|3 people marked this as a favorite.|
When I think about what "backwards compatibility" means to me... it's mostly about stat blocks. Can I pick up a 1E or 3.5E or Pathfinder 3.5 product and run it pretty much as written? Can I grab a monster out of an old Monster Manual or Bestiary and drop it into my game? I don't care how many skill points a human got relative to a monkey, or how many choices a wizard had for feats or familiars, or what the rules for concealment were back then, or how (or if) the sickened condition was defined. I've got current rules for all that stuff and I can apply those rules to onto any old material I come across. I just don't want to have to re-write a bunch of stat blocks for monsters, and I guess things like traps and magic items.
I, for one, am ready for Pathfinder 2.0, in the sense that I feel like there are rules and other "core" material spread of multiple books at this point, and sometimes the newer rules don't jive well with older rules. And there are some old rules ported over from 3.5 that have never worked that well. I don't think it would be that cataclysmic for Paizo to survey all the products they have out there and pull together a "new" core rule book that consolidates many of the original and newer rules and sub-systems in one place, fixes some of the lingering problems, better defines some of the conditions, standardizes language and word-choice to make descriptions of conditions and effects more consistent, maybe punch up some of the original classes that look a little weak versus newer classes... and call it "2.0." That's really not much more than happened 3.0 to 3.5, Wizards just went with .5 to show how minimal the changes were. Maybe we even call it "Pathfinder 1.5."
Point is, most of these updates and changes wouldn't invalidate any of the old modules or APs. I could still run the same encounters, use the same monsters and their stat blocks would still be valid. It would still be backwards compatible for the folks who don't want to get rid of old mods or even want to stick with the original core rules. Having updated rules for Stealth, or having Darkness and Light work differently, or even the the action economy run a little differently, doesn't make old material unusable. You're not even changing the rules that much, so folks who don't want to update couple probably keep buying new modules and APs and keep using their original CRB to run them. That's forward AND backwards compatibility!
To calls to scrap Vancian spell-casting... sorry, I think that's pretty much hard wired into the game, like hit dice and using d20s. There are things I don't love about Vancian spell-casting, but I would never want or expect that to go away. If I really can't handle it, I'll go play a game like Ars Magica that has a totally different rule set. Otherwise I'm going to be content tinkering, playing spontaneous casters, maybe a Magic Unleashed book with optional alternative casting systems. But if scrapping the core magic system is what folks think of when they talk 2.0, then I guess what I'm in favor of really is a 1.5.