Do archetypes feel required? And if so, is that a problem?


Secrets of Magic Playtest General Discussion

Liberty's Edge

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I keep seeing people mention multiclass archetypes into other casting classes when they describe their magus and summoner builds. I assume this is driven by the lack of spells below your highest two levels. Even in my own playtest, while I didn't multiclass, I did take the medic archetype as a means to do healing beyond what my spell slots would allow.

How many people are actually building straight, no-archetype characters for this playtest?

My instinct is to suggest that if the class design is driving people to "fix" it by archetyping, that's a problem, but I also recognize that archetypes are part of the core assumptions of the game in 2E. Maybe it's okay if players feel like they have to archetype - after all, isn't that what archetypes are there for? To be bolted onto the class so it actually fits your personal vision?

Maybe so. If that's the case though, I don't personally care for it much. Feeling like I had to pick up that medic dedication was my least favorite part of making my summoner.

EDIT: I'm not taking "everyone feels like they have to archetype" as a given. I'm feeling that pressure, and I feel like I see it mentioned a lot, but I am familiar with the concept of confirmation bias.


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This is particularly an issue for the summoner, since if you want the summoner (rather than the Eidolon) to do anything you need to find that outside of class feats.


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Shisumo wrote:
How many people are actually building straight, no-archetype characters for this playtest?

Of my players thus far that are playing the playtest classes (and not just accompaniment), one is yet to build one yet, two are pure, and two have a single archetype Dedication Feat (both level 7 characters).

And the two archetypes are probably not what you'd expect though, as the Angelic Summoner is going Blessed One, and the Slide Magus is going Viking (the playtest setting we're doing is a Bog in my homebrew world).

I do think if there were more tantalizing options available within the Class they would have tried to stay within the Class itself, but some of the Feat levels just didn't have enough options they felt were good pairings for their concepts.

The players are at least attempting to stay "in-house" when they can though to test the Classes themselves.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I think the lack of good low level feats plays a much bigger role in the overall push for archetype feats than anything else. I had much less fun trying to MC for extra spells with the Magus than just taking feats to make combat more fun, and using items to cover for lower level spell slots. I did archetype Fighter (but should have chosen Mauler), but it was only because there was nothing I wanted at level 2, not because it was necessary for the build concept.

Liberty's Edge

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Midnightoker wrote:
And the two archetypes are probably not what you'd expect though, as the Angelic Summoner is going Blessed One

Actually, that one at least is very much what I would expect; it was a real close-run thing between Blessed One and Medic for my own angelic summoner. In retrospect, I might have been better off going Blessed, come to that.

Dataphiles

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think for Magus, given the current design of it, a Spellcasting archetype feels required. It wants you to crit fish with impactful spells, but only offers 4 of those spells and 2 true strikes (with martial caster) per day to do so. Of course, you can take a Familiar and burn through scrolls of true Strike, but it doesn’t really solve the number of spells problem.

Magus also seemingly wants Sentinel too. Like Champion, Monk and Fighter you basically do no damage at low levels if you go dex. Unlike those classes (Champion, Fighter) you don’t have native heavy armour (so your ref saves will suck) and unlike Monk you can’t afford to boost dex (Cos you need INT).

Their feats are also kind of bad anyway. There was a few I was considering, but all of them eventually got dropped for archetype feats.

Capture Spell turned out to be too narrow in actual play. There’s barely any monsters it works against to start with, and then never mind the logistics of having the spell actually function once you’ve captured it. Most of the time, the monster will highly resist or be immune to their own spell.

Portal Slide only triggering off slotted spells is kind of a disappointment as well. I was going to use it for out of combat stuff but then upon rereading you need to burn slots to make it work.

That leaves the Magus feats I will end up taking at just 4 - Martial Caster, Hasted Assault (which might get retrained with a speed rune), Spell shroud and the 20th feat.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Magus from my experience has a decent amount of flexibility. Some of its internal feats are really undertuned, but generally multiclassing wizard is good for being more castery and other options are good for being more martial-y and that's fine.

Summoner's in an odd spot because so much of its internal feat pool is directed at eidolons, if you're satisified with where your eidolon is, going out of class is pretty much the only way to give the summoner their own identity.


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Shisumo wrote:
How many people are actually building straight, no-archetype characters for this playtest?

I started with straight then tried with archetypes. For myself, archetypes really made the classes feel whole. Neither class had enough to do alone: magus was begging for lower level utility and buff spells while summoner just felt lacking overall as more of a 'eidolon, the class' instead of summoner.

Squiggit wrote:
Magus from my experience has a decent amount of flexibility.

In general, the spellstriking mechanic doesn't feel like it rewards you unless you're into crit fishing, so I at least felt a push to get other abilities: Sustaining Steel + message got me temp hp [and healing from 10+] and it leaves me 2 actions to use for casting or out of class actions.

Squiggit wrote:
Summoner's in an odd spot because so much of its internal feat pool is directed at eidolons, if you're satisified with where your eidolon is, going out of class is pretty much the only way to give the summoner their own identity.

Yeah, eidolon works on a basic level but that's it: It feels like you're always using the same pattern to attack, rinse and repeat... That and you always feel action starved.


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graystone wrote:
Sustaining Steel + message got me temp hp [and healing from 10+] and it leaves me 2 actions to use for casting or out of class actions.

Healing from 10+ doesn't work with cantrips and focus spells. (All of the 10th level upgrade feats are spell-slot exclusives.)

"Trigger: You gain temporary Hit Points from Casting a Spell altered by Striking Spell using a spell slot."

Sorry if that's what you meant, though.


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Yeah, I felt really compelled to take archetypes because the low level feats weren't enticing.


Required no, optimal yes.

I don't think all the lower level feats are unappealing, but like other spellcasters they need a bit more that integrates with the core chassis imo. Too few unique class feats.

I think the magus is probably the class that feels like it benefits the most from dedications, both martial and caster dedications for that matter.


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QuidEst wrote:
graystone wrote:
Sustaining Steel + message got me temp hp [and healing from 10+] and it leaves me 2 actions to use for casting or out of class actions.

Healing from 10+ doesn't work with cantrips and focus spells. (All of the 10th level upgrade feats are spell-slot exclusives.)

"Trigger: You gain temporary Hit Points from Casting a Spell altered by Striking Spell using a spell slot."

Sorry if that's what you meant, though.

You're right of course. Now that I read my post, I see I worded my post wrong/badly and didn't explain it: I kept a magic missile in a top slot for a 1 action auto damage + budget heal.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I absolutely felt pushed to take a caster archetype as a Magus. There are not nearly enough spell slots to play in a satisfying manner.

I do think it's a problem because the dedication feat is pretty meh for Magus, and as such it's a feat tax to get adequate spellcasting.


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Exocist wrote:

Portal Slide only triggering off slotted spells is kind of a disappointment as well. I was going to use it for out of combat stuff but then upon rereading you need to burn slots to make it work.

Damn, you just made me realize Portal Slide doesn't work on Cantrips. That's really disappointing, especially considering its only half your speed.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I found a lot of value in using the scroll strike feat to have a level 1 fear or goblin pox (depending upon what kind of enemy I thought I would be facing) loaded into the weapon at the start of every combat. The are so cheap that the cost is negligible but it means having a worthwhile debuff ready to go every combat.

I am not sure such effects couldn't be worked into some kind of class cantrip, but they would probably be shifted to have their effects trigger only on failed saves and still probably take 2 actions to cast. It would still be worth doing the scroll trick just for being able to landed frightened 1 or sickened 1 even on a save. I think a scroll using unarmed magus could be fun, but could I claim holding a scroll in 2 hands and waving it around threateningly counts as having a 2 handed weapon drawn?


Shisumo wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
And the two archetypes are probably not what you'd expect though, as the Angelic Summoner is going Blessed One
Actually, that one at least is very much what I would expect; it was a real close-run thing between Blessed One and Medic for my own angelic summoner. In retrospect, I might have been better off going Blessed, come to that.

I went with Medic on my Angel Summoner over Blessed One because of Doctors Visitation.

The extra action economy should make play even more dynamic and allow me to push the envelope in what I'm capable of in turns icm healing.


i actually felt zero pull to go into a caster archetype with magus, because the only reason id want a caster archetype for it, is either different spells and low level/utility spells. I leave that for the full caster.

now, true strike is a different beast, by the time you hit level to cast haste on yourself as often as possible. This feels like a requirement with current magus due to its accuracy issues.

instead of just focused on save spells and more often then not turned on energized strikes after first round and forgot about spell strike outside of using a spell slot. equipment was enough for me to get access to more true strikes (as we assumed id be able to use a staff).

i went slide casting magus. orc, with a necksplitter, taking its critical effect ancestry for it by level 5.

i went fighter multiclass, for dragging strike (failure effect they are flat footed still) and lunge (so when i got portal slide i could still hit the enemy if i wanted to use spell strike more often)

it was ok minus the fact i had little reason to spell strike after i turned on energized strikes unless i burned a slot.

now summoner, the only one ive found value in is medic, mainly so you can heal yourself. thats it.

in play, caster multiclass for magus felt very disappointing. but fighter MC dialed up the fun for me. (i went witch mc for that test)


fanatic66 wrote:
Exocist wrote:

Portal Slide only triggering off slotted spells is kind of a disappointment as well. I was going to use it for out of combat stuff but then upon rereading you need to burn slots to make it work.

Damn, you just made me realize Portal Slide doesn't work on Cantrips. That's really disappointing, especially considering its only half your speed.

hah my party didnt realize that *house rules it to work with cantrips*


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think archetypes are required per se, but they help. I spent my 13th level human Magus' 9th level ancestry feat on a Wizard Dedication and got Basic Spellcasting.

Combining that with a Ring of Wizardry and my Staff of Divination, I almost feel like a caster =)

Seriously, though, can you use the Strikes made as part of a Fighter's Feats (like the Snagging one) as the Strike that delivers the spell? I know this is a kind of 'duh' question, but I completely missed that


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richienvh wrote:

I don't think archetypes are required per se, but they help. I spent my 13th level human Magus' 9th level ancestry feat on a Wizard Dedication and got Basic Spellcasting.

Combining that with a Ring of Wizardry and my Staff of Divination, I almost feel like a caster =)

Seriously, though, can you use the Strikes made as part of a Fighter's Feats (like the Snagging one) as the Strike that delivers the spell? I know this is a kind of 'duh' question, but I completely missed that

yes, you merely need to make a strike, it can be any kind of strike you have access to. so dragging strike works with spell strike, as does power attack, and basic swipe (though basic swipe i think you only get to apply the spell portion to one target)


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Investigator with Devise a Stratagem also did wonders for a Magus I built while playing some encounters.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Martialmasters wrote:
richienvh wrote:

I don't think archetypes are required per se, but they help. I spent my 13th level human Magus' 9th level ancestry feat on a Wizard Dedication and got Basic Spellcasting.

Combining that with a Ring of Wizardry and my Staff of Divination, I almost feel like a caster =)

Seriously, though, can you use the Strikes made as part of a Fighter's Feats (like the Snagging one) as the Strike that delivers the spell? I know this is a kind of 'duh' question, but I completely missed that

yes, you merely need to make a strike, it can be any kind of strike you have access to. so dragging strike works with spell strike, as does power attack, and basic swipe (though basic swipe i think you only get to apply the spell portion to one target)

(Starts messaging GM to go back on that Wizard Dedication)


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hah! yeah its part of why i like going martial mc with magus.

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