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Pathfinder 2E 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!

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  • 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."
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Trastone

Villager
I find it amusing that they simplified naming of options to flavor your class and people are hung up on the term FEAT. If they had called one of them class options, one racial trait(that is a choice at levels), one skill focuses, and renamed Feat to powers most of these comments wouldn’t be here because people are getting hung up on the term feat and applying it around the context of the old feat system.

We do not have the rules and do not fully understand them, but it is definitely a new game. They have stated they don’t want the required feat especially with “feat tax levels.” If feats have any prerequisite feat people will label them as fear tax because they only care about the OP end result.

I’m remaining hopeful and optimistic. Much could change as the game is going through a public play test. People whom have played it have given it positive reviews. I like the changes I have seen so far, but getting caught up on the term feat when it is obviously used differently than before is a little silly. We will have to see how the character sheet looks. I’m sure each one of those will have a separate section. If they don’t then I concede that I have misread or misunderstood their intentions.
 

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houser2112

Explorer
I'm a little concerned about how gated things might be because of feat taxes. One of the nice aspects to Archetypes was being able to trade out boring, unappealing or downright BAD class features for other features that might be better, more fun or more subjectively interesting; and get them right now.

The other enjoyable aspect with mixing and matching to essentially create a whole new class, or a whole new take on a class.

It doesn't sound like either of those approaches will be available in PF2. That's disappointing.

I'm not sure why you think you're not getting with PF2 class feats what you were getting from PF1 archetypes. It seems to me that they took all the class features and made them class feats that you take at the levels where you used to get a class feature. With archetypes, you traded specific sets of class features for other features. If you liked all the trades the archetype made, you were good. If you didn't, you were stuck. This way, you can build your class the way you want it from the ground up. One step closer to classless.
 

Shasarak

First Post
I'm not sure why you think you're not getting with PF2 class feats what you were getting from PF1 archetypes. It seems to me that they took all the class features and made them class feats that you take at the levels where you used to get a class feature. With archetypes, you traded specific sets of class features for other features. If you liked all the trades the archetype made, you were good. If you didn't, you were stuck. This way, you can build your class the way you want it from the ground up. One step closer to classless.

That is a good point, it would make it even better to get to choose the features that you want. As long as they dont hide features at the end of long feat chains that force you to pick the chaff up anyway.
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
I'm not sure why you think you're not getting with PF2 class feats what you were getting from PF1 archetypes. It seems to me that they took all the class features and made them class feats that you take at the levels where you used to get a class feature. With archetypes, you traded specific sets of class features for other features. If you liked all the trades the archetype made, you were good. If you didn't, you were stuck. This way, you can build your class the way you want it from the ground up. One step closer to classless.

I may be misreading, but it sounds like you have to take a "Devotion" tax before you get the actual archetype-class feats and then you can only take them in order.
 
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mellored

Explorer
I may be misreading, but it sounds like you have to take a "Devotion" tax before you get the actual archetype-class feats and then you can only take them in order.
Some of the feats require "Dedication tax" first, but nothing is mentioned about taking the rest in any particular order.


It also seems like the those feats are more powerful than the generic feats. So you are rewarded for your dedication.
This grants many of the benefits of the Toughness and Diehard general feats combined

Which pushes it slightly back towards a "class" based system.
 

mellored

Explorer
That is a good point, it would make it even better to get to choose the features that you want. As long as they dont hide features at the end of long feat chains that force you to pick the chaff up anyway.
They said most feats would be open, and there would only be a few chains. And most of those would be only 2 or 3 deep.
 

kenmarable

Adventurer
I may be misreading, but it sounds like you have to take a "Devotion" tax before you get the actual archetype-class feats and then you can only take them in order.

The Pirate Dedication and Gray Maiden Defication feats are examples. Each is a gateway to the other archetype feats but still grant benefits of their own. I dunno how much their benefit is compared to other feats, but they are beneficial feats on their own beyond just opening up the archetype. Also the other archetype feat examples they have aren’t in any chain, just have the dedication feat and min level as prerequisites.
 

That's what I'm getting, too. Which is interesting, because for the longest time I've heard some people argue that all character features should become feats and it would make the system much more flexible and easier to use. Now that someone is actually going in that direction, a lot of people seem unhappy. I think it's an interesting idea, personally, and I'd like to see how it plays out. The concept of different feat pools with very few limitations on how you customize within those pools sounds like it has promise.

When I was writing my Character Customization product (look it up, it's complete out of date these days), I took a turn down this alley. I went so far as to say there was character level. You just counted your feats to compare two characters' power levels. But I kept having features that were just a little powerful compared to the others and if they were split they became too weak. Balancing hundreds of feats against hundreds of other feats is not trivial.
 

Caliburn101

Explorer
I dont see any evidence of that being true. There are much much worse DnDs that pretend to be DnD out there already.

If you don't find infinite fall distance with a hero landing at the end at 120 mph (terminal velocity) with enough force to smash stonework to smithereens but leaving the character entirely unharmed (a classic 'hero landing' as the character isn't prone at the end...), despite the fact no magic was used is about as Manga as it gets.

D&D hasn't been a Manga rpg... yet...
 

Caliburn101

Explorer
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).

They should - and they have the skill and resources to create an original 'aaa' rpg.

A pity they don't.
 

Shasarak

First Post
If you don't find infinite fall distance with a hero landing at the end at 120 mph (terminal velocity) with enough force to smash stonework to smithereens but leaving the character entirely unharmed (a classic 'hero landing' as the character isn't prone at the end...), despite the fact no magic was used is about as Manga as it gets.

D&D hasn't been a Manga rpg... yet...

Falling damage has always been manga in DnD.

Now if you want to complain about mental rules then not being able to use both your magic axe and potion in the same day because you are too ugly which is going to happen more often then a legendary character surviving a fall.
 

If you don't find infinite fall distance with a hero landing at the end at 120 mph (terminal velocity) with enough force to smash stonework to smithereens but leaving the character entirely unharmed (a classic 'hero landing' as the character isn't prone at the end...), despite the fact no magic was used is about as Manga as it gets.

D&D hasn't been a Manga rpg... yet...

And one guy taking out a hundred isn't manga??

Edit: and I forget Oriental adventures :p
 
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Aldarc

Legend
Falling damage has always been manga in DnD.

Now if you want to complain about mental rules then not being able to use both your magic axe and potion in the same day because you are too ugly which is going to happen more often then a legendary character surviving a fall.
This is such an exceedingly small part of what Charisma entails, and it's an aspect that really does not come up much. I have players who played their characters as being hideous but with high Charisma. So this sort of causal relation you create seems negligible. Most players IME don't even have any concept that these two are linked in D&D or Pathfinder.
 

Shasarak

First Post
This is such an exceedingly small part of what Charisma entails, and it's an aspect that really does not come up much. I have players who played their characters as being hideous but with high Charisma. So this sort of causal relation you create seems negligible. Most players IME don't even have any concept that these two are linked in D&D or Pathfinder.

And Players have characters who are good looking and smooth talking with low Charisma. Nothing you can do about that, Players got to be Players.
 

houser2112

Explorer
Shasarak said:
Falling damage has always been manga in DnD.

Now if you want to complain about mental rules then not being able to use both your magic axe and potion in the same day because you are too ugly which is going to happen more often then a legendary character surviving a fall.
This is such an exceedingly small part of what Charisma entails, and it's an aspect that really does not come up much. I have players who played their characters as being hideous but with high Charisma. So this sort of causal relation you create seems negligible. Most players IME don't even have any concept that these two are linked in D&D or Pathfinder.

The point he's trying to make is that Resonance is a crappy mechanic that is also pretty well divorced from verisimilitude, but doesn't have the advantage of having been baked into the system for 40 years.
 



Kurviak

Explorer
Falling damage has always been manga in DnD.

Now if you want to complain about mental rules then not being able to use both your magic axe and potion in the same day because you are too ugly which is going to happen more often then a legendary character surviving a fall.

So in your interpretation of the rules Ghouls are very pretty with charisma 14 and Ghasts stunning at charisma 16
 
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Schmoe

Adventurer
When I was writing my Character Customization product (look it up, it's complete out of date these days), I took a turn down this alley. I went so far as to say there was character level. You just counted your feats to compare two characters' power levels. But I kept having features that were just a little powerful compared to the others and if they were split they became too weak. Balancing hundreds of feats against hundreds of other feats is not trivial.

That is pretty interesting. It sounds like you took the system to the extreme and found it broke. Intuitively, it seems like there is a reasonable middle ground that you might reach by, for example, restricting the space into skill feats vs. heritage feats vs. class feats etc. And then furthermore if you design feats that don't necessarily have synergy or are wholly orthogonal then maybe it's ok if some might be a little bit more powerful than others. But of course I haven't designed such a system, and I haven't seen one either. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how Paizo approaches it.
 

Schmoe

Adventurer
The Pirate Dedication and Gray Maiden Defication feats are examples. Each is a gateway to the other archetype feats but still grant benefits of their own. I dunno how much their benefit is compared to other feats, but they are beneficial feats on their own beyond just opening up the archetype. Also the other archetype feat examples they have aren’t in any chain, just have the dedication feat and min level as prerequisites.

I'm generally ok with a small investment being required to get certain class features, and a devotion feat sounds like one such investment. I'm especially ok with it if that initial investment is worthwhile on its own, so hopefully the devotion feats are independently worth it. If they are, then they would be a great way to cement what it really means to be a particular archetype. What I don't want to see though are long feat chains with relatively useless feats up front.
 

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