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I thought I understood how Archetypes work, since they're relatively simple in concept - if you take an archetype, you replace some class abilities with new ones, and this seems to hold up fine for Envoy, Mechanic, Operative, Soldier and Solarian, even the Technomancer.

However, I found a strange case in the Mystic replaced class feature at level 9. According to the list on p127, if an Archetype has a feature at 9th Level, then the Mystic either loses a feat or healing touch. A Mystic acquires Healing Touch at level 1 - how is this meant to work? Is it actually a typo, and meant to replace the Connection power you are supposed to gain at level 9?

Also, just how does the lost feat option work if you aren't single-classing as a Phrenic Mystic, and so actually take Phrenic Mystic level 9 as your 10th character level? Do you give up your NEXT feat? Do you have to give up a feat at some point before hitting level 9, in the hopes that you will eventually get there? Do you drop an already learned feat when you get that feature?

The Starfinder Forerunner archetype doesn't replace anything at level 9, so a Mystic Starfinder Forerunner doesn't raise this question.

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All replacements happen as soon as you take the first level in a class you would gain benefits from the archetype for. For phrenic Adept, that's level 2. At second level you would have to choose to either lose healing touch or a feat for this later 9th level ability, along with all the other choices made with regards to the archetype. Since the feat you loose is not specified, you can choose the feat you would gain from progression at any level, for example the feat you will gain at level 19, or level 119. This is probably an error and you should lose the feat gained from progression at 9th level. If you choose the feat gained at first level, you lose the feat you chose at first level.

It's possible, but not necessarily the case, that the Mystic is supposed to lose the ninth level feature instead, but there's not a quorum of evidence there.

While Starfinder frequently seems to treat feats as if they were part of a character's class progression, they aren't. Feat progression is tied to overall character level, rather than class level, so giving up feat progression for an archetype choice hurts you when you hit the relevant level in total character levels and not just class levels in that class. Furthermore, while you can take multiple archetypes so long as they don't replace the same class feature it's unclear what happens if you replace the same feats, though with the current multiclass/archetype options and the general rule on the new archetypes that you can't put an archetype you have on another class when you multiclass that may not be a problem yet.

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