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)?
  • \$\begingroup\$ You may just want to ask your DM if you can swap your Steadfast Pike ability for Armor Training. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cypher
    Jan 9, 2013 at 22:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$
    – corvec
    Jan 11, 2013 at 15:02

3 Answers 3


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.


From: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/class-archetypes/

In general, if a class feature grants multiple subfeatures, it’s OK to take two archetypes that only change two separate subfeatures. This includes two bard archetypes that alter or replace different bardic performances (even though bardic performance is technically a single class feature) or two fighter archetypes that replace the weapon training gained at different levels (sometimes referred to as “weapon training I, II, III, or IV”) even though those all fall under the class feature weapon training. However, if something alters the way the parent class feature works, such as a mime archetype that makes all bardic performances completely silent, with only visual components instead of auditory, you can’t take that archetype with an archetype that alters or replaces any of the sub-features.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ This question is not about taking multiple archetypes in the normal way, it's about whether archetypes cause the class to count as a different class for the purposes of multiclassing. That is, the asker wants to know if they can take, say, levels 1-3 of class A with archetype Orange, then multiclass and take levels 1-3 again but this time with archetype Blue. Instead of being a level 6 A (Orange, Blue), they want to be a level 3 A (Orange) / level 3 A (Blue). \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Mar 19, 2017 at 1:11

Over five years late, but yes you can. No rules specify that you can't take Druid(Druid of the Storm) Level 15 and Druid with the herbalism potions instead of animal companion Level 5. You would have two seperate spell lists for your two druid classes, and be required to track any non stacking abilities seperately, like wild shape. This would also prevent you from hitting your level 20 endcap unless the game continues beyond that.

I've looked at both D20PFSRD quoted as an answer(Class Archetypes and Character Advancement), and neither state anywhere that you can't take the same class. They only state that you can't stack archetypes that both remove or change the same feature in the same class. As the herbalism rules as part of the base Druid alter the animal companion feature, and the storm drid removes the animal companion entirely, they can't stack, but can be taken seperately.

In the fighter example, your core class would advance normally again once you had the three levels of fighter you desired to get Armor Training 1. Also note that for non fighters, the loss of caster and spell levels hurts.

Your favored class will remain the class you started with. That means archetype, the levels won't stack there.

In summary: Yes, you can multi-class to the core class from an archetype according to the rules, since you're multi-classing, not stacking archetypes.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you backup any references that an archetype and the base class are considered different classes? \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Aug 6, 2018 at 14:03
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ It seems to be generally agreed on the internet/paizo forums/etc. that you cannot multiclass into the same class - as when you level, you choose to either advance a level in an existing class or gain a level in a new class, and a different archetype doesn't count as a different class so isn't "new". Could you address that argument in your answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Aug 6, 2018 at 14:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer is right, as seen on a quick search at paizo messageboards (and notice the amount of topics with the same title). \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Aug 6, 2018 at 14:06
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Take the tour. Try not to take the downvotes personally! Differing perspectives and minority voices really are both welcome and worthwhile, but such opinions do have a higher bar for proof and accuracy. Consider attempting to find support for this answer's position rather than having it rely on the absence of evidence as evidence. No matter what, though, thank you for participating and have fun. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 6, 2018 at 14:23

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