Your Top 5 Archetypes

Prerelease Discussion

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Well, my focus when playing is always on the companions i can gather.

1) Cleric - Evangelist : Allowing the cleric to become more bard like is a plus to me, it is also a way to make a "bard" with an animal companion.

2) Wizard - Instructor : Lvl 1 leadership. I have no words for how amazing this is. I wish every single class had a mentor archetype like this, where you could start off already with a buddy/apprentice... NPC by your side that would grow with you during your adventures.

3) Paladin - Chosen One - Gives the paly a starting guide to show the way. Love the concept of boy who was called forth to combat evil from his simple home. And the bonus here for some is that the familiar is meant to literally point out things, so hey, actually ingame reason to the GM to tell you if you are doing anything that will make you fall.

4) Vigilante - Magical Child - This one literally brings into the game a very common concept, the guy who has a changing clothes scene before he jumps into the fray. Ever wanted to be a power ranger? Saylor Moon? Ofc, im quite happy the class gets a familiar to go with it and thus has a companion.

5) The drake archetypes concept - The idea of having a "dragon" companion is old, it is a much loved idea also ofc, and it is done so terribly in PF1 it is literally called a trap by all. I hope in PF2 this idea comes back soon rather than later and this time the drakes are atleast worth something.

If i had to pick the concepts i like the most, it would be [2], since i would REALLY love the concept of having a NPC with me from the get go and [5] cause having a companion drake by my side from lvl 1 would be awesome aswell.

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1. Studious Librarian/Magician (Bard) - I like the idea of a song-based caster. Perhaps this isn't best as a bard archetype (no full spellcasting without a lot of fiddling), but weaving spells with songs has always felt more right to me than weaving them with just words.

2. Master Chymist (Alchemist) - Technically it's a prestige class, but it would be better as an archetype. Often people want to make a Dr. Jekyll character, but doing so through a prestige class can be awkward.

3. Urban Barbarian (Barbarian) - I dig the idea of a controlled rage. A character who can enter into a trance-like focus is something I'd like to see more often.

4. Warrior of the Holy Light (Paladin) - A paladin who, rather than learning how to cast spells, channels their devotion through auras and other holy abilities.

5. Ninja (Rogue) - In current Pathfinder it's an alternate class. Doesn't have to be asian-inspired, just a rogue with magical tricks. Vanishing, magical distractions, and ways to mess with event combatants.

EDIT: Formatting

Silver Champion Paladin (and the other drake archetypes): The drake companions were underwhelming to say the least, and the archetypes traded away far too much, but the concept was so great that I not only used them, I fixed them and added archetypes for the barbarian, alchemist and inquisitor. A dragon companion that is balanced for PCs would be a great addition to almost any class, especially if it remains customizable. Please bring these back (and don't let them suck)!

Spellslinger Wizard and Siege Wizard: I'm grouping these together because they are similar enough. There is just something cool about a wizard who shoots magic out of a gun. The archetype trades too much (houseruled cantrips back in and only 2 opposition schools), and the gun mechanic could be a little more interesting, but it's still cool enough to be the go to Wizard concept for one of my players. Siege wizard is actually not bad, just not for every game. And again, it is just cool to have a wizard take mental control of a siege weapon.

Beastmorph Vivisectionist and Chirirurgeon Vivisectionist: Stretching things a bit here, but, Vivisectionist is a great mad scientist template to throw on top of other concepts, and the fact that it combines with beastmorph and chirurgeon means it can create two really interesting possibilities. Beastmorph vivisectionist is a terrifying Island of DR Moreau character who uses himself as a guinea pig. Chirurgeon Vivisectionist is probably my favorite healer of all time, being something of a gruesome butcher that gets the job done but isn't pretty, someone who probably never made it into med school and taught himself surgery by practicing on stray cats in his spare time while working in a funeral home.

Titan Mauler: Guy who uses big weapons and fights big monsters is great. Especially when you have small size races. There is just something so fun about a halfling fighting a human and treating it like an epic battle against a giant.

Bladebound Magus Blackblades are awesome. More classes should have them. Like, all of them. Just picture it, a barbarian with a sword that shares his rage, a fighter with the archetypal magic sword, a bard whose sword sings with him, a rogue with a knife that talks her into mischief, a druid with a bow possessed by the spirit of the hunt, a sorcerer bound to the blade that he used to make a blood pact for power, a wizard with an intelligent staff for a familiar. And that's all just off the top of my head, the possibilities are endless.


Honorable mentions:

Crossblooded sorcerers and dual cursed oracles: Why have one thing when you can have two?

Mind blade Magus: Because it's the closest we'll get to the soulknife (and by extension psionics in general) being an official part of the rules ecosystem.

Words of power: Not technically an archetype, but functionally the same as one. Would love to see them come back, and with the consolidated spell lists, it would be easier to continue supporting them in subsequent releases.

Alexander MacLeod wrote:
Mad Dog (barbarian) for the animal companion.

That's my number 6 :)

Addendum: Any archetype that allows you to change your creature type. My big thought on that though is not having that change occur at 20th level. If you wait for 20th, which I understand by it is usually placed there, you don't get much chance to enjoy not being a humanoid any more.

Sovereign Court

1. Drunken Monk! Esp. with Qingongg to make endless alcohol-fueled Dragon Breaths.
2. Spellslinger/ray based wizard (pew pew pew!)
3. Beastmorph alchemist - the beastman cometh
4. Grenadier alchemist - the military demolition man
5. White-Haired Witch (but only if Witch had the BAB/CMD/HP to be able to hang out in melee range and maneuver things, and spells like Mirror Image to protect themselves)

I have to second this one from the first page.
- Counterfeit Mage (ACG, modifies Rogue)

Grand Lodge

So replying with "class fantasies", instead of exactly the PF1 implementations..

Eldritch Poisoner (alchemist), for specialization on poisons.

Knife Master (Rogue), because knifing is my "rogue dream". Best if it could be master of knifes both in close combat, and short range.

Eldritch Guardian (Fighter), because having a smart familiar to help my nonmagical self feels special.

Elemental Druid (Druid - not excisting), because I want to bring balance to the elements. I would love a druid where I can focus on the empowering myself with the 4 elements, instead of with nature.

Drake Warden (Ranger), because I still have hope in decent drake pets.

Ki Mystic (Monk), because I want to have better and more ki powers.

1. Reincarnation Druid
2. Knife Master Rogue
3. Two-Handed Fighter
4. Wild-blooded Sorcerer
5. Flowing Monk

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In reverse order, building up to the ones I like the very most, and starting from #7, because my current true favourites are not for core classes and I’m going to list them anyways:

7. Arcane duelist (bard): Kind of the magus avant la lettre, as I understand it, but a bit too straightforward for my liking. I think I would have preferred to keep versatile performance instead of the bonus feats, or to have had the option to choose between them at each relevant level.
6. Sandman (bard): I really like the idea of pushing the bard more towards one or another of the many hats the class wears, and this is my choice for the sneaky side of things.
5. Eldritch scoundrel (rogue): This is probably an outgrowth of the same considerations that led me to list the previous two archetypes, but this one does what I want a bit better than the Magician (bard).
4. Spirit whisperer (wizard): I really like hexes! This archetype gets them a bit late for someone who bounces as slowly between so many low-level characters as I do, though, and I wish it got them earlier. Dare one hope as early as first-level, possibly in exchange for diminished spellcasting, like some of the magus archetypes?
3. Primalist (wizard): Yes, I’m one of those weirdos who likes primal/wild magic.

Not core classes, but my current obsessions:
2. Cult leader (warpriest): This is very close to perfect for a character I’m dying to play, but like the arcane duelist, is just that bit too narrow to work well for me as written. Rather than trading so many bonus feats for scaling sneak attack, I would much rather just trade out the feat at 3rd level for 1d6, and leave it as an option going forward to trade bonus feats for additional sneak attack dice (one feat for each additional 1d6). Also, I would much rather keep channel energy than the enthrall ability. Everything else is fine, or adorable. (Hide in Plain Sight, especially!)
1. Hexcrafter (magus): As someone whose first introduction to D&D was an edition in which elves were still a class, I have a huge fondness for elven fighter-mages – er, magi. Hexes just make things so much sweeter for someone with tactical sense as poor as mine, especially with GMs who allow hexcrafters to take the Ritual Hex feat. If that's an option, I find myself having to think really hard as to why I might want to play anything else, really.

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I'm just hoping we get a chance to do something similar when the first hardcover with new (non CRB) classes comes out, since as much as I like it, the Ley Line Witch will not be in the CRB (since the witch isn't).

Be as that may, please give us a spontaneous druid archetype (Presumably the need for a spontaneous cleric will be filled by the oracle eventually). I would love for there to be a spontaneous version of every class (be it an archetype or a separate class, like the sorcerer).

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Ok, I'm gonna try to limit it to 5, but It's gonna be tough.

1) Knife Master Rogue - I love the idea of just being awesome with knives.

2) Arcane Duelist Bard - I enjoy the bard who focuses on using their own swordplay to buff others.

3) Titan Mauler Barbarian - I had a lot of fun being a barbarian wielding crazy big weapons

4) Blade Bound Magus - Now the Magus theme may actually be filled without the Magus class in the new edition, but the Black Blade was just cool.

5) Monk of the Four Winds - Few things feel cooler than punching a bad guy with a fist glowing with elemental energy of your choice.

Erik Mona wrote:

I'm curious.

If you were in charge of Pathfinder, based on what you've read in any official source and what you've seen at your game table, what FIVE archetypes would you make sure to include in the first year of Pathfinder Second Edition?

Please list the name of the archetype and the base class it modifies. Feel free to tell me why.

It's ok if you don't like the way that concept is currently implemented. Just your top 5 in concept if not always in execution. Or maybe there's a mechanical element you like--that's cool too.

Assume for now that we're talking about archetypes that modify the base 11 classes in Pathfinder First Edition, plus the alchemist.

Thanks much for your time and consideration! I'm thinking about this stuff today, and I thought it might be fun for you to think about it at the same time!

1. Stonelord, dwarf paladin archetype, it is sooo freaking cool.

2. Urban Barbarian, barbarian archetype, Love the flexibility.
3. Wild rager, barbarian. I really like the idea of never knowing if this day will be the day you do something terrible.
4. Titan Mauler, barbarian archetype, Love the idea but hate the execution.
5. Viking, fighter archetype, I just love archetype so much.

I'm a fan of the Blood Alchemist (Alchemist), Gun Chemist (Alchemist), Spellslinger (Wizard), Archaeologist (Bard), and the Zen Archer (Monk). All of these take the core concept of a class, and tweak it just enough that they become something flavorful and different. The two gun based ones probably won't be out in the first year because of gunslinger dependencies, but it's the concept of them that I adore. Archetypes like these also make multiclassing more tempting, as the abilities can work well with other classes (Gunslinger with the Chemist and spellslinger; swashbuckler with the archaeologist, ranger with Zen Archer).

I particularly like the mechanics of the Blood Alchemist's circles (not particularly the blood requirement though). The cast at will nature of the circles makes them ripe for shenanigans, but the long set up time requires planning to be used properly. It's never going to win a combat unless a party agrees to set up around it, and I think that encourages interesting party planning and tactics.

For what it's worth, I've also been having a lot of fun with my Psychic Detective Investigator the past year and a half.

A lot of people going with really obscure stuff, so I'll try to keep it simple and basic:

1) Storm Druid (Druid): A lot of people want to play Druid, but really aren't that interested in shapeshifting or having an animal companion. Something that focuses on the druid's connection to Air/Water magic is great.

2) Zen Archer (Monk): Just a really solid archetype that completely changes the class while retaining the theme. Only thing I'd suggest is try to make it less attractive as a level 1 dip. I've seen this dipped far more than I've actually seen it played.

3) Invulnerable Rager (Barbarian): The idea of a Barbarian as a tank is really attractive for obvious reasons. An archetype that focuses more on that is great.

4) Vivisectionist (Alchemist): Great name, great theme, and completely changes the playstyle by removing Bomb for Sneak Attack.

5) Ragechemist (Alchemist): Again, incredible theme, and an easy way to play Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde without needing to multiclass.

1. Any archetype that makes the Bard more martial and like the Magus, like Arcane Duellist (I just really love the Magus).

2. Vivisectionist Alchemist, I like bombs, but an alternate sneak attacker is great.

3. Preservationist Alchemist. it's a fun summon build, and I like the idea of "summoning" monsters preserved in a jar.

4. Titan Mauler Barbarian, is great for insane massive weapon shenanigans, but let's not have Halfling barbarians get all these bonuses on all medium creatures, it kinda ruins the intention behind the archetype.

5. Zen Archer Monk. I love this different take on archers and monks

It's a shame not more of the base and hybrid classes will be in the core rulebook, because they are some of my favourites. Any archetypes that function somewhat similarly to those classes will certainly be appreciated.

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

1) Redeemer Paladin: A paladin that would rather get to a common ground with an enemy than smiting it into smithereens.
2) Mindchemist: An Alchemist with no interest in Melee
3) Zen Archer: Not all martial arts require melee
4) Undead Master:An Archetype of Wizard that focuses on undeads. I don't like the execution of this one but I love the idea.
5) The Hunter Hybrid Class: A stalwart Warrior with an Animal companion was my all time most wanted character option for Pathfinder. The Druid did not quite embody this and the lower level for the animal companion on the ranger made me a witness to brutal deaths of animal companions on the table. If you include the chance to get an animal companion for the ranger on level 1 and maybe even give it some of the handy tricks from the Hunter, it'd be reason enough for me to check out this book.

On a side note all the archetypes that grant a Class the abilities from another Class should be removed from the game. Archetypes like the Vivisectionist Alchemist and Tactician Fighter only step on the toes of other classes instead of giving a spin on the original class.

Dark Archive

1) Asmodean Advocate--really cool flavor. Though if you redo this one, you ought to stipulate that any ability that modified the Bluff skill also modifies Profession Barrister when used to Bluff.
2) Herald Caller--such a fantastic summoning archtype and an unusual approach to the cleric
3) Knife Master
4) Heretic Inquisitor
5) I will expend my last vote to downvote zen archer or beg for a good nerfing

1. Rogue - Eldritch Scoundrel, an arcane trickster that doesn't force me to multiclass (although, bringing in some of the Arcane Trickster abilities wouldn't hurt)

2. Ranger - Skirmisher, never been one to think that hunters/trackers/trappers/guides/general outdoorsy folks should have spells.

3. Monk - Drunken Master, need I say more?

4. Bard - Archeologist, seems like a natural Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider/Uncharted treasure hunter type fit

5. Fighter - Viking... a fighter that can rage

Honourable Mentions: Dawnflower Dervish (I really think something like this should be a Cleric of Sarenrae archetype instead of bard), Martial Artist, Tattooed Sorcerer, Scarred Witch Doctor (Witch archetype but still..for the flavour alone), Exploiter Wizard

1. Spiritualist (Exciter). For an emotional person like me, I develop character concepts I like to cry about. While Spiritualist as a class is all about the connection to the departed, the Exciter archetype portrays a deeper bond beyond rational thought. For the rage power, I chose barbarian's Celestial totem for the blazing halo of light. The spellcasting potency outshines the Bloodrager, and with a better spell list too. The flexibility of which ability scores to enhance was very welcome. The Dedication foci provided the best rewards, with Iron Will, and Skill Focus in Sense Motive & Diplomacy, an amazingly helpful defending aura, and powerful offensive options. I felt like a fiery archon of justice and fury moreso than I had with any Paladin.

2. Fighter (Ubreakable). I felt more rewarded for denying conditions than I did avoiding them. In combination with all the Net feats, and a Rod of Ropes the DM allowed me to add Enhancement bonuses to (and the Defiant weapon enchant), I was able to engage as an almost unheard of type - Control Fighter. Dragging my enemies where needed, foiling their actions, and resisting their attacks through sheer determination. Loaded up with Spell Resistance armor enchant and various items that consume harmful magic, I was the guy who stood in the path of the strongest monsters and forced them to focus on me while my allies AoE abilities exploded everything else.

3. Investigator (Majordomo, Cryptic Scholar) has been my most perfect Cohort imaginable, for my Leadership-focused main character. Granting the teamwork feats felt more interesting than your typical Bard song, and the focus on planning, paperwork, and knowledge really filled in his support role. His limited combat usefulness meant that he was the one who could pull someone out of a spiked pit trap, or give opportunistic advice for those critical rounds where risks are taken.

4. Paladin (Stonelord; dwarf only) with the damage reduction and Earth Elemental companion, self-healing abilities and special powers, I felt extraordinarily tanky. The Stone Servant ability seemed bad, but it was then pointed out that 'as a paladin calls her mount' meant the earth elemental gained animal companion benefits on top of size and celestial template, which granted it the toughness it needed to be a worthy companion.

5. Druid (Treesinger; elf only) allowed a depth of plant focus that was unattainable in any other class, even with the release of Leshys as a playable race. Spenting more time as a plant creature than as a humanoid gave new perspectives to the traditional array of alignment options that typical adventuring parties have. Druid's access to spells that affect very large areas of land really helped me have an impact on the world, leaving lush forests wherever I went.

Reincarnated Druid- Druid. A class that can reincarnate is great for both PCs and NPCs.
Drunken Master- Monk. Although not the greatest archetype, it is great in flavor and fun.
Eldritch Scoundrel- Rogue.
Chronomancer- Wizard. Time play is fun.
Undeadlord- Cleric.

Dark Archive

1. Vivisectionist Alchemist, because it is what makes shapeshifting builds work so well.

2. Trench Fighter. Awesome for ranged builds in general, and could straight-up replace the gunslinger class.

3. Elder Mythos Cultist Cleric. Perfect combo of creepy, flavorful, and powerful. Great for villains in particular.

4. Razmirian Priest Sorcerer, because there may still be people who want to use wands as a central part of their playstyle.

5. Skirmisher Ranger, because I don’t want core rangers to wind up being inferior druids for a fourth time.

Going for flavor more than current power level, as that is of course subject to change with the new edition :

#1 : Tyrant antipaladin, or a way for antipaladins to not be a chaotic murderhobo, and actually be an intelligent force that _can_ work with a party of neutral or good people.

#2 : Lore warden. I've been in love with the idea of a Ph.D fighter since the beginning, great archetype.

#3 : Beastmorph alchemist. Be a werewolf Mr. Hyde !

#4 : Totem warrior barbarian, because they're literally Ulfhednars.

#5 : Zen archer monk or asmodean advocate. I couldn't choose so i put both in. Zen archer monk because putting five arrows in the air at like, level 6 is fun, and asmodean advocate because i love being able to be a literal devil lawyer.

Barbarian - Invulnerable Rager: I consider this the default Barbarian.

Bard - Archaeologist: All the bard goodness without needing to sing.

Fighter - Mutation Warrior: I'm Popeye the sailor man...

Rogue - Scout: Less about robbery, more about exploration.

Wizard - Spell Sage: The ability to cast spells no other wizard can cast.

Maneuver Master (Monk): Sometimes hitting things is boring, sometimes you want to dish out a whole bunch of battlefield control at once while not being a mage.

Ninja (Rogue): Not technically an archetype, but ditches stuff I don't care about (trapfinding) for stuff I do (ki). Would very much enjoy seeing it in 2e.

Polearm Master (Fighter): Polearms are cool. There are a lot of cool things that someone focused on them should be able to do. Polearm Master doesn't really do those things, but I'd like to see one that did.

Spirit Guide (Oracle): one of my favourite archetypes. I love Shamans, I love Oracles, I love the way they go together.

Vigilante (Cabalist): Vigilantes are really great, and adding spellcasting onto it with blood magic flavour makes for a really great archetype.

Shadow Lodge

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Barbarian - Urban: More control over your rage. (sidenote: Invulnerable Rager should be baked into base class IMHO)

Bard - Archaeologist: Selfish-style bard done right.

Fighter - "Classic" Lore Warden: A Dex/Int combatant based around maneuvers and knowledge.

Druid - Goliath: Becoming a giant defender of nature is fun.

Monk - Tetori: Who needs magic when you can bodyslam a baddie to death.

If PF2 is creating general archetypes that any class can take, I always looked for these kinds of archetypes:

An Inspiring Archetype: Exemplar Brawler, Sensei Monk, Evangelist Cleric, Freebooter Ranger, etc. You have the ability to be a team player without being locked into being a bard.

A Maneuver Archetype: Maneuver Master/Tetori/Underfoot Adept Monk, Brutal Pugilist/Untamed Rager Barbarian, Bounty Hunter Slayer, Cad/Lorewarden Fighter, etc. Whether you want to be the master of one technique or many maneuvers, having the ability to successfully use maneuvers regularly brings options to your base kit.

A Supplementary Healing Archetype: Either adding healing spells to an arcane list or bolstering the (meager) options already present, this kind of archetype is always welcome in a party for someone who doesn't want to be a primary healer but can heal in a pinch.

A Mobile Combatant Archetype: Scout Rogue/Mobile Fighter/Dervish/etc trading out armor/weapon proficiencies for more movement and special bonuses to attacks when moving changes up the style of combat and tactical decisions you would usually make in combat.

1. Urban Druid
Their access to domains such as Community brings druids into the fold alongside Clerics, granting them more utility with urban and social situations, taking Druids beyond the constricting binds of being typecast as hermits and outcasts. It evokes an image of the more “modern druid”, finding a new balance between the cruel and unforgiving woodlands and civilization.

2. Sacred Shield Paladin
While many view Paladins as the heavy hitting knights of valor, the Sacred Shield always stood as a great support archetype. By trading away combat prowess for greater defensive capabilities, players can build hardy walls to protect allies and even turn frailer races into a formidable target worth downing.

3. Fey Wildblooded Sorcerer
Nothing was as fun as playing a sorcerer touched by the magic of the Fey with a pet by their side. As one who enjoys Fey lore myself, having the beguiling and bewitching touch of a pixie at my command was endless amounts of fun.

4. Pack Lord Druid
The image of amassing an army of woodland creatures is exillerating. Having a pack of lovable yet ferocious attack dogs one day and the next a surveillance squad of hawks is crazy useful. The pure attunement to all of the critters of nature is a wonderful way to illustrate the connection with nature and the point that animals don’t have to fight to be useful.

5. Magician Bard
I enjoyed the concept of a bard that predominantly supported magic users and casters. It encouraged players to create more interesting party dynamics of casters who knew their casting capabikities would be accommodated and improved , similar to how a skald could envigorate a party made purely of muscle bound warriors. Also, it blends the classical image of a performing sleight of hand stage magician with a charismatic traveling bard!

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Blossoming Light/Angelfire Apostle Cleric: It took far too long to get a proper cleric archetype that made you feel like a Holy priest rather than a crusader in armor. While the Cardinal and the Ecclesitheurge also trade away armor proficiency, I think the channeling archetypes are more interesting

Sensei Monk: This is just a super flavorful and well balanced archetype. I hope this always remains an option for players

Phalanx Fighter: A shield-wielding warrior with a long spear is such an iconic historical fighting style that I'm surprised you need a specific archetype to do this at all.

Tower-Shield Specialist: Like above, I feel like you shouldn't need an archetype to make this fighting style work. But including some way to make tower shields work would be nice.

Tree Singer Druid: I've always liked my druids to speak for the trees rather than the beasts.

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1) homunculist/protean alchemist.

2) Vivisectionist alchemist

3) Master Chymist


While I love the idea of an alchemist being built to mix compounds that go boom, I adore the idea of a mad (medical) scientist.

The Dr. Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll fantasy!



4) Arrowsong minstrel

5) Brazen deceiver

For bards, it's cool to have a martially inclined option. For Arrowsong, it's a fun Gish build where you borrow power from foes

For brazen deceiver, it's hilariously fun to be supernaturally good at lying and misdirecting foes in combat.

Erik Mona wrote:

I'm curious.

If you were in charge of Pathfinder, based on what you've read in any official source and what you've seen at your game table, what FIVE archetypes would you make sure to include in the first year of Pathfinder Second Edition?

Please list the name of the archetype and the base class it modifies. Feel free to tell me why.

It's ok if you don't like the way that concept is currently implemented. Just your top 5 in concept if not always in execution. Or maybe there's a mechanical element you like--that's cool too.

Assume for now that we're talking about archetypes that modify the base 11 classes in Pathfinder First Edition, plus the alchemist.

Thanks much for your time and consideration! I'm thinking about this stuff today, and I thought it might be fun for you to think about it at the same time!

1: Titan Mauler Barbarian. Of all the archetypes, this is the one I keep coming back to when I want to make an absolutely gloriously over the top fantasy-movie character. There is just something inherently fun in using oversized weapons to sling piles of dice across the table with every attack, fighting monsters that are WAY too big to be trying to fight. Even if I don't hit on every attack, it's just _cathartic_ to be able to say 'I pick up the Large Greataxe in one hand and start swinging.' Of all the archetypes, this is the one I lament losing access to the most in PF2e.

2: Holy Gun Paladin. I think I can safely say that the community views this as a slight downgrade to the paladin's normal abilities, however I can also safely say that this is the archetype I see people trying to make work the most, and it's usually because they want to play a paladin as a wandering lawman, bringing justice and judgment to lawless areas at the end of a smoking barrel. I can't say the mechanical changes it makes are my cup of tea, but the _idea_ behind this archetype is long-lived and attractive to a lot of people.

3: Mendevian Priest Cleric. This is frequently an archetype I find myself referencing to judge whether it's worth it for my characters or not - and the thing is, I often find myself doing it even if the answer is 'probably not.' Giving the Cleric heavy armor, shields and more of a 'militant zealot' feel has always been something I like to do - my current character is a Mendevian Priest Cleric of Gorum and I have a blast playing him specifically because this archetype exists and keeps me from having to level dip and weaken my character's concept.

4: Saurian Shaman Druid. I won't lie. I enjoy dinosaurs. I enjoy having dinosaurs, I enjoy riding dinosaurs, and I even enjoy being dinosaurs in my fantasy games. This particular archetype feeds that. It's fun knowing that no matter what situation my DM throws at me, there's a dino for that. And I can be that dino, and it is good.

5: Archeologist Bard. It can be difficult with only core classes to play a character that feels more motivated by desire for knowledge than by power. Archeologist Bard presents an interesting combination of possibilities for character concepts that I feel like the core classes are sorely lacking: The intrepid explorer, looking for knowledge, fame and glory. Sure, you can build a rogue or a bard for that, but this archetype formalizes it, gives you abilities and bonuses to those motivations, and I love it. Needs more fedora though.

1) Tetori Monk - Just a classic, bring it back! If no other archetype, just this one is enough.

2) Cave Druid - Ooze form for the win.

3) Evangelist Cleric - A beauty that could use a very minor tweak.

4) Polearm Master - Cool concept with battlefield control

5) Drunken Monk - needs to be reworked

Bonus - Goliath Druid

Before I get into the list, I will say upfront that my preference for archetypes are ones that significantly alter a base class and that tend to fill in concept or design space gaps between classes.

1. Razmiran Priest (Sorcerer) - Being a counterfeit divine caster is a really really cool theme. It is also one of the few archetypes of this type that really touches on a neat arcane/divine caster middle ground that even prestige classes like Mystic Theurge fail to cover. I would prefer if the archetype was not tied to Razmir in PF2, to allow for a more diverse background space for the concept of "faking" holy power. A++ Archetype, easily my favorite (check my post history for more details!) of all Pathfinder archetypes.

2. Vivisectionist (Alchemist) - This archetype was a life saver for people like me who conceptually like the idea of Alchemist, but hate the importance the class puts on bombs. This archetype neaty fills a design gap by giving us both a non-bomb using alchemist and a non-rogue sneak attacker. It's such a different approach for Alchemists that Vivisectionist is essentially a mini new class.

3. Archaeologist (Bard) - Oh hey another archetype that allows for a radical departure from the play style of it's base class. By playing into the "skill master" role of the Bard, Archeologist gives up Bards most iconic ability, for some Rogue abilities, magical trap disarming and self buffing power. Much like the Vivisectionist above this archetype is almost a Bard/Rogue hybrid class.

4. Herald Caller (Cleric) - I love the idea of a cleric that can really display their celestial (or infernal , I don't judge) allies. Mind you part of my enjoyment for this archetype is that it addressed two important weakness of Clerics in Pathfinder; low skill points and weak domains. I hope that Domains (or their equivalent) give Clerics some actual abilities to work with in PF2 (don't forget a capstone this time, assuming those are still a thing). While it sounds like the skill system will be more class dependent this time around, hopefully the new system permits a broader skill set for the Cleric. Especially having different skill sets for different faiths would be much appreciated.

5. Qinggong Monk (Monk) - OK, so this is really more a "incorporate this archetype into your base Monk class" mention than an actual request that the Qinggong Monk archetype appear in PF2. Seriously, this archetype gives Monks a massive quality of life improvement to the extent it should just be part of the class.

There, five archetypes. I have intentionally excluded archetypes that take class features from non-core PF2 classes.

In no particular order:

Tinkerer (Alchemist) - Cause gadgets

Archaelogist (Bard) - I like bards, but I also like the option to play a bard that replaces the performance stuff

Monk of the Four Winds (Monk) - Only like this one for the flavour, as it's a pre-Kineticist way to make an elemental bender

Sword-Devil (Ranger) - Bit of a cheat since it's from the comics, but I do like the idea of an agile hunter

Invulnerable Rager (Barbarian) - Cornerstone of so many fun builds

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Archaeologist Bard - For the knowledge guy who doesn't want to perform.

Dawnflower Dervish Bard - For the martial-inclined performer.

Freebooter Ranger - Trades favored enemy and some move actions for Favored Enemy: that thing.

Phantom Thief Rogue - For a more gentlemanly rogue less focused in kidney-stabbing.

TIE: Iroran Paladan and Virtuous Bravo Paladin - For a holy champion who, for whatever reason, would prefer not to wear heavy armor.

Paizo Employee Developer

I'm going to intentionally leave out Gun, Racial and Occult Archetypes since I think those will have a place after the first year of development.

1. Horticulturalist (Alchemist) - Whether its vines, leaves or fungus, there is so much obvious flavor in an Alchemist that specializes in plants!

2. Ankou's Shadow (Rogue) - Technically a Slayer Archetype, but who is counting? If you wanted a core "archetype" for this, I'll point to the Shadow Dancer and smile like a coy little fox. Rogues are the definitive "Shadow Class", and the entire element of darkness is so important to our setting. Having a class that allows for shadow-users without having to go Dark Tapestry or Evil is something that is definitively "rogue".

3. Scrollmaster (Wizard) - Literally oozing with flavor. In retrospect, it was probably a better fit for a Magus, but the idea of going kung-fu on someone with scrolls is absolutely fantastic.

4. Phantom Thief Rogue - The Dashing Thief is such a fun character archetype. And throwing in a dash of "Magic Tricks" is really flavorfun and fun. I should point out the only thing that really enticed me mechanically here was the "Bookish Rogue" feat.

5. Master of Many Styles (Monk) - The style feats were the coolest things martial got in Pathfinder Society, and being able to mix-and-match two styles together can only be described as stylish. Shout-out here to the Drunken Monk and any archetype that let you use Charisma, but largely for mechanical reasons so it didn't make the list.

(If you were to ask me purely as a player and not an armchair developer, I'd probably point out things like Scaled Fist, Virtuous Bravo, Irorian Paladin, Sword-Devil Ranger, Zen Archer and Lore Warden, but I'll be honest that the appeal of almost all these archetypes is the mechanics which will be different in PFS2 anyway.)

Grand Lodge

Archaeologist (Bard): I love these guys. Unlike base bards, which tend to emphasize buffing the rest of the party (and perhaps knowledge checks) over anything else, the archaeologist is a true 'do-anything' class. Because the scaling luck bonus applies to so many things and because of the versatility of rogue talents, archaeologists can be front-line fighters, ranged damage-dealers, investigators, and trap-finders, all at once. I think it's also important to note that they aren't particularly amazing without the "Fate's Favoured" trait (+1 luck bonus for limited rounds/day isn't great... +2 is amazing).

Warrior of the Holy Light (Paladin): I don't think that spells are totally necessary for the Paladin concept. Although they're fun, especially for more experienced players, the buffs and extra healing that the WHL gets seem just as "Paladin-y." I'll throw in the Ranger archtype(s) that swap out spellcasting here, too. I've had players who don't want to track spells on their martial characters, but have good concepts for particular classes.

Tinkerer (Alchemist): I love the gadgets more than I like elixers and potions. I know it's pretty easy to just flavour the basic alchemist this way, but it's nice when the mechanics of the class actually reflect your concept for the character.

Holy Gun (Paladin): Oh boy, this archtype is all kinds of bad. You're way better off just taking a level of gunslinger and then going into Paladin. But man, is the concept badass. The Black Powder Inquisition option for Inquisitors gives a similar frontier-justice feel. This might be cheating a little, since secretly I just want guns in the PF2 core. I know it's unlikely, but man do I love flintlock fantasy.

Skirmisher (Fighter): I think having the option for a "Ranger-y" character without the direct bond to the natural world is important. This is actually a pretty interesting archtype, since it seems to have a list of "class feats" (Conditionings) attached to it! As it's a newer archtype, I'm curious if 2nd Ed's development influenced it at all!

Erik Mona wrote:

I'm curious.

If you were in charge of Pathfinder, based on what you've read in any official source and what you've seen at your game table, what FIVE archetypes would you make sure to include in the first year of Pathfinder Second Edition?

Please list the name of the archetype and the base class it modifies. Feel free to tell me why.

It's ok if you don't like the way that concept is currently implemented. Just your top 5 in concept if not always in execution. Or maybe there's a mechanical element you like--that's cool too.

Assume for now that we're talking about archetypes that modify the base 11 classes in Pathfinder First Edition, plus the alchemist.

Thanks much for your time and consideration! I'm thinking about this stuff today, and I thought it might be fun for you to think about it at the same time!

Personally, I LOVE the construct rider for the alchemist. It's such an awesome concept. The implementation could be much better, but it's a great idea. Living Grimoire for the Inquisitor is another like that. Unique concept and actually good implementation, it's pretty great. I tend to enjoy melee builds that don't need to/can't wear armor, and Kensai for the Magus is definitely in my top five. Esoteric for the Magus is also cool, but it could use a better/earlier AC bonus. The last I'd have to say is Ectoplasm Master for the Alchemist. I mean, look. It sucks that some of the best spells that the Ectoplasm Master gets as extracts are basically unusable since they would just be suicidal, BUT it's still a cool concept with cool abilities. I would suggest, though, that the EM gets a way to apply its necromantic extracts to hostile enemies without a whole lot of trickery.

1) Archeologist Bard (Because it was a lot of fun to play)

2) Invulnerable Rager Barbarian (Barbarians should be able to absorb large hits)

3) Channeler of the Unknown Cleric (I always wanted a channeling based cleric archetype, this one worked great, and had an awesome flavor)

4) Crossblooded Sorcerer (we love choices and it was awesome that sorcerer was able to actually keep up with more martial characters in terms of damage using this archetype. It made blaster caster possible)

5) Saurian Shaman Druid (Velociraptors are dope)

It's hard to choose just five overall. Would be much easier to pick five for each class! As far as my opinions go, though, these are my five favorites:

Sensei Monk - The idea of an old master who teaches his students his trade is at the heart of all monks, and very awesome to conceptualize.

Nature Fang Druid - The idea of a warden of the forest stealthily stalking intruders and dispatching poachers with weapon in hand is awesome.

Archivist Bard - A bookish bard who uses their smarts rather than their music is inspiring in itself.

Trapper Alchemist - Creating bombs and using wit to strategically set and disarm traps is cool in concept. In practice, traps do not generally work out for PCs in Pathfinder. However, I'm sure it could be implemented.

Mutation Warrior - A cool concept for a character who dabbles in alchemy and ends up ends up accidentally or otherwise altering their body permanently.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Me on Monday - "Hey Erik, cool thread over the weekend. What were the results..."

Erik stares at me intently.

Me - "I'll get right on correlating those results for you..."

(I kid of course. This is the sort of thing we've been dying to ask, but couldn't really until the news was out. Interested in seeing what folks really like in the realm of Archetypes.)


Ha ha ha joke's on me, you're probably doing it too. :)

I'm up to this post. Lots of love for the archeologist.

So, I mostly like the 6th level 3/4 BAB casters who aren't core - Magus, Inquisitor, Investigator, Occultist, etc. But I have a soft spot for archetypes that either do completely new things for a class - Eldritch Guardian or Mutation Warrior, for example - or that take a very situational bonus and either trade it for a lesser, more flexible one or give ways to make it more flexible - see the Ranger archetypes.

Ranger: Freebooter, Fortune Finder
Druid: Natures Fang
Fighter: Mutation Warrior, Eldritch Guardian
Sorcerer: Tattooed Sorcerer

Finally, the fighter weapon training that gives some flexibility, magus arcane pool, occultist legacy weapon, etc are all amazing. Limited use situational things are awesome. Maybe in 2E we can spend a hero point for 1 minute of a special list of weapon properties we pick every day/level? Or a feat to do so? Every character I make strongly considers VMC Magus, even with the dead level (spell strike with only magus spells).

As far as flavor and mechanics go, Tattooed sorcerer is my favorite. I just like to play characters that hit things more than characters that cast spells. In that same context, PLEASE do not make 2+Int skills a thing for non-Int based casting classes... It's terrible.

Silver Crusade

Oh boy, 5 is a tough limit.

Wizard: Chronomancer or Spell Sage; they're both really great! I guess I like the Chronomancer a little more due to implementation. Pact Wizard is good too (both of them) as are Exploiter and Spellslinger.

Cleric: +1 for Asmodean Advocate, although Angelfire Adept is a close second.

Rogue: SO MANY good choices here! Phantom Thief, Knifemaster, Counterfeit Mage and Eldritch Scoundrel are all wonderful! I'm throwing in Shadow Scion, the attempt at a Shadowdancer with the rogue base class. It's not perfect, and combining all the Shadow- archetype rogues as much as possible might be interesting.

Sorceror: Wildblooded, but make the Wild bloodlines core so they can get archetypes and potentially get an Empyreal Bloodline for Arcanist. Which frees me up to choose False Priest. Although if Kitsune was core, I'd consider Nine-tailed Heir (also please give Alex Agunas money to make the Kyuubi prestige class an official Paizo published prestige for 2e. It is exquisite)

Barbarian: Titan Mauler. Big weapons!

Arcane Duelist - Bard. This strikes a good balance of "magic warrior" for me.

Dirge Bard - Bard. More dancing skeletons please.

Mooncursed - Barbarian. I had the idea to make a werewolf-flavored barbarian before this archetype came out.

Clone Master - Alchemist. This isn't the most exciting archetype, but the idea of having duplicates of your character is really cool.

Eldritch Scoundrel - Rogue. The same concept as an Arcane Trickster, but handled much more elegantly.

The "drake companion" archetypes - Druid/Paladin/Ranger, etc. These were something that a lot of people ask for, but the balance was way off. A character with one of these archetypes would have to give up a huge chunk of class features for a companion that's not much better than a regular animal companion. Plus, the drake requires a bunch of ability taxes to do dragon-like things like breathe fire or fly.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Blood Kineticist

I no particular order

Zen Archer, Monk - I like monks and I like archery.

Lore Warden, Fighter - I like a fighter that also uses intelligence and knowledge to fight.

Fortune Finder, Ranger - I like any ranger archetype that makes use of what i feel is the too situational favoured enemy/terrain abilities. I also like archetypes that straight up replace those class features. To this end I like the Freebooter and Ilsurian Archer as well especially when combined with an archetype that replaces favoured terrain.

Menhir Savant, Druid - I like flavour and how much the detect ability can detect. I also like the Nature Fang archetype in part because it replaces wild shape so that I don't have to turn into plants or animals or elementals with my druid without feeling like I'm wasting a major class feature.

Forgemaster, Cleric/Tattooed Sorcerer, Sorcerer - This is less I like the cleric/sorcerer archetype and more I like the concept of runes/glyphs/magic tattoos being used to buff/enchant gear/people.

I also like some of the Wild Bloodlines like sage, and Empyreal for their casting stat change. I also like the Sylvan bloodline for a more primal nature/fey bloodline without the trickery or as much of it. In addition I like the Boreal, Stormborn and Impossible bloodlines mostly for flavour, especially the flavour of the Impossible Bloodlines capstone.

I like the elemental schools of a wizard, esp air and void. Even though idk if I would play wizard cause I don't care for their prepared casting.

In addition Words of Power a really cool, and I would like to seem them again, with more support.

Erik Mona wrote:

I'm curious.

If you were in charge of Pathfinder, based on what you've read in any official source and what you've seen at your game table, what FIVE archetypes would you make sure to include in the first year of Pathfinder Second Edition?

Please list the name of the archetype and the base class it modifies. Feel free to tell me why.

It's ok if you don't like the way that concept is currently implemented. Just your top 5 in concept if not always in execution. Or maybe there's a mechanical element you like--that's cool too.

Assume for now that we're talking about archetypes that modify the base 11 classes in Pathfinder First Edition, plus the alchemist.

Thanks much for your time and consideration! I'm thinking about this stuff today, and I thought it might be fun for you to think about it at the same time!

I only really have 3 archetypes that I can think of, but they are my favorite archetypes, and truly hope they make it into 2nd edition right out the gate.

Titan Mauler, Barbarian only archetype: I absolutely love the idea of a barbarian whose entire lore revolves around slaying larger foes and wielding their weapons against his/her enemies. It really adds a destructive flavor to an already fun class. I don't think I would bring it to the fighter class though, and the reason being is because it just felt out of place.

Dragoon, Fighter/Cavalier (When added)/Paladin archetype: I've always loved the lore behind dragoons, the specialty shock troops, and masters of spears and polearms. Spears and polearms don't get enough love in a lot of systems, and I would like to see 2nd edition fix that by giving us a specialist right out of the gate.

Tactician, General archetype: One of the things I was hesitant about in 1st edition, but then ended up having a lot of fun with were the teamwork feats thanks to the various tactician type archetypes. First there are a couple of reasons I want to make this a general archetype, the first being that in 1st edition almost every class had a type of Tactician archetype (Bard Arbiter, Fighter Tactician, Paladin Holy Tactician, etc).

The second, and foremost reason is the idea that anyone can be a leader. Now teamwork feats are a little much to bring out the gate into 2nd edition (among all of the other rules I'm sure need to be fit in), but the idea of the tactician is a support type character who can share his own expertise to his allies, giving them key tactical information about where to strike, how to attack, and most importantly when to retreat and regroup.

The Tactician can be tacked a number of different ways, but I would like to see a way to make each class have a unique take on it. Perhaps a bard can get an increase to his inspire, a fighter can share his combat feats, a ranger his favored enemy, and maybe a wizard shares certain spell effects? I leave that up to you.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Archaeologist/Daredevil (Bard) - I like the non-performance based dashing explorer bard, and if I had to pick one, I'd pick Archaeologist, but if you could roll a bit of daredevil in also, that would be great. Especially if it didn't step on the toes of a swashbuckler fighter archetype.

Skirmisher (ranger) - I like having a non-spellcasting option for rangers, and this archetype fits the bill best of what's out there. I don't necessarily love the hunter themed animal abilities, but many of the other abilities work just fine.

Hungry Ghost Monk/Sohei/Drunken Master - I'm cheating by including 3, but I love how varied monk archetypes take the class. These three stand out - hungry ghost monk because it's a more aggressive version of the monk, with more offensive abilities than the more traditional defensive ones, and stealing life force is cool and thematic, the sohei to give a monk a good option of a weapon using monk, though I'd prefer one focused on more exotic monk weapons, and drunken master because it's very thematic and flavorful (see what I did there?).

Polearm Master (fighter) - I like how the archetype allows playing with weapon types which otherwise are problematic. Now this could be done in PF2 with re-designing weapons, and fighter class feats, but one way or another, I want distinctive fighting styles for swords, axes, polearms, daggers/close weapons, and finesse weapons.

Paladin (fighter) - I'd much prefer paladin to be an archetype or prestige class of fighter.

The Exchange

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Many archetypes to choose from... This will be difficult

Weapon Master, Fighter The early access to weapon training was always a draw for me, especially when considering the lackluster use of Bravery.

Lion*** Shaman, Druid - Others have expressed similar thoughts for various other types of druid, such as the Goliath and the Saurian Shaman. I find that the various shamans gave depth to the druid class; no other archetype could allow you to be a druid from distinct geographical locations.

Urban Barbarian, Barbarian - A solid archetype

Mutation Warrior, Fighter - If you didn't want to be a full-on Alchemist and still have access to mutagens, this archetype was great; obviously unbalanced in it's first iteration, but still worth it,

Divine Hunter, Paladin - Another great archetype that gave power to the idea of a bow-wielding paladin.

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Alchemist: Clone Master - immortality
Wizard: Spell Sage - increased spell variety
Druid: Reincarnated Druid - immortality
Druid: Supernaturalist - increased spell variety
Monk: Monk of the Four Winds - immortality

There might be a pattern to characters I like to play :D

Tower Shield Specialist - Fighter. Makes the tower shield actually use-able. There is much to like about a character tailor made for locking down the approach to the softer party members in tight quarters.

Steel Hound - Investigator. All the fun of a regular investigator with some much needed damage dealing ability.

Winged Marauder - Alchemist. Goblin plus alchemy plus flying. Enough said.

Divine marksman - Ranger. Archery is awesome. Having an archetype tailored especially to it is even better.

Scarred Witch Doctor - Witch. It's just so metal.

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