or W2 and there's not a whole lot of difference between the three. In fact, the F1/W1 might solve problems that the F2 could or W2 couldn't solve.

By level 4, you're teamed with an F4 or W4. The F2/W2 is still serviceable. You don't have fireball, but you might have Power Attack. You don't have Cleave, but you have Shield. You don't have that many feat choices, so bad choices compared with good ones is not that manifest.

Fast forward to level 12 and the game has changed. Now, the encounters anticipate the effectiveness of an F12 or a W12 and not the F6/W6. Now, the MC PC has to make exceedingly shrewd and clever choices in how to survive these encounters. Liberal use of magic is going to be necessary to bolster frontline duties, and you're simply not going to have the caster levels to contend with magic at that level.

What should be exceedingly obvious is that even if an F6/W6 sounds cool, the PC that wants to be equal parts fighter/wizard is not sufficient as either a Fighter or Wizard when pitted against the appropriate CR encounters. The fact that there are lots of things the F6/W6 can do that the pure classes can't, isn't beneficial when the competency required is based on the character level. The game doesn't reward individual versatility at the expense of high level competence. The reason is that the encounters anticipate the versatility at a party level, not an individual level.

Paizo seemingly wants to fix this. Mark suggests that P2 wants to make the F6/W6 a viable contributor in a CR 14 encounter, but you have the inherent P1 problem that you can't be as good at...

I wont and can't deny that the spell lv for a Fighter 6/Wizard 6 is much lower, and that his combat ability is also worse than an equivalent Fighter. But, yiu also admit that this multiclass simply requires more tactical and ingenious use of his abilities compared to regular character (Aka Fighter 6/Wizard 6 is not for new and average players).

Btw in my opinion the solution for spell levels is to treat CL progression the same as Oracle curse progression such that while a multiclass character might not get high level spell they are able to maintain a good enough caster level. I mean Wizards get half BAB why can't Fighters be treated as getting half CL for multiclassing?


Yeah, a failure to focus on your spellcasting with feats is going to hurt you. A Wizard class feat is Spell Penetration, which now reduces the target's conditional bonus to saves, if any, by 1. More potential room between the DCs of the focused spellcaster and the multiclassed dabbler.

It's probably the same for a martial character, buy your offensive/defensive boosters or pay the price in combat.


Temperans wrote:
Btw in my opinion the solution for spell levels is to treat CL progression the same as Oracle curse progression such that while a multiclass character might not get high level spell they are able to maintain a good enough caster level. I mean Wizards get half BAB why can't Fighters be treated as getting half CL for multiclassing?

I dont think there is a solution the way Paizo is defining the problem. As long as encounter difficulty (be it combat or skill based) are based on party PC level, the MC character is in danger of being ineffective or overpowered. Paizo admitted to this problem with P1.

In order for MC to work as viable concept, there would have to be emergent properties resulting from combining classes. You know what that looks like? The Hunter, Slayer, Investigator, Blood Rager, etc. Paizo actually created a separate class which had unique abilities, blending concepts from the parent classes. This allowed Paizo to control the effectiveness of that hybrid and make sure that it had a high level of effectiveness at some functional role. But MC can't do this inherently, hence the apparent PC level being used to scale certain class abilities. Nevertheless, I think if Paizo stays wedded to this type of MCing. were' going to see a proliferation of MC feats that are essentially class feats for that combination of multi-classing. And you can bet dollars to donuts, players are going to find the combos that have inherent synergy.

Paizo can certainly make MCing more attractive or less attractive to players. But the nature of the game means that any kind of flexible combining of classes isn't going to rid Paizo of either the peaks or valleys.


so wait, are we less than 14 hours off the pdf release and we're already noting that the caster/martial disparity is very likely going to be a Thing (and possibly a larger Thing than pf1 as now casters can arguably have their martial cake and eat it too)?

I mean hey, let's keep it rolling--maybe the devs will actually do something about the hilariously lopsided difference in scope and scale of a characters actions at equal levels (on a combat and narrative/roleplay level) between martials and casters this time.
I dont expect they will, but hey, pigs can fly if you put them through enough piloting courses.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Caster/Martial disparity is likely going to be a thing, yes. I think it would be pretty much impossible to go from PF1 to a system where it isn't a thing without making something that's pretty much entirely different.

That said, I don't think it's quite as severe as some are thinking here. I think it's important to note that magic spells, by default, costs 2 actions to use. This means that it actually takes up quite a bit of a turn to use, as opposed to a single attack by a martial character, for example. Turn/action economy is going to be very important in PF2, I think.


AndIMustMask wrote:
so wait, are we less than 14 hours off the pdf release and we're already noting that the caster/martial disparity is very likely going to be a Thing (and possibly a larger Thing than pf1 as now casters can arguably have their martial cake and eat it too)?

Between pure classes, I don't think it will be bigger be virtue of reduced spells and supposedly reduced damage. The problem is the playtest is hardly going to be definitive. Players will need system mastery and all the bits and pieces before the community crowd-sourcing finds the boundaries on this version of P2. It will take players some time to figure out optimal tactics for martials or casters. And any little rule change can shift the balance.

What will not change is that casters will have more agency than non-casters. How much more is yet to be seen.


Meophist wrote:

Caster/Martial disparity is likely going to be a thing, yes. I think it would be pretty much impossible to go from PF1 to a system where it isn't a thing without making something that's pretty much entirely different.

That said, I don't think it's quite as severe as some are thinking here. I think it's important to note that magic spells, by default, costs 2 actions to use. This means that it actually takes up quite a bit of a turn to use, as opposed to a single attack by a martial character, for example. Turn/action economy is going to be very important in PF2, I think.

i agree on turns/action economy being more precious, but the issue remains: for two actions you can cast a spell that affects everyone in a 20-30' radius [or] for two actions you can... hit one target twice (or two targets once), at an impressive penalty for the second.

or doublemove+attack with a feat.

that's still a pretty huge difference in scope/scale (and overall flexibilty, since once could have several different spells for a situation, while the other has one option, and that is [attack])

Sovereign Court

How necessary do folks think dedication is? I could live with even level archetype/MC/prestige options without any dedication.


AndIMustMask wrote:
so wait, are we less than 14 hours off the pdf release

Well for me, I just got my hands on the book so I'll be heading off to dig into it. ;)

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

In terms of Caster/Martial Disparity, I think the big thing martials have over casters are Proficiencies. Specifically, those above Trained.

A Wizard who multiclassed into Fighter will obviously have much better spells than vice versa, and will be using the same weapon and armor, and may well have AoO, but the Fighter multiclassed into Wizard will have +3 to hit (which translates into around 150% DPR), and can probably manage buff spells on par with the Wizard to boot.

We also know that the Fighter gets to Master in armor, having +2 AC to go with his +3 to-hit, and may well get better Save progression as well (indeed, we know for a fact that he gets Expert in two Saves to the Wizard's one at 1st level).


3 people marked this as a favorite.

There are many costs to MCing which accumulate.
Note: I still adore PF2 MCing, but am trying to come at it skeptically.

If you MC early, then that 16 is a hefty price if not already your primary or secondary stat. A Str martial boosting a mental stat will be behind the curve on their Dex & Con. An Int caster boosting Str likely has lower saves now, in a game where every +1 is worth double what it was in PF2. A Cleric dipping Sorcerer (when the main CRB comes out) won't be able to take the feats which improve their Heals that the Cha was initially for.
Even a 14 at 1st to get 16 at 5th is a price. And a 16 at 10th means those first few feats are just playing catch-up in power.

We don't know how good high level class feats are, but odds are they're competitive w/ those unlocked by Dedication Feats. The casters can gain many spell/domain/school/bloodline/etc. abilities that scale and add points to their spell pool. Or merely get an MC feat to catch up with the warriors who have combat abilities that improve by level. Or finally get that great warrior feat they couldn't get until later because they only get access to those up to 1/2 their level.
It may not be as bad as giving up a complete casting level in PF1, but there's certainly a price in magic.

Dedication Feats overlap w/ archetypes & PrCs, so there will be that opportunity cost.

Assuming level & items are equivalent between the PCs, a Wizard MCing Fighter gets a 16 Str (max), so attacks at +3.
A Str Fighter can (arguably should) have Str 18 & Expert Weapon Prof. for +5.
Math has shown that in a normal challenge with a foe that can be crit, a +3 difference in attack bonus is a 50% difference in damage output on the first swing alone. So a +2 is pretty significant.
So now the Wizard has to make up for that somehow, all while having lower h.p., and they still haven't picked up Power Attack or a Fighter stance or whatnot.
I'm not saying their magic won't bridge the gap, but rather that there is a gap to bridge. Once the mage has swapped out enough class feats to catch up to the Fighter's baseline, what have they sacrificed? What other tricks has the Fighter gained in the meantime?

MCing certainly isn't something to dabble in without forethought.

Again, I'm a fan of Dedication Feats (at least if they stay as powerful as most we've seen), and completely understand the +2 feat requirement to take another. Otherwise I'd likely be gobbling them up.

Cheers, (and 1 day!)


AndIMustMask wrote:
Meophist wrote:

Caster/Martial disparity is likely going to be a thing, yes. I think it would be pretty much impossible to go from PF1 to a system where it isn't a thing without making something that's pretty much entirely different.

That said, I don't think it's quite as severe as some are thinking here. I think it's important to note that magic spells, by default, costs 2 actions to use. This means that it actually takes up quite a bit of a turn to use, as opposed to a single attack by a martial character, for example. Turn/action economy is going to be very important in PF2, I think.

i agree on turns/action economy being more precious, but the issue remains: for two actions you can cast a spell that affects everyone in a 20-30' radius [or] for two actions you can... hit one target twice (or two targets once), at an impressive penalty for the second.

or doublemove+attack with a feat.

that's still a pretty huge difference in scope/scale (and overall flexibilty, since once could have several different spells for a situation, while the other has one option, and that is [attack])

I mean, kinda.

I'm sorta doing this from a bit different perspective, that is the perspective of a Fighter who's multiclassing into Wizard. The spells they earn from the multiclass are limited, they take up two actions of a turn, and they're generally going to be weaker than if a Wizard used them. Will they be worth using? "Sometimes", I imagine would be the answer, which makes the worth of the multiclass into question. Yes, I think it'll be useful, but I don't think it'll be an automatic include like some may think.

It should be noted that the math seems to be so that the first attack is likely to crit, the second likely to hit, and the third maybe hit. From that perspective, those first two attacks are likely quite useful, even compared to spells.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

In terms of Caster/Martial Disparity, I think the big thing martials have over casters are Proficiencies. Specifically, those above Trained.

A Wizard who multiclassed into Fighter will obviously have much better spells than vice versa, and will be using the same weapon and armor, and may well have AoO, but the Fighter multiclassed into Wizard will have +3 to hit (which translates into around 150% DPR), and can probably manage buff spells on par with the Wizard to boot.

We also know that the Fighter gets to Master in armor, having +2 AC to go with his +3 to-hit, and may well get better Save progression as well (indeed, we know for a fact that he gets Expert in two Saves to the Wizard's one at 1st level).

+3 to hit or +3 to hit with weapons.

Because while the +3 with weapons is nice, Wizard/Fighter should be able to cast their spells better.

We'll see if +3 to hit is better than, as a random thing, AoE damage with a possible condition attached.


graystone wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
so wait, are we less than 14 hours off the pdf release
Well for me, I just got my hands on the book so I'll be heading off to dig into it. ;)

4chan has been having a good laugh at what the ranger gets at level 18 compared to the wizard's shiny new 9th level spells, might be worth a look.


AndIMustMask wrote:
graystone wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
so wait, are we less than 14 hours off the pdf release
Well for me, I just got my hands on the book so I'll be heading off to dig into it. ;)
4chan has been having a good laugh at what the ranger gets at level 18 compared to the wizard's shiny new 9th level spells, might be worth a look.

You mean improvised snare? Yeah, that one is a REAL shot to the nether regions...

I have to say universalist wizards have cool stuff on top of the usual wizard stuff. SOOOO many spells to cast.


Rogar Valertis wrote:


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...

Aside from what Xenocrat and Deadmanwalking have already pointed out, much of the stuff you pointed out there is good for someone in the party to be able to do, but not necessarily everyone in the party needs it. There's a point of diminishing returns on utility spells. You don't generally need more than one person who can cast Raise Dead. (Barring your cleric eating it of course.) By comparison, Rogue feats will eventually let them essentially air walk at all times.

I suspect that a party of all fighters is going to benefit greatly from at least one person multiclassing into wizard. I suspect a party of 3 wizards and a fighter will benefit more from a Fighter who invests in being the best Fighter possible than being able to provide a little extra wizard.

And in terms of combat spells, I don't think it will be necessary or even optimal to dip for things like fireball. Blast spells don't have a great track record in PF1, to the point where many of us are hoping it has been substantially buffed. Also, there are AoE options available to barbarians and monks already, for example.

To be sure, there is a balancing act to be made here. Multiclassing looks really powerful, but hopefully so are the class feats it competes for.


graystone wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
graystone wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
so wait, are we less than 14 hours off the pdf release
Well for me, I just got my hands on the book so I'll be heading off to dig into it. ;)
4chan has been having a good laugh at what the ranger gets at level 18 compared to the wizard's shiny new 9th level spells, might be worth a look.
You mean [REDACTED]?

(you may want to edit that, sicne there's a bit of a kibosh on spoiling too much on exact mechanics before the pdf proper launches so paizo can prep their excuses)


AndIMustMask wrote:
graystone wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
graystone wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
so wait, are we less than 14 hours off the pdf release
Well for me, I just got my hands on the book so I'll be heading off to dig into it. ;)
4chan has been having a good laugh at what the ranger gets at level 18 compared to the wizard's shiny new 9th level spells, might be worth a look.
You mean [REDACTED]?
(you may want to edit that, sicne there's a bit of a kibosh on spoiling too much on exact mechanics before the pdf proper launches so paizo can prep their excuses)

I was careful to not post any mechanics, hence nothing to redact. A far as I know, naming a rule element isn't a mechanic. Heck, I didn't even identify what kind of rule element it was. ;)


graystone wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
graystone wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
graystone wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
so wait, are we less than 14 hours off the pdf release
Well for me, I just got my hands on the book so I'll be heading off to dig into it. ;)
4chan has been having a good laugh at what the ranger gets at level 18 compared to the wizard's shiny new 9th level spells, might be worth a look.
You mean [REDACTED]?
(you may want to edit that, sicne there's a bit of a kibosh on spoiling too much on exact mechanics before the pdf proper launches so paizo can prep their excuses)
I was careful to not post any mechanics, hence nothing to redact. A far as I know, naming a rule element isn't a mechanic. Heck, I didn't even identify what kind of rule element it was. ;)

fair enough, i just didn't want to see anyoen walk into a post-removal

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
MerlinCross wrote:
+3 to hit or +3 to hit with weapons.

With weapons. But if you're not attacking with weapons, what's the relevance of multiclassing into Fighter?

MerlinCross wrote:
Because while the +3 with weapons is nice, Wizard/Fighter should be able to cast their spells better.

Only starting at 12th level (when they get Expert). By 13th, the Fighter is Legendary. There's also, as mentioned, the difference in AC and Saves.

MerlinCross wrote:
We'll see if +3 to hit is better than, as a random thing, AoE damage with a possible condition attached.

Better for what purpose? The +3 to hit is a lot better on single target damage than area spells are, and works all day long.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
+3 to hit or +3 to hit with weapons.

With weapons. But if you're not attacking with weapons, what's the relevance of multiclassing into Fighter?

MerlinCross wrote:
Because while the +3 with weapons is nice, Wizard/Fighter should be able to cast their spells better.

Only starting at 12th level (when they get Expert). By 13th, the Fighter is Legendary. There's also, as mentioned, the difference in AC and Saves.

MerlinCross wrote:
We'll see if +3 to hit is better than, as a random thing, AoE damage with a possible condition attached.
Better for what purpose? The +3 to hit is a lot better on single target damage than area spells are, and works all day long.

1) Armor. Though I don't know why a Wizard would want to downgrade given how they're supposed to play.

2) Yay difference in AC and Saves. Oh wait Wizard can still maybe do stupid stuff? Ah well, Fighter can't do anything unless they multiclass cause magic still beats everything.

3) Don't Cantrips also work all day? From range, with different targeting factors, damage types, etc etc. Oh yeah. Swing that sword all day, Mr Wizard will still only need X spell and actually have a back up now.

I'll still probably favor Fighter over Wizard myself. I dislike playing pure caster(Even Witch and Shaman had abilities to use when not casting).

But hey, may as well get ready for the martial vs caster debates(Which my above points were aimed at spoofing or at least throwing out the more repeated points).

Liberty's Edge

MerlinCross wrote:
1) Armor. Though I don't know why a Wizard would want to downgrade given how they're supposed to play.

Evidence suggests that armor only helps much if you have lower Dex. There's no reason to ever go low Dex on a Wizard, and that being the case I'm not seeing this as a particularly optimal use of a Class Feat.

MerlinCross wrote:
2) Yay difference in AC and Saves. Oh wait Wizard can still maybe do stupid stuff? Ah well, Fighter can't do anything unless they multiclass cause magic still beats everything.

This statement is based on what? I mean, it's true to some degree in PF1, but PF2? We really don't know.

And even if true...after a lot of failed saves all the magic in the world won't help you. At least, not your own magic as you're in no position to use it.

MerlinCross wrote:
3) Don't Cantrips also work all day? From range, with different targeting factors, damage types, etc etc. Oh yeah. Swing that sword all day, Mr Wizard will still only need X spell and actually have a back up now.

Cantrips work all day. They also seem to cap out at around one die less damage than a maxed out magic weapon and take two actions to do. They stay relevant, but are not nearly as good as an actual combatant's offense.

MerlinCross wrote:
I'll still probably favor Fighter over Wizard myself. I dislike playing pure caster(Even Witch and Shaman had abilities to use when not casting).

I prefer skill characters myself, so I'll likely be favoring rogue and Bard.

MerlinCross wrote:
But hey, may as well get ready for the martial vs caster debates(Which my above points were aimed at spoofing or at least throwing out the more repeated points).

Sure. A lot of it isn't nearly as true when you examine what we already know about the PF2 rules, though.


I don't see a Fighter 6/Wizard 6 being a viable spellcaster whose primary offense is to cast spells. Casting spells has little synergy with hitting stuff with a weapon (hence the magus class combining the two into a single activity).

I will be really, really interested to see how the whole Fighter/Wizard multiclass works. I've played a competent and viable Eldritch Knight in PF1 (I kept up with the other martials) but only be playing a GISH that used spells to enhance my attacking (I did bust out some controlling spells and maybe even a dispel magic once or twice).

I really want to see a Fighter/Wizard and a Wizard/Fighter be on equal footing with each other. A primary fighter should rely less on spells to buff up their offensive capabilities while a primary wizard should rely on spells to buff up their offensive capabilities. But regardless of how the end result is achieved, both characters should be on equal footing.

We're getting such a ridiculous overhaul of multiclassing so I have high standards set for it.

Liberty's Edge

John Lynch 106 wrote:
I really want to see a Fighter/Wizard and a Wizard/Fighter be on equal footing with each other. A primary fighter should rely less on spells to buff up their offensive capabilities while a primary wizard should rely on spells to buff up their offensive capabilities. But regardless of how the end result is achieved, both characters should be on equal footing.

I suspect a Fighter/Wizard will have enough spells to buff for major fights combined with higher base combat stats, thus being more burst-heavy than a Wizard/Fighter (since his peak when buffed is higher), while the Wizard Fighter will need their buffs in order to operate at the same level the Fighter/Wizard does normally, but will have a lot more spells, thus enabling them to use them for things other than buff spells, while the Fighter Wizard (who will cap out at two spells per spell level, one per level at their highest level spells), will need to very carefully budget their non-buff spell uses.

This is assuming both actually fight in physical combat, of course.


Yeah, it will be interesting to see how you can wrangle different fighter/magic-user concepts (eldritch knight, bladesinger, swordmage, etc), depending on which class and multiclass feats you take.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The dynamic of which class is first and which is the one picked up by feats is going to be interesting too.


Having seen the Wizard and Bard classes, I think class feats will be a big reason for other casters to pick up Wizard, not the spells. The Bard only has a couple of metamagics, one of which is an overlap. Wizards also have no way to improve any saves past expert, but Bard has feats to elevate will saves to master and legendary. Wizard signature skills are awful (Arcana and Craft), while the Bard has 7 or 8 options to take to master or legendary.

1,151 to 1,191 of 1,191 << first < prev | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / Paizo Blog: Multiclassing and Archetypes All Messageboards
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion