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Society Unchained

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ever since its announcement nearly a year ago, players and GMs alike have been speculating about what would appear in Pathfinder Unchained. It was only a short step from there to start wondering what would appear in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. We started exploring this same question early in the book's production, and even then it was clear that some sections would not be a good fit for the campaign, others would absolutely play a role, and many others would require closer study. With the generous assistance of the Pathfinder Design Team and numerous volunteers, we were able to weigh the pros and cons and finalize what our Pathfinders might see in the field.

We'll start by discussing some of the sub-systems that likely come as no surprise to anyone, largely because they would require massive character rebuilds, severely impact how the game works for someone who just has the Core Rulebook, or require us to scrap the current XP system. Much of Chapter 3 (Gameplay) falls into this category; removing alignment, ditching iterative attacks, altering poison, heavy revising action economy, and introducing wound thresholds would invalidate considerable chunks of existing scenarios and possibly wreck how many of our existing characters function. Other features reference gameplay elements that simply don't appear in the organized play campaign, so dynamic item creation, alternate profession rules, fractional base bonuses, and staggered advancement are not a good fit. As intriguing as the many new skill options look, imposing consolidated skills, grouped skills, or background skills would just be too disruptive for a campaign in its seventh year. The same is true for many of the magic systems, including simplified spellcasting, spell alterations, automatic bonus progressions, and innate item bonuses.


Illustration by Tomasz Chistowski

Several other systems were not so cut and dry. We discussed the stamina pool system for quite a while before deciding not to include it; it is an extensive section that we may revisit in the future, but at this time it is not available in the campaign. We came to a similar conclusion for variant multiclassing. We are adding the Signature Skill feat for exclusive use by the unchained rogue—which I suppose spoils a later surprise. John is very excited to include esoteric components and scaling items on a few Chronicle sheets, but these items are not available for purchase otherwise.

Still, we imagine Chapter 1 (Classes) is the topic everyone is waiting for, and we have seen many of you making fairly accurate predictions. All four Pathfinder Unchained classes—barbarian, monk, rogue, and summoner—will be legal for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The unchained barbarian, monk, and rogue are available in addition to the versions that appear in the Core Rulebook; as noted on page 8 of Pathfinder Unchained, "These classes can be used alongside their original counterparts (although individual characters must use one version or the other exclusively)."

In fact, we're so excited about these classes that we're announcing a one-time limited rebuild to anyone with one or more levels in these classes, allowing those characters to switch any levels in the four classes to their unchained version at no cost. This includes the automatic retraining of any rage powers or rogue talents, as well as the free retraining and selling at full cost of any feats, items, and other character options that no long function properly due to the unchained classes features. For example, a rogue automatically gains the ability to add her Dexterity bonus to damage, so she could sell back her +1 agile rapier at full price. Likewise, a barbarian with the Raging Vitality feat would no longer benefit from its increased Constitution bonus, so she could retrain that feat for free. Much like when we have offered free faction changes in the past, you'll need to take advantage of this opportunity before you play the character after April 29, 2015.

You may notice that we did not say the unchained summoner would be available alongside its Advanced Player's Guide counterpart. Effective immediately, the Advanced Player's Guide summoner is no longer available in the organized play campaign, and the unchained summoner is its legal replacement. However, we recognize that someone who already has a summoner (and the book to play it) should not be punished for this change. Therefore, if you have a character with levels in the summoner class, and you have played the character at least once at level 2 or higher, you get to keep your summoner as is; you may also continue to gain levels in the summoner class. Any character gaining a level in summoner for the first time must use the unchained summoner, and anyone character still within the 1st-level window of free rebuilding must also use the unchained summoner.

As a final note, we want to advise folks about archetype and other features' compatibility for the unchained classes for the organized play campaign.

  • The unchained barbarian qualifies for any archetype that does not modify how the rage class feature operates (such as the urban barbarian archetype), and she is limited to any barbarian rage power that appears in Chapter 1 (including the rage powers on page 13)
  • The unchained monk does not qualify for any archetypes, save those in future publications that specifically cite their compatibility with the unchained monk class.
  • The unchained rogue qualifies for all existing rogue archetypes, but she is limited to any rogue talents listed in Chapter 1 (including the sidebar on page 24).
  • The unchained summoner qualifies for all existing summoner archetypes, save those that modify the eidolon's type or base form.

The Pathfinder Society Team

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Amiri Barbarians Iconics Monks Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Society Rogues Summoners Tomasz Chistowski
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Grand Lodge *

I'm kinda disappointed only the new classes made it in. But I guess the rest was just too jarring. I was hoping the stamina system would make it in. And frankly I'm surprised that VMC didn't make it in.

*

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looks like I will not be able to play a plant Summoner in PFS.

*****

Whooo! Sweeeeet.

Shadow Lodge ****

I need to use a monks head as a crystal ball more often...

****

Excellent, thank you.

Sovereign Court **** RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Glad to read the decisions. I'm sad to see that the VMC is *not* available currently, and hope that you revisit the situation. The potential to augment certain archetypes to make them fit their 'niche' better. (Fighter or Magus for the Arcane Duelist, or Bard for the Lore Warden for example.) While I'd not expect retraining of existing classes as an option, I'd have liked to have seen it open for future characters.

As I read "We are adding the Signature Skill feat for exclusive use by the unchained rogue" are you saying that signature skills are not 'unlocked' for rogues, rather rogues can take the feat to unlock one skill?

***

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I was really hoping the stamina system and variant multiclassing would make it in.. Yes they would have taken some work to add, but I didn't think it'd be that bad..

Oh well. Quite disappointed.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also, could we please get a list that spells out which Summoner archetypes are still allowed?

Shadow Lodge ****

This would mean that you can make an unchained ninja, since the ninja is an archtype?

Scarab Sages *

I am very pleased with this! We have a few more character options, but we aren't forcing an entire new set of rules on everyone. I look forward to seeing the regular classes interact with the Unchained ones.

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Morris wrote:
As I read "We are adding the Signature Skill feat for exclusive use by the unchained rogue" are you saying that signature skills are not 'unlocked' for rogues, rather rogues can take the feat to unlock one skill?

My reading is that Rogues get it at level 5 as normal, and noone else may take the feat to unclock it.

Grand Lodge *****

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Clarification, please.

If someone has a summoner theyve already played at level 2 and can therefore keep the APG summoner class, but wants to do the free retrain into the Unchained summoner, can they do that, or would they need to pay for the retraining?

*****

BigNorseWolf wrote:
This would mean that you can make an unchained ninja, since the ninja is an archtype?

1. It's an alternate class, not an archetype.

2. From UC it says: The ninja is an alternate class for the rogue core class.

So I wouldnt expect that.

Lantern Lodge **

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Hi!

If you have a summoner at level 2 or higher and you want to rebuild into unchained summoner is that allowed?

Cheers

Kenny

**** Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein-Main aka GreyYeti

A question:
Does the free rebuild include summoners?

edit: wow, double ninja'd

*****

Seth Gipson wrote:

Clarification, please.

If someone has a summoner theyve already played at level 2 and can therefore keep the APG summoner class, but wants to do the free retrain into the Unchained summoner, can they do that, or would they need to pay for the retraining?

Yes, seems to include APG Summoners:

"In fact, we're so excited about these classes that we're announcing a one-time limited rebuild to anyone with one or more levels in these classes, allowing those characters to switch any levels in the four classes to their unchained version at no cost."


I would like to know about the Ninja too, as well as if Rogues(and Ninjas?) will be able to retrain their first level feat, since they got full BAB (and therefore qualify for quite a few combat feats that would've been nice to have taken that early)

Paizo Employee ***** Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Seth Gipson wrote:

Clarification, please.

If someone has a summoner theyve already played at level 2 and can therefore keep the APG summoner class, but wants to do the free retrain into the Unchained summoner, can they do that, or would they need to pay for the retraining?

If player wants, she can freely retrain an APG summoner into an unchained summoner.

****

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Questions:

First, what about the new scaleable magic items? Are they legal?

Second, how does the barbarian rage changes affect abilities based on Rage like the Rage subdomain? Also does this change do anything to affect the stats of creatures in scenarios?

Lastly, are these changes Core legal?


Maybe I've missed it in the myriad of posts followed by Unchained announcement, but… what will happen to the rest of the publishing line? Will we see new options for core classes alongside unchained classes in future books — like player companions? Or everything will remain unchanged, relying on a conversion system presented in the unchained book?

Liberty's Edge *

"you'll need to take advantage of this opportunity before you play the character after April 27, 2015."

What about characters that are currently in a pbp game that started before April 27 but will finish after? Once we finish up the game do we still have an opportunity to rebuild them?

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—St. Paul

BigNorseWolf wrote:
This would mean that you can make an unchained ninja, since the ninja is an archtype?

I may be wrong, but I dont believe this is the case.

Shadow Lodge *

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Pretty much what I expected. I'm very happy with what was decided -- especially getting a free rebuild into Unchained Rogue. I was prepared to spend PP on that, but now I can marry into the Blackros family instead. :)

I'm predicting right now that either the ability to use the Stamina system or VMC will be a GenCon Auction boon.

Dark Archive ****

Ok, this is pretty much the announcement i have expected after reading the Book for the first time, i am a bit sad about the "loss" of the old summoner but i appeciate the grandfathering. (Especially for my -1)

Paizo Employee ***** Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
This would mean that you can make an unchained ninja, since the ninja is an archtype?

The ninja is an alternate class and does not interact with the unchained rogue class. There are no "unchained ninjas" in Pathfinder Society Organized Play.

Silver Crusade **** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Omaha aka UndeadMitch

Oh man, I am Super Excited for this! I'm definitely going to be Unchaining one of my rogues, maybe both (one is at 17.2 and going for 20, so it might stick to its core). I'm going to check out the Unchained barbarian before I decide on it. Thanks to the PFS team for all their hard work!

So excited!

Silver Crusade **

I'm disappointed that variant multiclassing is excluded. From what folks are saying, it sounds like an interesting character option. Also sorry to see background skills left out.

(Edit: though, to be fair, I don't have Unchained yet, so maybe these options would be more disruptive than they sound from what I've heard about them?)

But it's nice to have the classes. Those should be a good addition to the campaign.

Paizo Employee ***** Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Michael Hallet wrote:

"you'll need to take advantage of this opportunity before you play the character after April 27, 2015."

What about characters that are currently in a pbp game that started before April 27 but will finish after? Once we finish up the game do we still have an opportunity to rebuild them?

Finish up your game as normal. After that, apply the rebuild if desired. Please do not rebuild partway through a game.

*****

Exciting stuff! Thanks to all the staff and volunteers (who likely debated this for weeks on our behalf). Looking forward to an unchained rogue with signature skills!

****

If someone has an APG summoner above Lv 2-XP 1, and would rather play the unchained version, are they allowed to retrain?

Edit: Nevermind, ninja'd

Dark Archive ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—St. Cloud aka Silbeg

I guess I am going to have to pick up this book soon! I have my 14th level rogue that may have to be rebuilt for this!

Swwwwweeeeeeeet!

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Kennewick aka RAdeMorris

Good news on what's included.

*****

TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
If someone has an APG summoner above Lv 2-XP 1, and would rather play the unchained version, are they allowed to retrain?

Clarified a few posts up. Yes.

**

Is there a time limit for the opoortunity to rebuild? It says has to be done before April 27, 2015 (which is today of the blog post). Do we need to get a GM to initial chronicle sheets for the rebuilds today if we want to play characters later in the week?

Paizo Employee ***** Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Soluzar wrote:

Questions:

First, what about the new scaleable magic items? Are they legal?

Blog wrote:
John is very excited to include esoteric components and scaling items on a few Chronicle sheets, but these items are not available for purchase otherwise.
Quote:
Second, how does the barbarian rage changes affect abilities based on Rage like the Rage subdomain? Also does this change do anything to affect the stats of creatures in scenarios?

At this time, Pathfinder Unchained does not modify how other features that act like rage operate in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. That's something we can look into more; let's address that in a separate thread.

Quote:
Lastly, are these changes Core legal?

The Core Campaign makes use of three texts: the Core Rulebook, the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, and the traits web enhancement. Pathfinder Unchained is not part of that list, and it is not part of the Core Campaign.

*****

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Sorry to see you go. The summoner was broken, though.

Grand Lodge ****

Ugh. Rebuilding a 9 th level rogue. Well, at least it's a free rebuild. Still happy, though.

*****

You don't have to rebuild the rogue.

Dark Archive

Man...
Last weekend I played Emerald Spire first level with my new summoner and now hes gone.

Paizo Employee ***** Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Protoman wrote:
Is there a time limit for the opoortunity to rebuild? It says has to be done before April 27, 2015 (which is today of the blog post). Do we need to get a GM to initial chronicle sheets for the rebuilds today if we want to play characters later in the week?

You'll need to make sure you apply any changes before you play the character again after this blog went live. If you don't play your barbarian until December 2015 for whatever reason, you would perform the rebuild then.

Grand Lodge *****

Carlos Robledo wrote:
Seth Gipson wrote:

Clarification, please.

If someone has a summoner theyve already played at level 2 and can therefore keep the APG summoner class, but wants to do the free retrain into the Unchained summoner, can they do that, or would they need to pay for the retraining?

Yes, seems to include APG Summoners:

"In fact, we're so excited about these classes that we're announcing a one-time limited rebuild to anyone with one or more levels in these classes, allowing those characters to switch any levels in the four classes to their unchained version at no cost."

Doh!

Thanks Carlos (and John for answering so quickly). I completely overlooked that part.

**** Venture-Agent

Also wish they could have included the VMC, but have the feeling it is probably a wise choice not to include it. Of course I only base this on how VMC has been described so far.

I do hope they find a way to get the stamina rules to work at some point. Even if it has to be a chronicle of something of that nature.

Dark Archive ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Azat Dunan wrote:

Man...

Last weekend I played Emerald Spire first level with my new summoner and now hes gone.

He's not gone... he's just an Unchained Summoner now. Now you get flying eidolons for free, I guess.

The Exchange **

I'm happy about this news, but I now need to find the time to assess the impact of switching to an Unchained rogue for the two level 7 characters that I'm playing at a convention on Saturday. A longer grace period that included a weekend would have been appreciated.

**

John Compton wrote:
Protoman wrote:
Is there a time limit for the opoortunity to rebuild? It says has to be done before April 27, 2015 (which is today of the blog post). Do we need to get a GM to initial chronicle sheets for the rebuilds today if we want to play characters later in the week?
You'll need to make sure you apply any changes before you play the character again after this blog went live. If you don't play your barbarian until December 2015 for whatever reason, you would perform the rebuild then.

Cool! Thanks John!

*

When will the information on what is and inst allowed, be up on the Additional Resources page?

Shadow Lodge ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
This would mean that you can make an unchained ninja, since the ninja is an archtype?
The ninja is an alternate class and does not interact with the unchained rogue class. There are no "unchained ninjas" in Pathfinder Society Organized Play.

Thanks. I was pretty sure thats how it was meant but given the number of descriptions of alternate classes as expanded archetypes I wanted to head that stampede off at the pass.

Liberty's Edge *****

GM Lamplighter wrote:

You don't have to rebuild the rogue.

But I WANT to.

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