Yeah, in that setup, the bastard sword is a worse one-handed sword than an arming sword and a worse two-handed sword than a longsword. But I kinda think it should be? It’s a compromise weapon, naturally it’s going to underperform compared to weapons optimized for either of the two niches it’s trying to cover. And it does kind of have a use for the sword and board fighter, as two-handing it can give you a damage boost if your shield breaks after a block. But an alternative might be just to consolidate the longsword and bastard sword into a single d8, two-hand d12 piercing or slashing weapon. Then it’s strictly better than the arming sword (or whatever you call the one handed d8 p or s weapon), but I suppose you could just charge more for it. Or maybe you like... have clumsy 1 when you one-hand or or something?
EDIT: Actually I really like that last suggestion. Just get rid of the bastard sword entirely and make longswords d8 weapons with two-hand d12 and a property that gives you clumsy 1 when wielded in one hand.
Re: the greatsword, in my opinion it should absolutely have reach. Zwihanders, Bihanders, Montante, all those big-ass “swords” were, as near as we can tell, made for fighting pikemen/billmen/halberdiers/etc. They were really not used like other swords, which were sidearms, they had a completely different fighting style, which was all about swinging in wide arcs, keeping that momentum going, to keep anybody from getting close to you. I think d10, reach, sweep or backswing is nice and balanced compared to other reach weapons, and does a better job of modeling how such swords were (probably) actually used than jusr a d12 two-handed weapon.
Yeah, ultimately what we call the different categories of fantasy sword isn’t terribly important. But it would be nice to have the categories break down by use. You’ve got your light, one-handed shank (I like “knife” for that, personally), your slightly longer, one-handed cqc blade (I like “dagger” for that), your long-bladed sidearm with a one-handed grip (I like “sword” or “arming sword” for that), your long-bladed sword with a two-handed grip, which may or may not be usable in one hand (I like “longsword” for this, though separating two-handed and hand-and-a-half into two separate categories of “longsword” and “bastard sword” works too), and your polearm with a swordlike blade (Honestly I’d just call this a two-handed sword, but “greatsword” is fine).
You could further break it down by differentiating single-edged cutting swords from these. I’d just lump the whole Elmslie typology into two broad categories of single-handed “long knife” or “backsword” and hand-and-a-half “war knife” or “great backsword,” the same way that the Oakashott typology gets lumped into “longsword” and “bastard sword.” And for simplicity’s sake I’d just call katanas “war knives”/“great backswords” from fantasy Japan.
I think for the sword stats i'd replace greatsword's sweep with backswing or shove, as the weapons benefits were it's ability to control people that moved beyond your reach and it’s a fairly large weapon and this hard to get past what with most of the weapon being a sharp edge.
I went with sweep because what few historical sources we have on two-hander technique involves a lot of big, sweeping motions, basically just warding any attackers off the big ol’ area around yourself. Sweep seemed like both a fitting description, and a decent mechanical representation for a weapon that is primarily used for fighting multiple opponents. Backswing would also make a ton of sense to me. Shove... I get it mechanically, but you’d need to narrate it as warding them off with your whirling blade rather than physically pushing them away with it.
Very good analysis, though I would suggest that the primary distinction between “short*,” “long,” and “bastard” sword actually has more to do with the length of the hilt than the length of the blade. Also the terms referred more to the technique than to the sword. Longsword fencing involved the use of two hands, but there are depictions in treatises of swords with clearly two-handed grips being wielded in one hand, with shield in the other.
If I had my druthers, the breakdown would go:
*I prefer the term “Arming sword” over “short sword,” personally
It... might be working as intended, actually. Note what the CRB says about changing alignment on page 29:
Alignment can change during play as a character’s beliefs change, or as you realize that your character’s actions reflect a different alignment than the one on your character sheet. In most cases, you can just change their alignment and continue playing. However, if you play a cleric or champion and your character’s alignment changes to one not allowed for their deity (or cause, for champions), your character loses some of their class abilities until they atone (as described in the class).
“As you realize that your character’s actions reflect a different alignment” ... “in most cases, you can just change their alignment and continue playing. Of course, page 28 does also state that “The GM is the arbiter of questions about how specific actions might affect your character’s alignment.” But that still seems to me to indicate that in PF2, a PC’s alignment is meant to be up to the player to determine, with the DM providing a final decision when questions arise over specific actions. Under that paradigm, the sorcerer struggling against their bloodline would probably bounce back and forth between evil and neutral more or less as the player feels is appropriate, with the DM being the final arbiter of whether or not the character’s actions merit an alignment shift if it’s in dispute.
The suggestion of “I’m feeling a little evil, let me just change my alignment to reflect that” and “Oh, I’m over it now, so I’ll go ahead and change that back to neutral” as soon as the encounter is over may be a bit of a hyperbolic example, but in principle, it seems to be in line with the RAW. Of course, as the arbiter of questions about alignment, the DM would also be acting in line with RAW to tell the player that no, going back to Neutral is not that easy, and they will have to display a consistent effort to redeem themselves before that can happen.
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
Most birds don't lay unfertilised eggs. Chickens are an exception
That’s not quite true; while it is relatively rare for wild birds to lay unfertilized eggs, the only reason they don’t do so is because they’re reliably getting their eggs fertilized in the wild. On the rare occasion that a wild female bird isn’t successfully fertilized during its mating season, it will still lay the egg, and even attempt to incubate it.
So, do tengu lay unfertilized eggs? Depends if she wants kids.
Right, sorry, Pathfinder noob here, not terribly familiar with Golarion. Feel free to disregard my earlier comment.
Worth noting, the whole “an unskilled laborer makes X amount of Y currency per day” thing is very rooted in modern economic thinking. A feudal system just plain doesn’t work that way. Accordingly, I don’t sweat the price of various goods as compared to the abstract income of a hypothetical laborer. For the vast majority of the population, what they’re actually doing is working land someone else owns, tithing a portion of the goods they produce to the landowner, and living off the rest. Most people rarely, if ever, exchange actual coins.
Right, which is why I noted that it’s a matter of preference whether or not you consider modeling reality here a desirable goal. Personally, I don’t really care about realism. I do like that the advantage of dual-wielding is in expanding your options than in granting additional attacks, but I would like to see more support for wielding a matched pair of weapons (as long as it doesn’t invalidate mismatched dual wielding). I also think the agile trait looks a little weak. Maybe if having an agile weapon in each hand reduced your MAP to -3 and -8, that could kill both birds with one house rule.
Lady Funnyhat wrote:
If the intent of removing level bonus is to allow lower level enemies to remain threatening, what would actually be more helpful is robust horde/troop rules for large numbers of enemies. More than just stats for a few common hordes like zombies or orcs; the ability to convert ANY enemy into a horde would be highly useful, as it will both allow individual mooks of low level to be trivial to defeat for a high level PC, and to simultaneously allow an entire army of mooks to pose a truly epic threat.
I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, allowing lower level enemies to remain threatening is a welcome side-effect of removing level bonus, not the primary goal. The primary goal, for me, is to make the numbers more manageable. I’m with RangerWickett, give me +8 against a DC 22 Ofer a +23 against a DC 37 any day of the week. If trimming down the number bloat also makes it possible for PCs to punch above their weight class with the right tactics and keeps low-level monsters viable threats in large numbers, so much the better.
There’s a common theme behind these. People call a feat a tax when they feel like they “have to” take it. “I don’t want combat expertise, but I have to take it because it’s a prerequisite for the feat I do want” is pretty universally agreed upon as being a tax. “I don’t want iron will but I have to take it because if I don’t I’ll fall behind the expected Will save bonus for my level” is a bit more subjective, but it certainly can feel like a tax. I think what it comes down to for the latter type is whether or not the perceived necessity of the numerical bonus is in fact necessary. Does the DM and/or the AP writer expect every PC to have Iron Will, and balance encounters using that expectation as a baseline? Then Iron Will is a tax, because you genuinely do have to take it to keep up. Does taking Iron Will put you above the expected baseline for Will Saves? Then it’s not a tax, it’s a true bonus you might choose to take over other Feats.
I was not aware they were planning to talk about removing level from proficiency in the APG. That is fantastic news to me, whatever they do with it, because even just having it mentioned as an optional rule in a printed 1st party source makes it a much easier sell to players. An adjusted Bestiary PDF would be the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake for me.
I don’t know about that, I didn’t really play PF1. I was talking about the Superstition Instinct from the PF2 playtest.
Captain Morgan wrote:
Yeah, that’s probably what I’ll end up doing if it’s not going to be in the APG.
David knott 242 wrote:
Ahh, ok. That makes sense, even if it is a little disappointing. Ahh well, hopefully it’ll make a comeback in some later book.
I absolutely loved the flavor of the Superstition Barbarian in the playtest, So I was pretty disappointed to see that it didn’t make it into the CRB. I’m just wondering if it was just cut for space and might return in the advanced players guide or some other future supplement, or if it was cut for some other reason (e.g. not playing well with magic-using party members, or being overpowered against enemy magic-users or something.) Anyone have thoughts on the matter?
As a GM, should I be telling my players with Assurance what the DC is so they can decide whether to use it or not?
I certainly would, but I’m a proponent of always telling the players the DC (whether they have assurance or not). A lot of GMs are pretty vehemently opposed to that practice though.
That’s funny, because rapier and main-gauche is pretty much THE definitive two-weapon fighting technique. In real life, fighting with two weapons is relatively rare, and is most often done simply because carrying a shield or a two-handed weapon is impractical, but fighting styles that do involve the use of two weapons tend to focus on using one weapon offensively and one defensively (and changing up which is being used for which as the situation demands).
Ithink PF2 does a pretty good job of modeling reality with its rules for two-weapon fighting (or lack thereof). Whether or not modeling reality is a desirable goal in this instance is a matter of personal preference, but it seems to be the way they went with it here.
1 point for showing up each session.
Keeping it focused on helping the group, for me, makes it feel less like accepting a bribe or handing out a benny for “good roleplaying” and more like acknowledging something you did to make everyone’s night better.
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Pathfinder (and D&D) abstracts that into AC. Higher AC from armor does not mean harder to hit, it means harder to hit in a way that will do damage. The surface area of a person in plate armor is greater than the surface area of a naked person, but the majority of that surface area is protected enough that hitting it won’t meaningfully harm the person. The surface area that is vulnerable is significantly smaller on someone in armor than on a naked person.
Vic Ferrari wrote:
I can go either way on spellcasting, just depending on the fiction. If drow magic is an inherent trait, that drow just have the inborn ability to produce certain magical effects, then put it under Heritage. But if rather than an innate ability, drow magic is a tradition practiced in their society, then it makes sense to be an Ancestry Feat. I could even see, if all drow can innately cast certain spells, but the advanced drow magic is something that has to be practiced and learned, having the former be part of the Heritage and the latter be an Ancestry Feat that requires drow Heritage as a prerequisite.
I just think anything that fits under Aptitude could still be categorized as either inherent or cultural. Where is, say, goblins’ propensity for dealing fire damage coming from if not either their genes or their culture? These aptitudes don’t come from nowhere. Either gnome magic is in their blood, or the gnomish people have a tradition of practicing it, but the gnomish knack for magic can’t just have manifested ex nihlo.
I agree to an extent. It would be weird, for example, for a half-orc to start out not having darkvision, and gain it later when they leveled up. That’s a physiological trait, and suddenly developing it after killing enough monsters is super weird. On the other hand, I have no problem with an elf starting without proficiency in bows, but acquiring it over the course of their adventuring career, even improving it beyond other proficiencies at higher levels. Weapon training is a learned trait, so it makes sense that you might not have it at first, but acquire it over time. I think I’d really like this latest take on Ancestries, on the following conditions:
1. Ancestry Feats are entirely non-physiological. Weapon and Skill Proficiencies, bonuses against certain types of enemies, that kind of thing. Any physiological traits like vision type, special resistances, or inherent magical traits are exclusive to Heritage.
5. While it's simpler than PF1 it still is going to be a lot of peoples second game coming from 5e since that is just the TTRPG landscape thees days. I think if they want to get players they should make sure it is an easy jump from 5e to PF2.
I think this is really important for Paizo to keep in mind. When PF1 came out, the majority of the 3.X veterans who served as the gateway for new players to join the hobby adopted it, which meant it was still a lot of new players’ first system. If you were a newcomer looking to get into the hobby, and you knew someone who played, there was a good chance you’d ask them to teach you, and there was also a good chance they’d tell you “You’ve probably heard of D&D, but D&D has kind of drifted away from what made it cool lately. You should try this other game called Pathfinder that’s like an unofficial spiritual successor to D&D. It’s what most of us have switched to.” Whereas, nowadays, a potential new player is probably more likely to look to streaming games like Critical Role than to veteran players, and most of those are D&D 5e. Plus, while many of the 3.X vets are still playing Pathfinder, some have gone back to D&D, as have a significant portion of the OSR crowd. So now, new players are more likely to play D&D first again, which puts Pathfinder in a very different position than it was when it started. Instead of being the 3rd party game that does D&D better than D&D does in a time when popular wisdom says D&D has lost its way, Pathfinder is the 3rd party game based on an outdated version of D&D in a time when D&D is doing better than it has done in decades. It can no longer sell itself on being the better version of D&D, so it has to find its own unique selling point. It will probably be most new players’ second game, so to keep them, it has to do something they can’t get from their first.
The blog where they first revealed that half-ancestries would be done as Feats did mention that, optionally, the GM could allow those Feats to be taken by characters of races other than human. But as we're still in playtesting phase, we should stick as close to the letter of the rules as possible in order to provide accurate feedback.
This isn’t an issue if you only call for rolls when there is both a risk of and a consequence for failure. Instead of having the player make the stealth check as soon as they say they are sneaking, wait until they are actually within sensory range of something that might spot them. Then it makes sense for them to know they failed, because the creature will be attentive to the PC’s presence.
I see what you’re saying, but the thing is, GMs who want to make secret checks are going to make secret checks, whether the rules say to or not. I, personally, am a big proponent of all rolls being public information on both sides of the screen, and PF2 allows me to do that as a GM. (See page 294 - “The GM can make any check secret, even if it’s not usually secret. Conversely, the GM can let the players roll any or all of their checks even if they would usually be secret, trusting players not to make choices based on information their characters don’t have.”)
Ultimately, I think putting the “secret” keyword on certain rolls is going to have little to no impact on how most GMs run their games. Most folks will just keep making (or not making) secret rolls in exactly the same circumstances they always have. Mostly, the keyword just communicates to the players what kinds of rolls they can expect will most commonly be made in secret, and which ones they can generally expect to be public.
It still works because of Surprise Attack. Since rogues treat enemies that haven’t acted yet in combat as flat-footed, it doesn’t matter if they see you just before the attack hits, they’re still flat-footed to you. That does mean only Rogues can catch enemies flat-footed out of stealth though.
4. All of the above.
5. It’s very important.
6. I don’t believe accessibility needs to be sacrificed to gain the above, so no. But to be clear, I don’t believe complexity and accessibility are mutually exclusive. A complex game can be accessible if it is designed and presented well.
7. Of course.
8. I’d like to see more options at the early levels. More of the high level non-magical options becoming available sooner (for example, the Fighter Feat that lets you add your shield’s AC bonus to Ref saves is really cool, but really weak for an 18th level Feat.) Stronger non-magical characters in general. Less bonus inflation, especially at high levels (I’d be in support of just removing the +level to Proficiency and adjusting DCs accordingly). Fewer niggling situational modifiers to keep track of. Maybe a little less technical jargon - I like the clarity of the technical language, but it’s a little too much.
The world isn’t divided into “die hard 3.X fans” and “the 5e crowd.” As you rightly observed, the 5e crowd is not a fertile market for Paizo. But neither are die hard 3.X fans. 5e fans will keep playing 5e, die hard 3.X fans will keep playing PF1. PF2 is aiming for people who want more depth than 5e can offer, but less complexity than PF1 asks you to manage. People like myself.
Lucid Blue wrote:
Yes, and 10,000 peasants can launch a spear at supersonic speed just by passing it from one to the next in the course of a 6-second round, but nobody cares because we understand that this little quirk is an unavoidable result of the fact that the game rules are not designed to account for such situations. But if you use them like a normal human being who isn’t out to prove that they can fabricate a situation where the system’s logic breaks down, then they work just fine.
Lucid Blue wrote:
Bolder for emphasis.
Lucid Blue wrote:
The food isn't there. By fiat. But I can MAKE it be there, simply by searching.
Food that coins normally sustain you isn’t there. That doesn’t mean food isn’t there. The point of the Feat isn’t finding food where none exists, it’s derriving sustainence from sources you would not otherwise be able to.
If you go looking for ways to “dissociate” the mechanics from the narrative, you’ll find them. All RPG mechanics are necessarily abstract to a certain degree, so they will never hold up if you look at them too closely. However, if you pay attention to what the rules actually say instead of actively looking for the most absurd interpretation you can think of, you’ll find that most mechanics are indeed rooted in the narrative.
Lucid Blue wrote:
Balance and options are all good. But a lot of 4E mechanics were simply bits of math that got applied to the world, without ever explaining HOW or WHAT was going on. It was just a catalog of powers that applied math to a situation.. Which made it feel very video-gamey because it lacked any explanation or way to mitigate the effects. (But what kind of damage is it? How did I take it? What if I was protected situationally? Doesn't matter. Math is math. World be damned. Mark it on your sheet.)
You sure didn’t play the same 4e I did.
Lucid Blue wrote:
For the most part, it seems that Pathfinder has taken pains to avoid doing that. (eg. A DC10 tree is a DC10 tree. It doesn't get harder to climb as the PC's gain levels. Making the tree adjust it's DC for the climber feels video-gamey because there's no in-world explanation for why it should change.)
DCs didn’t change as characters leveled up in 4e either. That was a common misinterpretation of the rules (probably an intentional bad-faith misinterpretation in some cases), but how it was actually supposed to work was the same way it does in PF2 - The DC chart is based on the level of the challenge, not the level of the character attempting it. The DC to climb a tree is the DC to climb a tree, regardless of your character’s level, but the GM should be aware that climbing a tree is a Trivial difficultly task for a level 0 character. A more appropriate climbing challenge for your 15th level party might be a wall of ice in a rainstorm.
Lucid Blue wrote:
I think “normally” is an important word you’re kind of brushing over. The plane of fire doesn’t have a lot of berries to forrage or small game to hunt, but it isn’t completely devoid of anything edible. Maybe the local flora and fauna couldn’t normally sustain you, but your mastery of survival is such that you know how to prepare these exotic ingredients in a way that makes them safe to eat.
Lucid Blue wrote:
Combat Medic is another. I can literally wipe away severe sword wounds in two seconds...
Either you’re ok with abstract HP, or you’re not. This isn’t something most people are ever going to be convinced to change their stance on. To me, battle medic is perfectly reasonable because being at less than full HP doesn’t necessarily mean “severe sword wound”, restoring HP doesn’t necessarily mean the injuries recover completely, and being at full HP doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in perfect health. If you view HP in a more concrete sense, then non-magical healing is always going to seem off to you.
Thank you so much! This is extremely helpful information, and very much puts my mind at ease.
So... I have a game going on currently, that will probably take about a month to wrap up. I really want to run Doomsday Dawn, but I won't be able to start until my current game ends. Will my group still be able to provide feedback on the playtest if our surveys are in a month or so late? Or will the devs already have moved on to the next round of surveys by the time we get ours for the previous period in?
I guess what I'm asking is, how strict are these two-ish week windows? If we start doing the 1st-level character segment 9/3, will our feedback still be taken into account, or will the devs already be focused on the surveys for the 8/27 4th level character segment?
Vic Ferrari wrote:
While the Action Economy is my favourite part (I also use the RAE from Unchained, with a few extra tweaks to help it along), but all the micro-action terms: Operate Activation action, Basic interact action, etc, have me concerned.
I agree, but I’m cautiously optimistic that most of these jargon terms aren’t going to matter much in play, and are mostly there to allow the devs to use more precise technical language in the text.
I’m pretty sure your second bullet point is the way the Power is intended to be used, and all the stuff about hardness and dents is there to obfuscate the fact that Shield Block is, functionally, an Encounter Power. Your third bullet point is just the Wizard version of the Power, which gets away with being more direct about its one-minute cooldown because it’s a spell.
Re: I like playing characters with “non-viable” Multiclass combinations! Does that mean I’m having badwrongfun?”.
No. You’re not having badwrongfun. Obviously, if it’s more important to you to express your character by having the combination of class names and numbers you want on your character sheet than it is for that character to be able to contribute to the party on the same level as optimized characters, that’s torally fine. You do you. But you’re not the only person who plays Pathfinder, and lots of players have a bad experience when they build a Multiclass character they think sounds cool, only to find out that it’s worse at everything than the rest of their party. It’s one thing to build a suboptimal character with full knowledge that it won’t be the best, but that you know you’ll have fun playing. It’s a very different thing to build a character you think is going to be great but turns out to suck because you didn’t know better.
A system that reduces trap options will necessarily reduce your ability to play bad-but-fun characters on purpose. I think that’s a worthwhile trade off for reducing the risk of non-expert players creating bad unfun characters by accident.
Nathanael Love wrote:
Most of the folks who left D&D for Pathfinder specifically because they didn’t like 4th Edition have gone back to D&D now that 5th Edition is a thing. The folks who stuck with Pathfinder are the ones to whom it appealed for more reasons than just not being 4e. Now, plenty of those people didn’t like 4e either, but disliking 4e isn’t the main reason most of them play it any more. But a lot of 4e fans are none too happy with 5e. So, since PF2 is embracing some of 4e’s better mechanics, and even improving on those ideas, a lot of 4e fans are thinking it looks like a preferable option to 5e. So now you’ve got a combination of PF1 fans who are more willing to accept certain mechanics that happened to be in 4e, as long as they serve PF2 well, and 4e fans who are just getting into Pathfinder now because it’s more to their taste than D&D 5e.
It’s not exactly the same situation as you had before, but the irony of 4e fans abandoning 5e for Pathfinder is not lost on me. Like you said, it rhymes.
A Ninja Errant wrote:
Well, Skill Feats are a subcategory of General Feats, so you can always take another one of those in General Feat levels if you want to. Other than that, we actually don’t know a ton about General Feats. I think the only example of one that’s been shown was from Ezren’s reference sheet. At 1st level he has the human ancestry feat General Training, which we know from Mark’s comments lets you take a General Feat. His General Feat is called Great Fortitude, and while the reference sheet doesn’t say exactly what that Feat does, but we can infer from the fact that he has a 14 Con and a +4 Fort save that he is an Expert in Fortitude saves, so we can assume that expertise is coming from Great Fortitude.
So, I’m guessing General Feats are effectively going to be like Skill Feats for things that aren’t Skills. Saves, Perception, weapon and armor Proficiencies, etc.
Classes provide a strong conceptual baseline and mechanical framework to start from. Sure, a classless system allows you to build any character you want, but it also requires you to build that character from the ground up. Now, as a crunch gal, I’m fine with that, but a lot of players don’t want to have to put that much work into the mechanics side of their character. Classes allow those players to just say “I want to be a knight” or “I want to be a wizard,” and the class does most of that groundwork for them.
There’s also the fact that restrictions breed creativity. When your character can be anything you want, you often find yourself not knowing what you want that character to be. I love classless systems, but I do find myself making the same kinds of characters over and over, because with nearly limitless options, I just end up falling back on my go-to favorites. Classes give you a smaller number of easier to weigh options, and then Class Feats and Archetypes give you the tools to break free of the constraints of the option you pick.
There’s also the unfortunate fact that Pathfinder is a child of D&D, and being a child of D&D comes with baggage. We’ve seen what happens when a game from the D&D family tries to venture too far from player expectations. As someone who loved 4e, it is abundantly clear to me that even a well designed game will fail if it challenges too many expectations too fast. Classes are one of those things that players expect out of a D&D-family game.
I just thought of something. All these multi class feats add a ton a feats to the book. Each class has 6+ multiclass feats? That alone is intimidating to new players. I am concerned in general about the feat chapter. It may be bigger than the spells section.
I doubt there will be one single Feat chapter. More likely, ancestry feats will be in the ancestry section alongside the ancestry they go with, class feats will be in the class section alongside the classes they go with, Archetype Feats (whether Multiclass, Prestige, or otherwise) will go in their own section probably after the classes, skill feats will go in the skill section, and general feats will go in their own section. That way, you only have to look through the section with the feats you can actually choose from at the level you hit. That's how I'd do it, anyway.
And yes, it does sound a lot like 4e. That's not a bad thing.
Nathanael Love wrote:
I disagree. We’ve seen things as specific as Crane Stance expresses as Monk Feats in the previews, so I don’t think a drunken fighting style is too specific for a Class Feat by any means. I do think it might be too specific for an Archetype though.
I think people are getting hung up on the word “Archetype,” thinking of them as replacement class features, often highly specific in concept and tied to a specific class. But in PF2, name for the thing that occupies that design space is “Class Feat.” The word “Archetype” is now reserved for replacement features that are broad enough in concept to be applicable to any Class.
EDIT: Actually, this is a much better way to phrase what I was trying to articulate here:
PF1 archetypes seem largely implemented in PF2 class options. PF2 archetypes seem more like multclassing into Expert(pirate). And really, thinking about it that way makes me feel a bit better about PF2 archetypes.
What I don’t understand is why it’s so important to so many folks to have an archetype, seemingly just to have it. In my view, the point of Archetypes is to allow you to further customize your character by trading in base class abilities for some other abilities. But, like, you can just do that without an Archetype now. Every class has that modularity already built in, and Archetype is now ultimately just a keyword meaning “Class Feat any Class can take.” Whether the example is Pirate, or Samurai, or Gladiator, or whatever else, you don’t need the Archetype of the same name to express that concept. The only reason to dedicate Class Feats to an Archetype is if that Archetype’s Feats better suit the character you want to play than your base Class Feats.
I don’t think Archetypes are going to be class-specific any more. If there is a Samurai archertype, it should be available to anyone who meets the prerequisites, regardless of class.
I’m pretty sure it’s a universal rule that cantrips automatically scale to the highest level of spell you can cast.