More archetypes or more base classes?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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So i'm curious as to everyone else's opinion, which do you prefer more archetypes or more base classes?

I'm falling on the archetype side myself. Why create a new class if you can get the same feel with only a minor change to an existing class?


Sometimes the archetype does not do enough. It has to give me a the feeling, and work mechanically.
As an example I want an assassin/ninja class, but neither the rogue, nor ranger is cutting it for me. I don't care for the current prestige class either. I am not saying that neither the rogue or make bad assassins/ninjas, but I want someone with skills, who at certain times, limited per day can almost go toe to toe with a fighter.

At the same time I don't want the class to be able to make the rogue obsolete.

edit:Sometimes a small change is all you need. It really depends on what you want to do. The spelltheif class in 3.5 was not something I think an archetype could cover, but the scout probably could have been a variant rogue.

Sczarni

More Base Classes plane and simple

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Dasima wrote:
So i'm curious as to everyone else's opinion, which do you prefer more archetypes or more base classes?

More Archetypes.


Archetype is the way.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

More Archetypes


Base classes FtW


Neither really. Prestige classes imo.


I strongly prefer Archetypes.

Sovereign Court

I prefer archetypes to base classes and prestige classes.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Archetypes. There are enough base classes as it is, and PrCs should be reserved for special groups/organizations or for *really* unique ideas that can't fit into an existing class in any way.

The Exchange

Archetypes, by a large margin. Too many base classes just lead to clutter.

Shadow Lodge

Archtypes. There's already 18 base classes. and we're barely a year into the game. Plus, we haven't even begun to explore what archtypes can do with the APG classes or the magus.

If you feel like you NEED more base classes, look to Super Genius Games or other 3PP. They've already put out an ample supply.

Really, the only gap in the classes that seems insurmountable to me is the lack of a class that technology. They could use clockwork and steam devices. A steampunk mad scientist/inventory type class. And before anyone points me to the artificer, I'm talking about somehting that isn't a slightly different bit of fluff layered over magic.


Archetypes. I could live just fine without any more base classes.


Gorbacz wrote:
Archetypes. There are enough base classes as it is, and PrCs should be reserved for special groups/organizations or for *really* unique ideas that can't fit into an existing class in any way.

I totally agree.


I'm w/Rex and Gorbacz. PrC = best for the truly "unique" or "different" concepts out there.

Archetypes for all the rest.

Dark Archive

Gorbacz wrote:
Archetypes. There are enough base classes as it is, and PrCs should be reserved for special groups/organizations or for *really* unique ideas that can't fit into an existing class in any way.

Agreed. Also, a larger/expanded selection of class features (of which archetypes are thematic bundles, so to speak).


Definitely archetypes. I don't mind more base classes, especially those that add something new to the game. As for PrCs, they can rot in hell. Thanks to 3.5, I've seen more than enough PrCs. If I could, I would purge them from the face of the earth.

Liberty's Edge

I agree with Kthulhu in terms of architypes rather than base classes. However,i've always felt that more advancesd technology should have been the specialty of gnomes, with increased magic resistance, but with lesser magic using abilities. The way that gnomes are now designed does not, at least to me, give them a real and unique gnomish feel. I would guess that gnomes make up a very low percentage of all the characters chosen by players, and that this has held true since the old D&D days- they've always been an orphan race.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Martin Kauffman 530 wrote:
I agree with Kthulhu in terms of architypes rather than base classes. However,i've always felt that more advancesd technology should have been the specialty of gnomes, with increased magic resistance, but with lesser magic using abilities. The way that gnomes are now designed does not, at least to me, give them a real and unique gnomish feel. I would guess that gnomes make up a very low percentage of all the characters chosen by players, and that this has held true since the old D&D days- they've always been an orphan race.

Kind of OT, but have you read Gnomes of Golarion ? The Paizo remake of gnomes is terrific, and IMHO the best shot at defining the race since, well, ever.

Shadow Lodge

Martin Kauffman 530 wrote:
I agree with Kthulhu in terms of architypes rather than base classes. However,i've always felt that more advancesd technology should have been the specialty of gnomes, with increased magic resistance, but with lesser magic using abilities. The way that gnomes are now designed does not, at least to me, give them a real and unique gnomish feel. I would guess that gnomes make up a very low percentage of all the characters chosen by players, and that this has held true since the old D&D days- they've always been an orphan race.

I actually very much like the changes to gnomes that Pathfinder introduced. In D&D, gnomes have pretty much never really had a "unique gnomish feel". They're basically shorter dwarves without beards, although with an afinity for being illusionists added on.

Liberty's Edge

More archetypes. We have plenty of base classes--maybe too many, to be honest.

Jeremy Puckett


Archetypes.

I will be disappointed if we see another base class after the Magus.

Shadow Lodge

This far into the splatscene(one major - APG - out and two more in the pipe), I'd prefer if they refrained from adding new base classes anymore.

Instead both archetypes and prestige classes strike my fancy. Prestige classes could retain the role they so far have had in PF - give an option to play something really specific while sacrificing some class features. I like Stalwart Defender, I strongly fancy Master Chymist and Dragon Disciple since they all feature numerous abilities that could not be covered with a feat tree and feature major specialization that costs several class features for the player. They have their own roles.

Archetypes on the other hand are way for Paizo to keep updating their game with new options without facing massive bloat. I agree that some of them can be severly weaker than their core counterparts(notably the ranger ones), but they are a good direction to go for several reasons:

First of all, they've already set them apart as a distinct way to feature regional varieties of combat or fighting schools. Just check the Inner Sea Primer. Useful, fun and highly thematic without having any cheeze(Im looking at you, Campaign Setting cleric alternative!).

Secondly, they are pretty easy for GMs to take apart and make their own for homebrew settings and scenarios. Pick the abilities you want to lose, compare the new ones power-wise with your ol'core class, name the archetype and you're set.

Finally, they are a decent way to convert older prestige classes(somewhat like the sorcerer bloodlines actually) and variant classes(spellthief! now I want a dungeon crasher) into PF format without sacrifing pages from Paizo's original material.

Anyway, I want MOAR. Get to it.

Liberty's Edge

IMO, the advent of the archetype was one of the most brilliant gaming inventions to hit the pipeline in recent years - probably since 3.5 came out. To that end, I think archetypes is definitely the way to go. I don't really think we've seen a really aggressive archetype package yet, either - a lot of the ones in the APG are just subtle tweaks. You could do a lot with archetypes if you just kept BAB progression, for example, and changed virtually everything else. It'd be just like a new base class.


Archtypes first, base classes only when fresh new ideas require them (like the alchemist, for instance).
PrC's in PFRPG leave alot to be desired, but I kind of like that, as it means the base classes can stand till level 20.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Serendipity wrote:
Archetypes. I could live just fine without any more base classes.

+1,000,000

The only thing Paizo could do to get me to unsubscribe from the RPG line is to keep releasing more base classes. I haven't even learned the ones from the APG yet.


Honestly, I'm okay with either. My personal opinion is that if they have a concept for a class they should build it in the way that most accommodates the idea. I prefer archtypes, but sometimes a new base class or PrC is required. Paizo has already demonstrated that they're comfortable stepping away from entire core class concepts when building archtypes, so I'm confident that they could produce some stellar ones governing certain ideas.

Archtype: When an existing base class covers enough of the mechanical ideas behind the idea to simply modify. Example: The ninja could be designed around either the monk or rogue classes.

Base Class: When no existing base class can cover the mechanical concept you are attempting to create. Example: A druid based spontaneous caster would require a new base class to fully embody.

Prestige Class: When a concept simply expands, or narrows, a class (or class combination) ability's focus. Prestige classes should only be used to create ideas that are achieved after a certain amount of prestige or experience. Prestige classes should not be used for concepts that should be played from creation.

Personal opinions abound!


Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Base Class: When no existing base class can cover the mechanical concept you are attempting to create. Example: A druid based spontaneous caster would require a new base class to fully embody.

Oracle archetype ahoy!

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

I'm certainly in the archetype camp.


Honestly I'm not convinced there are any idea's left that fit Paizo's requirements for base classes (both a flavor niche and mechanical niche). The ninja- for example, didn't have a unique move set historically, just a famous one. And legendarily, they're all over the place- a sandman bard is a great ninja who relies on jutsus- just look at the spell list. A rogue can cover all ideas needed- or for that matter a monk fits the bill as well as I need as well. I know not everyone feels this way, but I don't think that the Asian-styled character archetypes need their own classes. Just as a knight in shining armor can be a paladin, cavalier, fighter or even ranger (horselord wearing chain-mail)all these classes could be samurai. That said, the tweaks that the archetypes bring are great, perhaps creating ways to fill the gaps that exist.


Ellington wrote:
Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Base Class: When no existing base class can cover the mechanical concept you are attempting to create. Example: A druid based spontaneous caster would require a new base class to fully embody.
Oracle archetype ahoy!

This- the nature oracle is nine-tenths there, all it REALLY needs is wildshape to complete it (yes it uses the cleric spell list, but the two are similar and they can get the nature's allies spells.)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I think there is a role for all 3.

Archetypes can be used for minor tweaks to classes.

New Base Classes can be used for major new developments, such as a shapechanger class, spiritualist class, non-magical buffer, exorcist, etc., or for new mechanics that are fun and unique and other classes lack, such as the warlocks eldritch blast and invocations, the binder's vestiges, the dragon shaman and marshal's auras, etc.

Prestige classes can be used for advanced options and base class combos, like eldritch knight and mystic theurge and arcane trickster. They can also be used to specialize in certain roles, like the arcane archer, stalwart defender, or master chymist.

Liberty's Edge

Archetypes > Base Classes > Prestige Classes

In that order.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
hida_jiremi wrote:

More archetypes. We have plenty of base classes--maybe too many, to be honest.

Jeremy Puckett

+1

Same, unclear, gut feeling here.

Sovereign Court

I'd still like to see abbreviated base classes. Ones that are only 3 to 5 levels that you can take at level 1 and are intended to multiclass out of, kind of the opposite of prestige classes.

Rather than stretching a more specialized concept out for twenty levels, or force you to have to jump through hoops to get a prestige class, just let us jump into our specialty early one and enjoy its abilities for the life of the character, which might not ever even reach into the mid levels.

I like the idea of the archetypes, but my initial reading of them is that the value you get out of them is all over the place, and as always, the most interesting elements only kick in at the mid levels. Low level play needs a good shot in the arm.

Dark Archive

I'd like to see the Binder, Shadowcaster, and Truenamer base classes return Paizo-style. Each had its own magic system, which couldnt be replicated by an archetype. I had hoped the Words of Power might be an attempt to make the foundation of a Truenamer class.


Archetypes IMHO. As others have said, a LOT can be done with the archetypes and the APG classes and the Magus. Not to mention the wealth of mostly-good 3PP base classes, the PathfinderDB, and so on. A few base classes here and there would make me happy, but we don't need 30 or 40 any time soon.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The answer is "Yes, please".


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The answer is "Yes, please".

+1

Base classes for unique things like the Alchemist, Oracle, etc. and archetypes for things that are just different enough you can't handle it with a feat tree but don't represent a totally new concept. And prestige classes for narrow focus on one portion of something, or to combine some classes into interesting new ones (like the Rage Prophet).

But, in my opinion, more archetypes over prestige classes and base classes.


SmiloDan wrote:

I think there is a role for all 3.

Archetypes can be used for minor tweaks to classes.

New Base Classes can be used for major new developments, such as a shapechanger class, spiritualist class, non-magical buffer, exorcist, etc., or for new mechanics that are fun and unique and other classes lack, such as the warlocks eldritch blast and invocations, the binder's vestiges, the dragon shaman and marshal's auras, etc.

Prestige classes can be used for advanced options and base class combos, like eldritch knight and mystic theurge and arcane trickster. They can also be used to specialize in certain roles, like the arcane archer, stalwart defender, or master chymist.

What he says. There is space for all three things.


wraithstrike wrote:

Sometimes the archetype does not do enough. It has to give me a the feeling, and work mechanically.

As an example I want an assassin/ninja class, but neither the rogue, nor ranger is cutting it for me. I don't care for the current prestige class either. I am not saying that neither the rogue or make bad assassins/ninjas, but I want someone with skills, who at certain times, limited per day can almost go toe to toe with a fighter.

At the same time I don't want the class to be able to make the rogue obsolete.

edit:Sometimes a small change is all you need. It really depends on what you want to do. The spelltheif class in 3.5 was not something I think an archetype could cover, but the scout probably could have been a variant rogue.

The Spellthief is covered. Sandman bard variant. IMO its a little better, got a slightly different feel but its based on the spellthief.


Kthulhu wrote:

Archtypes. There's already 18 base classes. and we're barely a year into the game. Plus, we haven't even begun to explore what archtypes can do with the APG classes or the magus.

If you feel like you NEED more base classes, look to Super Genius Games or other 3PP. They've already put out an ample supply.

Really, the only gap in the classes that seems insurmountable to me is the lack of a class that technology. They could use clockwork and steam devices. A steampunk mad scientist/inventory type class. And before anyone points me to the artificer, I'm talking about somehting that isn't a slightly different bit of fluff layered over magic.

I think an alchemist rogue combo base class wouldnt be hated.. could probably accomplish the above steampunk.

Gadgetear... make him a tech pro.

Or you could just archetype and alchemist to lose mutagens for like trapfinding and boons to craft nonesense. Then one to replace the spells with like something like talents... Tech Support sellect mech abilities and stuff..

on board with either way but I think it should happen :)

maybe another archetype that instead of bombs its a bad ass gun thing with a certain number of bullets craftable per day...


DCironlich wrote:
I'd like to see the Binder, Shadowcaster, and Truenamer base classes return Paizo-style. Each had its own magic system, which couldnt be replicated by an archetype. I had hoped the Words of Power might be an attempt to make the foundation of a Truenamer class.

If I recall correctly, I believe James Jacobs had something specific to say about those classes. I believe he said that he had no interest in bringing those types of classes into Pathfinder because they didn't do anything truly unique beyond bringing a new mechanic that emulated an existing one.

Basically, he said that the idea of new "magic systems" like shadowcasters, truenamers, binders, & psionics weren't really much different from the current casters of Pathfinder. The only difference was that they used a different mechanic to achieve the spellcasting, and that it penalized other players (and DMs, especially) because they would have to learn an entirely new system of magic/whatever to see a character basically doing the same thing he'd been doing with previous classes.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Archetypes >>>> Prestige Classes > Base Classes

In that order but with a caveat.

I hope Paizo spends the vast majority of time on archetypes. For every base class I'd like to see 5-10 individual archetypes to pick from. They add that little bit of difference to make the class interesting without adding in a ton of new rules. In a sentence, if Paizo only made one new class-based feature moving forward, I'd hope it was more archetypes.

I think that Pathfinder can handle, and should have one or two more base classes to fill a couple of the last remaining holes in the system. Once that's done, I could care less if I ever see another base class though, which brings us to the odd one.

Prestige Classes. These are an odd duck. They've been neutered pretty heavily (and with good reason) over their 3.x counterparts, and frankly I'm glad to see them lose their appeal. That being said, as the base classes needs are completed, I can see a lot of reasonable PrC combos being created, especially since they seem to be added to allow for some interesting multi-classing with capstone abilities. As long as they don't become the beast they became in 3.x, and continue along the same path they do now, I honestly wouldn't be offended by more.


I don't really see this as an either/or choice. I think there probably should be more archetypes coming out than base or prestige classes, but I think there's room for each. If someone at Paizo has a neat idea for a new class then I wouldn't want them to hold back just because there are 'too many' base classes. On the other hand if a class is just a variation of something that's already out there then it should be an archetype.


MisterSlanky wrote:

Archetypes >>>> Prestige Classes > Base Classes

In that order but with a caveat.

I hope Paizo spends the vast majority of time on archetypes. For every base class I'd like to see 5-10 individual archetypes to pick from. They add that little bit of difference to make the class interesting without adding in a ton of new rules. In a sentence, if Paizo only made one new class-based feature moving forward, I'd hope it was more archetypes.

I think that Pathfinder can handle, and should have one or two more base classes to fill a couple of the last remaining holes in the system. Once that's done, I could care less if I ever see another base class though, which brings us to the odd one.

Prestige Classes. These are an odd duck. They've been neutered pretty heavily (and with good reason) over their 3.x counterparts, and frankly I'm glad to see them lose their appeal. That being said, as the base classes needs are completed, I can see a lot of reasonable PrC combos being created, especially since they seem to be added to allow for some interesting multi-classing with capstone abilities. As long as they don't become the beast they became in 3.x, and continue along the same path they do now, I honestly wouldn't be offended by more.

+1. Well said on the rationale behind the order.

Liberty's Edge

wraithstrike wrote:

I am not saying that neither the rogue or make bad assassins/ninjas, but I want someone with skills, who at certain times, limited per day can almost go toe to toe with a fighter.

How is that an assassin/ninja?

More archetypes please.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Personally I prefer new base classes. I do not like the trend of achetypes, but in the end you are trying to shoehorn something into a space that may or may not fit it. I believe it is more straight forward to create something entirely new even if it isn't perfectly unique. I also prefer base classes because they are self contained. I can show a player a handful of pages in a single book and he can see most of what his character can choose from (besides feats ofcourse). This means the player has to deal with less books, and its easier to create the character. After using the super genius games base classes for some time, I absolutely believe this is the best way to go as opposed to archtypes and definately instead of PrCs which I despise.

Shadow Lodge

I want more Archtypes and Prestige Classes for Clerics, and less for Druids, Paladins, and much less for Fighters and Rogues. As far as Base Classes, ugh, a few I guess I wouldn't mind, but I would rather have Prestige Classes, Variants, Feats, and mundain options than to add 6+ new classes already, especially when some of them could have been variants of existing material, (Cavalier, Summoner, Witch, and Alchemist). In my opinion, the Oracle and the Inquisitor only barely pull far enough away from existing class combos to merit being a base class and being cool enough not to be just an archtype. Would have much preferred making the Summoner, Alchemist, and Witch varient buids for Cleric, Sorcerer, and Wizard, and the Cavalier for Fighter, Ranger, and Paladin.

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