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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3 people marked this as a favorite.
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.

Real issue I think is making sure that various feat choices are actually remotely balanced against each other.

Like is "Ignore difficult terrain on a ship, trained in 3 weapons, acrobatics is a signature skill, athletics is a signature skill, all swimming successes are crits, and you're good at holding your breath" remotely comparable to "Arcana is a signature skill, Wizard spellcasting up to 3rd level spells" as a use for a Feat 2 and a Feat 4?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
You are not wrong that they are very good. But we wanted to test them like this,*** 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 find this fascinating. I obviously don't know anything about your design meetings other than what you've shared, but is it Paizo's experience that players will routinely complain that something they like is too good? How will you know to tweak it down? What is Paizo going to use as an indicator that they've gone too far? I would fully expect the majority of players who want to multi-class to complain they aren't powerful enough, regardless of how good it is.


This is all sorts of interesting. I wasn't a multi-classer in PF1 (the only character I did so with is my most recent, a dwarf ranger who took the Sky Seeker Prestige Class in our Ironfang Invasion game). But I am now thinking about trying out a multi-classed character or two in the playtest to see how this works. I do like that you're no longer sacrificing your high-level abilities to multi-class, or spell-casters not getting their spell list seriously impaired because they wanted to multi-class. And it will mean Fighter/Wizard and Wizard/Fighter can be quite distinct.

It does seem to open up more options than PF1 multi-classing. But I can see some potential concerns too. The way that basically everything requires a feat does make me wonder if there are going to be enough feats available to really make the most use of the flexibility. It also means that most options don't really come online until late levels.

I'm not sure what I think of the dedication mechanics yet. They seem like they can be rather restrictive if you want two or more archetypes, and again delays actually having things until late level. No Fighter 1, Rogue 1, Wizard 1 characters anymore. I can see the reasoning for this, preventing abuse by players cherry-picking every powerful archetype option to make an overpowered monster. But I'm not sure if it will be too restrictive for those who just want a more exotic character, or someone trying to recreate an option from PF1, such as an archetype or class that isn't in the playtest. The Hybrid classes in particular are ripe for this approach. I'm seeing a lot of people on these forums looking to use multi-classing to do is. There is some great potential, but I'm not sure if the cost is appropriate yet. That can potentially be adjusted with fairly small tweaks.

Another problem with this is less so on the player side, but more that it's more work to create a class option, as well as more page space to print. This is reflected by the fact that only four options are presented in the playtest. So any additional class, or potentially even expanded class features for existing classes will need to be done twice, once as a full class and again as multi-class feats, taking even more page count and writing time. This also means there are two sets to balance and test. It wouldn't be good to find out that a multi-class option is actually more powerful than the base class. Or a class being useful but it's multi-class version garbage.

The way this is done means that 1st level abilities don't really need to be limited so much to prevent 1 level dips to take the main parts of a class. So then why do all the class options seem so back-loaded? This seems to be an issue with many different aspects of the playtest. So much is pushed down the line and only comes into play in the late game. Ancestry, class abilities, multi-classing, archetypes etc. I can understand wanting to keep the early levels simpler and let some options be rewards for being high-level, but it's starting to feel like life begins at 15th level or something. But then it ends at 20. I'm actually starting to think that maybe we need to expand the level cap beyond 20 to allow these options to be played for a good long time. That would require all sorts of reworking of things to avoid a never-ending power and number escalation to absurd heights. One level 30 monster could potentially devastate entire countries, but there would need to be many to keep high-level players busy.


N N 959 wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
OOTS #126

Awesome, thank you.

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

The biggest flaw with the strip is that it assumes that it takes a long time under normal circumstances to become a wizard. There is no age restriction for being a wizard.

You can have the backstory of, "I found this old spellbook yesterday, and after reading it for a few hours, I was able to prepare and cast spells", and that's completely valid.

Given that an INT of 10 is all you need to be able to comprehend cantrips and 10 INT is average, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to assume that a 14 or 16 INT character could learn how to cast a few spells in a day or two.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
Are you suggesting that power-gamers aren't filthy?

Nah, we take showers ya'know, unless we're herbalism druids.

Those guys just smell, but man do they make great stuff for parties.

Paizo Employee

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Moro wrote:

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.

Well, we know that the only archetypes in the playtest are universal and not class-specific. So you'll have a bit of a load trying to make a Fighter (Pirate/Wizard), but you're going to need to chase far fewer in-class archetypes anyways since the class structure is more modular. With a class feat at 1st level and every even level thereafter you can fit any of the popular fighting-style archetypes directly into the class chassis. You don't need any of the "steal this thing from that class" archetypes because those are already covered by multiclassing, so you're really just looking at the odd rare archetype that drastically changes the base chassis, like Sensate. Any character concept that is either internal to the class (such as specializing in e.g. two-weapon fighting or playing an acrobatic rogue) or accomplished by adding elements of one other class to the main chassis (like the eldritch guardian fighter archetype) are going to be easier and require fewer source books under the new paradigms. The main area where the new system seems like it doesn't have quite as much flexibility as the old system is if your character concept involves squishing three or more disparate character concepts together onto a single chassis.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
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.

Real issue I think is making sure that various feat choices are actually remotely balanced against each other.

Like is "Ignore difficult terrain on a ship, trained in 3 weapons, acrobatics is a signature skill, athletics is a signature skill, all swimming successes are crits, and you're good at holding your breath" remotely comparable to "Arcana is a signature skill, Wizard spellcasting up to 3rd level spells" as a use for a Feat 2 and a Feat 4?

I agree, this will be super important. Even in PF1e, you had vast disparity in the potential of different feats, and not much guidance in choosing them. Something like Skill Focus - Craft: Underwater Basketweaving has the same cost as Power Attack, but one is vastly superior mechanically for encounter play than the other, and there really are no guidelines for newbies as to which is the better option.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thflame wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
OOTS #126

Awesome, thank you.

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

The biggest flaw with the strip is that it assumes that it takes a long time under normal circumstances to become a wizard. There is no age restriction for being a wizard.

You can have the backstory of, "I found this old spellbook yesterday, and after reading it for a few hours, I was able to prepare and cast spells", and that's completely valid.

Given that an INT of 10 is all you need to be able to comprehend cantrips and 10 INT is average, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to assume that a 14 or 16 INT character could learn how to cast a few spells in a day or two.

Nope. 3rd edition had starting ages based on class. Wizard was among those with notably higher starting ages, which translated to 'a lot' for elves.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thflame wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
OOTS #126

Awesome, thank you.

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

The biggest flaw with the strip is that it assumes that it takes a long time under normal circumstances to become a wizard. There is no age restriction for being a wizard.

You can have the backstory of, "I found this old spellbook yesterday, and after reading it for a few hours, I was able to prepare and cast spells", and that's completely valid.

Given that an INT of 10 is all you need to be able to comprehend cantrips and 10 INT is average, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to assume that a 14 or 16 INT character could learn how to cast a few spells in a day or two.

Classes did have age minimums in Pathfinder. Based on your race and class, there was a minimum age that you had to be. Using humans as an example, 16 was the youngest you could make a Barb, Sorc, or Bard but you would have to be at least 17 to be a cleric, monk, or wizard. Intuitive classes were 15+1d4, Self-Taught were 15+1d6, and then Trained were 15+2d6 as their randomized starting age.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
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.

Real issue I think is making sure that various feat choices are actually remotely balanced against each other.

Like is "Ignore difficult terrain on a ship, trained in 3 weapons, acrobatics is a signature skill, athletics is a signature skill, all swimming successes are crits, and you're good at holding your breath" remotely comparable to "Arcana is a signature skill, Wizard spellcasting up to 3rd level spells" as a use for a Feat 2 and a Feat 4?

I think the problem is more the pirate archetype. Those should all just be skill feats.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
You are not wrong that they are very good. But we wanted to test them like this,*** 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 find this fascinating. I obviously don't know anything about your design meetings other than what you've shared, but is it Paizo's experience that players will routinely complain that something they like is too good? How will you know to tweak it down? What is Paizo going to use as an indicator that they've gone too far? I would fully expect the majority of players who want to multi-class to complain they aren't powerful enough, regardless of how good it is.

It's not the people that benefit from broken things who will complain (typically). It's the GMs whose game has been made ridiculous and the weaker players who feel overshadowed.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

And Paizo continues to impress.

One of the big changes from PF1 to PF2 is that a lot of what were baked in class features are now class feats. So in essence, PF2 multiclassing means literally swapping out some class features of your main class for those of another class, much like archetypes worked in PF1... only less adhoc and more deliberate.

As someone who has multiclassed a lot over the years and juggled a lot of silly numbers, I have to say this is a much more elegant approach.

For example: If you want a spellcasting paladin, you can swap out your 2nd and 4th level class feats for cleric spellcasting of up to 3rd level spells by level 8. Sure, you only get 1 slot of each level without further feats, but you get access to spells while they're still relevant - unlike in PF1 where you didn't see 3rd level spells until 13th level. A few more feats and a paladin can cast up to 8th level divine spells... while still being a smiting, armoured, martial juggernaut.

That is awesome


Ragni wrote:


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.

Analogies work great. But if you push them too hard, they start to limp. There is no multi-classing in the real world where by you progress at two profession at the same rate. Nobody (or essentially nobody) goes to medical school and law school at the same time. In real life, you're going through four years of medical school and then at least three years of residency, and THEN you have to spend a couple of years to get board certified. So once you become a doctor, it's a minimum of seven years before you can even think about becoming a lawyer. Once you go to law school, you're either going to have to stop practicing medicine, or go to night school and then that slows down your law learning.

After you graduate, how much time to you think you're going to be able to spend doing both law and medicine at the same time, and not get sued for screwing something up? In reality, doctors who become lawyers, end up not practicing medicine or not practicing law. I've never heard of a doctor/lawyer who goes to his/her medical practice and law practice in the same week. Sure, might be someone on the planet who does it. Might be possible in countries that don't regulate the practice of law or medicine, maybe Ben Franklin knew doctor/lawyers in 1776.

The point being, multi-classing whereby you have someone equally good and competent at two completely unrelated fields is a gaming construct. You can't compare it to real life because RL doesn't work the way it does in a game. More to the point, it has to be balanced and force a trade-off.

Is this an appropriate trade off? I don't know. But at least it's something far better than what we had in P1, which felt like it was free of any plausible consequence or obstacle.

Grand Lodge

I'm extremely intrigued by this new system, and I can't wait to try it! I think I vastly prefer it to the old method; it really opens up some options.

I would also like to point out to a few people in this thread that there's no such thing as a character level/class level distinction in this system. It's just character level, and you have a class. You can't multiclass in the old way because that's not how the basic assumptions of this system work.

At first character level you choose your class, and at regular levels you can get skill, general or class feats. You can also replace class feats with archetype feats if you have the prerequisite dedications. You're never "Fighter X/Wizard Y", you're a Level X Fighter with Y Wizard Archetype Feats.

Going back to the old way would require the basic character framework of PF2 to be completely overhauled and I don't think that's worth the sacrifice.

If I have any issue with the system, it's probably that you need to advance an Archetype before you can choose another. I don't think that's entirely necessary and it does restrict character choices in ways I'm not a particular fan of. If you want to have a young Pirate Rogue who's barely even mastered his sea legs but has picked up some cantrips from the crew's Wizard, that should be fine.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Voss wrote:
thflame wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
OOTS #126

Awesome, thank you.

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

The biggest flaw with the strip is that it assumes that it takes a long time under normal circumstances to become a wizard. There is no age restriction for being a wizard.

You can have the backstory of, "I found this old spellbook yesterday, and after reading it for a few hours, I was able to prepare and cast spells", and that's completely valid.

Given that an INT of 10 is all you need to be able to comprehend cantrips and 10 INT is average, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to assume that a 14 or 16 INT character could learn how to cast a few spells in a day or two.

Nope. 3rd edition had starting ages based on class. Wizard was among those with notably higher starting ages, which translated to 'a lot' for elves.

Per the D20 SRD, the difference between the youngest possible starting age for other classes, and the eldest for a Cleric, Druid, Monk, or Wizard, is 11 years. If you used the eldest possible for other classes and the youngest for Cleric, Druid, Monk, or Wizard, the Wizard can actually start out 4 years younger than the other class. For humans, of course.

For elves, the maximum disparity would be the Wizard being elder by 56 years, if the youngest other class age and highest Wizard age were used, or, if vice versa, the Wizard could be 26 years younger than the other class. Not much of a difference at all.


DFAnton wrote:
It's not the people that benefit from broken things who will complain (typically). It's the GMs whose game has been made ridiculous and the weaker players who feel overshadowed.

Yep, the inevitable cycle of the GM needing to make encounters harder so they're no longer a cake walk. This is then followed by the other players no longer being able to hit monsters on a consistent basis. Sometimes this is pushed even further along by the GM trying to increase the combat prowess of those characters. The end result tends to turn into the players wielding rocket launchers.


Raynulf wrote:

And Paizo continues to impress.

One of the big changes from PF1 to PF2 is that a lot of what were baked in class features are now class feats. So in essence, PF2 multiclassing means literally swapping out some class features of your main class for those of another class, much like archetypes worked in PF1... only less adhoc and more deliberate.

As someone who has multiclassed a lot over the years and juggled a lot of silly numbers, I have to say this is a much more elegant approach.

For example: If you want a spellcasting paladin, you can swap out your 2nd and 4th level class feats for cleric spellcasting of up to 3rd level spells by level 8. Sure, you only get 1 slot of each level without further feats, but you get access to spells while they're still relevant - unlike in PF1 where you didn't see 3rd level spells until 13th level. A few more feats and a paladin can cast up to 8th level divine spells... while still being a smiting, armoured, martial juggernaut.

That is awesome

And, if this is carried to the final book, you can pick instead pick Sorcerer instead with a divine bloodline of your choice for charisma-based divine spontaneous casting.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
QuidEst wrote:
Raynulf wrote:

And Paizo continues to impress.

One of the big changes from PF1 to PF2 is that a lot of what were baked in class features are now class feats. So in essence, PF2 multiclassing means literally swapping out some class features of your main class for those of another class, much like archetypes worked in PF1... only less adhoc and more deliberate.

As someone who has multiclassed a lot over the years and juggled a lot of silly numbers, I have to say this is a much more elegant approach.

For example: If you want a spellcasting paladin, you can swap out your 2nd and 4th level class feats for cleric spellcasting of up to 3rd level spells by level 8. Sure, you only get 1 slot of each level without further feats, but you get access to spells while they're still relevant - unlike in PF1 where you didn't see 3rd level spells until 13th level. A few more feats and a paladin can cast up to 8th level divine spells... while still being a smiting, armoured, martial juggernaut.

That is awesome

And, if this is carried to the final book, you can pick instead pick Sorcerer instead with a divine bloodline of your choice for charisma-based divine spontaneous casting.

Fiendish bloodline paladin is so dark and angsty but always does the right thing anyways. *hairflip*


thflame wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
OOTS #126

Awesome, thank you.

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

The biggest flaw with the strip is that it assumes that it takes a long time under normal circumstances to become a wizard. There is no age restriction for being a wizard.

You can have the backstory of, "I found this old spellbook yesterday, and after reading it for a few hours, I was able to prepare and cast spells", and that's completely valid.

And that's exactly what the strip is making fun of, the fact that WotC just said, "screw the lore, we want simple multi-classing."

In AD&D, Wizard had a starting age of like 35 while Fighters were like 19. WotC got rid of that because it made the game more complicated, not because magic was intended to be learned from Cliff Notes.

Quote:
Given that an INT of 10 is all you need to be able to comprehend cantrips and 10 INT is average, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to assume that a 14 or 16 INT character could learn how to cast a few spells in a day or two.

It's absurd from an in-game perspective for PCs to learn an entire set of skill in a literal day. Belkan goes from no Rage ability to Rage ability in a day. You can learn to read and write a language, in a day. You can go from a zero Swim modifier to a +13 modifier, in a day.


Moro wrote:

Per the D20 SRD, the difference between the youngest possible starting age for other classes, and the eldest for a Cleric, Druid, Monk, or Wizard, is 11 years. If you used the eldest possible for other classes and the youngest for Cleric, Druid, Monk, or Wizard, the Wizard can actually start out 4 years younger than the other class. For humans, of course.

For elves, the maximum disparity would be the Wizard being elder by 56 years, if the youngest other class age and highest Wizard age were used, or, if vice versa, the Wizard could be 26 years younger than the other class. Not much of a difference at all.

Basing things off the extremes will always produce wonky comparisons though. Much better to work off the averages.

The average human barbarian will be 17/18 years old.
The average human bard will be 18/19 years old.
The average human wizard will be 22 years old.

There will always be exceptions but if you're playing a character of a Trained class who is below average age, they're likely going to be a prodigy who devoted most of their adulthood solely to their class.


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Melkiador wrote:
I am interested to see the long, heated arguments about how fighter/wizards compare to wizard/fighters.

Martial/Caster Caster/Martial disparity? Caster/Martials rule!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
N N 959 wrote:
thflame wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
OOTS #126

Awesome, thank you.

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

The biggest flaw with the strip is that it assumes that it takes a long time under normal circumstances to become a wizard. There is no age restriction for being a wizard.

You can have the backstory of, "I found this old spellbook yesterday, and after reading it for a few hours, I was able to prepare and cast spells", and that's completely valid.

And that's exactly what the strip is making fun of, the fact that WotC just said, "screw the lore, we want simple multi-classing."

In AD&D, Wizard had a starting age of like 35 while Fighters were like 19. WotC got rid of that because it made the game more complicated, not because magic was intended to be learned from Cliff Notes.

Quote:
Given that an INT of 10 is all you need to be able to comprehend cantrips and 10 INT is average, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to assume that a 14 or 16 INT character could learn how to cast a few spells in a day or two.

It's absurd from an in-game perspective for PCs to learn an entire set of skill in a literal day. Belkan goes from no Rage ability to Rage ability in a day. You can learn to read and write a language, in a day. You can go from a zero Swim modifier to a +13 modifier, in a day.

So roleplay it then. It's pretty absurd that a character goes from a glint in it's creators eye to a fully-formed, equipped, functional combatant instantaneously as well, but that's how character creation works. In a level-based system, large, immediate jumps in ability are one of the well-known drawbacks. If you want representation of realistic character growth over time, many other pint-based systems, or systems where you spend your experience as you accumulate it on new abilities are out there.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
N N 959 wrote:
thflame wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
OOTS #126

Awesome, thank you.

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

The biggest flaw with the strip is that it assumes that it takes a long time under normal circumstances to become a wizard. There is no age restriction for being a wizard.

You can have the backstory of, "I found this old spellbook yesterday, and after reading it for a few hours, I was able to prepare and cast spells", and that's completely valid.

And that's exactly what the strip is making fun of, the fact that WotC just said, "screw the lore, we want simple multi-classing."

In AD&D, Wizard had a starting age of like 35 while Fighters were like 19. WotC got rid of that because it made the game more complicated, not because magic was intended to be learned from Cliff Notes.

Quote:
Given that an INT of 10 is all you need to be able to comprehend cantrips and 10 INT is average, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to assume that a 14 or 16 INT character could learn how to cast a few spells in a day or two.

It's absurd from an in-game perspective for PCs to learn an entire set of skill in a literal day. Belkan goes from no Rage ability to Rage ability in a day. You can learn to read and write a language, in a day. You can go from a zero Swim modifier to a +13 modifier, in a day.

Well considering in PF1e it's not unreasonable for a Fighter to whack her hand just right, curse at it with just the right inflection, and discover the hard way that her Grandma was very friendly with the neighborhood's dragon... then two weeks later have some God somewhere decide she was simply *perfect* for some Divine plan or other and inflict the Blessing and Curse of Oracleness on her... and then a week later get approached by a mysterious white fox offering yet more magical power if she would only make a contract with him (and the mysterious, possibly unsavory, being he works for)... yeah, I don't think learning magic the 'hard way' in a few days is that bad TBTH.


Moro wrote:


So roleplay it then. It's pretty absurd that a character goes from a glint in it's creators eye to a fully-formed, equipped, functional combatant instantaneously as well

In-game the character is not created instantaneously. The point at which you start playing is the point at which the character is finally ready to start adventuring after years of living off-screen. It is amazing that the PC is ready to play just when you want to play that character, but why look a gift horse in the mouth?


So, about the Fighter dedication feat.

I'll assume it gives you proficiency in simple and martial weapons, in addition to proficiency in all types of armour(light, medium, heavy).

"Proficiency in X" is quite a bit different than in PF1. In PF1, you were either proficient, or you weren't. In PF2, we have untrained, trained, expert, master, and legendary. I imagine the dedication feat only gives you trained, which is a nice +2 compared to untrained, but still -2 compared to the master a high level Fighter would get. This can probably go up with more feats, but that does cost more feats.

Getting a single armour proficiency feat instead could be cheaper if that's all you want out of the dedication feat, without having to have a high appropriate ability score or needing to spend three feats in the fighter just for another archetype.

I have no idea how well this balances in the end, but so far things are okay on paper.

I do worry about magic multiclassing being more powerful than other options. Having a spellcaster base with additional spellcaster multiclasses feels like it can very powerful.


Shinigami02 wrote:
Well considering in PF1e it's not unreasonable ....

And I'm betting these are all the reasons why Paizo had to create P2. Good riddance P1!

Paizo Employee Designer

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Raynulf wrote:

And Paizo continues to impress.

One of the big changes from PF1 to PF2 is that a lot of what were baked in class features are now class feats. So in essence, PF2 multiclassing means literally swapping out some class features of your main class for those of another class, much like archetypes worked in PF1... only less adhoc and more deliberate.

As someone who has multiclassed a lot over the years and juggled a lot of silly numbers, I have to say this is a much more elegant approach.

For example: If you want a spellcasting paladin, you can swap out your 2nd and 4th level class feats for cleric spellcasting of up to 3rd level spells by level 8. Sure, you only get 1 slot of each level without further feats, but you get access to spells while they're still relevant - unlike in PF1 where you didn't see 3rd level spells until 13th level. A few more feats and a paladin can cast up to 8th level divine spells... while still being a smiting, armoured, martial juggernaut.

That is awesome

Paladin with cleric MC is something I was definitely thinking of trying for an even more casty paladin than the powers alone allow. It's a far superior spellcaster to PF1 paladin, though the ability scores used by every aspect of the character get pretty demanding (angelic sorcerer is less demanding once that's an option).

I'm personally very excited to try out some of these new combinations!


N N 959 wrote:

In-game the character is not created instantaneously. The point at which you start playing is the point at which the character is finally ready to start adventuring after years of living off-screen. It is amazing that the PC is ready to play just when you want to play that character, but why look a gift horse in the mouth?

Children did exist as a playable option for those who wanted to scratch that itch as part of a long-term campaign. It does make things a bit wonky to pull off that "You were all childhood friends" shtick though unless you're human or a race of similar lifespan.


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N N 959 wrote:


In AD&D, Wizard had a starting age of like 35 while Fighters were like 19. WotC got rid of that because it made the game more complicated, not because magic was intended to be learned from Cliff Notes.

Looking at the 1st edition AD&D PHB now, and there is nothing about starting ages in there at all that I can find.

I did find the starting age chart for second edition, which goes by race, of course, but has no modifiers for classes.

Looks like WotC actually added this conceit to the game in 3rd edition, but the differences, as I detailed them in an earlier post, are minimal.

I think you are just remembering your personal preferences as rules. I have been guilty that myself many times over the years.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm really excited about these changes! Old multi-classes certainly had more options, but I think multiclassing in PF2 will have far fewer combinations that are essentially unplayable.

It makes me wonder how viable an "ultimate theurge" kind of character would be. Play as a wizard, or whatever, then multiclass into druid, cleric, bard, or any other casting class as you see fit.


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N N 959 wrote:
Moro wrote:


So roleplay it then. It's pretty absurd that a character goes from a glint in it's creators eye to a fully-formed, equipped, functional combatant instantaneously as well

In-game the character is not created instantaneously. The point at which you start playing is the point at which the character is finally ready to start adventuring after years of living off-screen. It is amazing that the PC is ready to play just when you want to play that character, but why look a gift horse in the mouth?

Characters do not gain levels instantaneously in-game either, they earn experience over time and then for some reason reap all of the benefits of that experience at once. Learning the basics of a new class over the course of earning a new level's worth of experience is no more absurd than suddenly becoming much better at an existing class for the same reasons.

Edit: Also, the original rules had built-in narrative helpers for this, requiring training time and money before a new level could be gained, even with the requisite amount of experience earned. Usually this just happened off-screen though, like a characters childhood/background.


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Raynulf wrote:

And Paizo continues to impress.

One of the big changes from PF1 to PF2 is that a lot of what were baked in class features are now class feats. So in essence, PF2 multiclassing means literally swapping out some class features of your main class for those of another class, much like archetypes worked in PF1... only less adhoc and more deliberate.

As someone who has multiclassed a lot over the years and juggled a lot of silly numbers, I have to say this is a much more elegant approach.

For example: If you want a spellcasting paladin, you can swap out your 2nd and 4th level class feats for cleric spellcasting of up to 3rd level spells by level 8. Sure, you only get 1 slot of each level without further feats, but you get access to spells while they're still relevant - unlike in PF1 where you didn't see 3rd level spells until 13th level. A few more feats and a paladin can cast up to 8th level divine spells... while still being a smiting, armoured, martial juggernaut.

That is awesome

Cool.

Question. Is Paladin/Cleric better than Paladin? Will I be punished by the game and the community for going Pure Paladin instead of being assumed to Multiclass because it's that bloody good now? Why wouldn't I mutliclass because it's so good and no down side?

I can give any number of reasons. The blunt answer is "Math". The math is easier for new players and the math is better for power gamers.

All abroad the no down side at all multiclassing.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Raynulf wrote:

And Paizo continues to impress.

One of the big changes from PF1 to PF2 is that a lot of what were baked in class features are now class feats. So in essence, PF2 multiclassing means literally swapping out some class features of your main class for those of another class, much like archetypes worked in PF1... only less adhoc and more deliberate.

As someone who has multiclassed a lot over the years and juggled a lot of silly numbers, I have to say this is a much more elegant approach.

For example: If you want a spellcasting paladin, you can swap out your 2nd and 4th level class feats for cleric spellcasting of up to 3rd level spells by level 8. Sure, you only get 1 slot of each level without further feats, but you get access to spells while they're still relevant - unlike in PF1 where you didn't see 3rd level spells until 13th level. A few more feats and a paladin can cast up to 8th level divine spells... while still being a smiting, armoured, martial juggernaut.

That is awesome

Cool.

Question. Is Paladin/Cleric better than Paladin? Will I be punished by the game and the community for going Pure Paladin instead of being assumed to Multiclass because it's that bloody good now? Why wouldn't I mutliclass because it's so good and no down side?

I can give any number of reasons. The blunt answer is "Math". The math is easier for new players and the math is better for power gamers.

All abroad the no down side at all multiclassing.

Only if the class feats you give up for multiclassing are such inferior options to the class features you pick up with multiclass dedication and feats. And we don't know the details yet, so that is a big if at this time. Granted, such a balancing act for every class and class feature would be a momentous feat of balanced game design if they are all even within spitting distance of one another, but there is hope. And a playtest, this is why we are testing, after all.


ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
When I was GMing shattered star, we briefly had a character who, at level eight, had levels in four different classes and roughly a +30 on the majority of skill checks as a result.

How? With that kind of build I'm willing to bet the archetype/feats selected were broken in and of themselves, if it was even legal in the first place.

Liberty's Edge

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Qazyr wrote:

Is there really a point to the Basic Arcana and Advanced Arcana feats, if all they do is allow you to pick another feat? Wouldn't it be more efficient to just add a clause to Wizard Dedication

"At level 4 and above, you may take Wizard feats (as a Wizard of half your level) instead of your base class's."
Otherwise, you end up with every class requiring two feats that all follow the same template.

I think these are feats so they count towards the multiple archetype restriction.

Silver Crusade

deuxhero wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
When I was GMing shattered star, we briefly had a character who, at level eight, had levels in four different classes and roughly a +30 on the majority of skill checks as a result.
How? With that kind of build I'm willing to bet the archetype/feats selected were broken in and of themselves, if it was even legal in the first place.

I don't remember exactly, and it is possible that this person cheated. They got their INT absurdly high, then took that one trait that lets you use your INT for cha things. They were an investigator (among other things), and got their inspiration for free on most of their skills via talents. (My estimate of +30 includes the 3.5 from the inspiration die.) I know they were an Evangelist as well, and I think an alchemist. (I know they had bombs.) I'm sure they weren't a spell caster.

Knowing this person, them cheating is on the table.


MerlinCross wrote:
Raynulf wrote:

And Paizo continues to impress.

One of the big changes from PF1 to PF2 is that a lot of what were baked in class features are now class feats. So in essence, PF2 multiclassing means literally swapping out some class features of your main class for those of another class, much like archetypes worked in PF1... only less adhoc and more deliberate.

As someone who has multiclassed a lot over the years and juggled a lot of silly numbers, I have to say this is a much more elegant approach.

For example: If you want a spellcasting paladin, you can swap out your 2nd and 4th level class feats for cleric spellcasting of up to 3rd level spells by level 8. Sure, you only get 1 slot of each level without further feats, but you get access to spells while they're still relevant - unlike in PF1 where you didn't see 3rd level spells until 13th level. A few more feats and a paladin can cast up to 8th level divine spells... while still being a smiting, armoured, martial juggernaut.

That is awesome

Cool.

Question. Is Paladin/Cleric better than Paladin? Will I be punished by the game and the community for going Pure Paladin instead of being assumed to Multiclass because it's that bloody good now? Why wouldn't I mutliclass because it's so good and no down side?

I can give any number of reasons. The blunt answer is "Math". The math is easier for new players and the math is better for power gamers.

All abroad the no down side at all multiclassing.

Well, I guess it depends on what you're looking for from your paladin. Because personally I think a full classed paladin will probably be fine, since the opportunity cost for spellcasting includes a lot of things that seem to be at least as compelling. We know they can improve their healing abilities and get affliction removal mercies from class feats, we know they can get Buffs and Debuffs as litanies, and they can get a variety of auras and martial abilities as feats. So If you want to be a vancian spellcaster, as a paladin, yeah, then Paladin/Cleric is probably the route for you, but I'm not seeing anything just yet that says getting a small number of spells per day is better than just the regular Paladin feats.

I'd probably say, if I'm worried about anything, it's the reverse. Will a cleric/paladin be too strong if they decide that they don't mind much losing out on extra domain abilities?


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MerlinCross wrote:
Raynulf wrote:

And Paizo continues to impress.

One of the big changes from PF1 to PF2 is that a lot of what were baked in class features are now class feats. So in essence, PF2 multiclassing means literally swapping out some class features of your main class for those of another class, much like archetypes worked in PF1... only less adhoc and more deliberate.

As someone who has multiclassed a lot over the years and juggled a lot of silly numbers, I have to say this is a much more elegant approach.

For example: If you want a spellcasting paladin, you can swap out your 2nd and 4th level class feats for cleric spellcasting of up to 3rd level spells by level 8. Sure, you only get 1 slot of each level without further feats, but you get access to spells while they're still relevant - unlike in PF1 where you didn't see 3rd level spells until 13th level. A few more feats and a paladin can cast up to 8th level divine spells... while still being a smiting, armoured, martial juggernaut.

That is awesome

Cool.

Question. Is Paladin/Cleric better than Paladin? Will I be punished by the game and the community for going Pure Paladin instead of being assumed to Multiclass because it's that bloody good now? Why wouldn't I mutliclass because it's so good and no down side?

I can give any number of reasons. The blunt answer is "Math". The math is easier for new players and the math is better for power gamers.

All abroad the no downside at all multiclassing.

It could very well turn out too strong, but I have also heard a lot of complaints that many class features are backloaded, level-wise. So not only are characters not able to access feats past level 10, but to continue cross classing at high levels means a high opportunity cost of class feats balanced for double the level of what one could grab from their cross-class.

Sovereign Court

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Dedication is too damn taxing.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have to say, I thought they were reducing the front-loading of classes to cut down on the urge for people to dip, so I find the chosen path to be a surprise. Given the archetypes seem like they are getting pushed to upper levels, that was one of the things I like to use to add flavor. Ok, that is a choice I can try to deal with. Now however, another way I created flavor was to take another class to pull in some abilities on the side. This is now going to have less impact on top end abilities of my primary class, but is going to probably be a much slower process, requiring several levels of progress to get to an equivalent exploration into a supplemental class.

Combine this with how races don't start out with as much racial traits at first level, seeing them progress more over time, I have to admit I am getting a slight fear of starting characters having significantly fewer interesting differences for them to start out with. I hope the background helps alleviate some of that, but I feel like I'll have to see.

All in all it seems like you really have to get past the first couple levels to start seeing some of the variance/options we used to see at 1st level. [ok, reducing the front loading, for classes this seems like a necessary step, especially if we kept traditional multi-classing, but applying it to the racial bits seems surprising]

gwynfrid wrote:

This is very intriguing. I can't say I like it yet, because of the magnitude of the change making it difficult to analyze. In fact, lacking the full rule for at least two classes, I think trying to fully analyze is futile. I can just share a few feelings:

- The flexibility is very appealing. We can add as much or as little of the new class as we want.
- Dual casters become credible, in a way the mystic theurge never was.
- This allows so many ways to do a gish, it's amazing...
- The flip side is that it's not possible to really switch careers, as in "my rogue decided to make amends for her life of crime and become a cleric of Sarenrae". This closes off a number of narratives: Now we have "once a rogue, always a rogue".

On the whole, I think I'm warming up to the concept. At the very least, it's worth testing. Still, I think it would be good to add some sort of mechanism for those who wish to make a clean break with their past.

I think one option to reflect that might create a path where you choose a new class, multi-class into the class, taking the dedication an a feat or a few. Then as arranged by the GM, be allowed to retrain your primary class to the new class, leaving instead yourself multi-classed in your prior class.

It is a good deal more work, and you likely will lose abilities you had from the first class, and will learn the new class awfully quickly with the retraining, but it might be a functional option, if we can't pull back a form of traditional multiclassing.

Kazk wrote:

Unless it fundamentally unbalances things, I would like to see multi-class archetypes and general archetypes not count against each other for the purposes of needing enough feats to select a new archetype. For example a rogue with the pirate archetype still being able to multi-class into something without first having to wait to pick up two more pirate feats. Otherwise, I see a lot of cool character concepts being totally unavailable until higher levels.

If a player were to take a multiclass and a non-multiclass archetype quickly, it would be fairly expressive even at low levels while still taking just as high of a level to take a 3rd archetype of any kind.

This would certainly grant more versatility, but would there be a problem with 2 early dedication feats being to powerful? Or just over complicating the rules?

I agree that I think it would be better to allow someone to take a 'theme' archetype dedication while still completing a multi-class dedication, or vice versa. At least, at this point, I'd be very inclined to support that, and hope that is they way they intended. (however, I worry that isn't the case)

I could see potentially requiring a prestige class to be clear of any other dedications however, since, they are of course Prestige Dedications which are like both classes and themes.

Shadow Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I like the potential here. Wizard dedication and probably 2 feats gives me spellcasting to 6th level - im assuming a second spellcasting feat that cover 4-6 level spells. Then since i have my 2 required atchetype feats i can multiclass again. Could see some really inventive characters here which partly alleviates my concerns over the homogeneity among classes, one of the big things that put me off 4e., but im still going to look closely at low level play which i think may still lack that diversity. I alo like the fact that even multiclassed i will still feel like every level i gain adds to my class, the big thing that put me off 5e with its bounded accuracy. Lookng forward to the playtest and the opportunity to refine/reshape the system.


This system has a lot of potential and I am looking forward to play testing. I am curious what the real difference is at this point between a archetype feat and a multiclass feat, and how close classes are to being a collection of specific feats, but overall I think there is a lot that could be right with this system.

At this point my biggest concern is that having feats overlap with proficiencies is going to make a lot of narrative possibilities not likely to happen, but PF1 had a lot of that too.

Dark Archive

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I don't like that you guys are bundling so many things on class feats. Why are archetypes, archetype multi-classes, and your core classes all competing for this one resource. In 1e these things were all independent. Furthermore, you are now charging a 2 feat exit tax on all archetypes, which I think further limits and drains this singular class feat resource. What if I only want to take the dedication feats for 3 archetypes but not go further than that? You just moving feat taxes from front loaded to back loaded. I think you are severely limiting the customization and creativity allowable by putting these all onto the one 'class feat' resource pool. Especially since you moved so many iconic class features from a baked in feature to a "take this class feat at Level X".


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Paladinosaur wrote:
Qazyr wrote:

Is there really a point to the Basic Arcana and Advanced Arcana feats, if all they do is allow you to pick another feat? Wouldn't it be more efficient to just add a clause to Wizard Dedication

"At level 4 and above, you may take Wizard feats (as a Wizard of half your level) instead of your base class's."
Otherwise, you end up with every class requiring two feats that all follow the same template.
I think these are feats so they count towards the multiple archetype restriction.

You should be able to take the advanced version multiple times.

I'm willing to bet that the reason why they are separate feats is to force you to grab a low level wizard class feat before you can grab any high level ones.

Why?

"Balance"

Silver Crusade

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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.

So as someone who played a lot of 4e and still does from time to time, how is it like PF2's MC like 4e's? Is it because its been boiled down to taking feats? Cause in 4e it was never worth to MC because it was combating for your other feats and it was just weak. An example that I can think of was the wizard MC got an at-will power, that it could use once per encounter. At least with these feats it seams worth taking and it only vying for some class feats. I'm honesty interested, what about this is a deal breaker.


I'm wondering how different will be a wizard with fighter dedication to a fighter with wizard dedication.

It's very likely that one will be stronger than the other in its original class' abilities.


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Mr. Mark Seifter,

Is there any chance that during the playtest we might get other multi class options in the form of a blog post?


Bardarok wrote:
Personally I am excited about this. I think it will work a lot better for many character types than traditional multi classing did. It's a shame that you can't do a total career change though, that might be worth adding in as an option in addition to the archetypes.

What Jason said: "If these archetypes work, you can expect to see one for each class in the final version of the game"

So yeah, if the playtest is a go on these, there WILL be one for every class, not just the four mentioned in the blog

EDIT: My bad is someone else already said this; by the time I read these things, the pages are already flooded with responses and I just can't keep up :-(


When it comes to multiclassing, I normally like pairing very different classes (e.g. eldrich knight). However, for playtesting purposes, I am more interested in trying to see if cross-classing similar classes can stack up to be more powerful than either base class. e.g. a fighter/barbarian who fights better than a fighter.


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Bruno Mares wrote:

I'm wondering how different will be a wizard with fighter dedication to a fighter with wizard dedication.

It's very likely that one will be stronger than the other in its original class' abilities.

I don't see how it could be anything but wizard with fighter MC feats. Full spell progression which is level appropriate vs... not.

Plus you can get a giant pile of proficiencies and quickly get level appropriate fighter feats (the core of the fighter class) with just a minimal tax.

The real question is if there are other classes that are better suited to pillaging than fighter. (going for a dex class and agile/finesee weapons, for example, rather than blowing stat ups on strength).

The only way this wouldn't be the case is if there isn't an equivalent of 'advanced arcana' for fighters.w

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