List of Archetypes in Pathfinder Second Edition
Archetypes in Pathfinder 2e are optional feat paths that a character can take in place of class feats. Some are absolutely essential to a playstyle, while others are mostly fluff and roleplay. Regardless, all of them add at least some build variety.
- 1 Multiclass Dedications
- 2 Advanced Players Guide
- 2.1 Acrobat
- 2.2 Archaeologist
- 2.3 Archer
- 2.4 Assassin
- 2.5 Bounty Hunter
- 2.6 Bastion
- 2.7 Beastmaster
- 2.8 Blessed One
- 2.9 Cavalier
- 2.10 Celebrity
- 2.11 Dandy
- 2.12 Duelist
- 2.13 Dual-Weapon Warrior
- 2.14 Familiar Master
- 2.15 Gladiator
- 2.16 Herbalist
- 2.17 Horizon Walker
- 2.18 Linguist
- 2.19 Loremaster
- 2.20 Martial Artist
- 2.21 Mauler
- 2.22 Marshal
- 2.23 Medic
- 2.24 Pirate
- 2.25 Poisoner
- 2.26 Ritualist
- 2.27 Scroll Tricker
- 2.28 Scrounger
- 2.29 Scout
- 2.30 Sentinel
- 2.31 Shadowdancer
- 2.32 Snarecrafter
- 2.33 Talisman Dabbler
- 2.34 Vikings
- 2.35 Vigilante
- 2.36 Weapon Improviser
- 3 Lost Omens Character Guide
- 4 Lost Omens Setting Guide
- 5 Lost Omens World Guide
- 6 Secrets of Magic
- 7 Guns and Gears
- 8 Grand Bazaar
- 9 Book of the Dead
- 10 Other Sources
- 11 Addendum
In Pathfinder 1e, multiclassing into another class simply meant substituting levels in your base class with levels of another. In Second Edition, however, multiclassing is done by substituting your class feat at level 2 with a dedication feat. This will allow you to slowly gain the abilities of the class you chose, as well as allowing you to choose class feats up to 10th level. For example, here is the Rogue Archetype:
Rogue Dedication, Level 2
- Archetype: Rogue
- Prerequisite: Dexterity 14
- You gain a skill feat and the rogue’s surprise attack class feature. You become trained in light armor. In addition, you become trained in Stealth or Thievery plus one skill of your choice; if you are already trained in both Stealth and Thievery, you become trained in an additional skill of your choice. You become trained in rogue class DC.
- Special: You cannot gain another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the rogue archetype.
From here on, you can select feats every other level from this archetype when you choose a class feat.
All multiclass dedications work similarly, granting you basic proficiencies and some first level class features.
Advanced Players Guide
The Advanced Players Guide (APG) added many archetypes centered around different combat styles. These tend to be a lot more niche than class dedications, but a good many of them are very useful and flavorful.
The Acrobat Dedication is for those who want to dance around the battlefield without actually spending skill points in Acrobatics. It automatically levels your Acrobatics skill to Expert when you take it, levels it to Master at 7th level, and levels it to Legendary at 15th level. In addition, you get several feats to make you do crazy stuff with your Acrobatics skill, from a reaction letting you step away from an attack when it misses, to allowing you to Tumble Through and Strike in one action.
An archetype that any class can take. A good one to take if your doing a lot of dungeon delving. In addition to being good with traps and learn magic to help with exploration, you are also gain bonus when rolling about the culture (Like knowing where they keep their treasures, or how to say "I'm your god" in the native tongue).
The Archer Dedication is one any character can grab so long as they intend to keep using bows and crossbows. After all, why should the fighter be the only master of arrows? This statement rings particularly true since, aside from its own few tricks (such as drawing and shooting in the same action or aiming for a bonus to hit), the archetype also gives access to a few of the fighter's archery feats (and one ranger feat) at a later level than intended.
In truth, this archetype's not really meant for fighters or rangers, who would do just as well just multiclassing to each other. Who this is meant for is everyone else who just wants to be better at shooting. If you want the fighter's feats, you're not really getting much out of multiclassing since you likely won't be needing all the proficiencies you just got and there's no crossbow support. The ranger multiclass, on the other hand, saddles you with an action you won't ever be able to use for combat, and not as many feats for helping with combat.
The Assassin Dedication is all about poisons, backstabs, and other underhanded tactics to kill opponents. The base dedication comes with the 3-action ability Mark for Death, granting you bonuses to track your target down, bonuses to your feints against your target, and giving your agile/finesse weapons extra traits to make them deadlier against the target.
Other feats in this dedication deal with poison and sneak attacks, capping off the archetype with a feat that deals lots of damage and can instantly kill the enemy on a critically failed save.
An archetype that any class can take to track a target. Grants the ability to track any query like a ranger, and gain bonuses and proficiency to non-lethally catch your prey. Feats are: Additional bonuses when using Hunt Prey action( or more of it if you already had it), party gains bonuses for helping you look, gain proficiency with bola, sap, and whip (no-penalty to non-lethal), Quarry can't shake you off if they move in combat, and can counter grapple if Quarry critically fails its melee stike attack against you.
The Bastion Dedication is centered all around shields and being the tank. The Bastion Dedication requires you to have Shield Block feat. The base dedication grants you the Reactive Shield feat, allowing you to raise a shield as a reaction.
Other feats in this archetype allow your shield to do such things as disarming opponents on a block, making your shield to take a lot more damage while you take even less, and saving that shield from shattering completely. Overall, a pretty good investment for any prospective shield user.
For anyone who doesn't want to be a ranger/druid, the Beastmaster Dedication allows you to tame an animal companion for combat, provided that you are trained in the Nature skill.
The feats provided via the archetype allow you to strengthen your companion, as well as recruit up to 3 more. You can only have one in combat at a time, so be wary. Other feats grant you extra abilities to use with your companions.
The Blessed One Dedication is an archetype made for PCs who don't want to be champions, but still have Lay on Hands. Taking this archetype grants you the Lay on Hands Focus Spell, along with the focus point required.
Everything else in this dedication is there to bolster Lay on Hands, from treating negative conditions to preventing them in the first place. It even caps out with granting temp HP to someone every round for 10 rounds.
Cavalier was cut from the class list of Pathfinder Second Edition, being reduced to an archetype (archetypes here being essentially a chain of feats to take in place of class feats) during the 2018 playtest. And even then, it didn't appear in the CRB. It would only appear in the Advanced Player's Guide, alongside a bunch of other non-class archetypes.
This version of the cavalier gives you a riding mount off the bat, which not many classes can do (Druid and Ranger, while Champion has to wait a few levels) but requires proficiency in either Society or Nature. This feat tree includes the mandatory pet-progression feats that come with owning a pet, but it also has several ways of taking the sting off of owning a mount, like using your AC to protect the steed, mounting on and moving in a single action and being able to move twice while also attacking. It even provides that token banner feature the class had, adding that token +1 to Will.
An archetype that any class can take. You hog the spotlight, Doing the best to out stage others, Distract others, and Not tier in front of a crowd.
The Dandy is one of the many generic archetypes introduced in the Advanced Player's Guide, available to anyone with Diplomacy. You lean the ins of smooth-talking to get by the social encounter. You start by numbing up your Deception and Society skills and spend downtime to manipulate the locale rumors. Other feats include Covering for That Guy when they do something stupid (it has a 10 min cooldown so...); You can recall Knowledge on any topic (hairstylists are well versed in demon politics?); Can use deception as a job, and get your party into parties.
Dandies Are a good thing to have if your doing a campaign with many social encounters, especially if every other PC is dirty murder hobos or the recurring villain is a snob.
A general archetype that revolves around dueling. Speccing into the dedication gets you the Quick Draw feat immediately so that you can immediately get into a fight anywhere.
Some additional feats add new abilities like: proclaiming a challenge and getting a circumstance damage bonus to that enemy, give your allies a +1 to AC when you parry, and the ability to swap out your Duelist Archetype feats during Daily preparations.
The Dual-Weapon Warrior Dedication makes fighting with two-hand weapons a lot better. The dedication comes with a vital feat, Double Slice, which lets you make two attacks with two actions, without adding to your Multiple Attack Penalty. You still take a -2 penalty on the second attack normally, but you can negate that penalty if the weapon is agile.
Beyond that, some additional feats (many lifted from the fighter class) add new abilities like: making ranged attacks instead of just melee as part of your dual attack, reload with full hands, entering a defensive stance, or double slash so hard they become susceptible to follow up attacks.
An archetype that any class that gives them a Familiar companion and/or improve them further. Other feats included let a friend share a master ability, let you cast a spell from Familiar's position, need less Familiar feats for it to take a special form, Change Familiar feats for a job.
An archetype that any class can take to extenuate a charismatic pit fighter. You gain bonuses when spectators are around as you wow them with your killing and showmanship. Also, get some exotic weapons and learn how to non-lethal better.
The Herbalist Archetype is for players who want to make healing elixirs without playing alchemist, which is understandable. It requires you to be trained in Nature and take the Natural Medicine skill feat, of course, but two of the twelve base classes already have Nature skill baked in, and Natural Medicine is easy to get at the same level.
Speccing into the Herbalist at level 2 grants you basic alchemy for the purposes of creating healing elixirs, antidotes and antiplagues. You get batches of infused reagents equal to your level, or half if you didn't make them in the wilderness (Sorry city herbalists). You also become an expert in Nature. Your advanced alchemy level starts at 1 and can't increase on its own.
Some additional feats include:
- Fresh Ingredients, Level 2 Feat (even though you spent a level two feat to get the archetype already.)
- When using Natural Medicine to Treat Wounds, you can spend a batch of herbs to gain the +2 circumstance bonus from having fresh ingredients, even if not in wilderness. If you spend a batch of herbs in wilderness, you gain a +4 circumstance bonus instead.
- Expert Herbalism, Level 6 Feat
- Your advanced alchemy level for herbalism increases to your level – 3. You gain the formulas for elixirs of life as soon as your advanced alchemy level is high enough to create them: lesser at 8th level, moderate at 12th level, greater at 16th level, and major at 18th level.
An archetype that any class can take. You become well adapted to a single environment your GM decided to set the campaign in. Gains bonuses and ignore hazards while traveling through that Forest, Desert, Ocean, or other places.
The Linguist is a niche archetype that any character can pick up so long as they know three languages. Just by entering this archetype, you gain training in the Society skill (or just rank it up one level) as well knowledge of four more languages by giving you two instances of the Multilinguist feat.
Languages tend to be a wrench that a gm will throw at a party when they want something they can't just kill their way through it, but now you can turn that into its own set of tools beyond just writing. Though none of it is offensive in nature, it does give you the ability to replicate whatever you read, impersonate a person's mannerisms after reading every detail about them and even find ways to interpret unspoken communication.
An Archetype any class can take. You become a know it all that knows all the lore, Even things you shouldn't if the DM was foolish enough to let you roll.
Other feats including some cantrip, Read anything, and speed read.
An archetype that any class that any class can take to learn how to punch. You don't need to invest in both Str and Dex, unlike the monk Archetype, letting you pick up how to punch better and learn monk stances without forcing your Fullplate Brawler, kung fu Warpriest, or Muscle Wizard invest in a stat they don't use.
You Can take some monk stance feats: Crane, Dragon, Gorilla, Mountain, Stumbling, Tiger, Wolf, and an adventure path stance, exclusive to Martial Artist, the Powder Punch Stance, covering your fist wrappings or knuckle duster in black powder for an explosive 1 damage and a 5ft shove on a crit. additional feats let you make a thunderclap or flash-bang a guy.
Exclusive feats, not stance or monk related is making one punch that deals additional damage dice and decreases physical resistance, or use all three actions to stride, not trigger reactions, and punches three times without multi-attack penalties (unless you some how make a fourth attack)
The Mauler Dedication gives you proficiency with two-handed weapons, and the rest of it focuses around these sorts of weapons (including co-opting some feats from Fighter).
In particular, this gives you plenty of ways to use combat maneuvers using big weapons, shoving enemies around and knocking them down.
The Marshal is one of a great many generic multiclass archetypes available in PF2's Advanced Player's Guide, open to anyone trained in martial weapons and in either Diplomacy or Intimidation, and inclined for those of a leader/support bent. The initial feat gives you proficiency in either the one skill you didn't use to qualify for this feat or boost the proficiency rank of the one you are skilled with, as well as an aura giving a token buff vs Fear.
Most of this archetype's feats focus buffing this aura with other combat bonuses, such as providing temp HP and free movement actions, but others give allies special actions to use in place of reactions. This makes the Marshal a lot like the Warlord class from 4E.
The Medic Dedication automatically levels your Medicine skill to Expert, as well as increasing the healing potential when you Treat Wounds, and allowing you to use Battle Medicine (feat that lets you Treat Wounds during battle) more frequently.
Its feat line, understandably, deals a lot with making these abilities better, such as striding and healing in one action, reducing harmful conditions, and resuscitating dead bodies.
An archetype where you master the ins and outs of fighting on ships. It was originally a rather limited archetype that appeared on the 2018 playtest before vanishing. It would show up again in the Advanced Player's Guide, looking just as small when compared to other archetypes. This is likely because it's already relying on two other skills with feats that would otherwise overlap with it: Athletics (which helps with rope climbing) and Intimidation.
The prerequisites for entry pretty much boil down to "look scary" (read: trained in Intimidation) and in exchange, you can walk on boats without issue, learn lore about sailing and gain a special action that pretty much lets you go Errol Flynn and swing your sword while swinging on a rope.
An archetype that any class can take. You learn how to better craft and use poisons.
An archetype that any class thats an expert in one of the 4 magic related skills can take. With the GM's permission, you can circumvent doing side quests to learn rituals and be really good at casting them. You start with a +2 circumstance bonuse to pull off rituals and learn two uncommon ritual spell + 2 more at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level. You then can gain feats to reduce ritual requirement: less secondary casters can cast even if one skill level lower then required, and turn a casting time of days to hours.
Ritualist starts being useful in games that go to higher levels(6lv+) and when gold is plentiful. This is a class you would only take if your solving problems with rituals, whether it is a summoner amassing servents for party jobs, That investigator which solves mysteries by interrogating the local squirrels and Grass, the party planeswalker, or making an inter-dimension guild hall manned by animated furniture.
An archetype that any class can take. You become very good at using scrolls you shouldn't be able to cast.
When you start the dedication you get the Trick Magic Item feat, letting you cast spells from magic items even if they are from a magic tradition you don't have and even if you are not a spellcaster, In addition, you get a +2 for using this feat with scrolls. Keep in mind you still need to have an investment in skill associated with the spell's tradition to cast.
Additional feats you can take is wiping out a scroll from your pocket and trick it as a single action or creating one temporary spell scroll for each spell level during your daily prep.
The Scrounger is a general archetype in Pathfinder Second Edition. You can scrounge together a ton of junk and create random improvised shit that somehow works. However, these items are still made of junk, and they tend to fall apart quickly.
The Dedication feat is quite a doozy:
- Scrounger Dedication
- Prerequisites trained in Crafting
- You can Craft items even without appropriate tools or a workshop, though you take a –2 item penalty to your Crafting check. Additionally, you don't need a physical formula book to remember all of your formulas; you pay the same cost as normal to learn them, but you memorize them all.
- You can Craft temporary items out of anything, anywhere, with whatever materials happen to be on hand, spending only 10 minutes to perform the initial Crafting check. The temporary item must be common, non-magical, 1st level or lower, and must be a weapon, armor, or a nonconsumable piece of adventuring gear. Instead of a single item, you can create 10 pieces of a single type of ammunition. This is a shoddy item, but you don't take the normal penalty when using shoddy items you made using this feat. Your temporary item lasts for 1d4 hours before falling apart into its raw components; the GM rolls the number of hours secretly. You can create only the physical item, not any information or magic, so for example, while you could create a blank journal or one of random pages, you couldn't use it as a scholarly journal or a religious text.
- You can incorporate any materials or items that you have on hand, even if they're not the type of materials that would ordinarily be used to Craft a given item, though you must have enough volume of material to make the item you want. Unless all the materials you used were an appropriate type to make the item, you take a –5 penalty to the Crafting check (or a –10 penalty if the materials you used were particularly unsuitable, as determined by the GM).
Pretty cool, honestly. The rest of the feats revolve around scrounging together higher level items, reverse engineering items, or using Crafting instead of Thievery for picking locks and disabling devices (like traps).
A mix of Ranger and Rouge. An archetype that any class can take. Helpful when moving on the map and prevent ambushes, while you can jump out of the bushes to distract the enemy then vanish back into them.
Same name but completely different. An archetype that any class can take to become the master of fighting in armour. Imagine Wizard in fullplate. You can sleep in armour, and could destroy it to stop lethal damage.
An Archetype that any class can take as long as your a master of stealth and expert in performance. Combo Some Rogue feats with ability involving shadows, starting with better at ambushing from darkness and then learn Shadow magic synergy more with sneaking through dimly lit areas.
An archetype that any class that has the Snare Crafting Feat can take to be the master of Snares. The starting Decdication lets you have a number of premade traps for free that can be deployed in 3 actions instead of one minute. Other feats improve their effectiveness: improved DCs, make a snare down to 1 action, place a snare under an enemy's feet, activate a snare remotely, or create a 10-by-10 snare.
Snares can dish out a lot of damage or deal important debuffs but require setup and board positioning. More useful if your campaign lets you choose were the fight takes place and gives you time to prepare. Defending narrow halls, make an ambush on a road. If you have a few rounds to breathe, you can make a trap before the enemy comes. Depending on how good your party is at shoving, Setting up snares mid-battle can be viable.
An Archetype any class can take. Lets you make Free Tailmans every day. Talismans in Pathfinder are consumable doodads you glue to your gear to give you bonuses during particular occasions.
As a Dabbler, your really good at gluing Eyeballs to people's swords.
An archetype that any class can take if you want to be a melee guy that knows some things about sailing and moving through water. You learn how to best use a shield, not be slow by wet terrain, in addition, to throw things while Running. Works well as an early investment in a sailing campaign where your often fighting in the ocean surf or in a swamp, while also dipping into additional weapon proficencys and shields usage in the same tree.
Because the Vigilante and its archetypes were merely features with other classes stapled onto it, it was converted into a Multiclass Archetype that any class can take. The entry feat merely gave you the double identity gimmick, fairly untouched compared to the original form.
The rest of the arhetype's feats swung between the Social identity (which let you disguise your pets and magical items as well as things like a safehouse) and the Startling Appearance power (which let you hit an enemy that didn't notice you to inflict various penalties) with a few other tricks like Quick Draw (co-opted from the Rogue and Ranger) and a faster transformation.
In terms of a min-maxer, this archetype is more billed as a gimmick. Sure, you might be able to make something out of the surprise attacks, but you could do it way quicker with a Rogue multiclass.
An Archetype any class can take. If you are good with all martial weapons you can use anything as a weapon. If you can grab it you are very good at beating people to death with it.
Lost Omens Character Guide
Student of Perfection
A general archetype from studying in a House of Perfection. an archetype for monks or expert in unarmed attacks. More of a sidegrade for a monk character, Learn a ki spell to reroll a missed punch and one to: mark an enemy you hit; project a cone of water to push enemies; make an Air Dash; or gain a temporary hit point.
Lost Omens Setting Guide
Lost Omens World Guide
The initiates of the infamous orders of Hellknights from Cheliax. As this technically leads you to either the Hellknight or Hellknight Signifier archetypes, you don't need to follow the minimum feat requirement before switching for either of those and as such, your feats tend to focus on either building up your defenses or improving your effectiveness with your provided weapons (that being whatever your order's preferred weapon is and heavy armor). Of course, whichever way you go, you'll eventually have to kill a demon by yourself if you plan to go upward...
The martial arm of the Hellknight Orders. Their focus is more upon their gear, as taking the Dedication feat gives armor specialization in Hellknight plat and future feats improve the effectiveness of their weapons.
The mystical arm of the Hellknight Orders, more focused on casting than combat. Some of these feats also focus on the faceless Signifier Mask that's given with this archetype, that can help protect you from certain effects.
Secrets of Magic
The Flexible Spellcaster archetype is for prepared spellcasters like wizards, clerics, and druids. Avaliable at level 1 when you get your first class feats, it allows those who prefer the 5e version of prepared spellcasting where you always have a collection of spells that can be heightened at any time, rather than the usual 3e/3.5e/pathfinder method of hard assigning a specific spell to each spellslot each daily prep.
The main downside is you get way fewer spell slots and cantrips, and you are disallowed from taking several feats that involve swapping prepared spells with different ones.
Guns and Gears
Book of the Dead
The Book of the Dead supplement added many new archetypes involving the undead. The book's archetypes are split in-between those who hunt undead, those who embrace the undead, and even becoming undead. Many of these will require the GM's permission and are meant for specific campaigns, so be sure you and your GM are on good terms.
The Exorcist Dedication is dedicated to fighting ghosts and expelling them from their haunts. You gain an item known as a spirit dwelling, a lure for spirits to enter and be contained. You also gain a reaction to make the spirit in the dwelling take damage for you whenever you take positive/negative damage, or are attacked by ghosts and spirits.
Your feats are mostly dedicated to giving your spirit dwelling more powers and casting out ghosts. These range from
- Uncommon Archetype
An Archetype for those that wish for inspiring necromancers to build an army of undead rather than the healer or the guy that cast the other ethically questionable spells that are not from the enchantment school. You only need to be able to cast the animate dead spell to take the dedication, letting you always have it and heighten-able at any time (prepared spellcaster still needs 10 minutes), and the minion +1 to AC, attack, Saving throws, and skill rolls.
Additional feats give you classic necromancer powers like sustaining two zombies simultaneously as one action, focus spells like seeing through minion eyes, dominating other undead, or healing minions. With GM permission, you also can get the Macabre Viruoso feat to learn the create undead rituals while gaining a +2 bonus.
Other feats require you to be a cleric with a negative font, oracle of bones, or necromancer wizard, an aura to resist positive damage, the aura of undead-no-attack-you, or sacrifice a minion to cast a spell for free.
- Rare Archetype
- Rare Archetype
- Rare Archetype
- Rare Archetype
- Rare Archetype
- Rare Archetype
- Pathfinder #148: Fires of the Haunted City
- Rare Archetype
Learning the ancient and nearly forgotten elven secret magic devoted to the goddess Yuelral. Crystal Keepers at low levels use Crystals to examine objects. To start you need only be trained in Elven Lore or Society. The dedication feat lets you use Occultism, Religion, or Society to Decipher Writing, never getting a crit fail and turn success into crit success. The other two feats are a focus spell to electrify doors or having the read aura and sigil cantrip at will. The two more interesting ones are available at 10th level, letting you during daily prep, temporarily transform one rune on an Armor or Weapon you own into a different rune.
- Pathfinder #165: Eyes of Empty Death
- Uncommon Archetype
You become a master of drow hand crossbow techeniches. The dedication grants your crossbow skills always scales with the highest proficiency you receive from a class and learn to quick-draw and stow. Another feat Grants that same proficiency scaling to repeating hand crossbows while spawning one and an accompanying shootist bandolier for faster reload right out of the aether. Additional feats are your usual run and gun or applying poison to your bolts, especially the well-known drow lethargy poison.
If you are interested in learning more about any specific archetypes and don't want to pay money for it, we recommend checking out the Archives of Nethys to see full details on feats and such.
|The Classes of Pathfinder 2nd Edition|
|Core Classes:||Alchemist - Barbarian - Bard - Champion - Cleric - Druid |
Fighter - Monk - Ranger - Rogue - Sorcerer - Wizard
|Advanced Player's Guide:||Investigator - Oracle - Swashbuckler - Witch|
|Secrets of Magic:||Magus - Summoner|
|Guns and Gears:||Gunslinger - Inventor|