Hello everyone, and welcome to the Dev Pit! I’m Alex Augunas, the Everyman Gamer, and today we’re going to be tackling a MYSTERY. You see, Pathfinder Second Edition is brand-new and doesn’t have much content yet, but the Pathfinder Second Edition Core Rulebook drops some tantalizing secrets about what the future might hold. That secret is class archetypes, and today in the Dev Pit we’re going to see if we can figure out what class archetypes might end up looking like (and maybe even build one!).
You ready? Let’s do it!
Reading the Rulebook
So, what’s a class archetype? Well, if you head to the archetype section of the Core Rulebook, you’ll see this tasty little morsel.
So, let’s take a breakdown of this information.
- You can select a class archetype only if you are a member of the class of the same name. Looking at multiclass archetypes (the ones in the Core Rulebook), they all have a multiclass trait. Likewise, all of the archetypes in the Lost Omens World Guide (like Red Mantis Assassin) have the prestige trait, because they’re part of a prestigious organization. Based on this, it seems safe to assume that class archetypes will have a “class” trait, as well as a trait corresponding to a specific class. For example, an archetype for fighters should have the fighter trait. Seems simple enough; let’s continue.
- Class archetypes always alter or replace some of a class’s static class features, in addition to any new feats they offer. So with this, it becomes clear that there is a distinction between a class archetype’s class feats and the alterations that the class archetype makes.
- It may be possible to take a class archetype at 1st level if it alters or replaces some of the class’s initial class features. In that case, you must take that archetype’s dedication feat at 2nd level, and after that you proceed normally. So this makes it clear that class archetypes have dedication feats, just like any other archetype.
- You can never have more than one class archetype. This is pretty self-explanatory.
Building an Example
So with all this together, what might a class archetype look like? Honestly, probably something like this:
Note: I have all the formatting and stuff for this programmed into my Files for Everybody InDesign template, so this looks pretty much exactly what a finished Everybody Games PDF looks like. Sorry for the product placement, but using my professional tech was a MILLION times easier than trying to figure out how to program it on WordPress!
I hope this article gave some insight on what sort of content we can expect from Paizo in the future regarding class archetypes. Based on my experience making the swordmaster archetype, my gut instinct says that archetypes aren’t going to be short and sweet like they were in Pathfinder 2; they’re going to necessitate some modularity, and that’s going to eat up page space. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how Paizo will end up developing this mechanic further, as well as seeing how close I came to getting things right!
What do you think? Was this an interesting article? Did you like my archetype? What do you want to see me do next? I already have one request for a series talking about what sort of things I think that I could “do better” than Paizo regarding PF, SF, and PF2. I think that’s a neat idea, but I’m a little worried that you guys are going to think I’m coming off all high and mighty. What do you think of that idea? Let me know on the Know Direction Discord and I’ll see you next time! Everyman Gamer signing out!
Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alex’s Twitter, @AlJAug.
Creative Commons Credit: Samurai fox doodle by Capukat