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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Dark Archive 3/5

Er, so here's an issue.

I'm slated to play a character with Rogue levels tonight (4/27). Am I understanding the wording of this right that if I do so, because it is post blog post, if I do so I cannot swap his Rogue levels to the Unchained Version? Even though the book and PDF are unavailable to non-subscribers until 4/29?

Dark Archive

Keirine, Human Rogue wrote:
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.

Well they said this:

" 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,"

I played only one lvl of Emerald and I got 3 exp (he lvl up after game) so my summoner does not qualify for "at least once at level 2 or higher".

Can someone confirm this ?

5/5

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
John Compton wrote:


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.

Specifically, I was referring to the Rage changes. The Rage change makes the Barbarian Rage ability much easier to use. Simplicity is one of the main features of Core. Also, the temporary HP change works well as it doesn't make using Rage such a huge gamble.

4/5

Auris Deftfoot wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:

You don't have to rebuild the rogue.

But I WANT to.

Well then, kwitcher whining! ;)

Seriously, though, it is a big chunk of work... thankfully it's just the levels, not a full PC rebuild. Keeps me from re-examining *every* decision I've made...

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5

Azat Dunan wrote:
Keirine, Human Rogue wrote:
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.

Well they said this:

" 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,"

I played only one lvl of Emerald and I got 3 exp (he lvl up after game) so my summoner does not qualify for "at least once at level 2 or higher".

Can someone confirm this ?

So, you have a 2nd level summoner (from the APG) but you have not played him at least once at level 2 or higher? Then, no, your character, the APG summoner, is no longer valid but would instead be the Unchained Summoner.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

You know, I'm a subscriber and so I have the PDF already. But it just occurred to me that the street date for the book isn't until 4/29. So shouldn't the deadline for making your decision to rebuild match up with that, since right now there are people who would like to get their hands on the book but can't?

Yeah, the absolute definition of a corner case, I know...

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
brock, no the other one... wrote:
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.

Understood.

In summary, an unchained rogue has the following major updates:

  • A new ability that adds extra conditions to your sneak attack (replaces nothing)
  • Trap sense is now danger sense which helps during surprise rounds.
  • A bonus feat at 5th level that augments one of your skills (replaces nothing)
  • Some rogue talents are stronger now.
  • Free Weapon Finesse, plus the ability to add Dexterity to damage for one weapon type

    Unless your rogue relies on rogue talents that do not appear in hardcover books—which an unchained rogue is unable to select in the organized play campaign—the switch to an unchained rogue should do nothing but help the character.

  • 1/5

    Pretty much what I was expecting, actually, except for the free retraining into the new versions of the core classes (nice!).

    Overall, I think this strikes the proper balance between allowing new material and the stability needed for an ongoing campaign. I look forward to seeing the Unchained classes in play.

    Sovereign Court

    Azat Dunan wrote:
    Can someone confirm this ?

    That is correct, because up until you play your first game at level 2, you can rebuild the character completely for free.

    Kind of a bummer, I know, but at least you can salvage your character to something else.

    But if you decide to pick up Pathfinder Unchained, you can just have that version of a Summoner instead.

    Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Azat Dunan wrote:
    Can someone confirm this ?

    That is unfortunately correct. Your character is still able to use the retraining before 2nd level option and does not qualify. However, this does mean if you would rather not play the Unchained Summoner, you can freely rebuild into another class and not lose any credit on the character.

    4/5

    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Does the unchained Barbarian qualify for Barbarian related prestige classes (Rage Prophet for example)?

    If you take a class or prestige class that has rage features (Skald for example or Ulfen Guard) how would that work with an unchained Barbarian? (assuming multi classed with Skald or heading into the prestige class with Rage Prophet or Ulfen Guard?0

    (I have an urban barbarian PFS character who I was planning on going Skald with - now i have to see if I want to rebuild him as the unchained barbarian)

    Silver Crusade

    Are the Unchained Barbarian, Monk and Rogue usable in Core? I assume the answer here is no.

    Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

    9 people marked this as a favorite.
    pH unbalanced wrote:

    You know, I'm a subscriber and so I have the PDF already. But it just occurred to me that the street date for the book isn't until 4/29. So shouldn't the deadline for making your decision to rebuild match up with that, since right now there are people who would like to get their hands on the book but can't?

    Yeah, the absolute definition of a corner case, I know...

    That makes a lot of sense. I will request the date be updated to reflect that.


    Skyler Malik wrote:
    Are the Unchained Barbarian, Monk and Rogue usable in Core? I assume the answer here is no.

    Answered above. No.

    Sovereign Court

    John Compton wrote:
    pH unbalanced wrote:

    You know, I'm a subscriber and so I have the PDF already. But it just occurred to me that the street date for the book isn't until 4/29. So shouldn't the deadline for making your decision to rebuild match up with that, since right now there are people who would like to get their hands on the book but can't?

    Yeah, the absolute definition of a corner case, I know...

    That makes a lot of sense. I will request the date be updated to reflect that.

    Thanks, John!

    RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

    Ooh! I didn't dare hope for a free rebuild, but there it is! Now I'm going to have to find out if I want to retrain my level 10 monk...

    Scarab Sages 5/5

    Nice :)

    Lantern Lodge 5/5

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    As a semi-related question as a PFS GM:

    Is Pathfinder Unchained going to be added to the PRD? It would be nice to be a little familiar with what players will be playing.

    Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

    I suspect Unchained will hit the PRD as soon as the team can manage it.

    GM Lamplighter wrote:

    Well then, kwitcher whining! ;)

    Seriously, though, it is a big chunk of work... thankfully it's just the levels, not a full PC rebuild. Keeps me from re-examining *every* decision I've made...

    Yeah, I don't expect to change anything but my rogue, but I still have 10 levels to work with on him. XP

    The Exchange 5/5

    The more I think about it, yeah, I think I'll go for the 14 levels of Unchained...

    Scarab Sages

    Wow! Those are some pretty broad sweeping changes to the game! It'll be interesting to see how they go into effect from this point forward.

    I'll have to carefully review the new Summoner rules to determine if my Halfling Rogue 1/Summoner 7 will use the new rules or not.

    How soon will the "PFS Additional Resources" page & PDF be updated with these changes?


    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
    "John Compton wrote:


    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.

    So does that mean the ninja is not considered an alternate class of the unchained rogue?

    Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

    What's the reason the few monk archetypes that still work with the unchained monk aren't valid for the unchained monk?

    I'm also quite curious how unchained rage works along with normal rage. There are many ways for a non-barbarian to have rage, bloodrager being the most obvious. Can I activate both rages to get both effects?

    Dark Archive

    Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
    Azat Dunan wrote:
    Can someone confirm this ?
    That is unfortunately correct. Your character is still able to use the retraining before 2nd level option and does not qualify. However, this does mean if you would rather not play the Unchained Summoner, you can freely rebuild into another class and not lose any credit on the character.

    I dont think I can rebuild my summoner into another class for example into a druid.

    Can you quote sentence from the article which says that I can?

    Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Maryland— Baltimore aka Qstor

    Thanks John and Mike for making these changes! Looking forward to getting a hard copy of the book.

    Mike

    Sovereign Court

    Azat Dunan wrote:
    Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
    Azat Dunan wrote:
    Can someone confirm this ?
    That is unfortunately correct. Your character is still able to use the retraining before 2nd level option and does not qualify. However, this does mean if you would rather not play the Unchained Summoner, you can freely rebuild into another class and not lose any credit on the character.

    I dont think I can rebuild my summoner into another class for example into a druid.

    Can you quote sentence from the article which says that I can?

    In the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play it says you can completely rebuild your character at any time up until the point you play your first game at level 2.

    4/5

    You can always rebuild a character that you haven't yet played at second level. You can change everything but the character #. This is a general rule in the Guide to Organized Play.

    Dark Archive

    GM Lamplighter wrote:
    You can always rebuild a character that you haven't yet played at second level. You can change everything but the character #. This is a general rule in the Guide to Organized Play.

    Thx alot for info

    4/5

    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    if you have never played the character at level 2 or above you can always freely rebuild the character (this was introduced to PFS a few seasons back - great help for new players or anyone actually who try a new concept and decide after a few games that it isn't working for them.


    Apocryphile wrote:
    "John Compton wrote:


    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.
    So does that mean the ninja is not considered an alternate class of the unchained rogue?

    Correct. Even in Ultimate Combat it says: "The ninja is an alternate class for the rogue core class." :)

    5/5 5/55/55/5

    Are there any really good rogue talents that don't appear in a hardcover book so I can tell any rogues that ask me if they should convert?

    Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

    "John Compton wrote:


    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.
    ACG wrote:

    Sometimes an archetype exchanges

    so many class features that it almost becomes a new
    class itself. In such cases, the class might warrant a
    representation of all of the class features, even those
    that it shares with its base class. While still technically
    an archetype, characters who play this class have all
    the tools they need to advance their character in one
    convenient location. The antipaladin, ninja, and samurai
    are all examples of an alternate class.

    So this is saying that a ninja is just an archetype for Rogue. Now if you don't allow the ninja archetype to work with the unchained Rogue that's fine and I accept that decision, but I feel you can't just say that since it's an alternate class it can't work with the rogue changes while allowing rogue archetypes to work with the rogue changes.

    Shadow Lodge

    Rycaut wrote:
    Does the unchained Barbarian qualify for Barbarian related prestige classes (Rage Prophet for example)?

    Unchained Barbarians do not qualify for Rage Prophet, as they cannot ever take the required rage power, Moment of Clarity, which the unchained barbarian replaced with Calm Stance which does everything Moment of Clarity did, but does not count as Moment of Clarity.

    This has an interesting effect for existing Rage Prophets, who, assuming they are barbarians, may, according to the blog, switch to Unchained Barbarian at no cost, though in doing so will no longer qualify for Rage Prophet.

    Hopefully they will include some language about Calm Stance counting as Moment of Clarity for the purposes of meeting the prerequisites of Rage Prophet.


    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
    Carlos Robledo wrote:
    Apocryphile wrote:
    "John Compton wrote:


    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.
    So does that mean the ninja is not considered an alternate class of the unchained rogue?
    Correct. Even in Ultimate Combat it says: "The ninja is an alternate class for the rogue core class." :)

    True enough, it does. Ah, but ninja is still an alternate class of old rogue, so you wouldn't be able to multiclass into ninja and unchained rogue cos you have to choose unchained or chained version of a class. Shame..

    I doubt it would take much work to make an unchained ninja..

    5/5 5/55/55/5

    Thanks chess, thats the quote I was worried about/looking for.

    1/5 5/5

    Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    :stands by for another day and a half to be able to get the .pdf and the book.:

    Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

    John Compton wrote:
    pH unbalanced wrote:

    it just occurred to me that the street date for the book isn't until 4/29. So shouldn't the deadline for making your decision to rebuild match up with that, since right now there are people who would like to get their hands on the book but can't?

    Yeah, the absolute definition of a corner case, I know...

    That makes a lot of sense. I will request the date be updated to reflect that.

    Does that mean we have today and tomorrow to play a game with our existing Summoners?

    I realize I'm a corner case, but I have a 6th level GM Blob that's fully statted out and built as a Summoner, and I like how he's built.

    I don't know what's changing, but it sounds like quite a few options are being removed.

    Dark Archive 5/5

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    John Compton wrote:


    Unless your rogue relies on rogue talents that do not appear in hardcover books—which an unchained rogue is unable to select in the organized play campaign—the switch to an unchained rogue should do nothing but help the character.

    Okay, does this mean that the Unchained Rogue can use Rogue talents found in the APG such as Offensive Defense and Guileful Polyglot? Because in the original post, it sounded like Unchained Rogues can only use the Rogue Talents specifically called out in Unchained. I'm in the middle of doing a test build on my 12th level rogue to see what she looks like Unchained, and those above talents are two that I've taken and was wondering if I had to change.

    Paizo Employee 5/5 Designer

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Chess Pwn wrote:
    "John Compton wrote:


    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.
    ACG wrote:

    Sometimes an archetype exchanges

    so many class features that it almost becomes a new
    class itself. In such cases, the class might warrant a
    representation of all of the class features, even those
    that it shares with its base class. While still technically
    an archetype, characters who play this class have all
    the tools they need to advance their character in one
    convenient location. The antipaladin, ninja, and samurai
    are all examples of an alternate class.
    So this is saying that a ninja is just an archetype for Rogue. Now if you don't allow the ninja archetype to work with the unchained Rogue that's fine and I accept that decision, but I feel you can't just say that since it's an alternate class it can't work with the rogue changes while allowing rogue archetypes to work with the rogue changes.

    Alternate classes play by their own rules. Otherwise, knight of the sepulcher wouldn't be able to exist, since it alters or replaces abilities that alter or replace paladin abilities.

    5/5 5/55/55/5

    Keirine, Human Rogue wrote:
    John Compton wrote:


    Unless your rogue relies on rogue talents that do not appear in hardcover books—which an unchained rogue is unable to select in the organized play campaign—the switch to an unchained rogue should do nothing but help the character.
    Okay, does this mean that the Unchained Rogue can use Rogue talents found in the APG such as Offensive Defense and Guileful Polyglot? Because in the original post, it sounded like Unchained Rogues can only use the Rogue Talents specifically called out in Unchained. I'm in the middle of doing a test build on my 12th level rogue to see what she looks like Unchained, and those above talents are two that I've taken and was wondering if I had to change.

    I'm pretty sure they've been reprinted in a slightly alternate form in unchained.

    Paizo Employee 5/5 Designer

    Keirine, Human Rogue wrote:
    John Compton wrote:


    Unless your rogue relies on rogue talents that do not appear in hardcover books—which an unchained rogue is unable to select in the organized play campaign—the switch to an unchained rogue should do nothing but help the character.
    Okay, does this mean that the Unchained Rogue can use Rogue talents found in the APG such as Offensive Defense and Guileful Polyglot? Because in the original post, it sounded like Unchained Rogues can only use the Rogue Talents specifically called out in Unchained. I'm in the middle of doing a test build on my 12th level rogue to see what she looks like Unchained, and those above talents are two that I've taken and was wondering if I had to change.

    You get a better (helps the whole party) version of offensive defense for free (which doesn't use up your one * added talent effect!), so offensive defense is not an available rogue talent, as you don't need it.

    Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

    BigNorseWolf wrote:
    Keirine, Human Rogue wrote:
    John Compton wrote:


    Unless your rogue relies on rogue talents that do not appear in hardcover books—which an unchained rogue is unable to select in the organized play campaign—the switch to an unchained rogue should do nothing but help the character.
    Okay, does this mean that the Unchained Rogue can use Rogue talents found in the APG such as Offensive Defense and Guileful Polyglot? Because in the original post, it sounded like Unchained Rogues can only use the Rogue Talents specifically called out in Unchained. I'm in the middle of doing a test build on my 12th level rogue to see what she looks like Unchained, and those above talents are two that I've taken and was wondering if I had to change.
    I'm pretty sure they've been reprinted in a slightly alternate form in unchained.

    Yes, I was a bit hasty in my summation. A few rogue talents from hardcover books are not reprinted in the unchained rogue write-up or have already been folded into other class features. For example, the offensive defense rogue talent is now replicated in part through the debilitating strike class feature that unchained rogues get for free.


    The only question I can see with ninja being legit is:

    Can I multiclass Ninja and unchained rogue? (which I'd still think no?)

    Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

    Mark Seifter wrote:
    Chess Pwn wrote:
    "John Compton wrote:


    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.
    ACG wrote:

    Sometimes an archetype exchanges

    so many class features that it almost becomes a new
    class itself. In such cases, the class might warrant a
    representation of all of the class features, even those
    that it shares with its base class. While still technically
    an archetype, characters who play this class have all
    the tools they need to advance their character in one
    convenient location. The antipaladin, ninja, and samurai
    are all examples of an alternate class.
    So this is saying that a ninja is just an archetype for Rogue. Now if you don't allow the ninja archetype to work with the unchained Rogue that's fine and I accept that decision, but I feel you can't just say that since it's an alternate class it can't work with the rogue changes while allowing rogue archetypes to work with the rogue changes.
    Alternate classes play by their own rules. Otherwise, knight of the sepulcher wouldn't be able to exist, since it alters or replaces abilities that alter or replace paladin abilities.

    Having an archetype for an archetype is something fine for Paizo to do. Nothing says you can't apply an archetype for an archetype. Thus the Knight of the sepulcher changing the archetype of anti-paladin doesn't break any rules of overlapping archetypes.

    If alternate classes aren't archetypes then why did you publish in an RPG line book saying that they are archetypes?

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