Randal Reads APG 2e: Ch 3 – Archetypes (part 2)

Welcome back to the continuation of the Advanced Player’s Guide special review blog! If you missed the beginning, you can find it here! We started in on the archetypes yesterday and today we are going to keep digging in to see what else we can find.

Chapter 3 – Archetypes (cont’d)

Dual-Weapon Wielder I expected this archetype to be more about the rangery type things, but was surprised by what I saw. The dual thrower and the dual-weapon reloader options add a bit of variety for the dual weapon wielders that aren’t simple sword + sword fighters.

Duelist This is one of the great uses of the new archetype system. The new options found here build off of both ranger and swashbuckler feats, while allowing anybody that wants to the ability to parry and riposte.

Eldritch Archer Another oldie but goodie gets a 2 page spread. I found this one interesting because it can piggy back off of your caster class, or you can pick up all the spellcasting you need right here; starting with the 6th level dedication. All the highlights are here … Seeker Arrow, Phase Arrow, Arrow of Death. Eldritch Shot is a three action attack that includes a one/two action spell and an attack with the bow. (I was hoping they would do something similar for the magus’ strike in a similar archetype, so I am keenly interested in seeing how that works.)

Familiar Master Like the duelist, this is why I enjoy the archetype system. This Dedication provides anybody that takes it with a familiar … unless you already have one, at which point it works like Enhanced Familiar. Beyond tbat, the feats offer some fun variety and options that casters and non-casters alike will enjoy with Familiar Conduit (4th; use familiar as origin of spell) and Familiar Mascot (4th; ally benefits from master ability) and Mutable Familiar (8th; 10 minute activity to change familiar abilities).

Gladiator “Are you not entertained!?” Yeah, sorry not sorry. I think what I like about this is that I felt it was also a nod to wrestling … but maybe that is just because the feats Fancy Moves (4th; Perform to Demoralize) and Stage Fighting (4th; no penalty for non-lethal) evoke a wrestling match in my mind.

Herbalist Another archetype that is also a background! That aside, I really dig the set of mechanics we are seeing where a specialist of some kind gets what amounts to alchemist reagents daily that can only be used to create temporary items for their specialty. In the case of the Herbalist, that is items with the healing trait, antidote, and antiplague.

Horizon Walker This is an odd archetype for me. I want to say I remember reading about it in 1e, but I am not 100% sure I am not thinking about something else because I was expecting something different. The options is provides are nice, and in flavor with somebody that is always traveling across the countryside. It does so by treating weather as one degree easier, bonuses to keep your footing, and even being able to always Scout in exploration while doing other things.

Linguist Not gonna lie, I saw the title and thought these would be feats I preferred to just be general/skill feats. Of the 7 (including Dedication) feats, 4 of them are skill feats, and they are all things that work really well as a specialty set (even if I would prefer more general/skill feats). I am just now realizing that an archetype like this has a lot less impact on a combatant than an archetype using class feats. As a rogue, you can pick up the Dedication (2nd; gaining Multilingual twice) at 4th, then spend your 4th level skill feat on Multilingual Cipher (4th; bonuses with codes using multiple languages), and your 5th level skill feat on Spot Translate (4th; reaction to translate a verbal effect!) and be done with your commitment to the archetype!

Loremaster Ok, now I know this is a carry over from 1e (for the record, I am not consulting other books as I read/review this … all memory). This collects some of the fun lore based options from CRB and APG and adds extra spin by offering a couple feats of innate occult spells, alternate ways to decipher writings, and interesting ways to change the lore skills you are trained in daily.

Marshal To this day, I am reminded of the old DnD 3.something Miniatures Handbook that had the Marshal class. This 2 page archetype offers 13 new feats and access to Attack of Opportunity. All marshals get an aura to support allies, but you can choose to use Diplomacy with Inspiring Marshal Stance (4th) or Intimidation with Dread Marshal Stance (4th). I am not sure why, but making them stances fascinates me. I wouldn’t have ever thought of it, and I am not sure where that idea came from … except maybe when I picture a leader in a superhero-esque pose, bellowing commands. Feats with names like Back to Back (8th) and Topple Foe (10th) along with a pair of “cadence” feats and a pair of “charge” feats really bring to life a squad in battle.

Martial Artist I have a friend that I play with weekly that almost always plays monks. But he generally doesn’t go for the temple monk flavor, he likes his characters to fight like him. A student of multiple art forms that just enjoys fighting with his hands instead of weapons. I have a feeling I am going to be seeing a lot of this archetype. The dedication increases your unarmed strikes from d4 to d6 and drops the penalty for doing lethal damage, but what I really like is the Follow-up Strike (6th; flourish, make another attack after a miss using same attack bonus). Also, you get access to like all the stances that have come before.

Mauler I cannot remember the last time I played a character with a two handed weapon. This provides access all two handed weapons and some CRB options like Power Attack and Knockdown. The visual of Clear the Way (6th; two actions to shove 5 creatures) is enticing, but Hammer Quake (14th; strike ground to trip all adjacent) is the anime/Marval power move that might get me to try a build.

Medic I mean, who hasn’t yelled MEDIC! during a combat where somebody went down? I really like that this archetype focuses on the Medicine skill and not so much on magic. Dedication provides extra HP when using Medicine to heal, or extra usage of Battle Medicine. At 4th, feats allow you to stride AND treat wounds for one action or stride AND treat a condition for two actions or attempt to reduce a condition. Heck, you can even learn to Resuscitate (16th; DC 40 Medicine to revive recently deceased).

Ok, it is late again and there is too much to finish in this post. Tune in tomorrow as I try to finish up the archetypes! And, as always, please join us at our Discord server https://discord.gg/Rt79BAj to let me know what you think or simply have a chat!

Randal Meyer

As a lover of crunch (rules and numbers), Randal is always tinkering with rules options. His love of magic users has led him to always fuss with the mechanics of magic and magic items. Years of GMing on the fly have given him endless ideas and content from which to draw on for adventures (ideas, plots, NPCs). When not working, gaming, or playing with his kids, Randal is likely working on improving Sage (his Discord bot for immersive play-by-post gaming that you can see in action on Know Direction's Discord in the Know Direction Societous PFS channels) over at https://www.patreon.com/rpgsage!