Multiclassing is one of the great traditions of fantasy roleplaying games and has resulted in a multitude of archetypical combinations. From the deadly rogue/wizard to the synergistic ranger/cleric, multiclassing allows a character to focus on a primary class while taking another, granting them the ability to more effectively deal with challenges. However, through traditional multiclassing, a character must slow his level advancement and ability progression in one class to gain levels and their subsequent abilities in a new class.
Although many players find the idea of multiclassing appealing, some do not like the necessity of sacrificing the efficacy of certain abilities from their primary class to gain those of another class. In that spirit, by using multiclass archetypes, characters can retain primary features from their primary class without compromising their potency, while exchanging less desirable class features for those from a secondary class. The multiclassing character only gains abilities from their secondary class in part, and not at their full potency like they would if they had selected that class as their primary class. The following multiclass archetypes represent a variety of classic multiclass combinations.
GUIDELINES FOR MULTICLASS ARCHETYPES
Multiclass archetypes, like traditional multiclassing, are a blend of two distinct classes. The first class in which a character gains experience is considered that character’s favored class. When one multiclasses, the character selects another class in order to diversify his repertoire of skills and class abilities, and must adhere to certain established rules. The following terms and their descriptions provide the general guidelines used to create multiclass archetypes.
Primary Class: The primary class of a mutlticlass archetype is the class upon which the archetype is based, and supplies the base hit dice, skills, skill ranks, alignment restrictions, attack bonus, saves, and class abilities for the archetype. All aspects of the primary class are adhered to within the multiclass archetype, except those altered according to archetype’s secondary class. The primary class is also the same as the class section in which the archetype is listed, such as the Spellrager, which is described in the Barbarian section of this book. In traditional multiclassing, the primary class is the character’s favored class, as selected at first level.
Secondary Class: The secondary class of a multiclass archetype provides the alternate class abilities that replace those of the primary class. In traditional multiclassing, the secondary class is a character’s class he chooses to gain experience in addition to his favored class.
Alignment Restrictions: Multiclass archetypes must adhere to the alignment restrictions of the multiclass archetype, as they would for a core or base class. Although traditional rules restrict classes with conflicting alignments from being multiclassed (Barbarian/Paladin), such multiclass archetypes may follow the alignment restrictions of the primary or secondary class, or a new alignment restriction may be created specifically for the archetype.
Hit Dice: Multiclass archetypes retain the hit dice of the primary class. If the hit dice of the secondary class is two steps away (above or below) from of your primary class. It such cases, you gain new hit dice that is one step below or above that of your primary class. For example, a rogue/wizard would retain his d8 hit dice, while a fighter/wizard would receive d8 hit dice instead of the normal d10.
Bonus Skills and Ranks: Multiclass archetypes use the skill set and ranks of its primary class. However, multiclass archetypes gain bonus skills and ranks at each level based upon their secondary class. Depending upon the discrepancy of skills and ranks between the primary and secondary classes, the archetype provides additional skills and ranks to uphold the multiclass flavor of the archetype. If the archetype’s secondary class gains ranks at each level that are the same as or 2 above that of the primary class, the archetype gains three bonus skills of the character’s choice as selected from the skill set of the secondary class, but gain no additional skill ranks at each level. If the secondary class gains ranks at each level that are 4 or more above that of the primary class, the archetype gains six bonus skills and 2 bonus ranks at each level. For example, a fighter/rogue archetype has fighter as its primary class and rogue as its secondary class. Thus, the fighter/rogue archetype uses the fighter skill list, but gains six bonus skills from the rogue’s skill list of the character’s choice, and gains a total of 4 ranks at each level. Subsequently, a bard/ranger would use the bard skill list, but only gains three bonus skills from the ranger skill list and uses the bard’s ranks at each level.
Base Attack Base: Multiclass archetypes use the base attack bonus of their primary class. If the secondary class has a base attack bonus two steps above that of the primary class, the archetype increases its base attack bonus by one step (1/2 BAB becomes 3/4 BAB, 3/4 BAB becomes full BAB). Thus, a sorcerer/fighter archetype would have a base attack bonus of 3/4 instead of 1/2.
Saving Throws: Multiclass archetypes gain a new set of saving throws, based upon the classes used to create them. If the two classes used to create a multiclass archetype have the same saves (Witch/Sorcerer), or if they overlap in whole or in part (Cleric/Paladin), the new archetype gains the original saves of the two classes. If the two classes each have one good save that does not overlap, the new archetype gains two good saves. If the two classes each have two good saves that do not completely overlap (Alchemist/Druid), the new archetype gains only two good saves as based upon the flavor of the archetype. Should either class have three good saves (Monk), retention of all three is dependant on the flavor of the archetype. Otherwise it only gains two good saves.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Multiclass archetypes use the weapon and armor proficiency of the primary class, but will often gain additional or alternate weapon proficiency acquired from the secondary class. Depending upon the secondary class, the archetype may also gain additional proficiency in armor, although the primary class restrictions will still apply, such as a druid’s restriction on using metal armors. Some archetypes may gain armor proficiency that hampers certain class abilities, such as with arcane spellcasters. In such cases, if the archetype flavor warrants it, the archetype will gain a class feature allowing it to use such abilities with armor in an incremental progression, similar to the armor progression of the Magus (see Ultimate Magic). The overall power of the multiclass archetype determines whether such allowances are warranted or not.
Spell Progression: Multiclass archetypes with a spellcasting primary class continue to cast spells normally in that class. If the archetype’s primary class has a spellcasting ability that is two or more steps below that of the secondary class, the archetype’s spellcasting ability increases by one step. If the primary class has no spellcasting, depending upon the archetype, it may gain a 1/2 caster spell progression or a unique progression table of its own. Additionally, the multiclass archetype may gain the Diminished Spellcasting ability, retaining the primary’s class’s spell progression, but reducing the number of spells cast at each spell level per day, or the number of spells known of each spell level, depending upon the multiclass archetype. Unless noted otherwise, an archetype has a caster level equal to its archetype level.
Class Features: Unless otherwise noted in a multiclass archetype's entry, it retains all the class features of its primary class. Usually some of these primary class features are swapped out for some class features from the secondary class, along with some all-new abilities meant to 'bridge the gap' between the classes. The rules for these trades are the same as the rules for using alternate class features in Paizo's archetype rules (the latest version of which is in Ultimate Combat, p. 24)*. By default, your "class level" for the purpose of determining the effects of any class feature granted by a multiclass archetype is equal to your levels in that multiclass archetype. Specific abilities may operate differently; these differences are explained in the ability's description.
Capstone Abilities: Multiclass archetypes typically retain the capstone ability of their primary class, and rarely gain the capstone ability of their secondary class. However, depending upon the flavor of the archetype, it may be required to “swap” the capstone ability of the primary class, or create a completely unique and flavorful one, much like normal class features (see above).
Favored Classes: There are two options pertaining to the rules of a character’s favored class, and are subject to GM approval. Upon taking a multiclass archetype, the archetype itself becomes the character’s favored class, and gains all benefits of a favored class each level. Alternately, upon taking a multiclass archetype, the archetype’s primary class is designated as the character’s favored class, and therefore gains the benefits of a favored class at every odd level of the multiclass archetype.
Class Archetypes: Multiclass archetypes may be used with the class archetypes presented in the Advanced Player’s Guide, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat, or any similar Pathfinder RPG source books, based upon compatibility and GM approval.
Disclaimer: While individual multiclass archetypes may be compatible with normal archetypes as long as all required class features to be replaced are present (and replace those class features when they would normally occur within the multi-class archetype, not when specified by the base archetype), like any other archetype they do count as the base class for all purposes. You cannot take levels in Battle Adept and Divine Agent, for instance (as both are Cleric multiclass archetypes), though you could take levels in both Divine Emissary and Silent Warrior (making you effectively a Paladin/Cleric/Fighter/Rogue). These classes stack and apply all appropriate abilities as any archetype or class level would, as per the multiclassing rules in the Core Rulebook (page 30). Remember that once the character has a level in a multiclass archetype they cannot take the classes within that archetype separately, nor any alternate class of those classes contained therein.
*Note: Although these guidelines have been presented here, creating a Multiclass Archetype is an art form, and requires a certain level of ingenuity, creativity, and understanding of the basic rules of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.