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I am playing Pathfinder with a character who is a Fighter with the Polearm Master archetype. There is an ability that the Fighter (sans archetype) earns at third level called "Armor Training," which allows, among other things, moving at his normal speed while wearing Medium Armor. I particularly want this ability, or something comparable to it, so that my character can wear Mithral Full Plate and move full speed. However, this ability is replaced by the Polearm Master's ability, "Steadfast Pike."


First, I assume that you cannot (RAW) opt out of acquiring the Polearm Master's class ability and instead acquire the base fighter ability. Given that assumption, can you multi-class into Fighter, advance to level 3, and earn the ability that way?

If that is legal, what advantages or disadvantages are there to this approach?

  • Do you only gain the benefits of Favored Class with one of the two fighter classes?
  • For the purpose of feats that require you to be a Fighter of a given level, do you add both classes together?
  • Does the calculation of bonus feats change (from remaining a single-class fighter)?
  • Does this affect the ability to re-sell a feat at 4th level (i.e., would you need to reach 4th level as a core Fighter or as a Polearm Master rather than being a 2nd level Polearm master and 2nd level core fighter)?
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You may just want to ask your DM if you can swap your Steadfast Pike ability for Armor Training. – Cypher Jan 9 '13 at 22:52
The DM already said that I couldn't swap it. However, one of the Polearm Master abilities, Sweeping Fend, is nearly useless as written. I'll see if I can swap that one out for Armor Training 1 instead. – corvec Jan 11 '13 at 15:02
up vote 11 down vote accepted

No, you cannot multiclass with the same class (or with an alternate class based on that class) regardless of archetype.

Read the d20PFSRD section on character advancement.

No, you may not pick and choose alternate abilities.

Read the d20PFSRD section on class archetypes.

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@corvec, it specifically states new class. You cannot take the same class twice, and applying an archetype to a class doesn't make it count as a different class. – Steve G Jan 7 '13 at 23:40

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