Multiclassing and Archetypes

Friday, July 27, 2018

One of the trickiest parts of the rules is multiclassing. At its heart, multiclassing allows you to build almost any character you can envision, taking parts from multiple classes to build the perfect version of your character. Making these rules play well with the rest of the game, unfortunately, has always been a challenge. Concepts that really should work together just fell flat, leaving you with a character who could not perform at its level and keep pace with single class characters. This was especially the case for certain classes, like most spellcasters, that had a central class feature or features that you would fall sharply behind in if you weren't constantly progressing in that class.

Suffice to say, when it came time to redesign the system for the Pathfinder Playtest, we knew that multiclassing needed work.

Then came the rules for archetypes. The new design for this emblematic part of the game allows archetypes to be taken by any class, so you can decide exactly how much you want to invest into an alternative path for your character. The more we worked on that system, the more it began to sound like it shared almost exactly the same goals as multiclassing. Our thought was, shouldn't they just be the same system?

Multiclass archetypes are one of the more experimental parts of the Pathfinder Playtest. So much so that there are only four of them in the book, one for cleric, one for fighter, one for rogue, and one for wizard. Just like ordinary archetypes, you must take a special dedication feat to gain access to the archetype, but you cannot be of the same class as the archetype (so you can't take the rogue dedication feat if you are already a rogue). Let's take a look at one of these feats.

Wizard Dedication Feat 2

Archetype, Dedication, Multiclass

Prerequisites Intelligence 16, trained in Arcana


You cast spells like a wizard and gain a spellbook containing four arcane cantrips of your choice. You gain access to the Cast a Spell activity and the Material Casting, Somatic Casting, and Verbal Casting actions. You can prepare two cantrips each day from those found in your spellbook. You're trained in spell rolls and spell DCs for casting arcane spells and in attacks you make with arcane spells. Your key spellcasting ability for these spells is Intelligence. You can use wands, scrolls, and staves, but only for spells of a spell level you can cast. Arcana is a signature skill for you.

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

Right away, this lets you cast a few simple cantrips; allows you to use wands, scrolls, and staves; and makes Arcana a signature skill for you (meaning you can advance your proficiency in the skill to master and legendary). Like other dedication feats, once you've taken Wizard Dedication, you gain access to other wizard archetype feats, each of which makes you a more powerful master of the arcane arts. Take a look.

Basic Wizard Spellcasting Feat 4

Archetype

Prerequisites Wizard Dedication


Add two level 1 spells to your spellbook. You gain a single level1 spell slot that you can use to prepare a level 1 spell from your spellbook. At 6th level, add two level 2 spells to your spellbook, and you gain a level 2 spell slot that you can use to prepare a level 2 spell from your spellbook. At 8th level, add two level 3 spells to your spellbook, and you gain a level 3 spell slot that you can use to prepare a level 3 spell from your spellbook.

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

This feat pays dividends all the way up through 8th level, giving you more spells you can cast, and if you take it later on in your career, you get all of that spellcasting all at once. Better still, there are additional feats you can take to gain spells of up to 8th level! But let's say you want to be even more of a wizard—you want to get some of the other class features that make wizards fun to play. Take a look at these feats.

Arcane School Feat 4

Archetype

Prerequisite Wizard Dedication


Select one school of magic from those found in the wizard class. You gain the level 1 school power tied to your school and a pool of Spell Points equal to your Intelligence modifier that you can use to cast that power.

If you already have a pool of Spell Points, use the higher ability score to determine the pool, as normal, and your Spell Point pool increases by 1.

Basic Arcana Feat 4

Archetype

Prerequisites Wizard Dedication


Gain a level 1 or level 2 wizard feat of your choice.

Advanced Arcana Feat 6

Archetype

Prerequisites Basic Arcana


Gain one wizard feat. For the purposes of meeting its prerequisites, your wizard level is equal to half your level.

Special You can select this feat more than once. Each time you select it, you gain a new wizard feat.

There's even a feat that gives you additional spell slots of every level except for your two highest, giving you more versatility in your spellcasting. It's important to note that these powers come at the cost of some of the flexibility of your primary class, but not at the cost of core features. A cleric who multiclasses into fighter will keep all of her spellcasting abilities, but she will have to trade out some of the feats that allow her to be better at casting heal or at using domain powers in exchange for increased proficiency in weapons and armor, added hit points, and the ability to make attacks of opportunity. You might even choose to multiclass into several classes. You could play a cleric who, in addition to all her cleric spells, also has up to 8th-level druid spells and 8th-level wizard spells, though such a three-tradition spellcaster would have few cleric feats to speak of!

Well, that about covers the rules for multiclassing in the Pathfinder Playtest. If these archetypes work, you can expect to see one for each class in the final version of the game, giving you the flexibility to build characters that draw on more than one class to make their concept click. We hope you'll give these a try during the playtest and let us know what you think!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
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How is this going to affect classes like the magus and the like?


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Kazk wrote:
Kaelizar wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
(Fighter Dedication would take 5 feats to replicate for a wizard, and an average of around 3 feats for most other characters)

Hopefully this is hypothetical feats and not actual feats? I would hate for the list of feats to get so large in 2nd that someone who's new to the system would pick their feats, only to have another player more experienced make the same exact character but using the 'more powerful' feats and having a better character only because they knew which feats provided more/better benefits than others.

I just don't the amount of feats cause problems for players. Say for example you wanted a wizard who has Armor proficiency, so you take the Armor proficiency feat.. but wait, they could have just multi-classed into Fighter as you said and get that and then some. Why would a Wizard (Who didn't intend to multiclass into other classes) ever take any weapon or armor Prof. feats? They should always take Fighter Multiclass? and if you pick the weapon/Armor feats then you're making a bad/wrong choice. I hope I'm conveying this right

That is actually a good point.

My first instinct is to say "A more experienced player or GM could point that out and help the new player," but I am a bit iffy on that as that feels a bit like saying "systematic flaws are ok as long as you help people avoid them."

Still, stretching for counter-arguments, that does come at the cost of locking the chatacter out of non-multiclass archetypes. Additionally, those sound like general feats the wizard could grab, vs having to spend a class feat to crossclass with fighter. Still, that does seem like quite a gap in power, especially between two CRB feats.

It would take up extra space, but it would help the problem somewhat if feats referenced archetype and multiclass feats that provided them as well. Being able to retrain your heavy armor proficiency for fighter dedication should make the problem fairly minimal though.

example:
"This feat is included in fighter, paladin and graymaiden dedication feats"
It would be a bit much to include in the book, but hopefully a consideration in online tools.


thflame wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:
I don't see why being a pirate rogue should make it harder to be a pirate rogue-wizard, but currently, that seems to be the case.

Hunh. To the extent that this is true and the fact that you seemingly have stat requirement to multi-class are the things I like.

It should be exceedingly hard to be a doctor/lawyer and then be firefighter as well. I think the dedication feat requirement is something that adds at least an iota of realism, if not balance, to the concept.

Firefighter is a bad example. You can get certified as a firefighter in a day, assuming you can pass the physical portion.

What doesn't make sense is that if I am a doctor, and I decide that I want to learn a bit about law as it applies to my medical field. I shouldn't have to take Law 101, then Medical Law.

After that, if I want to be a firefighter, I shouldn't have to take some other law class before I am physically capable to learning how to be a firefighter.

Concerning verisimilitude, I agree with you. On the other hand,Kaelizar pointed out the massive gap in power between the fighter dedication feat and other non-dedication feats, and the scaling cantrip seems potentially very powerful. In short, I have a feeling that the dedication feats are powerful because they are balanced around the restrictions that they come with.

That gets into some tricky territory, because this weighs game balance against the games capability to simulate believable character growth.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
N N 959 wrote:
j b 200 wrote:
What he's saying is that it eliminates a trap for inexperienced players while also eliminating min/max power gaming by players with system mastery.

I read the former, but not the latter.

Let's go through his post again:

Quote:
I don't think that's more important;

Mark is making a value judgment on what's more important, and it's not min/maxers reeking havoc.

Quote:
people will always find a way to optimize a powerful character that the system allows

Translation: we can't stop min/maxing. When you combine that with the previous statement, it equates to Paizo putting the impact of min/maxers as less important than fixing the problem with weak multi-class builds.

Quote:
but more plentiful overall (if not on the Paizo boards) were newer players earnestly multiclassing Fighter6/Wizard6 because it sounded cool and being punished for it.
So here is the most troubling part. Mark appears to be basing the decision on people complaining about their multi-classed builds on forums. How do we know that this equates to a bigger problem for actual game play than overpowered mult-classed builds, because of forum posts?

There's two parts to increasing balance, one is lowering the ceiling and the other is raising the floor. PF2 seems very clearly built on an attempt to do both, which isn't always popular, but I'm a fan (and don't really believe there's a viable alternative if class balance is an actual goal).

There are definitely more people who are bad at maximizing the system than good, so as priorities go, I'd agree that avoiding making "bad" characters is more important. If you don't agree with this since I'm not citing any sources, maybe it's been a while since you've played with a new player or someone coming from another system. Anyone just getting into the game is almost certainly going to be worse, and it stands to reason that there are more of those folks than hardcore PF players.

As for how to stop the min-maxers, well, they've done a lot, but it's by building those limits as ceilings in the system. There are fewer bonuses that a min-maxer can stack through magic items. Attributes are capped fairly explicitly, proficiencies provide clear bonus tiers with defined ranges, and even the highest limits aren't an order of magnitude better than the lowest limits at the same level. And by keeping the floor of the game better defined, the impact of min-maxing is also diminished. Min-maxers will be awesome and get crits and whatnot, but they won't fundamentally break the adventures by warping DCs around them. Additionally, by making the various means of reaching the "best" bonuses much more straightforward and obvious (by having fewer ways to get there), more people are going to build more "optimal" characters anyway.

I see a lot of these same arguments in the Fighting Game Community (FGC). They endlessly argue over tier lists, balance updates, and whether moves that are easy to execute diminish the value of the "skill" required to master the game. I'm okay if a lot of the "skill" of playing Pathfinder moves from weird character build rule interactions to actually using the abilities in the game.


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N N 959 wrote:
thflame wrote:
Firefighter is a bad example. You can get certified as a firefighter in a day, assuming you can pass the physical portion.

I'm sorry, but you cannot go from sitting on the coach to putting riding a fire truck and out fires in a day (well, maybe in a one-horse town, but not in an major city). But you don't like firefighter? Okay, let's use electrician or policemen, or marine biologist.

Quote:
What doesn't make sense is that if I am a doctor, and I decide that I want to learn a bit about law as it applies to my medical field. I shouldn't have to take Law 101, then Medical Law.

That's a disanlogy. If you want to learn about the law then you invest in a skill. If you want to practice law, you have to go to law school for a three years and then pass the bar.

Quote:
After that, if I want to be a firefighter, I shouldn't have to take some other law class before I am physically capable to learning how to be a firefighter.

In real life, you won't have much of a legal practice or a medical practice if you decide to be a firefighter or a marine biologist. It can happen, and I can imagine there are some amazingly talented people in the world that might pull it off at high level...and that number might be about 10-20 in the US of 200 million people.

There absolutely should be a constraint on multi-classing. And honestly, it should be impossible to multi-class into full casting classes. Magic, either divine or arcane, should require such devotion and dedication that you don't do it between levels. But that ship has sailed since AD&D, so I won't harp on it.

***can someone link the OOTS strip where Belkar gets a Barbarian level?***

OOTS #126


Ragni wrote:
Right now in 1ed I could be rouge 1 (Pirate archetype) + wiz 1 and be doing it a lvl 2.

And that was the part that was ridiculous in-game. I'm coming from the AD&D mindset where it actually took time to master something. So it's pretty absurd (from an IC perspective) to think you don't know squat about spells and then literally the next day, you're casting all the cantrips and 1st level spells of a Wizard.

OOC, sure I get that players want it without restriction.


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Tangent101 wrote:
First, tl;dr - try out the Playtest first. You might find what you thought you'd hate actually works quite well when you see more than just a bare bones snippet in a blog.

And yet if we still don't like it that means either PF1 or lots of homebrewing.

Myself, I'll test it yeah. But I also have the fire on to get to brewing. No reason not to be ready for that.

Really at this point I'm going to take the few things I like from PF2 and put them into PF1.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
thflame wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Aye, something like that for sure. And a two-hander can definitely make use of shield. I recommend bastard sword for the "two-hand Fighter that MCs into Wizard." It's martial, so you have it no problem, it does d12 when two-handing it, and you can pull your hand off real quick if you ever need somatic casting.
Doesn't it now take an action to change your grip on your weapon?
Only to add a hand. You can drop and cast, then attack one-handed. Next turn, regrip and attack twice.

This is cool. And fair. Even evocative.


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Moro wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:
I don't see why being a pirate rogue should make it harder to be a pirate rogue-wizard, but currently, that seems to be the case.

Hunh. To the extent that this is true and the fact that you seemingly have stat requirement to multi-class are the things I like.

It should be exceedingly hard to be a doctor/lawyer and then be firefighter as well. I think the dedication feat requirement is something that adds at least an iota of realism, if not balance, to the concept.

I don't think they're complaining that it's harder to be a doctor/lawyer/firefighter than it is to be a doctor/lawyer.

The complaint seems to be that being a doctor/patent lawyer is super difficult or impossible compared to being a doctor/lawyer.

I think people are getting lost in the examples again.

The complaint is specifically that picking up wizard or pirate for a rogue character locks them out of the other aspect (pirate or wizard) for around 6 levels. The dedication and initial feats in both are fairly low level, but you're stuck putting one or the other off until the mid-levels where they aren't particularly helpful (and not the background/feel the player might want).

Personally, I really dislike the pirate as an archetype, as its just a profession, and not a particularly exclusive one. Anyone can get on a boat, pick up a cutlass and get pirating. It isn't something that needs rules text.


Bardarok wrote:
OOTS #126

Awesome, thank you.

Ragni, please read this strip as it totally applies to your question


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One concern I have is this system is starting to get like a point buy system but instead of points, it feats. A system like that adds a lot a choice, but if the feats are not balanced, people start to take the best feats. These multi classing feats need high prereqs or the may become super common. Some examples: the fighter dedication giving multiple weapon and armour proficiency. Or the spell casting dedications, especially if spells are really strong. You could have every martial taking a caster dependency. Being able to cherry pick abilities could be very strong.

Only other concern I have is this system competing with archetypes. Archetypes seem to lose out. Now reason to take the pirate one over these.....


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Blueskier wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
All I want to know is: Did the healer Barbarian have the Cleric multiclass archetype?
Yep. Some of you guessed it right away because I described her as unhealthily obsessed with Gorum.
Cool, so martial classes are dead then. If you don't have spells, you can borrow them from a class who does. Sigh...

Nope

Mundane character concepts are dead. Which is good. Being non-magical is not a character concept that is level appropiate after lvl 5

Yes yes, caster fans are always happy when other people get their toys taken away because their way is the only right way to play, I'm fully aware by now.

Don't put words in my mouth, it makes it look like you are arguing in bad faith.

All my characters in 10 years of pf, except for an alchemist in like 2010, have been martials. That means their primary method of combat resolution was to stand in front of the biggest enemy and sword them in the hit points. What martial does not mean is that they have no access to magical effects or ways of interacting with of magic. A barbarian that can dispel with his axe or a fighter that can enchant his weapon with x-bane are martial characters.
Having a character that cannot interact with magic except by failing will saves is not a character concept that is level appropiate after lvl 5. Yes, I know I said it before, but I'm repeating it because that is what this conversation should be about, instead of you misrepresenting my argument


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I'm cautiously optimistic. When I first heard this speculated, I was a bit hesitant, because it's been somewhat lackluster when it's been done in the past, but it seems like it could hit a good balance here. My main worry is that some of the Multi Class options could be too good, but that's probably for the playtest to determine. I will say I don't suspect it to be too powerful on its own, just because while the feats might be fairly powerful, in a vacuum, they're at the opportunity cost of your own class feats, which I'm guessing will still be usually the most purely powerful for your class. So I can see it as more of a side-grade than an upgrade, even if you're picking up things like spellcasting on a fighter, or w/e.

Also, this assuages some of my concerns with the spell-less ranger, since you can almost treat a partial druid multiclass as filling that role, though that's going to be a post playtest thing. I'd be interested in seeing how the non-caster stuff plays out, but it's not long until the playtest, so I'm ok for right now.


Moro wrote:

The complaint seems to be that being a doctor/patent lawyer is super difficult or impossible compared to being a doctor/lawyer.

It is a lot harder to be a doctor/patent lawyer or doctor/tax lawyer than a doctor/lawyer. And, if you don't have the right background, it is impossible for many lawyers to become patent lawyers. So I'm not seeing the problem.


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Blueskier wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Blueskier wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
All I want to know is: Did the healer Barbarian have the Cleric multiclass archetype?
Yep. Some of you guessed it right away because I described her as unhealthily obsessed with Gorum.
Cool, so martial classes are dead then. If you don't have spells, you can borrow them from a class who does. Sigh...

Nope

Mundane character concepts are dead. Which is good. Being non-magical is not a character concept that is level appropiate after lvl 5

Yes yes, caster fans are always happy when other people get their toys taken away because their way is the only right way to play, I'm fully aware by now.

Don't put words in my mouth, it makes it look like you are arguing in bad faith.

All my characters in 10 years of pf, except for an alchemist in like 2010, have been martials. That means their primary method of combat resolution was to stand in front of the biggest enemy and sword them in the hit points. What martial does not mean is that they have no access to magical effects or ways of interacting with of magic. A barbarian that can dispel with his axe or a fighter that can enchant his weapon with x-bane are martial characters.
Having a character that cannot interact with magic except by failing will saves is not a character concept that is level appropiate after lvl 5. Yes, I know I said it before, but I'm repeating it because that is what this conversation should be about, instead of you misrepresenting my argument

A Barbarian with Spell Sunder doesn't have spellcasting, so no, this isn't what the conversation is about.


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Blueskier wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Blueskier wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
All I want to know is: Did the healer Barbarian have the Cleric multiclass archetype?
Yep. Some of you guessed it right away because I described her as unhealthily obsessed with Gorum.
Cool, so martial classes are dead then. If you don't have spells, you can borrow them from a class who does. Sigh...

Nope

Mundane character concepts are dead. Which is good. Being non-magical is not a character concept that is level appropiate after lvl 5

Yes yes, caster fans are always happy when other people get their toys taken away because their way is the only right way to play, I'm fully aware by now.

Don't put words in my mouth, it makes it look like you are arguing in bad faith.

All my characters in 10 years of pf, except for an alchemist in like 2010, have been martials. That means their primary method of combat resolution was to stand in front of the biggest enemy and sword them in the hit points. What martial does not mean is that they have no access to magical effects or ways of interacting with of magic. A barbarian that can dispel with his axe or a fighter that can enchant his weapon with x-bane are martial characters.
Having a character that cannot interact with magic except by failing will saves is not a character concept that is level appropiate after lvl 5. Yes, I know I said it before, but I'm repeating it because that is what this conversation should be about, instead of you misrepresenting my argument

What is your arguement then?

That players are bad if they have NO magic at their command what so ever?

If so to me that's the DM being a jerk if they haven't allowed for shopping/finding/crafting of any magic gear what so even and even then you can probably push on past level 5 for a bit. But if your DM is acting like that I expect death before 6.


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I'm sure this will get lost in the comments, but I just wanted to tell Mark that I'm very grateful to all the attention he's given the playtest forums.

I'm sure the team's worked on the Playtest a whole lot, and if I were him, I'd have much less patience towards people who are so dismissive of the new systems before even giving them a shot.
I wouldn't mind criticism or reluctance, but some people here are acting like the sky is falling just because things won't be exactly the same as before.

So anyway, thanks for trudging on, boss.

...just make sure that the Bard dedication feat is the equivalent of Bardic Knowledge so I can make my Monk + Bard/Ranger light-footed detective and chronicler.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't know what VMC means.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Is rounding up the new paradigm whenever is called for?

Paizo Employee Designer

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N N 959 wrote:

I find this response troubling. It comes across as if Paizo is willing to concede to builds which trivialize other classes, so long as F6/W6 is alway viable? What's more, you're equating the troubles of "newer players" with multi-class builds as deficiency in multi-classing as opposed to the lack of system mastery or the fact that the rules make it exceedingly hard for players to figure out how useful some feats might be. The maxim that correlation does not equal causation comes to mind.

I agree with Tallow. As a GM I can easily compensate for PCs that fall short. More importantly, other PCs can often carry them along. What's much harder to deal with is PCs that can solo the appropriate CR encounters and IME with PFS, these are always multi-classed builds (and some full casters).

A bad build can be retrained and improved, PF2 seems to allow that right out of the gate as compared with P1. A new player can get advice and gain experience on how to improve their F6/W6. Not much a GM can do about a game-breaking build. Wouldn't it make far more sense to be on guard against builds ruining the game for everyone else at the table than builds that require the rest of the table to carry more of the load?

I thought you claimed in the Races blog that people were more concerned with concept than mechanics (please correct me if I misunderstood). If that's true, then why isn't the same true for multi-classing?

Helping make it easier to use without most typical uses weakening you substantially is more important. Doesn't mean we can't potentially also rein in troublesome combinations, sure. We can have both if we do it right. But I think the primary focus needs to be making a system that works and does good stuff for a player without system mastery who decides to multiclass, and we can handle other factors along the way too.

As to the half-ancestries blog, that was a very specific response analyzing the comments in that particular blog. In that particular blog, many of our posters were talking about the fact that even though the benefits mechanically were clear, certain concept pieces needed to be available early in the character.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Secret Wizard wrote:

I'm sure this will get lost in the comments, but I just wanted to tell Mark that I'm very grateful to all the attention he's given the playtest forums.

I'm sure the team's worked on the Playtest a whole lot, and if I were him, I'd have much less patience towards people who are so dismissive of the new systems before even giving them a shot.
I wouldn't mind criticism or reluctance, but some people here are acting like the sky is falling just because things won't be exactly the same as before.

So anyway, thanks for trudging on, boss.

...just make sure that the Bard dedication feat is the equivalent of Bardic Knowledge so I can make my Monk + Bard/Ranger light-footed detective and chronicler.

Bardic Knowledge is available in an early lore muse class feat, so if nothing changes, you can make your detective very easily!

Dark Archive

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N N 959 wrote:
Ragni wrote:
Right now in 1ed I could be rouge 1 (Pirate archetype) + wiz 1 and be doing it a lvl 2.

And that was the part that was ridiculous in-game. I'm coming from the AD&D mindset where it actually took time to master something. So it's pretty absurd (from an IC perspective) to think you don't know squat about spells and then literally the next day, you're casting all the cantrips and 1st level spells of a Wizard.

OOC, sure I get that players want it without restriction.

While I don't disagree gaining mastery too fast is un-realistic, its not about wanting to be a master pirate rouge wizard at lvl 2 it about being a staby guy who can walk fine on a boat and cast a few can-trips.

For example say a campaign starts on a boat trip to an far off land with an unexplored ruin so at lvl 2 I take Pirate Dedication so I can walk around a boat unhindered by its rocking. Then after making it to shore we found out there is going to be a lot of ancient magic so I spend most of lvl 2-3 RPing that i'm trying to learn to cast can-trips so I can detect magic. LVL 4 rolls around and I look at Wizard dedication and say "thats perfect exactly what I want" but my GM reminds me its a dedication feat so I need to finish off pirate 1st. I need to learn to do a boarding actions to cast detect magic.

Why would I ever need to learn to swing a rope before I could cast a spell? In school we don't teach all of maths then move on English, we learn the start of maths and English along side each other. The same should hold true in pathfinder I shouldn't have to master one skill before I begin learning another.


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Aventhar wrote:
Is rounding up the new paradigm whenever is called for?

I doubt it. But max spell level was always half level rounded up for Cleric and Wizard (until lvl 19 at least).

What I want to know is why have the line about cantrips being equal to the highest spell level you can cast when it seems like cantrip spell level equals character level/2 rounded up is the more universal rule.

Paizo Employee Designer

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N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
but more plentiful overall (if not on the Paizo boards) were newer players earnestly multiclassing Fighter6/Wizard6 because it sounded cool and being punished for it.

So here is the most troubling part. Mark appears to be basing the decision on people complaining about their multi-classed builds on forums. How do we know that this equates to a bigger problem for actual game play than overpowered mult-classed builds, because of forum posts?

My quote there is saying the exact opposite of that, though. New players having trouble with multiclassing was more plentiful overall, but not more plentiful on the Paizo boards (which overrepresent extremely skilled and dedicated players and GMs).


Ched Greyfell wrote:
I don't know what VMC means.

Variant Multi-classing. It's an unchained rule that lets you trade out half your feats for some class abilities. You didn't get to pick and chose which abilities, nor did you get to opt out of certain feat swaps. It's pretty hit or miss in both utility and function leaving a about three or four good choices.


Ched Greyfell wrote:
I don't know what VMC means.

Variant Multi-Classing

From what I understand; rather than getting a Feat at certain levels(3, 7, 11, 15, 19), you'd unlock an abilily from the other class you picked up.

So say you're a Fighter using VMC to get Sorcerer. At level 1 you get a Bloodline and at level 3 rather than get your feat, you get access to the first Bloodline power.

This opened up for some interesting builds without dealing with the hoops of Mulitclassing. Mind you don't know how people felt when it came to VMC on magic classes(really. Level 11 to cast 1 cantrip? Really?). And some classes were still better picks given what they automatically handed you.

But most groups I know that might use VMC instead just jump the shark as a whole and use that "Point buy" system for class abilities. What is it called, gestalt?

Probably why I dislike this new system as much. It reminds me too much of the head ache Gestalt games give me.


Mark Seifter wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
but more plentiful overall (if not on the Paizo boards) were newer players earnestly multiclassing Fighter6/Wizard6 because it sounded cool and being punished for it.

So here is the most troubling part. Mark appears to be basing the decision on people complaining about their multi-classed builds on forums. How do we know that this equates to a bigger problem for actual game play than overpowered mult-classed builds, because of forum posts?

My quote there is saying the exact opposite of that, though. New players having trouble with multiclassing was more plentiful overall, but not more plentiful on the Paizo boards (which overrepresent extremely skilled and dedicated players and GMs).

I'm sure you have ways of finding out how either was more plentiful but we'll not going to be privy to that knowledge.

Side note; I don't know 1 system that made Multiclassing easy. Well I do, but those are closer to huge "Pick what you want" and classes systems anyway.


Overall I am really happy with the specific examples shown and their implications for feat-based multiclassing. The scaling notation of the Cantrip confused me at first. But now that I understand it I am very happy with it. I like that a basic Bookish Rogue is so easily built with just Wizard Dedication, or you can take Basic Wizard Spellcasting if you desire all the classic arcane trickster spells.
I am curious how it will progress beyond 3rd level spells. How many more feats does it cost to gain those 8th level spell-slots?
I imagine at least two, but dread it will be as many as five.


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Combat Monster wrote:

ALright, It's confirmed my Barb (or fighter) will be throwing lightning bolts.

Hopefully to finish off that aberration he just tossed into orbit.

BEHOLD! Thor, God of Thunder!


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Sweet! They're calling it Multiclass Archetypes huh? I wonder if someone came up with an idea with that name before? I want to see Paladin/Cleric, Ranger/Cleric, Wizard/Alchemist, and Rogue/Sorcerer Multiclass Archetype options.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

From the point of view of a player trying to create various character ideas, this looks fantastic. This makes the range of (effective) character ideas you can construct using the PF2 CRB much broader than you could using the PF1 CRB. (Indeed, As several people have noted, it seems like most of the non-core classes from PF1 can be constructed using these rules.)

My only potential concern is that these multiclassing archetype feats look too good. Take Wizard Dedication - it gives you the ability to use wands, scrolls, staves, and another signature skill, and effectively two SLAs that you can use at will that scale with your level (and these aren't PF1 cantrip powers - these look to be bona fide powers). That's amazing. And that's arguably the weakest of the new feats the blog mentions!

But I have faith that the Paizo design team has thought this through carefully, and that if it is unbalanced, that will become clear in the playtest. Really looking forward to trying this out!


ErichAD wrote:
Kazk wrote:
Kaelizar wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
(Fighter Dedication would take 5 feats to replicate for a wizard, and an average of around 3 feats for most other characters)

Hopefully this is hypothetical feats and not actual feats? I would hate for the list of feats to get so large in 2nd that someone who's new to the system would pick their feats, only to have another player more experienced make the same exact character but using the 'more powerful' feats and having a better character only because they knew which feats provided more/better benefits than others.

I just don't the amount of feats cause problems for players. Say for example you wanted a wizard who has Armor proficiency, so you take the Armor proficiency feat.. but wait, they could have just multi-classed into Fighter as you said and get that and then some. Why would a Wizard (Who didn't intend to multiclass into other classes) ever take any weapon or armor Prof. feats? They should always take Fighter Multiclass? and if you pick the weapon/Armor feats then you're making a bad/wrong choice. I hope I'm conveying this right

That is actually a good point.

My first instinct is to say "A more experienced player or GM could point that out and help the new player," but I am a bit iffy on that as that feels a bit like saying "systematic flaws are ok as long as you help people avoid them."

Still, stretching for counter-arguments, that does come at the cost of locking the chatacter out of non-multiclass archetypes. Additionally, those sound like general feats the wizard could grab, vs having to spend a class feat to crossclass with fighter. Still, that does seem like quite a gap in power, especially between two CRB feats.

It would take up extra space, but it would help the problem somewhat if feats referenced archetype and multiclass feats that provided them as well. Being able to retrain your heavy armor proficiency for fighter dedication should make the problem fairly minimal though.

example:
"This...

I forgot about retraining. That alleviates most of my concerns. My final concern is that dedication feats are powerful enough that loosening the restriction to not have crossclass dedications and general archetype dedications lock each other out seems like it would create too much early power.

One part of me wants that to be the case so that a cross class character wouldn't have to reach mid levels for the character concept to work out. If that were allowed though, its hard to not see that as too strong of an option.

Still, thank you for reminding me about retraining. That at least makes the game friendlier to new players.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Cantriped wrote:

Overall I am really happy with the specific examples shown and their implications for feat-based multiclassing. The scaling notation of the Cantrip confused me at first. But now that I understand it I am very happy with it. I like that a basic Bookish Rogue is so easily built with just Wizard Dedication, or you can take Basic Wizard Spellcasting if you desire all the classic arcane trickster spells.

I am curious how it will progress beyond 3rd level spells. How many more feats does it cost to gain those 8th level spell-slots?
I imagine at least two, but dread it will be as many as five.

Just two more, your minimum guess!

Paizo Employee Designer

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Porridge wrote:

From the point of view of a player trying to create various character ideas, this looks fantastic. This makes the range of (effective) character ideas you can construct using the PF2 CRB much broader than you could using the PF1 CRB. (Indeed, As several people have noted, it seems like most of the non-core classes from PF1 can be constructed using these rules.)

My only potential concern is that these multiclassing archetype feats look too good. Take Wizard Dedication - it gives you the ability to use wands, scrolls, staves, and another signature skill, and effectively two SLAs that you can use at will that scale with your level (and these aren't PF1 cantrip powers - these look to be bona fide powers). That's amazing. And that's arguably the weakest of the new feats the blog mentions!

But I have faith that the Paizo design team has thought this through carefully, and that if it is unbalanced, that will become clear in the playtest. Really looking forward to trying this out!

You are not wrong that they are very good. But we wanted to test them like this, with a lot of punch and the dedication restriction for a few reasons. If we create a system that is more flexible about what abilities you can choose, gives more powerful options like 8th-level spells, and doesn't slow your progression in your main class, can it be balanced? Will people still dislike it because of tradition or dissimilarity to how it was in PF1? If we didn't try something daring and powerful, some people might dislike it for power reasons and it would be harder to get at the overall feeling of the concept itself if it was lost amidst a secondary power discussion. It's actually easy to tweak it up or down in power depending on what people think, though we're hoping it works out to be strong but not must-have right about as-is!


I can't say that I'm a fan of this idea. It feels like it's pandering too much to power gamers.

Liberty's Edge

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Mark,
can someone with Wizard Dedication add spell to a spellbook the same way a wizard does?


42nfl19 wrote:
Not sure how this will play out. Before in PF1 you could multiclass and take an archetype at the same time. There are even some builds where you level dip in a class with an archetype/s and have your core class with its own archetype/s. Now it looks like you can't do both. With the way dedication works, you would need to be at level 12. Multiclass feats at 2,4, and 6 and Archetypes at 8, 10, and 12 at minimum unless I am mistaking something. This route would lock you out of many class feats. I know this is a rare build but I feel like PF1 does it better. Again, in PF1 multiclassing really hurt spell casters and their progression but there were ways to fight that. i.e. Magical Knack. Some Prestige classes also helped out the loss of progression. Overall this feels reminiscent of the Variant Multiclassing and I don't think many people used it. I mean the problems of multiclassing I think brought in the rise of Hybrid classes. Merge classes people would like to use together and give them the tools they need to succeed. Like the Magus, Slayer, Hunter, Skald, etc, etc. There are even archetypes that borrow features from other classes to their class. Do you like guns? I can name a few classes with archetypes that let them have a taste of guns.

@Mark, so what is the main difference between archetype feats and multiclass feats? In my mind they are chained feats that you take at even levels instead of your normal class feats. They are mechanically the same. Take this intro feat then its followup feats instead of class feats to get cool "side grades". As mentioned before, you could possible take multiple classes AND archetypes at the same time in PF1. Now you can only do one at a time, minimum 6 levels. Is this intended? That means with 20 levels, you could only get a possible mix of 4 unique Multiclasses/Archetypes. Why even call them Archetype feats and Multiclass feats? Might as well call them a unifying name due to the Dedication clause. UNLESS there is a difference between archetype dedication and multiclass dedication? Are archetypes and multiclass feats even equal in power/usability compared to each other and the default class feats?


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Secret Wizard wrote:

I'm sure this will get lost in the comments, but I just wanted to tell Mark that I'm very grateful to all the attention he's given the playtest forums.

I'm sure the team's worked on the Playtest a whole lot, and if I were him, I'd have much less patience towards people who are so dismissive of the new systems before even giving them a shot.
I wouldn't mind criticism or reluctance, but some people here are acting like the sky is falling just because things won't be exactly the same as before.

So anyway, thanks for trudging on, boss.

...just make sure that the Bard dedication feat is the equivalent of Bardic Knowledge so I can make my Monk + Bard/Ranger light-footed detective and chronicler.

Same. I always love hearing more about the thought processes and decision making of professional designers. Additionally, having designers here who are intimately familiar with the rules helps prevent people like me with poor reading comprehension from accidentally spreading misinformation.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Paladinosaur wrote:

Mark,

can someone with Wizard Dedication add spell to a spellbook the same way a wizard does?

Absolutely!


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Chaotic_Blues wrote:
I can't say that I'm a fan of this idea. It feels like it's pandering too much to power gamers.

As a person who has a level 10 mystic theurge in their game (and therefore a level 6 cleric and level 7 sorcerer), it seems the complete opposite to me.


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N N 959 wrote:
Moro wrote:

The complaint seems to be that being a doctor/patent lawyer is super difficult or impossible compared to being a doctor/lawyer.

It is a lot harder to be a doctor/patent lawyer or doctor/tax lawyer than a doctor/lawyer. And, if you don't have the right background, it is impossible for many lawyers to become patent lawyers. So I'm not seeing the problem.

Fine, I know nothing about becoming lawyer, I have a soul.

In PF1e, there is an Acrobat Rogue archetype. In PF2e, it is significantly more difficult to become an Acrobat Rogue/Wizard than it is to become a Rogue/Wizard, from what we have seen. Or an Acrobat Rogue/Fighter than it is to become a Fighter/Rogue, since you state that you don't think anyone should be able to multiclass into a caster class like Wizard because it takes so many years of study (even though the starting ages for Wizards has always been fairly close to other classes, meaning it didn't take too much more study and focus than any other class to master the basics.) This is the complaint.


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Chaotic_Blues wrote:
I can't say that I'm a fan of this idea. It feels like it's pandering too much to power gamers.

This makes me have hope that it might be fairly balanced.

It's usually a good sign when you have some people complaining about how underpowered an option is, and others complaining that it creates filthy powergamers.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
What I think is being neglected here is that according to Mark, she used like one healing spell per day from Cleric. Meaning that doing most of the healing without Cleric is still viable.
Yup. Saw that post after posting my initial reaction. We'll just have to wait and see what the "healer" role looks like in the new edition and how competent non-spellcasters can be in that role (Mark says you'll need items. Now does that mean you need wands of healing? Potions and scrolls of remove disease? We really don't know).

Evidence suggests that you can probably manage HP healing without items but need items for a lot of condition removal until you pick up Legendary Medic at 15th level.

That's just a preponderance of the evidence rather than proof of anything, though.

When I say "we'll have to look at what the healer role looks like, what I mean is we need to see how healing works in the new edition (in PF1e you needed a healer to remove conditions like permanent blindness. In PF2e such conditions may not exist). We really need to look at the what the healer does in context of the full rules to see how viable a non-multiclassed barbarian can be at healing.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
This is a deal breaker for me (screw my group, I won't be happy with this). One of the things I came to hate about 4e and love about Pathfinder was how multiclassing worked. I am going to give this system an honest try, but if I find it as lacklustre as 4th ed's "multiclassing" and if it stays in the final rules as this system, I will not play PF2e. I've been advocating many issues my group will have with the new rules, but for me this is my line in the sand regardless of how my group feels. I really hope I'm wrong and that these rules work much better than I expect them to.

Pathfinder didn't change multiclassing from 3e or 3.5e really. It was a mess that was either broken or weak, and only reason to dabble in it was to go for the broken dips.

Silver Crusade

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Moro wrote:
Chaotic_Blues wrote:
I can't say that I'm a fan of this idea. It feels like it's pandering too much to power gamers.

This makes me have hope that it might be fairly balanced.

It's usually a good sign when you have some people complaining about how underpowered an option is, and others complaining that it creates filthy powergamers.

Are you suggesting that power-gamers aren't filthy?

Paizo Employee

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Moro wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Moro wrote:

The complaint seems to be that being a doctor/patent lawyer is super difficult or impossible compared to being a doctor/lawyer.

It is a lot harder to be a doctor/patent lawyer or doctor/tax lawyer than a doctor/lawyer. And, if you don't have the right background, it is impossible for many lawyers to become patent lawyers. So I'm not seeing the problem.

Fine, I know nothing about becoming lawyer, I have a soul.

In PF1e, there is an Acrobat Rogue archetype. In PF2e, it is significantly more difficult to become an Acrobat Rogue/Wizard than it is to become a Rogue/Wizard, from what we have seen. This is the complaint.

With the new class structure you'd probably just need to take an Acrobatics skill feat and multiclass Wizard on your Rogue for the exact same effect. A lot of archetypes in PF1 are really minor changes that can be easily folded into class or skill feats in the new system; it's actually probably easier to make an Acrobat Rogue/Wizard in the new system since everything you need to do it is loaded right into the Playtest book. That's probably going to be true of a lot (most?) of the PF1 APG archetypes, though I suppose the deeper into the system you get the higher the probability of finding archetypes that changed the base class enough that it would be harder to create the same character.

The thing that's most important, IMO, is that when you look at the character concept instead of trying to map back to specific PF1 builds, it's often going to be easier to get to that character concept more effectively under the new system. Acrobatic rogue with wizard abilities and cool death-defying acrobatic maneuvers? Cool, play a rogue, grab the Acrobatics skill feats, and take as many of the wizard multiclass feats as are appropriate for the concept. You'll lose less and the mechanics of the concept won't suffer as badly compared to single-classed peers. Want to play a "mystic theurge"? Pick your starting class and then grab the feats for the corresponding second half. No need to split your progression across multiple classes while simultaneously chasing prereq skills and having underpowered options for most of your character's life. When you let go of "build" and focus on "concept", I think the new system actually performs a lot better.


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Douena Trestleben wrote:
Voss wrote:
Douena Trestleben wrote:

So the real question is, is Douena a cleric with rogue dedication or a rogue with cleric dedication?

I guess I'm going to have to build her both ways to find out.

Well, consider this: do you want Doeuna to have access to first level spells at level 1 or level 4? And do you want more than 1/day?

The thing is, in the party she was running with, Douena was the primary skillmonkey and the primary healer. Clearly, by level seven, the concept was starting to strain.

Unchained VMC didn't fix my problem. Seeing whether the playtest can produce a recognizable Douena who could conceivably have done the things the P1e version did will determine my opinion of playtest multiclassing.

Probably Rogue with Cleric Archetype then. You will have lots of skill boosts and feats to be a skill monkey and you can dedicate some of them to the medicine skill. Cleric archetype can give you spells to up your healing. We know from the infamous barbarian discussion that medicine skills + cleric archetype is enough to be a primary healer.


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Mark Seifter wrote:

Helping make it easier to use without most typical uses weakening you substantially is more important. Doesn't mean we can't potentially also rein in troublesome combinations, sure. We can have both if we do it right. But I think the primary focus needs to be making a system that works and does good stuff for a player without system mastery who decides to multiclass, and we can handle other factors along the way too.

As to the half-ancestries blog, that was a very specific response analyzing the comments in that particular blog. In that particular blog, many of our posters were...

First off, thank you for responding as none of us is entitled to an answer.

Second, my supposition was that the weak multi-class builds were not a factor of multi-classing, but of how the game works in general. I've run across pure builds/archetypes that were just as ineffective. Fighters who take the wrong feats, or Sorcerers who choose the wrong spells.

I can tell you that in PFS it is the multi-class builds that I am compelled to study and figure out, "how are you doing that?"

Quote:
But I think the primary focus needs to be making a system that works and does good stuff for a player without system mastery who decides to multiclass, and we can handle other factors along the way too.

I am surprised by that. Well, not really. I would argue that the game is better served by making sure multi-classing can't break it and then making it clear that multi-classing works best for players who have mastery of the system. Put a disclaimer on the mechanic and you'll be amazed how much that improves customer satisfaction.

However, if you present multi-classing as being idiot-proof, you're going to create expectations the game isn't going to meet. And revisiting my point, I"m surprised Paizo doesn't agree that bringing down the peak performance doesn't pay much bigger dividends.

Quote:
My quote there is saying the exact opposite of that, though. New players having trouble with multiclassing was more plentiful overall, but not more plentiful on the Paizo boards (which overrepresent extremely skilled and dedicated players and GMs).

Apologies. Still, how does Paizo determine the F6/W6 gimp is the bigger problem?

I agree with Tallow, I'm far more plagued by multi-class dominance in PFS as a player and GM, than I am by underperforming builds. From a psychological perspective, when a multi-class build appears to perform at a higher level than a pure build dedicated to the same purpose, it feels like the player is exploiting/gaming the system. This is far more damaging experience for me as a player than someone who simply can't build a good character. If I can't trust that the pure builds are the best at what they do, and I'm not motivated to spend the hours upon hours researching multi-class builds, then I'm more likely to get frustrated with the game and move on to something else.

Yes, we'll have to see how it plays out, but I should hope we both agree that you're not going to see people find the limits on multi-classing in just a month or two of playing a playtest. And it's easier to buff mechanics out in the public than it is to nerf them, even if it is a playtest.


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Ssalarn wrote:
Moro wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Moro wrote:

The complaint seems to be that being a doctor/patent lawyer is super difficult or impossible compared to being a doctor/lawyer.

It is a lot harder to be a doctor/patent lawyer or doctor/tax lawyer than a doctor/lawyer. And, if you don't have the right background, it is impossible for many lawyers to become patent lawyers. So I'm not seeing the problem.

Fine, I know nothing about becoming lawyer, I have a soul.

In PF1e, there is an Acrobat Rogue archetype. In PF2e, it is significantly more difficult to become an Acrobat Rogue/Wizard than it is to become a Rogue/Wizard, from what we have seen. This is the complaint.

With the new class structure you'd probably just need to take an Acrobatics skill feat and multiclass Wizard on your Rogue for the exact same effect. A lot of archetypes in PF1 are really minor changes that can be easily folded into class or skill feats in the new system; it's actually probably easier to make an Acrobat Rogue/Wizard in the new system since everything you need to do it is loaded right into the Playtest book. That's probably going to be true of a lot (most?) of the PF1 APG archetypes, though I suppose the deeper into the system you get the higher the probability of finding archetypes that changed the base class enough that it would be harder to create the same character.

The thing that's most important, IMO, is that when you look at the character concept instead of trying to map back to specific PF1 builds, it's often going to be easier to get to that character concept more effectively under the new system. Acrobatic rogue with wizard abilities and cool death-defying acrobatic maneuvers? Cool, play a rogue, grab the Acrobatics skill feats, and take as many of the wizard multiclass feats as are appropriate for the concept. You'll lose less and the mechanics of the concept won't suffer as badly compared to single-classed peers. Want to play a "mystic theurge"? Pick your starting...

Unless they do away with archetypes, or make it so any previous archetype can be built with feats (in which case PF2e will truly be aptly renamed Featfinder), then it is still an issue.

In PF1e, you can play an [Archetype Rogue]/Fighter, Rogue/[Archetype Fighter] or even an [Archetype Rogue]/[Archetype Fighter].

Right now it appear that this will be super difficult or nigh-impossible to pull of in PF2e.


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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Pathfinder didn't change multiclassing from 3e or 3.5e really.

I never played 3.5e, however I do vastly prefer that style of multiclassing.

Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
It was a mess that was either broken or weak, and only reason to dabble in it was to go for the broken dips.

I feel that Pathfinder made a lot of headway with this. Most people I know don't multiclass (I'm probably the one who multiclasses the most actually which is why this is a bigger issue for me than my group). I feel like more could be done (don't grant proficiencies for mutliclassing for example). I do feel that taking 3.5e style multiclassing out the back, shooting it in the head, burning the body and then mugging 4th ed for it's multiclass feats is not necessary to make a more balanced and enjoyable version of multiclassing.

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