I'm about to start my first pathfinder campaign and have a few questions about multiclassing and replaced abilities.

Consider, for example, that both Monk and Rogue grant Evasion.

  1. If a character has a couple levels from both, and then adds Zen Archer (which replaces evasion), does it only replace the evasion granted by the Monk, leaving the Rogue instance, or does it replace both (all instances on the character), or is this prohibited (either Monk+Rogue, or adding ZA)?
  2. If it's allowed, does that mean you can take a Monk archetype that replaces [monk] evasion and a Rogue archetype that replaces [rogue] evasion at the same time?
  3. If you only take the monk archetype, keeping the base Rogue levels, does the character still benefit from the Rogue evasion?

After finding and reading this question:

Pathfinder: How does taking 2 archetypes in from the same core class work?

It sounds like this scenario may be allowed, based on the answer in that question. That question however seems more general so I'm not sure it's really a duplicate, though the answer may apply to both...

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey Josh, welcome to the site! I wanted to let you know something that isn't an answer but is an important rule in Pathfinder. You can't take levels in a class and levels in an archetype of the class separately... you're either that class with or without the archetype. In your example, all of your Monk levels would need to be Zen Archer levels if you want that archetype. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jun 14, 2017 at 12:15

2 Answers 2


When an archetype replaces a class feature, the archetype replaces that class feature only for that class: "Each alternate class feature presented in an archetype replaces or alters a specific class feature from its base class" (emphasis mine). In the question's example, for instance, a monk 2/rogue 2 that had taken a rogue archetype that replaced the rogue's class feature evasion would still have evasion from his levels of monk (unless, of course, he took a monk archetype that replaced that, too).

Also, to be clear, after taking levels in a class, a creature typically cannot take a class's archetype: "When a player selects a class for his character, he could choose to use the standard class features found in the class’s original description, but he could also choose to adopt an archetype" or multiple compatible archetypes.

That is, when his character gains a level—even the character's first level—the player picks for the character a class and, if the player wants, simultaneously picks one archetype or two or more compatible archetypes for that class and keeps those archetypes throughout the character's career. This means, for instance, a creature can't have 2 levels of monk then 2 more levels of zen archer monk nor can the typical creature take 2 levels of monk then add the archetype zen archer

(Note that the rules for retraining—in addition to allowing a character to abandon and adopt archetypes—also liberalizes the general archetype adoption rules above, permitting a character to skip adopting an archetype until the archetype would actually change one of his class features. If the GM's using the retraining rules at all—even if your character doesn't have an archetype—, the retraining rules are well worth reading!)

  • \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth clarifying that an archetype does not need to be added until its first feature kicks in. Since this occurs at level 1 for the Zen Archer, it needs to be decided when the first level of monk is taken. On the other hand, a Slayer doesn't need to decide whether they want the Scout archetype until they are about to take their 4th Slayer level. This works out the same in this example, but your last paragraph suggests that it works differently in the general case. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 14, 2017 at 20:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The above comment is sourced from the Retraining rules: "Note that you don’t have to use the retraining rules to take an archetype if your class level is low enough that the archetype doesn’t modify any of your current class abilities. For example, if you’re a 1st-level fighter who wants the archer archetype, that archetype doesn’t replace any class abilities until fighter level 2, so you don’t need to use the retraining rules at all—once you reach 2nd level, you can just decide to take the archer archetype." \$\endgroup\$ Jun 14, 2017 at 20:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JaredGoguen I was unaware of that! However, as that contradicts the general rules for archetypes, I'm unsure exactly how to apply that. I'll do my best to work it in anyway, though. Thank you. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 14, 2017 at 21:02

An archetype only modifies the features from the class it is an archetype of. It doesn't cancel all the occurrences of this features on all your classes.

For example if you are a Zen Archer Monk you get all Zen Archer Monk features (which don't involve evasion). If on top of that you are also a Rogue, you get all the Rogue features (which involve evasion).

You can also take that in reverse: get all rogue features (including evasion), then Zen Archer Monk features (which doesn't include evasion).

Whatever the way you take it you will get evasion (from Rogue), and it doesn't matter that you took another class that doesn't grant it.


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