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Rules Index | GM Screen | Player's Guide


Chapter 4: Variant Rules / Feats and Features

Free Archetype

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 194
Sometimes the story of your game calls for a group where everyone is a pirate or an apprentice at a magic school. The free archetype variant introduces a shared aspect to every character without taking away any of that character’s existing choices. It can also provide a lighter version of dual-class characters by giving everyone a free multiclass archetype.

Building a Character

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 194
The only difference between a normal character and a free-archetype character is that the character receives an extra class feat at 2nd level and every even level thereafter that they can use only for archetype feats. Depending on the needs of the group and the theme of the game, you might restrict the free feats to those of a single archetype each character in the group has (for a shared backstory), those of archetypes fitting a certain theme (such as only ones from magical archetypes in a game set in a magic school), or entirely unrestricted if you just want a higher-powered game.

If the group all has the same archetype or draws from a limited list, you might want to ignore the free archetype’s normal restriction of selecting a certain number of feats before taking a new archetype. That way a character can still pursue another archetype that also fits their character.

Playing with Free Archetypes

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 194
Free-archetype characters are a bit more versatile and powerful than normal, but usually not so much that they unbalance your game. However, due to the characters’ increased access to archetype feats, you should place a limit on the number of feats that scale based on a character’s number of archetype feats (mainly multiclass Resiliency feats). Allowing a character to benefit from a number of these feats equal to half their level is appropriate, as this is the maximum number of feats you could use to take archetype feats without this variant.