Pathfinder 2E Free Archetype Variant Rule - if you DON'T use it, why, and how did your players react?

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
I don’t see other justifications listed in the book, but as I suggested, every table can alter the game's rules any way they like with whichever justifications they can come up with. Make the game your own. You don't have to do things exactly as the rules, the book, or the designers, say.

But I also suggest that before changing rules, it's a good idea to justify it. As in why you want to give players more options ands slightly higher power. Some reasons could be too few players to cover the necessary bases or that the adventure is slightly overtuned for your group.
This is past/different edition thinking. Free archetype does not make a PC more powerful in a traditional sense. PF2 system math is so locked tight that an additional archetype just expands laterally. Which is a justification not yet mentioned. In PF1 you could multi class and archetype at the same time. PF2 forbids it by RAW design. However, the variant has been there early in edition so you know it was involved in the design discussions. It’s not difficult to justify YMMV
 

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Andvari

Hero
I'm not familiar with the thinking you're bringing from Pathfinder 1st edition, as I didn't play it. I try to judge 2nd edition on its own merits. Can you elaborate on which design discussions the variant was involved in and what the considerations and conclusions were? I'm not familiar with them, so I don't know where you're going with that. I'm also not making any claim regarding the difficulty of justifying any particular rules change. I merely suggest thinking about why you're making one.
 


Thomas Shey

Legend
It’s the justification the game provides for using the rule. You can of course give stuff for any reason if you like. That goes without saying. For example, if you think PCs should have 3 more skills to broaden their areas of competence, you can give them 3 more skills.

The thing is, for the most part, free archetype only extends competence very mildly. It typically applies an extra equivalent of a class feat every few levels. The only exception are the spellcasting archetypes, and getting value out of mixing in spellcasting with an extent class is trickier than it looks, especially with a lag.

I'm not saying you can't use archetypes to represent a theme--like their predecessor, prestige classes, that's a perfectly viable use for them. Its just that, also like those, that's hardly the only use for them as they can simply be used to customize a character more toward a particular concept. The fact you normally have to rob Peter to pay Paul when doing so is just often an overly strong counter-incentive, as they normally cannibalize your class feats, which are the most attractive feats in the game and often more attractive than the things you'd get with the archetype.
 

Kaodi

Hero
Someone in my group was saying the other day that free archetype helps some spellcasters feel like they get a little more out of even levels that otherwise might feel underwhelming. Like level 6, where you do not get a new spell level and you are still behind the martials in proficiency for one more level. Martial class feats tend to be a bit more impactful too I think because they all tend to do something new.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Someone in my group was saying the other day that free archetype helps some spellcasters feel like they get a little more out of even levels that otherwise might feel underwhelming. Like level 6, where you do not get a new spell level and you are still behind the martials in proficiency for one more level. Martial class feats tend to be a bit more impactful too I think because they all tend to do something new.

There are actually a lot of pretty good caster-class feats too, though I've seen an argument that's a weak point when it specifically comes to wizards.
 

Andvari

Hero
Someone in my group was saying the other day that free archetype helps some spellcasters feel like they get a little more out of even levels that otherwise might feel underwhelming. Like level 6, where you do not get a new spell level and you are still behind the martials in proficiency for one more level. Martial class feats tend to be a bit more impactful too I think because they all tend to do something new.
Free Archetype gives them an extra feat each level, so it would be rather strange if they felt like they didn't get more out of the even levels.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Free Archetype gives them an extra feat each level, so it would be rather strange if they felt like they didn't get more out of the even levels.

It only gives them an extra one every even level, and only up until 12. In other words, its six extra feats. Some of them (particularly the multiclass ones) can be kind of beefy feats, but there's still far less than your post here suggests.
 

Andvari

Hero
It only gives them an extra one every even level, and only up until 12. In other words, its six extra feats. Some of them (particularly the multiclass ones) can be kind of beefy feats, but there's still far less than your post here suggests.
I think it's fair to assume he feels like he's getting more out of the even levels where he gets a free feat, and not the ones where he doesn't.
 

Kaodi

Hero
I mean, yes, obviously more is more. It is more about whether you get enough to be hyped for the next level. In my group, where we do play free archetype (and it is all the way to 20), I was commenting to the others how it seemed that I pretty much always felt hyped for the next level.
 

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