Out with General Feats, in with Archetypes


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


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While Skill Feats seem nice enough to have around, General Feats seem... off.

Skill Feats and Archetypes are able to help you express who your character is. Even if chosen with optimization in mind, Skill Feats and Archetypes have narrative power.

General Feats seem to be filler, leftovers from a more gamey era. Great Fortitude and Lightning Reflexes don't feel like things with narrative power. They seem like band-aids a player can choose to patch out their weaknesses, rather than finding a better way to express their character.

I think, instead, more focus should be given to Archetypes in the General Feat slot.

Archetypes could fulfil the same mechanical functions as General Feats in providing simple ways to cover up a character, but could also pack narrative power of their own.

Instead of Toughness, what about an Archetype that gives you its effects, and unlocks additional options to be taken as Class Feats like Great Fortitude (with the ability to eventually get Master on Fortitude), and Diehard (plus other cool Diehard-y things).

The Fighter Archetype is a testament that General Feats are improperly packaged, I think.


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The more I read this, the more I'm convinced about this.

Combat styles shouldn't be class-restricted, and should be archetypes instead. Getting the ability to fight with a longbow well shouldn't be impossible for Wizards.

Adding combat styles as archetypes would ensure people would know what they are getting at when going into them and what to expect. For example, a "Smasher" archetype with Power Attack and abilities to Sunder or Intimidate would be an easy way to provide venues for anyone who wants to smash things.

Combat styles could still be moderated through classes. For example, Ranger would still favor Agile weapons due to how Hunt Target works, and Monks would get less from stuff like Power Attack given that 2H monk weapon dice is never larger than 1d8.


This is a concern I have as well. I was severely disappointed when I got around to looking at the Feats section and found only a handful of non-skill feats - and even more so when I realized that almost all of them were the boring flat boost feats I made a point of avoiding in PF1. I have a feeling the list is far from complete, but I'd hoped we'd get more varied options to play with during testing.

I was also struck by how necessary the Fighter multiclass felt to most martial-based builds. I'd been planning on doing a Ranger/Fighter already, but I found myself adding the Fighter archetype to my Paladin and Druid as well, because so many basic attack options were bound up in Fighter feats.

Honestly, I'm not sure how to go about fixing this, short of a) cutting general feats entirely and leaving non-skill customization to class feats, or b) transferring a lot of combat options into general feats and significantly reworking the fighter's options. I suppose option (a) could mesh with your idea; simply redistribute class feats (and possibly more ancestry feats?) into the void left by general feats and provide lots of archetypes to encourage using at least one.


The problem with Archetypes vs General feats is Archtypes lock you into them for 5 levels since the current set-up requires you to take 3 Archetype feats before you can take a new one. General feats are something you can just say 'I'd like to be a bit better at X' without requiring as much bloat as an archetype for each of them would require.

Now if they adjust the archetype system so it's more flexible perhaps this could work. Alternatively they could work on making the general feats more interesting.


Yeah doesn’t make sense that they want to tell you that you’re open to play whatever you want but the rules won’t let you seems pretty bad actually


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wolfgang Hype wrote:

The problem with Archetypes vs General feats is Archtypes lock you into them for 5 levels since the current set-up requires you to take 3 Archetype feats before you can take a new one. General feats are something you can just say 'I'd like to be a bit better at X' without requiring as much bloat as an archetype for each of them would require.

Now if they adjust the archetype system so it's more flexible perhaps this could work. Alternatively they could work on making the general feats more interesting.

You aren't locked into an archetype for 5 levels -- you can abandon further progress in it at any time if you have no interest in taking any other archetype.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think there probably needs to be an expansion of the "dedication" concept. Let major commitments like multi-classing be a 3 feat dedication, but have some that require only one additional feat before you can move on. A lot of the combat styles could probably be this later group.


David knott 242 wrote:
Wolfgang Hype wrote:

The problem with Archetypes vs General feats is Archtypes lock you into them for 5 levels since the current set-up requires you to take 3 Archetype feats before you can take a new one. General feats are something you can just say 'I'd like to be a bit better at X' without requiring as much bloat as an archetype for each of them would require.

Now if they adjust the archetype system so it's more flexible perhaps this could work. Alternatively they could work on making the general feats more interesting.

You aren't locked into an archetype for 5 levels -- you can abandon further progress in it at any time if you have no interest in taking any other archetype.

I think most classes have enough good feats in class that only a dedication feat plus maybe 1 more is how I'll build most of mine.


David knott 242 wrote:
Wolfgang Hype wrote:

The problem with Archetypes vs General feats is Archtypes lock you into them for 5 levels since the current set-up requires you to take 3 Archetype feats before you can take a new one. General feats are something you can just say 'I'd like to be a bit better at X' without requiring as much bloat as an archetype for each of them would require.

Now if they adjust the archetype system so it's more flexible perhaps this could work. Alternatively they could work on making the general feats more interesting.

You aren't locked into an archetype for 5 levels -- you can abandon further progress in it at any time if you have no interest in taking any other archetype.

You are locked into a particular archetype for a minimum of 5 levels (at least for all current archetypes) because you need to take the dedication and two other feats. If you want only one archetype and only the dedication or one other feat, that's fine, but you are still locked into that archetype until you take a third feat.

My point being trading general feats, which are one off and you go on your way, for something that locks down your options for a minimum of a quarter of your levels is not ideal.


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Quote:
General Feats seem to be filler, leftovers from a more gamey era. Great Fortitude and Lightning Reflexes don't feel like things with narrative power. They seem like band-aids a player can choose to patch out their weaknesses, rather than finding a better way to express their character.

I don't entirely agree with this- they are filler, but PF2 is very gamey indeed, and actively embraces that nature.

To me, the general feats look like they stymied the developers a little. They wanted to have these various feats, but didn't want to tie them to class or skill feats (because frankly if they did, many would get shoved directly into athletics, which is pretty bursting already).

So they gave everyone 5 general feats to fill out some details that they didn't want competing with the meat of the system- skill feats and class feats.

Some definitely don't belong. Adopted Ancestry is the standout- that only makes sense as a background, not something at 3rd level to affect your 5th level or later ancestry feat.

Sovereign Court

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I could dig archetpyes in general feats and MC and prestige in class feats. That would solve a lot of my problems with the current dedication mechanic.


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Pan wrote:
I could dig archetpyes in general feats and MC and prestige in class feats. That would solve a lot of my problems with the current dedication mechanic.

Brilliant idea!

One of my huge gripes is that archetypes and mutliclasses are competing for the same resources, to the point you can only really have one for much of the character's career. Meanwhile general feats are fairly mechanical - nice buffs to have, but not very flavourful.

This idea solves the whole thing at a stroke and opens up a ton of potential character variety

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