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GM Tools / Free Archetype Variant

Gaining a Free Archetype

Source Starfinder Enhanced pg. 184
The differences between a regular character and a free-archetype character begin when the character reaches 2nd level (or the first level at which that archetype provides an alternate feature). At that point, the player should choose an archetype their character meets the prerequisites of (if any) to gain that archetype’s first alternate class feature for free, in addition to gaining any of the normal features of their class. While using this system, you treat a PC’s character level as their class level for the purposes of archetype selection and abilities. As the character levels up, they continue to gain that archetype’s alternate class features (at 4th, 6th, 9th, 12th, and/or 18th levels) without having to alter or replace their normal class features. If the archetype offers a choice of alternate class features at a particular level, the player can make that choice freely but must still choose an alternate class feature they qualify for. If an archetype doesn’t offer an alternate class feature at a particular level, the player gains a bonus feat instead (they must still meet the prerequisites for that feat).
Depending on the campaign, the GM might restrict the archetypes that can be chosen, perhaps even to a single archetype (such as the phrenic adept for a group that has experienced a shared psychic awakening).
Unlike a normal archetype, this free archetype isn’t attached to a particular class, so a player can multiclass and continue to advance in their chosen free archetype. A player can also add different archetypes to their character as normal.