Pirates & Gray Maidens: Archetypes in Pathfinder 2nd Edition!
  • Pirates & Gray Maidens: Archetypes in Pathfinder 2nd Edition!


    It's time to take a look at Pathfinder 2nd Edition's treatment of archetypes. Archetypes are one of the most widely used additions to Pathfinder 1st Edition, and in 2nd Edition they are an integral part of the game. Let's take a look!






    • Archetypes can be accessed by multiple classes.
    • They are a series of feats taken instead of class feats (roughly one every other level).
    • You take a "dedication" feat which opens up all the archetype's feats to you.
    • You can have multiple archetypes by making more than one dedication, but once you take a dedication you can't take another until you've taken a certain number of its related archetype feats.
    • Pirate Dedication -- "this first feat gives you a fair number of advantages while on a boat, certainly helping should combat break out, but you need to take more pirate feats before you can pick up another dedication feat... The pirate archetype has six feats to choose from (in addition to the dedication feat), which gives you plenty of variety if you are looking to explore the archetype before heading to the next one."
      • Sea Legs -- "Sea Legs really helps when you are in the water, letting you swim faster and hold your breath longer. It's also a prerequisite for Roll with the Ship, a feat that lets you reroll your Reflex saves when you are on your ship!"
      • Boarding Action -- "Boarding Action is one of those feats that nearly every pirate can be expected to have, since setting yourself up to board and pillage the enemy ship is going to be vital! It lets you close the distance to your foes, and if you move from one ship to another during this move, you can make a strike that deals extra damage! It's a bit more limited than the fighter's Sudden Charge, but you deal bonus damage as a benefit if you pull it off."

    • Gray Maiden Dedication -- "Becoming a master at Fortitude saves is not something you can easily do in most classes; in fact, level 6 is sooner than even a barbarian can manage, and that armor is some of the best you can find. Of course, joining the Gray Maiden organization is no simple feat either."
      • Unbreakable -- "This grants many of the benefits of the Toughness and Diehard general feats combined, and it stacks with both to make an incredibly resilient character."
    Comments 68 Comments
    1. Aldarc's Avatar
      Aldarc -
      So at this point, what isn't a feat?
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
      So at this point, what isn't a feat?
      I think that's the point. The number of different "types" of building blocks has been reduced. Paizo has commented before on how a lot of "spell-like" stuff is now spells, for example.
    1. Aldarc's Avatar
      Aldarc -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      I think that's the point. The number of different "types" of building blocks has been reduced. Paizo has commented before on how a lot of "spell-like" stuff is now spells, for example.
      I suppose, but it's still not clear to me how many building blocks a character will have access to over a given span of levels. I am worried about how long it will take to get into your character concept that increasingly appears gated behind a potential wall of feats and feat taxes.
    1. RevTurkey's Avatar
      RevTurkey -
      These previews are turning me off the new edition. My issues with 1st Edition seem to be getting magnified and turned up to eleven. I think they are trying to please the hardcore 1st edition fans too much and are missing a huge market of people who would buy their Adventure Paths if the system was a bit simpler and more accessible. I cancelled my pre-order of the beta because of the previews. Each to their own etc and it's not like I don't have other games to choose from but it's a shame they seem intent on making this so crunchy, superpowered and overblown for my tastes.
    1. Kaodi -
      I, for one, welcome our new 2nd Edition overlords.
    1. Imaculata's Avatar
      Imaculata -
      I like having more character options, but I wonder if we're not getting too many. How will a player keep track of all these things? I can see myself easily forgetting that I can reroll a reflex save onboard a ship, due to a feat.
    1. Koloth's Avatar
      Koloth -
      If one of the goals was to clean up the rules language, "Roll with the Ship" might be a step backwards. It mentions rerolling a reflex save "When on your ship." As written, this becomes a very specific feat, only good on the pirate's current ship, either owned or crewed for, not a strange ship.

      Plus I keep finding the [[AA]] nomenclature rather jarring on the eyes. We do have computers and printers with symbols outside the range of an old style typewriter.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Koloth View Post
      Plus I keep finding the [[AA]] nomenclature rather jarring on the eyes. We do have computers and printers with symbols outside the range of an old style typewriter.
      It’s a placeholder for the little icons they’ll be using in the book.
    1. Ghal Maraz's Avatar
      Ghal Maraz -
      Things I keep finding funny about these previews' commenters (here and on Paizo):

      - "These are not the old archetypes! I want them back!". You're ignoring the fact the old archetypes' concept of "take Y class feature instead of the baseline X feature" is wholly substituted by the new Class Feat concept.

      - "How am I even supposed to remember all those Feat things?". How are you getting to remember all your Class features now?

      - "Where's my beloved hyper-snowflake character concept gone?". How are they supposed to recreate every absurd concept from ten years of game content in just one playtest packet?

      - "Why aren't they going for a rules-liter game?". Why should they pander to D&D 5th edition crowd, which is perfectly served by that game?

      - today's newest preferred complaint: " The nomenclature is jarring". They've already said (quite a few times) that the final product will have special icons instead of old style typewriters' symbology.

      [Take all of this at tongue-in-cheek value]
    1. Caliburn101's Avatar
      Caliburn101 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Imaculata View Post
      I like having more character options, but I wonder if we're not getting too many. How will a player keep track of all these things? I can see myself easily forgetting that I can reroll a reflex save onboard a ship, due to a feat.
      I think that may be ok - considering that however many Feats 2nd Edition has, only a handful will be available to any one character.

      At least I hope it doesn't end up reading like a long shopping list by 20th level... but then I will be so irritated by some of the Legendary Feats in play by then (if they remain as they are) that I might gloss over that.
    1. Caliburn101's Avatar
      Caliburn101 -
      I do think that these packaged feats with so many 'everything is a crit and you can always do x or y regardless of how ridiculously impossible it is' feats are going to make PF2 ultra-gonzo.

      That's fine I suppose, but it will I think magnify the 'finish the campaign at 12th' mode of play and put off those who like their fantasy roleplaying to stay within the limits of narrative credibility.

      Wuxia and Manga-style physical feats and OP'ness definitely have a place in roleplaying, but this is the first time I have seen a version of D&D where it was this prevalent.

      It's like they want high level play to be like the rpg system Exalted, where everyone is a demigod.
    1. Ghal Maraz's Avatar
      Ghal Maraz -
      Also, this one.

      15+ levels (which almost no one ever saw in place before), when full casters begin displaying time-, space- and reality-bending powers almost limitlessly: "no way there's space for impossible in-game things. Martials obviously must do only mundane things. Casters can do everything else because magic". Yeah. A good approach to mitigating the disparity, barring Legendary-level heroes to do Legendary-level things while employing Legendary-named Feats...
    1. EthanSental's Avatar
      EthanSental -
      PF1e - 2k+ in feats and needed herolabs to keep up with it.

      PF2e - "appears" feats are again a large part of it....and will need herolabs to keep up with it. Not really interested in this type of game anymore.
    1. Caliburn101's Avatar
      Caliburn101 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ghal Maraz View Post
      Also, this one.

      15+ levels (which almost no one ever saw in place before), when full casters begin displaying time-, space- and reality-bending powers almost limitlessly: "no way there's space for impossible in-game things. Martials obviously must do only mundane things. Casters can do everything else because magic". Yeah. A good approach to mitigating the disparity, barring Legendary-level heroes to do Legendary-level things while employing Legendary-named Feats...
      There are any number of fantasy systems which keep the mundane, mundane, and balance magic well with it.

      The idea that this cannot be the case, and that the only way to 'have nice things' for non-magical classes in a D&D style-game is to have Manga/Superhero abilities is the central self-deceit upon which such arguments are based.

      Such rpg's already exist, and don't pretend to be mainstream fantasy - they are niche, and happy to be so.

      PF2 going in that direction (as strongly as they are it would seem) is fine - but let's not pretend it's a type of D&D anymore, it is it's own new thing once you are at the higher levels, which of course were already problematic for DMs before all of this power-creep.

      Also, your statement is significantly overblown - "time-, space- and reality-bending powers almost limitlessly".

      Do you have the Legendary Feat for hyperbole?
    1. Ghal Maraz's Avatar
      Ghal Maraz -
      Ok. Please, tell me this: how many 20th level martials are needed to do what a single 20th level Wizard can do between Time Stop, Planar Binding and Wish? How many spells can high- level casters throw around per day?

      When one party member can easily defeat whole encounters single-handedly, then yes, to me his power is almost endless.

      That PF is upping the power level to the like of Beowulf, Gilgamesh or Celtic stories is a design choice, which I find not wrong: what's the whole point of aiming to have another D&D when there's already one?

      And, moreover, taking those Legendary Feats out of the equation is as simple as saying "Hi". Excise the Legendary proficiency out of your game and you're already done: that's actually something the designers already commented as easily feasible. Instead of having some hyper specialized Legendary skills, characters will end up having more Master level skills.
    1. Caliburn101's Avatar
      Caliburn101 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ghal Maraz View Post
      Ok. Please, tell me this: how many 20th level martials are needed to do what a single 20th level Wizard can do between Time Stop, Planar Binding and Wish? How many spells can high- level casters throw around per day?

      When one party member can easily defeat whole encounters single-handedly, then yes, to me his power is almost endless.

      That PF is upping the power level to the like of Beowulf, Gilgamesh or Celtic stories is a design choice, which I find not wrong: what's the whole point of aiming to have another D&D when there's already one?

      And, moreover, taking those Legendary Feats out of the equation is as simple as saying "Hi". Excise the Legendary proficiency out of your game and you're already done: that's actually something the designers already commented as easily feasible. Instead of having some hyper specialized Legendary skills, characters will end up having more Master level skills.
      Look at the other side of the argument before challenging maybe?

      In 5th Edition for instance, a 20th level Fighter can use their signature ability and kill an average HP Wizard in one round, guaranteed, as long as they are within a single move of them.

      The same cannot be said of the Wizard against the Fighter.

      Likewise an opening round from a Rogue Assassin will carve the Wizards liver out before they are able to express shock on their face, never mind cast a spell. No Legendary Manga'ness required. The Rogue is almost sure to go first as well, and with the Wizard entirely unaware they are about to be in combat.

      These are facts - and yet you think only magic makes a character OP?

      Reality states otherwise.

      He/she who goes first wins at this level.

      This is not true in every case with PF1 - but then it's a 3.5 clone and not current 'tech' really, so the arguments of yesteryear are not valid anymore - like the number of high level spells available. PF2 is also reducing spell slots significantly, so there you are, progress.
    1. Ghal Maraz's Avatar
      Ghal Maraz -
      And yet you keep talking 5th edition. As I've already said twice in this thread, I find there's no point for Paizo to keep going after (actual) D&D anymore. The time of edition wars is behind. They should seek another design space or they'll end losing the fight very badly (a fight they will probably lose anyway, but they could at least try to close the gap somehow).
    1. Ancalagon's Avatar
      Ancalagon -
      It's looking more and more like that almost everything is feats. A class, a race, an archetype, most (or all) they do is give you access to specific feat lists... am I wrong?
    1. Charlaquin's Avatar
      Charlaquin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ancalagon View Post
      It's looking more and more like that almost everything is feats. A class, a race, an archetype, most (or all) they do is give you access to specific feat lists... am I wrong?
      Pretty much. Classes seem to do a little more outside giving access to Feats, but most of what defines a character seems to be feats.
    1. kenmarable's Avatar
      kenmarable -
      It's interesting that it offers a lot more flexibility. Considering that I gravitate towards complex/hybrid character concepts, this might be really nice and I'm eager to see the full rules.

      That being said, it's also amusing to me that one of the reasons I got tired of PF1 is that there were too many dang feats! It was to the point of being burned out on feats that I was happy when 5e made feats optional and nearly all of my PCs have never taken any feats. So the PF2 design choice of making nearly everything feats is... difficult for me at a gut level to say the least. (Like, say... interior decorating where you have a problem with the color of the trim, and then they wind up painting all of the walls and ceiling that color. Sometimes it actually does help, other times it makes it so very much horribly worse.)

      But I'll wait to see how the complete rules look and how easy it will be to manage all of that in character creation and leveling. Maybe it will be easier to manage and the extra flexibility and customization will be well worth it.
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