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20180430-Preview

Common Ground

When it comes to using game rules to simulate a fantasy setting, one thing that's always been in the background in Pathfinder has been the idea that certain monsters, types of armor, and so on are more common in some areas than in others. For instance, Pathfinder First Edition's rules for the Knowledge skill rely on the fact that some monsters are more commonly known, though it doesn't really define which are which. Meanwhile, there are circumstances such as the spell Echean's excellent enclosure from Rival Guide where knowledge of a spell is closely guarded by its creator (in this case, an evil 20th-level wizard).

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

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PFSUpdates2

Pathfinder Society 3: Organized Playtest

The past few months have been busy for the organized play team, from many of us traveling to give fans sneak peaks of the Pathfinder Playtest to our developing a huge number of scenarios to launch at PaizoCon, Origins, and Gen Con (more on those Gen Con adventures in several upcoming preview blogs). We've also been discussing many of the features in a Second Edition Pathfinder Society campaign, as we introduced in our initial playtest blog as well as the blog that followed. We'll be getting into some of our ideas—including some possibilities for incentivizing special events without gating material—and takeaways from your feedback shortly after Gen Con.

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Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Playtest Pathfinder Society

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20180709-Preview

Sorcerer Class Preview

Their magical blood gives sorcerers their spellcasting power, and it's been a major part of the class since Pathfinder's inception. So for the Pathfinder Playtest, we're going all in: your character's bloodline determines her spell list!

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Seoni Sorcerers Wayne Reynolds

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20180326-Preview2

It’s a Trap!

Hazards are some of the most common challenges in Pathfinder, apart from monsters, and the most common hazards are traps. Most of the hazards in the Pathfinder Playtest are traps, but there are also environmental hazards like mold and quicksand, or even haunts. Rather than have different rules for each type of hazard, in the playtest, hazards all have a unified format, though how you might find them and deal with them can be quite different.

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Tags: Merisiel Pathfinder Playtest Rogues Wayne Reynolds

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20180702-Preview

Ranger Class Preview

Rangers have a long tradition in heroic adventure. Whether they're portrayed as lone striders keeping the edges of the wilderness free of the threats that lurch forth from the world's shadows, as hunters tracking down fugitives or beasts, or as skilled archers serving as a scouting force for a local lord or group of village elders, rangers have a special place in our fantastical imagination.

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Tags: Harsk Pathfinder Playtest Rangers Wayne Reynolds

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20180409-Card

Potency and Potions

Earlier this week, Logan gave you the skinny on Resonance and how it interacts with some iconic and all-new magic items. If you missed out on Logan's explanation of Resonance, you might want to take a look here before reading on, because we're going to come back to it at the end of the blog. You got how Resonance works? Good. Now forget about it, we're going to talk about weapons instead.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

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20180625-Preview

Trinkets and Treasures

Wayfinder. Bag of holding. Ring of the ram. Staff of power. Holy avenger. The magic items you find during your adventures become a part of your story and let you do things beyond the techniques you've mastered and the spells you know. So how do these essentials of the game work in the Pathfinder Playtest?

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180622-Preview

Archetypes for All

Over the years, we have added a wide variety of new rules to Pathfinder First Edition, but none has been so well received as archetypes. It's no surprise that archetypes found such universal appeal. Allowing you to play a more specialized character, they let you play the character you want to play in a way that a single class often cannot support.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180618-Preview

Monk Class Preview

Monks choose whether their key ability is Strength or Dexterity, which will determine the DC of some of their abilities. Their selection of initial proficiencies looks pretty different from most classes! First off, they have expert proficiency in all their saving throws. Monks aren't trained in any weapons, but they are trained in all unarmed attacks. They also get powerful fist, which increases the damage die of their fists and lets them make lethal strikes without penalty when using normally nonlethal unarmed attacks. Further, they're untrained in armor, but get graceful expertise at 1st level, which gives them expert proficiency in unarmored defense (everybody else is only trained).

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180409-Card

Conditions

Conditions were a significant part of Pathfinder First Edition, giving a set package of rules to effects like being blinded or fatigued. You might be wondering what kind of condition our conditions are in!

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

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20180611-Preview

Barbarian Class Preview

Rage consumes you in battle. You delight in carving through your enemies using powerful weapons and wreaking havoc without needing complicated techniques or rigid training, and you rely on your astonishing durability to get you through a fight. You associate your rage with a traditional symbol of affinity known as a totem, which might take the form of an animal, a spirit, or even a part of yourself. To many barbarians, brute force is a hammer and every problem looks like a nail; to others, the dark emotions within them are something to hold back and release only when it matters most.

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Tags: Amiri Barbarians Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180409-Card

Feats of Skill

Now that Stephen has explained Pathfinder Second Edition's skills and how they work, it's time to look at the goodies you can earn as you level up: skill feats! Every character gets at least 10 skill feats, one at every even-numbered level, though rogues get 20, and you can always take a skill feat instead of a general feat. At their most basic level, skill feats allow you to customize how you use skills in the game, from combat tricks to social exploits, from risk-averse failure prevention to high-risk heroism. If you'd ever rather just have more trained skills than special techniques with the skills you already have, you can always take the Skill Training skill feat to do just that. Otherwise, you're in for a ride full of options, depending on your proficiency rank.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

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20180406-Preview

Learning Takes a Lifetime

While the kind of armor you wear, weapon you wield, and spells you know can be important measures of your character's power, your choice in skills is indicative of your character's depth. Is your character good at feats of acrobatics? Can they recall knowledge with scholastic effortlessness? Are they the sneakiest sneaker in the sneakerverse? Your skills may aid you in the thick of a fight, but they also enhance your effect on the world when the ringing of steel and the whizzing of spells subside.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

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20180601-Preview

Spending Your Downtime

Hey, everybody! It's our first design blog after PaizoCon! It was great getting a chance to show the game off for the attendees there and collect your comments after your first chance to play. But what if we looked at something there wasn't a chance to demo at the convention?

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

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PaizoPreview

Hail the Gauntlet!

Thank you to everyone who donated to Paizo's 2018 team for the Gauntlet charity tournament. Team Paizo fought hard in Tak, but a catastrophic Valeria round tumbled us towards the bottom, and we clawed our way back up to 11th, and almost as high as 8th, with an awesome performance on the final Puzzle Hunt round. Thanks to all of you, including an incredible last-minute donation over $1,000, we also unlocked an astonishing number of blog segments revealing further secrets about previously blogged classes. This will be a monster-length blog, so strap in for a long ride!

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Tags: Charity Community The Gauntlet Pathfinder Playtest

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20180521-Preview

Wizard Class Preview

With Paizocon getting underway in just a few days, we wanted to round out our previews by looking at the final class that you will be able to play at the show. So, without further delay, it's time to look at the wizard!

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Tags: Ezren Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds Wizards

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20180518-Preview

Attack the Stat Block

In Monday's monster blog, Mark told you about some of the changes we made to monsters to make them more engaging and easy to run. So how did we turn all that into something you can use? Well, we put a lot of thought into making a new monster stat block that would be more concise, while remaining flexible enough that we can still keep a similar level of complexity for some of our most powerful and iconic monsters.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180511-Preview

Building Monsters

We've talked in depth about many of the systematic changes and PC options in the blogs so far, but what about monsters? From animated objects to zombies, from the lowliest kobold to the mighty jabberwock, the Pathfinder Playtest Bestiary includes over 250 different monsters and other adversaries built specifically for the playtest. But what makes these monsters tick? We've worked to bring you many of your favorite Pathfinder monsters with their familiar feel and niche in the world, but with updated mechanics to make your encounters even more memorable!

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180406-Preview

Everyone Has a Past

While we all live moment-by-moment, we are also shaped by our past. This is especially true for adventurers. After all, very few elves at the ripe age of 14 think to themselves, "Hey, I think I'm going to become a barbarian." There is a path that leads the character to their class. It might synergize obviously with the class's discipline, or at first blush it might seem a non sequitur, but the path is there.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180507-Card

Paladin Class Preview

All it takes is a cursory browse of the Paizo forums to see that paladins are not just the most contentious class in Pathfinder, they are the most contentious conversation topic. Weeks before we previewed the class, multiple threads with thousands of posts arose in advance, filled with passionate fans with many different opinions and plenty of good ideas. Turns out, the Paizo office isn't too different.

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Tags: Paladins Pathfinder Playtest Seelah Wayne Reynolds

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20180504-Preview

Gearing Up!

In Monday's blog, we talked about weapons and all the plentiful options you have when you're picking those. So let's stay in the Equipment chapter for the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook and take a look at armor, other gear, and everything else having to do with items!

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180430-Preview

What's Your Weapon?

For many heroes, their choice of weapon says more about their personality and sense of aesthetics than their penchant for mechanical optimization. For others, form follows function, and still others blend the two. But what sort of weapon fits your personality best? Let's take a look at various weapons and figure it out!

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180427-Preview2

Eminent Domains

Deities and their domains are a big part of what makes clerics special. Logan set the stage with his cleric blog on Monday, so now let's get into the weeds and take a look at how we structured deities and domains.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

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PaizoCon2018-Preview

Pathfinder Playtest at PaizoCon 2018!

The Pathfinder Playtest doesn't release until August, but attendees at PaizoCon 2018 will get a chance to see the evolution of Pathfinder in action!

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Tags: Community Conventions PaizoCon PaizoCon 2018 Pathfinder Playtest

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20180423-Card

Cleric Class Preview

Clerics are the first spellcasters to get a preview, so you might want to look at the blog about spells before you proceed! We have a lot to say about this class, so let's cut to the chase!

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Tags: Clerics Kyra Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180409-Card

Secrets of Alchemy

Historically, alchemy was a protoscience with diverse traditions seen throughout the world. Its chemical discoveries were often explained and expanded upon using the metaphysical traditions of the practitioner's native culture. These alchemical experiments and observations were later refined by experimentation and rigor to become the modern science of chemistry.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

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20180416-Preview

All About Spells

Spells are magical formulas with esoteric components, including words of power, gestures, and unusual ingredients, that when taken together create extraordinary magical effects. Spells have always been a crucial part of Pathfinder and the fantasy genre as a whole. But what's new about spells in the playtest? Let's take a look!

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180413-Preview

Fuzzy Feet and Voles to Meet

Overlooked and disrespected, halflings and gnomes get by in their own way. Human society's misguided expectations don't mean much when you know who you are and what you're about. Let's take a look at the ancestry entries for these folks!

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180409-Card

Alchemist Class Preview

Just read any messageboards or comment threads, and you'll realize this truth about people: some of them love to throw bombs and blow things up. It's a visceral thrill. Lobbing bombs is dramatic and fun, and every so often all of us love to watch something burn. If you enjoy this activity more than most, do we have a class for you!

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180406-Preview

Big Beards and Pointy Ears

You know, after all this time being stuck next to each other in game books, dwarves and elves might be getting pretty sick of each other. Well, too bad for them—they get no respite in the Pathfinder Playtest! Today, we"ll be looking ahead to the newest versions of these classic folk by delving into their ancestry entries.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180402-Preview

Goblins!

Ever since the goblin song from page 12 of 2007's Pathfinder Adventure Path #1: Burnt Offerings, goblins have been a key part of what makes Pathfinder recognizable as Pathfinder. When we first started looking at what would become the ancestries in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, we knew that we wanted to add something to the mix, to broaden the horizon of what it meant to be a hero in Pathfinder. That naturally brought us to goblins.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180330-Preview2

Critical Hits and Critical Failures

In the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, when you roll your d20, there's more than just success and failure on the line. You can also critically succeed or critically fail at a variety of checks, from attack rolls, to saving throws, to skill checks and beyond. Rules like these have always been a part of Pathfinder—for example, if you fail a Climb check by 5 or more you fall, and if you fail a Disable Device check by 5 or more you set off the trap—but they are uncommon and not universally applied. In the playtest, we have a unified mechanic.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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PFSUpdates2

Pathfinder Society 2: Replay, Rewards, and Rebuilds

There's been a lot to follow, not only with the twice-weekly preview blogs for Pathfinder's second edition, but also in the many discussions about how these might affect Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. If didn't already see it, check out our earlier blog about Pathfinder Society in Second Edition, where I laid out some of our preliminary thoughts and inspirations with the invitation to give us feedback, brainstorm ideas, and help build an even better campaign.

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Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Playtest Pathfinder Society

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20180326-Preview2

Rogue Class Preview

Are you plagued by a friend and coworker who peppers his blogs with puns and ridiculous word plays, often dessert-based? Does it bother you so much that you fantasize about stabbing him in the back, but federal and local statutes (along with those pesky pangs of morality) stop you? Well, I have good news! You can play a rogue and take out your frustrations on your friend's monsters!

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Tags: Merisiel Pathfinder Playtest Rogues Wayne Reynolds

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20180323-Preview

Pathfinder a la Mode

No, we are not putting a scoop of ice cream on top of every copy of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, but we are adding flavor to the different parts of the game. You've probably heard a lot about it in the blogs and podcasts, but today we are dishing out a big scoop of news on the different modes of play in the next evolution of Pathfinder!

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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20180319-Preview

Fighter Class Preview

Over the past 2 weeks, we've tried to give you a sense of what Pathfinder Second Edition is all about, but now it's time to delve into some details on the classes. From now until the game releases in August, we'll go through the classes one by one, pausing now and then to look at various rules and systems. Today, let's take a look at one of the most foundational classes in the game: the fighter.

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Tags: Fighters Pathfinder Playtest Valeros Wayne Reynolds

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20180316-Preview2

Are You Proficient?

The term "proficiency" has been a part of the Pathfinder rules since the very beginning, but in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, we've expanded the concept to cover more than just weapons and armor. In the new proficiency system, your proficiency matters for just about every check you attempt and DC you have. You don't just have proficiency in weapons, which helps when you swing a sword, or proficiency in armor, which protects you when you try to avoid a blow—instead, proficiency covers everything from axes to spells, from Acrobatics to Thievery, and from Perception to Will saves. Your proficiency in Fortitude saves can allow you to shake off virulent poisons in an instant, and your proficiency in Diplomacy might help you stop a fight before it begins. There are five different ranks of proficiency.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds

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PFSUpdates2

Pathfinder Society 2, Expanding on the FAQ

By now many of you have heard that Paizo's launching a playtest for a second edition of Pathfinder RPG. This sort of news inspires all sorts of questions, so be sure you've checked out the Pathfinder Playtest FAQ. In short, Paizo will release the playtest book, pdf, and a playtest adventure at Gen Con 2018, gathering your input to revise the game and release it in full at Gen Con 2019.

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Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Playtest Pathfinder Society

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HarskPreview

Leveling Up!

With the Pathfinder Playtest, we're looking to level up the entire Pathfinder game. And that means leveling up... leveling up! Gaining new levels and the toys that come with them is a core part of Pathfinder First Edition, and we want to make it more rewarding in the new edition. So how do you level up?

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

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Pathfinder Module: Crypt of the Everflame (PFRPG)

Pathfinder Playtest: Return to the Crypt

As part of our announcement for Pathfinder Second Edition, we recorded a game session with the hilarious crew from the Glass Cannon Network. They were kind enough to invite us to their studio in New York, where Erik Mona and I playtested the game with them, converting the first ever Pathfinder Module, Crypt of the Everflame, to the new rules.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

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20180307-Preview

All About Actions

One of the most important aspects of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is combat. Monsters and villains are a very real threat that adventurers have to deal with on a daily basis, and quiet negotiation is rarely the answer. When talking fails, swords are drawn and combat is joined. In Pathfinder First Edition, combat could become rather bogged down just by the weight of options available. Time and time again, we heard new players talk about the complexity of the action system, how it made the game slow down as players looked to eke the most out of their turns.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

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20180306-Preview

First Look at the Pathfinder Playtest

Just shy of 10 years ago, on March 18th, 2008, we asked you to take a bold step with us and download the Alpha Playtest PDF for Pathfinder First Edition. Over the past decade, we've learned a lot about the game and the people who play it. We've talked with you on forums, we've gamed with you at conventions, and we've watched you play online and in person at countless venues. We went from updating mechanics to inventing new ones, adding a breadth of options to the game and making the system truly our own. We've made mistakes, and we've had huge triumphs. Now it is time to take all of that knowledge and make the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game even better.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest