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Pathfinder 2E Multiclass Archetypes



One of the most interesting character advancement options as you level your D&D characters is to make your character multiclass. A Fighter might take a level or two of being a Wizard and at level 5 could find themselves being a Fighter 3/Wizard 2. The character in question must only have the ability scores to support dual classing. In Pathfinder, there are actually rules for playing a multiclass character, but they are mostly referred to as "Archetypes" and slightly differ from the ways in which multiclass characters work in D&D.


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HOW IS D&D MULTICLASSING DIFFERENT THAN PATHFINDER 2E ARCHETYPES?

In D&D, characters can multiclass as long as they meet the requirements for ability scores. That's really the only stipulation, but the thing about D&D multiclassing is that your dual-class nature means that you're taking lesser aspects of each class instead of being able to fully power up in your main class. Thus, a pure Wizard will always be more powerful magically than a Wizard who has multiclassed into anything else. Sure, you will have gained some other abilities from other classes, but you'll never have access to more powerful Wizard spells that you'll lose by not being able to level up any longer.


By contrast, Pathfinder's Archetype system still favors the main class but provides versatility to the characters without overpowering the game mechanics or breaking the game. So, if you want to be a Wizard, but you want to "multiclass" into other classes, you will instead be able to take an Archetype for a Wizard and no matter what you do - in the end you'll still feel like you're playing a Wizard above all else and won't lose any of your endgame abilities. The game will not feel broken because no matter what, you still only have three actions per turn, and you still get penalties on your secondary attacks.


HOW MANY ARCHETYPES ARE THERE IN PATHFINDER?

To be honest, there are an infinite number of combinations one could come up with for Archetypes while playing Pathfinder. In fact, if you go to the Archives of Nethys, you'll see that they've listed quite a few of them there. I will repost some of my favorites for each class here to illustrate how versatile Archetypes can be for your Pathfinder characters. Just note that you can actually combine a lot of these Archetypes to make hybrid Archetypes as well. Your imagination is the limit!



FIGHTER ARCHETYPES



Fighters are the backbone of any adventuring party, so when it comes to Fighter Archetypes - choosing one depends on what you want to offer up in terms of expertise. Polearm Masters are experts with polearms, of course, so they make excellent use of weapons that have reach to prevent enemies from getting too close. Mutation Warriors are pretty entertaining, utilizing Alchemist's mutagens to create a fearsome combination of enhanced ability scores and complete violence. If you want to be a dirty, rotten scoundrel you could also be a Cad and catch your opponents off guard with dirty tricks. And if you want to be a long-range threat, there's always the Archer - who can also fire into melee with the right build, turning a 15-foot area around you into a killing field.



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ROGUE ARCHETYPES

Rogues are already pretty good on their own, so a lot of their Archetypes really are just different flavors of the same thing, but still, some of the Archetypes can feel like creative ways to play a Rogue. Poisoners are great at utilizing poisons to bring down enemies if that's your thing. Bandits are great if you think you can achieve a lot with extra surprise rounds against the bad guys. If you want to lean into magic a little and be able to use wands, Counterfeit Mage is a great choice. Finally, if you want extra coin, you could always be a specialty Cutpurse and become even better at being a Rogue.


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DRUID ARCHETYPES


Druid Archetypes mostly focus around specializing in certain animals, such as the Saurian Shaman - possibly the coolest version of the Shaman Archetype with its ability to shape into dinosaurs as well as summon them. Blight Druids are really neat despite not having animal companions because who doesn't like to make those around them sick and incapacitated? If you want to be super hard to kill, you could always choose to be a Reincarnated Druid. Finally, Druid Archetypes also sometimes center around geography themed powers, so the Plains Druid is nice if you want a more mobile character.




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BARD ARCHETYPES



Bards are a very versatile support class, sometimes known as the Jack of All Trades of the class list. Bards are already fountains of knowledge, so if you go with an Archivist you can capitalize on that and double down on the Bard's knowledge abilities. If you want to add a little creepy flavor to your Bard abilities and dabble in Necromancy, you could become a Dirge Bard. Of course, leaning heavily on the performance angle - being a Geisha might be a great choice if you want to bring some class to the table. Finally, if you need some healing in your party and a Cleric is unavailable - consider becoming a Songhealer .




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CLERIC ARCHETYPES


Speaking of healers, Clerics are the powerhouses in that arena. While most Clerics also dabble in a little of the old ultra violence, if you want a Cleric that only focuses on spellcasting and has no real melee focus - consider being an Ecclesitheurge. If you want to focus on more than just one domain and have access to others, then a Separatist might tickle your fancy. If you want to really focus on your healing abilities and bring more of those to the table, then consider becoming a Merciful Healer. Lastly, if you want to be able to cast your domain spells more than once per day, then a Theologian is a good choice for you.





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ALCHEMIST ARCHETYPES


Alchemists have all the fun, being able to concoct mutagens and bombs to their heart's content. If you want to absolutely specialize in bombs, however, you should probably become a Mindchemist and get the most bang for your buck. If you want your Alchemist to have sort of a Rogue-ish flair, and you want the ability to use sneak attacks - consider becoming a Vivisectionist. If you don't plan on using a lot of poisons as an alchemist and want more powerful Strength mutagens, you could always become a good Jekyll/Hyde by becoming the Ragechemist. Also, if you trade in some of those bombs for some divination spells, you could wield spiritual magic as a Psychonaut.


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CHAMPION ARCHETYPES

Champions are the ultimate holy warriors, capable of bringing vengeance from on high during battle. However, what if I told you that you could be a gunslinger...for God? If you like the idea of a gun-toting Champion, you should definitely become a Holy Gun. If you want a more effective unit in battle than a simple Cleric but want healing abilities better than a normal Champion, look no further than the Hospitaler. If you really want to bring war to the Undead, then consider being the badass of skeleton smiting, the Undead Scourge. If you really wanted to play up the whole "mounted Knight" angle, there is also the Shining Knight who specializes in mounted combat and makes it very difficult for their steed to die.







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SWASHBUCKLER ARCHETYPES

Swashbucklers are already the center of attention, so why not add on to the massive amount of panache they already possess and go all in with style? If you'd like to be a whirlwind of throwing knives, decimating everything within reach - you should consider being a Flying Blade. If you want to be a masked vigilante in the style of Zorro who specializes in whips, look no further than the Mysterious Avenger. If your Swashbuckler happens to come from a diminutive-sized ancestry (Goblins, Dwarves, etc) and you want to be more effective against larger adversaries, you should consider being a Mouser. Finally, if you envision your Swashbuckler as a fencing prodigy, you can always become a specialist with rapiers by using the Inspired Blade Archetype.


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ORACLE ARCHETYPES

Oracles are powerful, some even being given visions of the future. If you really want to lean into that and become the stereotypical Oracle, then you should become a Seer and force the GM to reveal all their plans to your character. If you wanted to be more of a gritty, war-oriented Oracle, you could take the martial-focused Warsighted Archetype. If you want an Oracle surrounded by a spooky, supernatural mystique with lots of strange happenings all around you, look no further than the Possessed Oracle. Lastly, if you want to both be burdened by an extra curse, but also be able to bestow curses and force enemy rerolls, you might want to be a Dual-Cursed Oracle.






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PSYCHIC ARCHETYPES

Psychics don't have a ton of pre-generated Archetypes, but if you've always wanted to engage in a psychic duel with a Psychic character of your own, consider trying out the Psychic Duelist. If you want to turn your Psychic character into more of a melee threat with a mutating body reacting to their psychic powers, then you could always go with a Mutation Mind. The Amnesiac provides a ton of adaptability because of their mental blocks creating varied and unpredictable results. Finally, if you want to become a being of pure consciousness and shed your physical form, try out the Formless Adept.





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BARBARIAN ARCHETYPES

Barbarians are rage-driven murder machines, so their Archetypes are no doubt some of the funnest ones to use. If you want to deal your normal damage but want to be able to move 30' in full plate, then go with the Armored Hulk. If you envision your Barbarian as a violent drunk, then you could always go with the Drunken Brute, who gets stronger the more they drink. If you wanted your Barbarian to be like your favorite WWE personality, you could always become a Brutal Pugilist and grapple enemies into submission. Lastly, if you wanted to focus your Barbarian's rage against scary spellcasters, then consider becoming Superstitious and counter those spellcasting abilities with brutal violence.


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GUNSLINGER ARCHETYPES

Gunslingers are definitely a class relying on maneuverability and firepower in Pathfinder, but if you've maybe wished your Gunslinger were encased in armor like an actual tank but were still able to dish out some lead, look no further than the Gun Tank. If you want to specialize in the use of a musket and improve all of its stats, and not use any other gun - you could always become a Musket Master. However, if you want to dual-wield pistols like a 90's badass then you should be the Pistolero. Yet, if you want to tap into the Clint Eastwood unnamed vigilante savior type of character then you should become the Mysterious Stranger.



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MONK ARCHETYPES

Monks are amazing masters of unarmed combat, but what if I told you that if you became a Zen Archer, you'd be able to essentially make a bow just another deadly extension of your body? If you've ever watched the old Shaw Brothers Kung-Fu movies from the 1970's and you want to be a martial artist who gains strength from drinking alcohol, look no further than the Drunken Master. If you wish to be a very versatile monk who has mastered their use of Ki to be able to perform superhuman feats, then you could be a Qinggong Monk. Finally, if you wish for your monk to look for inspiration from spirits that prey on humanity and who then siphons energy from their enemies, you could become a Hungry Ghost Monk.



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RANGER ARCHETYPES

Rangers are a class somewhere between a Rogue and a Fighter. They tend to be great marksmen, so a good way to show this off might be to become a mounted warrior, slinging arrows from horseback as the Horse Lord. If you'd like your Ranger to be more on the cunning side, making traps that utilize flashy effects on your enemies, then how about a Trapper? If you want a Ranger with an even more concrete bond with their animal companions, able to buff them during battle, then consider a Wild Hunter. Finally, if you want your Ranger to be gifted by a little divine power - Divine Tracker is a good choice.



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SORCERER ARCHETYPES

Sorcerers get their amazing abilities from their bloodlines, so most of the Archetypes for Sorcerers have to do with those. If you envision your Sorcerer as being sort of a mixed bag with no clear bloodlines, and a powerset that changes all the time, then you should go with the versatile and unpredictable Mongrel Mage. However, if you want more than one clear bloodline with benefits from both - you should go with a Sorcerer who is Crossblooded. Sorcerers don't have a ton of pre-generated Archetypes, but if you want to make your Sorcerer more proficient in melee combat, you could choose the Eldritch Scrapper.



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WIZARD ARCHETYPES

It's hard to beat a Wizard's inherent versatility but believe it or not some Wizard Archetypes can give your Wizard some cool aesthetics or themes, and some are even useful. If you'd like your Wizard to be a little more practical and forego the traditional route of gaining power, check out the Exploiter Wizard. If you'd like to blend the arcane learning of a Wizard with the worldly magic of the Witch, then look no further than the Spirit Whisperer. If you'd like your Wizard to be a little lighter on spells, but able to use guns, you should go with the Spellslinger. Finally, if there are no other spellcasters in your party and you want to be prepared for anything, you should have your Wizard become a Spell Sage.





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INVESTIGATOR ARCHETYPES

If you envision your Investigator to be the head of an organization or just simply the leader of the party, you should consider becoming a Mastermind. If you like the idea of your Investigator relying more on their wits and a little bit of luck and gumption rather than fancy alchemy tricks, you could go with a Sleuth. If you really want a character that doubles down on their faith in data and deductive reasoning, go with the Empiricist. Lastly, if you want your Investigator to be a gun-toting detective, you'll want the Steel Hound.










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MAGUS ARCHETYPES

A Magus is meant to be an arcane striker, a mage who gets their hands dirty with melee combat. If you want your Magus to be gifted with a magical, sentient Black Blade that will stay with you and almost act as your familiar, then go with being Bladebound. If you'd like your Magus to be a master of the Quarterstaff weapon, then look no further than being a Staff Magus. If you want your Magus to be a tryhard perfectionist who wants to master magic but also wants to master blade, bow, and armor - you should try out the Myrmidarch. Finally, if you want to combine the magical and martial knowledge of a Magus with the hexy, witchy power of the Witch, you should become a Hexcrafter.










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SUMMONER ARCHETYPES


Summoners rely on magical beings called Eidolons to help them in battle. If you'd rather your Summoner not rely on a creature to fight for them, and instead wish to make yourself stronger by fusing their essence with yours, you should try becoming a Synthesist. However, if you'd like your Summoner to be a little more in tune with nature, able to infuse your Eidolon (and eventually yourself) with traits of certain animals, then you could be a Naturalist. Do you want to focus less on only summoning your Eidolon and more on summoning all monsters? Then become a Master Summoner. Is only one Eidolon not doing it for you? Well, if you want two Eidolons you can become a Broodmaster.



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WITCH ARCHETYPES


Witches aren't exactly known for their healing prowess as much as for their hexes, but if you don't have healers in the party and want to be a Witch, then you can have the best of both worlds with the Hedge Witch. If you want to lean more to the dark side and become a pseudo-necromancer with your Witch, you can animate and create undead by being a Gravewalker. If you want your Witch to have a particular elemental aesthetic, you could always become a Mountain Witch and wield your earthy powers of stone against your enemies. Lastly, if you want your Witch to be more reliant on their familiar, you should become Beast-Bonded.







Well, as for any classes we're missing - those ones I haven't found a lot of information online for, at least in terms of Archetypes. Hopefully, with all this information in one place you'll be able to find one or two Archetypes or become inspired enough to make your own. Let us know if you have any additional resources for Pathfinder Archetypes in the comments below, or just hit us with your favorites or even some you've created. -Joe




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