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I cannot wait for this book. I’m so excited for all these classes but I’m most excited for the witch. The witch was one of the 1E classes where Paizo really found its own voice and brought something we’d never really had before to the game. I’m really happy to hear that the witch will be the prepared ANY tradition counterpoint to the sorcerer. I’m really curious to see how patrons were handled. I didn’t like how vague they were in the playtest. I argued for something closer to the 1E version with the possibility for specific patrons like those that came later in 1E. I wanted the choice of patron to carry more weight and be an important part of the class but not be straitjacket. I really like the idea of the patron determining the tradition the witch used but I want various patrons that grant the same tradition to play very differently.
I personally want to see 2E versions of quite a few more of the old 1E classes.
I’m going to spoiler it so I don’t take up too much space here.
Arcanist as the spontaneous arcane caster that really digs into the "hacker of magic" part of the 1E class. I'd like to see them retain their exploits and reservoir abilities while becoming masters of meta magic as they bend magic to their will on the fly.
Psychic as the prepared occult caster. The 1E psychic was one of the classes that were iconic to Paizo. It brought something to the game that wasn’t there before and it filled that niche with it’s own feel. I no longer cared about psionics in PF because the flavor of the psychic just fit the game better.
Shaman as the spontaneous primal class. I’d like to see their roles as envoys to the spirit world and mediators for their communities explored. Shamanic traditions are also rich with tales of shamans vision quests which gives them a niche that no other class has. I’d like them to become THE shapeshifting class as opposed to the druids optional shapeshifting.
The kineticist is just too unique to not get it’s own space unless it becomes another flavor of monk which would a bit of a let down but understandable.
The magus is another unique niche that isn’t served by archetypes. A class that blends martial and magic into one. I don’t really see them as full 10 level casters though. I’d like to see them expanded to be closer to the psychic warrior and soulknife of 3E psionics but with magic. There’s just so much room to explore here.
The gunslinger is one of my favorite classes from 1E but I never liked how the only reason for their existence was to make firearms not suck. Their future really depends on how Paizo handles firearms in 2e. If firearms are functional weapons out of the gate then the gunslinger could be an archetype but I’d like to see them become a class that makes functional firearms better.
I would argue that the medium and summoner are also iconic Paizo classes whose class abilities are unique and it seems like it would be hard to do them justice with archetypes or fold them into bard and wizard, respectively.
Those are the 1E classes whose niche and/or class abilities seem like they’d make for better classes than to try to shoehorn them into another class or make them archetypes.
I suppose you could reconfigure the mesmerist, skald and spiritualist as bard “muses” if you expanded the concept of what a “muse” can be. The skald especially is just a bard from a specific ethnicity so call the “muse” Saga or something and give them a “raging song” feat chain. The mesmerist’s stare and trick become bard only feats while the spiritualist works similar to the familiar feat but with phantoms.
The inquisitor could be a cleric doctrine for the part of the church that hunts the monsters that prey on the faithful, often by coming really, really close to becoming monsters themselves.
The slayer would be an awesome level 1 archetype so ANY class could be a *COUGH*bounty hunter*COUGH*.
The bloodrager becomes a barbarian instinct that gives the barbarian minor spellpowers or supernatural abilities based on a bloodline. They were only 4th level casters in 1e so making them a full blown caster archetype seems to be a little much.
The occultist would be an awesome way to make a bonded item specialist wizard that forgos traditional schools for the occultist’s implements and focus powers.
The hunter is already a background and the only thing it really has going for it is the animal companion. So maybe a “pets for everyone” archetype?
The brawler seems like it should be a fighter feat chain but I could also see it being an archetype that gives any class skill with unarmed combat.
The shifter would be a great 1st level archetype that gives any classes shapeshifting abilities.
I think that covers all of 1E. Once the legacy classes are done then Paizo can move on to making 2E its own thing without having to worry about 1E being baggage that always weighs them down. Instead of years of “when are we going to get the 2E version of x” just get it done and out of the way. Then let go and move on towards other horizons.