Forced Choice Archetype Stacking


Rules Questions


So one of my players asked me a question about stacking archetypes that forces choices for certain abilities, without explicitly altering the feature itself. For example stacking two ranger archetypes that must choose to bond with an animal companion. My gut instinct is to say that is not allowed, but I wanted to see what other people think or if this is officially addressed anywhere.


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if its forcing a choice then it is altering that feature.


Presumably the character gets something in return for have his choices limited by a archetype. Forced choice archetypes wouldn't stack because a character would get two abilities at the cost of one ability. If it looks balanced and makes sense for the player's concept, you should probably bend the rules a little but he's trying to capitalize on archetype stacking, enforce the rules.


Any archetype that modifies something can't stack with another one, even if they do the same thing (forcing a choice) or don't exactly interact (adding different class skills).

RAW are cut and dry with archetypes. If they are modified even in a way that can stack, like a Chosen One Paladin gets Divine Grace at level 4 instead of level 2, while Scion of Peace Paladin can activate their Divine Grace once per day to do something.

Easy way to stack. You don't get the Scion of Peace ability until 4. Paizo says no. They can't stack.


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Archetypes can't stack if they modify, alter, adjust, add, remove, enhance, expunge, extract, kiss, touch, cuddle, join, delete, or harass the same feature.

Any class feature alter like this, will block stacking. Including things like adding a skill to the class spell list.

Forcing a choice constitutes harassment.

No, Risner isn't a Paizo person, I just like the quote. Long, official version:

FAQ wrote:

Archetype Stacking and Altering: What exactly counts as altering a class feature for the purpose of stacking archetypes?

In general, if a class feature grants multiple subfeatures, it’s OK to take two archetypes that only change two separate subfeatures. This includes two bard archetypes that alter or replace different bardic performances (even though bardic performance is technically a single class feature) or two fighter archetypes that replace the weapon training gained at different levels (sometimes referred to as “weapon training I, II, III, or IV”) even though those all fall under the class feature weapon training. However, if something alters the way the parent class feature works, such as a mime archetype that makes all bardic performances completely silent, with only visual components instead of auditory, you can’t take that archetype with an archetype that alters or replaces any of the sub-features. This even applies for something as small as adding 1 extra round of bardic performance each day, adding an additional bonus feat to the list of bonus feats you can select, or adding an additional class skill to the class. As always, individual GMs should feel free to houserule to allow small overlaps on a case by case basis, but the underlying rule exists due to the unpredictability of combining these changes.


As the FAQ says it's a no but if you want to allow it as the GM go ahead. Do you know which ones he is looking at?


Talonhawke wrote:

As the FAQ says it's a no but if you want to allow it as the GM go ahead. Do you know which ones he is looking at?

No, some of my players like to try and surprise me with the special powers and abilities.


If it's something like "You can only choose the Destruction Domain" and nothing else, I'd allow it.


AFKhaos wrote:
Talonhawke wrote:

As the FAQ says it's a no but if you want to allow it as the GM go ahead. Do you know which ones he is looking at?

No, some of my players like to try and surprise me with the special powers and abilities.

Yeah don't know what to tell you there that seems to be trying to be antagonistic.

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