Is it possible to switch archetypes?

Is it possible to start the Eldritch Knight progression then switch to another archetype, say Battle Master archetype, later?

I’m thinking that I’d like to get a Hammer of Thunderbolts, but if I do it would be really nice to have the Eldritch Knight archetypes’s weapon bond so that I can recall it easily instead of having to retrieve it every time I throw it far enough to stay out of the blast radius. (Throwing it at least 30′ would make it take more than a round for a typical dwarf to chase after it.) It looks like Eldritch Knight is the only way to get weapon bond, but I am not interested in any of the other Eldritch Knight abilities beyond that.

Is this homebrew roguish archetype Shadowdancer balanced compared to the other archetypes? [Version 2]

This is a follow up to my previous question: Is this homebrew roguish archetype Shadowdancer balanced compared to the other archetypes?

In short, I want to convert the 3.5e prestige class Shadowdancer into a 5e roguish archetype. I made an attempt in that previous question linked above, but there were some balance issues as pointed out by the accepted answer. I have made some revisions and wish to get another evaluation from the community.

As before, the parts in nested quotation format in italics are my design commentary.

Roguish Archetype: Shadowdancer

Operating in the border between light and darkness, shadowdancers are nimble artists of deception. They are mysterious and unknown, never completely trusted but always inducing wonder when met. Despite their link with shadows and trickery, shadowdancers are as often good as evil.

Flavour text taken from here (since NWN2 is where my knowledge of 3.5e primarily comes from anyway, so I might as well borrow their flavour text).

Summon Shadow. At 3rd level, you can summon a shadow, an undead shade. As an action, you summon a shadow, which uses the statistics from the Monster Manual, but its alignment matches yours and it cannot raise new shadows via Strength Drain. The shadow lasts until it is dropped to 0 hit points, at which point it disappears. If you summon another shadow whilst you already have a shadow summoned, the first one disappears. You can use this feature again once you finish a long rest.

I have decided to move Summon Shadow to 3rd level. It now uses the stats of a CR 1/2 shadow rather than a CR 5 wraith, but cannot raise new shadows, just like how I removed Raise Spectre from my wraith in version 1. My concern here is that Strength Drain might still be rather strong, given that it reduces the target’s Strength rather than just dealing damage; would removing the Strength reduction help to balance this? Another concern is that the shadow, as written currently, remains indefinitely, although I did at least ensure you can’t have more than one. Should it have a time limit?

Shadow Sight. At 3rd level, you gain darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. If you already have darkvision from your race, its range increases by 30 feet.

I still think this makes sense at 3rd level, similar to a Gloom Stalker Ranger gaining (or improving) darkvision at 3rd level. This has not been changed since version 1.

Shadow Illusion. At 3rd level, you can create visual illusions from shadows. You can cast silent image once per long rest.

I have chosen to move Shadow Illusion to 3rd level, because it did seem odd before that my archetype gained two things at 13th level. Also, my hope is that gaining it at 3rd level will counterbalance the weakness of the trait, especially since this archetype is now getting three things at 3rd level. I did consider increasing the number of uses, say 3 times per long rest or something, but I didn’t want to front load this archetype more than it already is now.

Shadow Jump. At 9th level, you gain the ability to step from one shadow into another. When you are in dim light or darkness, as a bonus action you can teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness. You then have advantage on the first melee attack you make before the end of the turn.

This is unchanged since version 1, I’m still happy with this. It’s the same as a Way of Shadows monk, except the Shadowdancer has to wait for three more levels before they get it.

Shadowy Dodge. Starting at 13th level, you can dodge in unforeseen ways, with wisps of supernatural shadow around you. Whenever a creature makes an attack roll against you and doesn’t have advantage on the roll, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on it. You must use this feature before you know the outcome of the attack roll.

Taken directly from the Gloom Stalker ranger. I’m still happy with this from version 1, although now it’s all you get at 13th level rather than getting it alongside Shadow Illusion. Since it competes with Uncanny Dodge for the rogue’s reaction, I don’t see it as being too strong, especially since that’s all you get at this level now.

Hide in Plain Sight. Starting at 17th level, you can hide from your enemies even while being observed. You can take the Hide action even when you are in plain sight of the creatures you are trying to hide from so long as you are within dim light. However, you cannot try to hide using your own shadow.

This has now been moved to 17th level, since it did seem too strong as a 3rd level rogue feature. I’m comparing it to the warlock invocation Shroud of Shadow, which is basically at-will casting of the invisibility spell (which warlocks can only take upon reaching 15th level); this isn’t quite that, since you’re not actually invisible, but on the other hand, given how high the rogue’s Stealth modifier is likely to be at this level, it’s almost the same thing.

My main concerns are:

  • whether or not Hide in Plain Sight is balanced, meaning not too powerful, but on the other hand, not too weak (it is supposed to be a 17 level ability, the Shadowdancer’s capstone);
  • front loading the archetype with three abilities (although I’ve seen official archetypes do this, so it’s more about whether these three abilities are balanced at 3rd level);
  • whether the Summon Shadow feature is balanced (in particular regarding it’s Strength Drain and the fact that it lasts indefinitely).

I think I’m happy with everything else.

Is this homebrew roguish archetype Shadowdancer balanced compared to the other archetypes?


Introduction

The Shadowdancer is a prestige class from 3.5e. Since, in 5e, prestige classes were replaced by class archetypes (for example, the Assassin prestige class from 3.5e is now represented by the Assassin roguish archetype in 5e), I’ve decided to have a go at converting the Shadowdancer prestige class form 3.5e into a 5e roguish archetype.

My goal is to create a roguish archetype that is balanced compared to the other RAW archetypes, but at the same time has the same flavour as the Shadowdancer from 3.5e. I don’t mind if it’s a strong archetype, but I don’t want it to be so strong that it’s unbalanced, broken even.

Insight into Design

Firstly, I chose Rogue as the base class for which this will be an archetype because half of the Shadowdancer’s features from 3.5e are part of the core Rogue class in 5e anyway, so it seemed like a natural fit.

Specifically, there’s Evasion, Uncanny Dodge (although in 3.5e that seems to be related to flanking, which is optional in 5e), Defensive Roll (which seems more like what 5e’s Uncanny Dodge does) and Slippery Mind (also improved versions of some of these, specifically Improved Uncanny Dodge and Improved Evasion).

The remaining features, Hide in Plain Sight, Darkvision, Shadow Illusion, Summon Shadow and Shadow Jump, these are what I believe should be the archetype features for my new roguish archetype. I’ve included commentaries below explaining my thought process when deciding how to represent these in 5e.

New Archetype

So, here’s what I’ve done to try to represent these features in 5e. The parts in nested quotation format in italics are my design commentary.

Roguish Archetype: Shadowdancer

Operating in the border between light and darkness, shadowdancers are nimble artists of deception. They are mysterious and unknown, never completely trusted but always inducing wonder when met. Despite their link with shadows and trickery, shadowdancers are as often good as evil.

Flavour text taken from here (since NWN2 is where my knowledge of 3.5e primarily comes from anyway, so I might as well borrow their flavour text).

Hide in Plain Sight. Starting at 3rd level, you can hide from your enemies even while being observed. You can take the Hide action even when you are in plain sight of the creatures you are trying to hide from so long as you are within 10 feet of dim light. However, you cannot try to hide using your own shadow.

I know this uses the same name as a ranger’s class feature, but the flavour of that feature didn’t feel the same as what the shadowdancer was going for at all, and this also seemed like a key feature of the shadowdancer to me (hence also why I wanted it to be their 3rd level feature), so I decided to come up with my own implementation of it, despite sharing the same name. Some of the wording (i.e. “dim light”) was based on these related Q&As. My concern is that this might be too powerful for a 3rd level feature; if this could end up being functionally the same as casting invisibility at will, then maybe this would be better off as the 17th level feature?

Shadow Sight. At 3rd level, you gain darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. If you already have darkvision from your race, its range increases by 30 feet.

This is taken directly from the Gloom Stalker ranger’s Umbral Sight feature. It seemed the best way to implement the Darkvision feature, a better fit in my opinion than Eyes of the Dark from the Shadow Sorcerer, which was my other choice. I didn’t want the rest of the Umbral Sight feature, though, since being hiding from enemies in the dark is what the Hide in Plain Sight feature above is for. That said, taking Umbral Sight as-is instead of Hide in Plain Sight might solve any problems from my concerns with it being too powerful, since if it’s good enough for Gloom Stalker rangers at 3rd level, it should be good enough here.

Shadow Jump. At 9th level, you gain the ability to step from one shadow into another. When you are in dim light or darkness, as a bonus action you can teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness. You then have advantage on the first melee attack you make before the end of the turn.

This is exactly Shadow Step from the Way of Shadows monk. Hence 9th level seems appropriate given that a Way of Shadows monk would have had this at 6th level.

Shadow Illusion. At 13th level, you can create visual illusions from shadows. You can cast silent image once per long rest.

This seems kinda weak to me. I’m not sure whether I should make it stronger, like having it be once per short rest, or adding more spells like Shadow Arts from the Way of Shadows monk, or whether it should be moved to be an earlier feature, perhaps something gained at 3rd level? The solution I’ve gone with is having it be a ribbon feature alongside Shadowy Dodge (below), taken from the Gloom Stalker ranger, since it seemed to fit the Shadowdancer’s theme.

Shadowy Dodge. Starting at 13th level, you can dodge in unforeseen ways, with wisps of supernatural shadow around you. Whenever a creature makes an attack roll against you and doesn’t have advantage on the roll, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on it. You must use this feature before you know the outcome of the attack roll.

Taken directly from the Gloom Stalker ranger. As I said above, I gave the Shadowdancer this because it fits them thematically, and Shadow Illusion by itself didn’t seem like quite enough. Given that Gloom Stalker rangers get it at 15th level, it didn’t seem a problem for Shadowdancers to have it at 13th level, especially since it denies them the use of Uncanny Dodge as well. I’m aware that it becomes stronger once rogues reach 18th level and get the Elusive feature, so I’m not sure if that would unbalance this significantly; I’m assuming probably not?

Summon Shadow. At 17th level, you can summon a shadow, an undead shade. As an action, you summon a shadow, which uses the statistics of a wraith from the Monster Manual, but it’s alignment matches yours and it does not have the Create Spectre action. The shadow lasts until it is dropped to 0 hit points, at which point it disappears. If you summon another shadow whilst you already have a shadow summoned, the first one disappears. You can use this feature again once you finish a long rest.

I was a little unsure of what to do with this one. Summoning an ally (which can help you get sneak attack) seemed like a powerful ability, but merely summoning a CR 1/2 shadow seemed rather underwhelming for a 17th level ability, so I increased it to a CR 5 creature, a wraith. It might be that I’d be better off keeping it as a CR 1/2 shadow and swapping this feature with Hide in Plain Sight, since summoning a shadow might seem better off as a low level ability after all, and the Hide in Plain Sight can get away with being effectively at-will invisibility. However, this is the solution I’ve gone for.

Question

My question is simply: is this balanced compared to other roguish archetypes?

The above was designed with flavour in mind, which I’d rather keep as much as possible, but I have also considered the balance implications by taking other features from other classes where possible, and trying to place them at the levels where I believe they are the most balanced.

However, my commentaries above show that I have a couple of “backup plans”, such as changing my 3rd level features for Umbral Sight from the Gloom Stalker ranger as-is alongside Shadow Illusion, or to make Summon Shadow a 3rd level ability and Hide in Plain Sight a 17th level ability. If my above attempt has balance issues, hopefully one or more of these backup plans would resolve those issues?

In Pathfinder 2e, what is the key ability for an archetype’s Class DC?

Taking certain archetype dedication feats, you become trained in the archetype class’s class DC, as for example in Monk Dedication:

You become trained in monk class DC.

(https://2e.aonprd.com/Archetypes.aspx?ID=8)

The dedication feat does not specify a key ability for the new class DC. Conversely, a key spellcasting ability is specified for spellcasters (e.g. Sorcerer Dedication):

Your key spellcasting ability for sorcerer archetype spells is Charisma,

( https://2e.aonprd.com/Archetypes.aspx?ID=11 )

The rules state the class DC is based on the class’s key ability’s modifier:

This DC equals 10 plus their proficiency bonus for their class DC (+3 for most 1st-level characters) plus the modifier for the class’s key ability score.

(https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=102)

For several classes, the key ability is not clearly defined: Champion, Fighter and Monk all have “STRENGTH or DEXTERITY”, and the key ability for Rogues depends on their racket, which you do not choose in an archetype dedication.

So, what ability is used for calculating the new Class DC? Do I:

  • choose freely from the available options (using Dexterity for Rogue Dedication because it has no racket)?
  • use the key ability from my main class?
  • or don’t apply an ability modifier at all because no ability is specified?

Is the overwhelming soul archetype balanced with regard to a normal kineticist and other kineticist archetypes?

I was looking at archetypes for the kineticists and found Overwhelming Soul it doesn’t seem like it gives much of a benefit. You gain a couple of good skills, get the ability to lower burn by one point once per day, and gain the hit and damage roll bonus without relying on burn. In exchange, you lose the ability to take burn which restricts what wild talents you can use. Not to mention you have multiple ways to manage burn. I don’t really see the real benefit it feels like one of those archetypes that give to little in exchange for to much. Is that just me?

Would multiclassing in the same class (different non-stacking archetypes) break the game too much?

I know that as per RAW you can stack multiple archetype as long they dont conflict when changing the same class feature.

But would it be too game breaking to treat 2 non-stacking archetypes as different classes?

I mean, the game allows a 10 barbarian (titan mauler) 10 fighter (Two-Handed Fighter) to exist, but not a 10 fighter (titan fighter) 10 fighter (Two-Handed Fighter).

As far I understand, the idea of no stacking is to prevent receiving x features at the cost of x/2.

So treating to non-stacking archetypes as differents this problem would be resolved no?


And just to point it out, I know that some archetypes are fundamentally opposed, for example a 2-handed fighter and a tower shield specialist.

But ignoring this cases, would it be possible?

Is there any cost key for creating new archetypes?

When I read over the archetypes and races examples in the core book I noticed that I was NOT able to find any calculation key for how many xp are left for a character hailing from this archetype. In the end I used a key myself that looked a bit similar…..per + in an attribute that has no corresponding – in another one I reduced 10 XP from a total of 110. And for each special ability aside from teh basic + in 2 skills also results in 10 xp less.

Still though even with that I did not come close to some of the races. So I guess that there was no dedicated cost key that was being used in the examples.

Thus the question here: IS there any cost key?

Can the Separatist and Scroll Scholar cleric archetypes be combined?

Each of these archetypes changes something about how the cleric’s domains work, and I’m not sure if they can be combined.

The Separatist chooses one domain from those that their deity normally offers and a secondary domain that can be almost anything. For that secondary domain:

Granted powers from the cleric’s second domain function as if the cleric’s level, Wisdom, and Charisma were 2 lower than normal (minimum level 1) in terms of effect, DC, and uses per day. This also means the separatist doesn’t gain the domain’s higher-level ability until 2 levels later than normal. If the second domain grants additional class skills, the separatist gains these as normal.

The Scroll Scholar gets Diligent Student, which

…replaces one of the 1st-level granted powers from her domains—the character gets to choose which of her two 1st-level granted powers it replaces.

Here are the ways that I could see this getting ruled:

  1. The archetypes cannot be combined, because both of them modify the Domains class feature
  2. The archetypes can be combined, but Diligent Student has to replace the ability from the primary domain, because that is the only domain power the cleric has at 1st level.
  3. The archetypes can be combined, and Diligent Student can replace the second domain’s 1st level power, even though the cleric wouldn’t normally get that power until level 3.
  4. The archetypes can be combined, but Diligent Student won’t be usable until level 3 if it replaces the second domain’s ability. In this case, Diligent Student functions as if the cleric was 2 levels lower, just like the second domain.

Is there an official way that these archetypes would work together, or are they / should they be mutually exclusive?