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!


  • 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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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.


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.

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


First Post
So, Archetypes /were/ class-specific (I never glanced at the Advanced Player Guide), very much like 2e Kits? But in PF2, they're going to be more general (anyone can be a pirate?), thus more like 4e MC/power-swap Feats and/or Themes, or, for that mater, a bit like 3.5 substitution levels?
I see it more like Shadow of the Demon Lord. In that, archetype-style ability groupings are split between three different types: your Novice Path (base class, levels 1/2/5/8), Expert Path (levels 3/7/10), and Master Paths (levels 7/10). This is also a lot like 4e's Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies, though PF 2e is far more piecemeal, to the point that it's more similar to point-based systems like GURPS than traditional class-based games like Pathfinder.


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.
Probably more so because of 3.X's history with "feat taxes" rather than the idea of every feature becoming a feat. See d20 Modern and True20 that also take a similar approach.

I don't really object to everything being feats all that much, but what I do have a problem with is the continued use of the word "feat" itself. It's just a weird remnant from when 3e D&D was going to have something called Heroic Feats which were, from what I've heard, much more significant and active than what was in the released game.

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