First Look at the Pathfinder Playtest

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Welcome to the next evolution of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!

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.

By now, you've probably read all about the upcoming launch of the Playtest version of the game set to release on August 2nd, 2018 (but just in case you haven't, click here). In the weeks and months leading up to that release, we are going give you an in-depth look at this game, previewing all 12 of the classes and examining many of the most fundamental changes to the game. Of course, that is a long time to wait to get a complete picture, so I wanted to take this opportunity to give you insight into the game, how it works, and why we made the changes that we made. We will be covering these in much more detail later, but we thought it might be useful to give a general overview right now.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

New, but the Same

Our first goal was to make Pathfinder Second Edition feel just like the game you know and love. That means that as a player, you need to be able to make the choices that allow you to build the character you want to play. Similarly, as a Game Master, you need to have the tools and the support to tell the story you want to tell. The rules that make up the game have to fundamentally still fill the same role they did before, even if some of the mechanics behind them are different.

Building a Character

It's worth taking a moment to talk about how characters are built, because we spent a lot of time making this process smoother and more intuitive. You start by selecting your ancestry (which used to be called race), figuring out where you came from and what sorts of basic statistics you have. Next you decide on your background, representing how you were raised and what you did before taking up the life of an adventurer. Finally, you select your class, the profession you have dedicated yourself to as an intrepid explorer. Each one of these choices is very important, modifying your starting ability scores, giving you starting proficiencies and class skills, and opening up entire feat chains tailored to your character.

After making the big choices that define your character, you have a variety of smaller choices to make, including assigning skill proficiencies, picking an ancestry feat, buying gear, and deciding on the options presented by your class. Finally, after deciding on all of your choices, the only thing left to do is figure out all of your bonuses, which are now determined by one unified system of proficiency, based on your character's level.

As you go on grand adventures with your character, you will gain experience and eventually level up. Pathfinder characters have exciting and important choices to make every time they gain a level, from selecting new class feats to adding new spells to their repertoires.

Playing the Game

We've made a number of changes to the way the game is played, to clean up the overall flow of play and to add some interesting choices in every part of the story. First up, we have broken play up into three distinct components. Encounter mode is what happens when you are in a fight, measuring time in seconds, each one of which can mean life or death. Exploration mode is measured in minutes and hours, representing travel and investigation, finding traps, decoding ancient runes, or even mingling at the queen's coronation ball. Of all the modes of play, exploration is the most flexible, allowing for easy storytelling and a quick moving narrative. Finally, the downtime mode happens when your characters are back in town, or relative safety, allowing them to retrain abilities, practice a trade, lead an organization, craft items, or recuperate from wounds. Downtime is measured in days, generally allowing time to flow by in an instant.

Most of the game happens in exploration or encounter mode, with the two types of play flowing easily from one to the other. In fact, exploration mode can have a big impact on how combat begins, determining what you roll for your initiative. In a group of four exploring a dungeon, two characters might have their weapons ready, keeping an eye out for danger. Another might be skulking ahead, keeping to the shadows, while the fourth is looking for magic. If combat begins, the first two begin with their weapons drawn, ready for a fight, and they roll Perception for their initiative. The skulking character rolls Stealth for initiative, giving them a chance to hide before the fight even begins. The final adventurer rolls Perception for initiative, but also gains some insight as to whether or not there is magic in the room.

After initiative is sorted out and it's your turn to act, you get to take three actions on your turn, in any combination. Gone are different types of actions, which can slow down play and add confusion at the table. Instead, most things, like moving, attacking, or drawing a weapon, take just one action, meaning that you can attack more than once in a single turn! Each attack after the first takes a penalty, but you still have a chance to score a hit. In Pathfinder Second Edition, most spells take two actions to cast, but there are some that take only one. Magic missile, for example, can be cast using from one to three actions, giving you an additional missile for each action you spend on casting it!

Between turns, each character also has one reaction they can take to interrupt other actions. The fighter, for example, has the ability to take an attack of opportunity if a foe tries to move past or its defenses are down. Many classes and monsters have different things they can do with their reactions, making each combat a little bit less predictable and a lot more exciting. Cast a fire spell near a red dragon, for example, and you might just find it takes control of your magic, roasting you and your friends instead of the intended target!

Monsters and Treasure

The changes to the game are happening on both sides of the GM screen. Monsters, traps, and magic items have all gotten significant revisions.

First off, monsters are a lot easier to design. We've moved away from strict monster construction formulas based off type and Hit Dice. Instead, we start by deciding on the creature's rough level and role in the game, then select statistics that make it a balanced and appropriate part of the game. Two 7th-level creatures might have different statistics, allowing them to play differently at the table, despite both being appropriate challenges for characters of that level.

This also makes it easier for us to present monsters, giving us more space to include special abilities and actions that really make a monster unique. Take the fearsome tyrannosaurus, for example; if this terrifying dinosaur gets you in its jaws, it can take an action to fling you up to 20 feet through the air, dealing tremendous damage to you in the process!

Hazards are now a more important part of the game, from rangers creating snares to traps that you have to actively fight against if you want to survive. Poisons, curses, and diseases are a far more serious problem to deal with, having varied effects that can cause serious penalties, or even death.

Of all of the systems that Game Masters interact with, magic items are one of the most important, so we spent extra time ensuring that they are interesting and fun. First and foremost, we have taken significant steps to allow characters to carry the items they want, instead of the items that they feel they must have to succeed. Good armor and a powerful weapon are still critical to the game, but you no longer have to carry a host of other smaller trinkets to boost up your saving throws or ability scores. Instead, you find and make the magic items that grant you cool new things to do during play, giving you the edge against all of the monsters intent on making you into their next meal.

We can't wait until you find your first +1 longsword to see what it can do!

What's Next?

There are a lot of things we are excited to show off, so many in fact that we have to pace ourselves. First off, if you want to hear the game in action right now, we've recorded a special podcast with the folks from the Glass Cannon Network, converting the original Pathfinder First Edition Module, Crypt of the Everflame, to the new edition. Head on over to their site and listen to the first part of this adventure now!

Stop by tomorrow for the first blog taking an in-depth look at Pathfinder Second Edition, starting off with the new system for taking actions, then visit us again on Friday for an exploration of the Glass Cannon game, exploring some of its spoilers in detail!

We Need You!

All of us at Paizo want to take a moment to thank you, the fans, players, and game masters that have made this exciting journey a possibility. It's been a wild ride for the past decade, and speaking personally, I could not be more excited for where we are heading. But, as I am sure you've heard a number of times already, we cannot make this game without you, without your feedback and passion for the game. Thank you for coming with us on this adventure, thank you for contributing to our community, and thank you for playing Pathfinder.

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
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...having read through both the FAQ and the thread, I feel the need to say I am...cautiously pessimistic about this. I see two places where I think, for those I play with, this new edition is going to fall down and fall down HARD.

1) Baking backgrounds directly into character creation. Please, PLEASE kill this idea now. It's almost always awful. It tends to work out best in systems that are designed to tell very narrow and limited types of stories (for example, all the characters are assumed to be members of the same military, drawn from different specializations) and break when you expand them.

You're about to tell me how you're different, how they're really broad and etc etc. Don't. The problem with this approach is that it places restrictions on how characters can pick up particular abilities to narrowly specific past experiences. (Bad) GMs will use it as an excuse to force players not to do anything with their backgrounds not explicitly spelled out in the core rulebook.

You can present it as an optional system, but put freeform backgrounds front and center. If you don't, that's a dealbreaker up front.

2) Full Golarion integration. A lot of the appeal of D&D and PF is the 'generic fantasy toolkit' with a core restricted to the cliched fantasy stereotypes. By integrating mechanics too tightly with lore, you create a system that loses a great deal of its' utility for the sake of avoiding some of the arguments over players wanting to have things that don't fit your preferences. Going this way reduces Pathfinder's utility, and therefore a great deal of its' value.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
LackofFocus wrote:

I had a talk with my 9 year old about Pathfinder 2nd Edition after the initial upset after he bought the Pocket Size Core Book and APG afraid he would use them again. My wife and I told him that even though the game is getting a new Edition we don't have to stop playing the first edition. He is saving for the Pocket Size ACG to play a hunter in PFS. His mood brightened because he gets to play his Elf Ranger and his Tengu Hunter. He is looking forward to making a Goblin Alchemist in 2nd Edition.

He is excited to be a part of a new system especially when I told him we would be learning the system together that made him happier.

I am personally excited for the new edition, I have been playing Pathfinder since Beta, I am planning on supporting the playtest and 2nd Edition right now. I am interested in the forthcoming changes and updates to the rules.

^ This.

★ --- ★ --- ★ --- ★

I love PFS and Organized Play. I love it DESPITE its rules system, which often frustrates me. (I’m not a 3.5/PF girl. I’m a GURPS girl.) I have stuck around with PFS because I love the community and because the adventures have been wonderful. I have a huge attachment to the characters and their stories.

My main concerns with this change are the following:

1) Wanting to continue to tell the stories of my current characters.

Well, 1e will be around for a quite a while, especiially in the online PFS lodges. Those stories are going to keep being told, and we’ll get to keep our favorite 1e characters. I spent time reassuring my PBP folks that the 1e stories would always have a home in our lodges.

2) Wanting some say in the changes that are coming.

Hey, we get that too! We all get to be part of the playtest.

3) Nervousness, Anxiety and Grief

What about my investment in 1e? Will it be wasted? I am almost a 5 Star GM, sitting on 149 tables GMed, and all my specials. Will I have to start over?

Change is scary. But it often brings new things, and now that I have had a few hours to think on everything, I see that my investment has not been wasted, because I have grown as a GM, a storyteller and an organizer of my community. That... and getting started on the ground floor of something is exciting. We get to be part of something brand new from the very beginning. How exciting is that?

4) Not wanting a huge split in the community I love.

Today, we’re seeing a huge split in the reactions of our community. Some of you are excited. Others want to quit.

However, I suspect that most of us will have 2e characters and 1e characters, just like many of us have Starfinder and Pathfinder characters. I think that what we will have will not be a full split, but a series of overlapping communities that share in common the umbrella of Organized Play.

★ --- ★ --- ★ --- ★

Those of you who know me also know that I am a very bright person with math issues. Without HeroLab to help me make characters, I would never be able to build characters, or play in a PFS game.

Starfinder— because it is simpler — is a system that I can build characters in. (And since we didn’t have HeroLab from the beginning, I have discovered that I can not only build characters, but play them in game without the HL crutch because there is far less math in combat.) Do you have any idea how freeing that is?

My own son who unlike me is very good at gaming math loves playing PFS — but hates leveling his characters. It is too complicated and that is not where his fun is.

I love having lots of options and customization (heck that is why I like GURPS) but the math behind all of it can be overwhelming.

★ --- ★ --- ★ --- ★

What I am saying is... Yes, we really needed some changes. Yes, change is painful. But none of this has to be an either / or. We can love all our old characters and stories, and still try out the shiny new thing.

If you don’t like the Playtest, you can provide that feedback to Paizo. It’s best that they hear from as wide a set of viewpoints as possible.

★ --- ★ --- ★ --- ★

Just some thoughts to consider, as we make our way through these early days.

Hugs,
Hmm

Paizo Employee Designer

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kaineblade83 wrote:

I for one am super excited about pretty much everything I've heard so far, which isn't much because... we don't even have a playtest yet.

I play 5e, and I've played every D&D edition since 3rd, I've played several others, and I've been a big Paizo fan for years and years. I don't have a problem with smoothing out skills or proficiencies, but the word proficiency doesn't automatically mean Pathfinder is 5th ed D&D.

This is a good insight. Pathfinder 1st also has proficiency after all (weapons, armor, and so on). While the details of all the cool things involving proficiency will have to wait for a blog (coming in the next few weeks), I've seen similar comments enough times that I do want to say this: the fact we are using the term proficiency doesn't mean that it's going to be something where you choose a certain number of skills at character creation and that's it, as many people have suspected/worried. The ability to increase your ranks in skills as you progress as a character, focusing or spreading out as suits your vision for your character, is fundamental to our goal of empowering you to make choices. It just so happens that we have a few tricks up our sleeve that have so far proved more meaningful to me when I've been assigning my skill rank increases than just increasing my number of ranks from 13 to 14. You'll have to wait and see what those might be, but if you're reading, feel free to pass this on if you come across anyone else worried that the use of proficiencies means that your skill choices will be one and done at creation.

Paizo Employee Designer

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xorial wrote:
First things first. If I can play the character I want then the MAGUS needs to be in the core book.

Once more of the rules have been revealed, you'll have to remind me to show you the magus build I whipped up using the current playtest rules only. I'll mention the key reason my build can even get started since that's something already revealed in the blog and the podcast: Turns out that having three actions assigned however you want can give you a nice spell combat style cast+attack without need for an explicit class feature allowing it like in PF1!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kain Gallant wrote:

Here's what I want to see in the 2nd Edition:

5 of your 6 items align closely with the design goals of the new edition.

Shadow Lodge

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"Each one of these choices is very important, modifying your starting ability scores, giving you starting proficiencies and class skills, and opening up entire feat chains tailored to your character."

So... feat taxes are now even more baked into the game. Not sure I'm going to like this.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

*brainsplodes*


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Gip wrote:
Captain Killjoy wrote:

Take my ship, take my shoes,

Take me where the goblins lose.
I don't care, wait and see,
You can't take my fire from me!

Take me out to the shore,
Beat me bloody, aft and fore.
Lock me up, lose the key,
You can't take my fire from me!

There's no place I can't burn,
As these longshanks soon will learn!

And they can't take my fire from me!

TAKE HEART, GIP!

O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!

{stands on desk-shaped mimic} O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragonborn3 wrote:

"Each one of these choices is very important, modifying your starting ability scores, giving you starting proficiencies and class skills, and opening up entire feat chains tailored to your character."

So... feat taxes are now even more baked into the game. Not sure I'm going to like this.

Just as with "proficiency," using the word "feat" in the new edition doesn't mean they work the exact same way they worked in 3.x/Pathfinder 1E. Given the information we've revealed so far, I understand why people are grasping as whatever sounds familiar, but we've also released just a blog post, a list of future blog post topics, and an actual-play podcast.

We are planning more previews of the playtest than anything we've ever done, probably even including the original release of Pathfinder ten years ago. Folks are going to get more details, we just can't dump it all on you in one day.

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
*brainsplodes*

I like your brain.. You are not allowed to blow it up, not even with the help of a 2e alchemist.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...can haz tengu, plz?

Scarab Sages

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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Will the Cure spells be moved to Necromancy?

OHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE...!

Shadow Lodge

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Mark Moreland wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:

"Each one of these choices is very important, modifying your starting ability scores, giving you starting proficiencies and class skills, and opening up entire feat chains tailored to your character."

So... feat taxes are now even more baked into the game. Not sure I'm going to like this.

Just as with "proficiency," using the word "feat" in the new edition doesn't mean they work the exact same way they worked in 3.x/Pathfinder 1E. Given the information we've revealed so far, I understand why people are grasping as whatever sounds familiar, but we've also released just a blog post, a list of future blog post topics, and an actual-play podcast.

We are planning more previews of the playtest than anything we've ever done, probably even including the original release of Pathfinder ten years ago. Folks are going to get more details, we just can't dump it all on you in one day.

Why use the same word then? It will continue to confuse people and seems like it was done deliberately so.

Further... you aren't saying feats aren't the same any more than you are saying the are. Well done, what with they "can't info dump" thing.

Paizo Employee Designer

Mark Moreland wrote:
Imaflying wrote:

Where can we find more information regarding the new character creation system?

I'm worried players will no longer be able to invest ranks on skills outside those determined at character creation. For example a fighter at level 3 who wants to invest a rank in Use Magic Device or Spellcraft.
In blog posts that have not released yet. We're going to be doing regular previews of various aspects of the playtest rules over the coming months, so stay tuned! It's a lot of information to disseminate (a whole book's worth, in fact!) so we have to portion it out to allow for sufficient discussion on each individual element.

Mark's right, but I figure it's not much of a spoiler to say a character's skill choices won't be locked in at 1st level. The fighter in question could do that.


of editions of dnd I have played 3.5 4th then 2nd. I really hope longspears don't disapper they are like the only piercing weapon I use.

Will the fighter weapon groups be used for proficiencies?

I hope I still get the nice things of paizo since apg like having classes or monsters start on their own page. Looking back at my 3.5 books now and realize how annoying that was.

I kind of want the race boxes from inner sea races or starfinder of what others think of you and what you think of yourself as.


Mark Seifter wrote:
the magus build

Since, as I understand it, the core PF2 rulebook is just going to have the original CRB classes plus the Alchemist (which does not include the magus) is it safe to assume that the plan eventually will be to produce Pathfinder2 versions of all or most of the Pathfinder classes?

Since every class is probably somebody's favorite class, are there classes other than the CRB ones that you can confirm will/won't be coming back?


So, I'm cautiously optimistic about the upcoming 2nd Edition but have some concerns.

Namely, it took a long time for Paizo to create/offer a lot of game material supporting the character concept I wanted. I was largely interested in a Sorcerer who followed Sarenrae, complete with using Merciful Spell as needed and wielding lots of holy/light-themed magic.

It took a while, but we got there. Burst of Radiance was a big help with this, as was the Solar Bloodline (which granted meaningful healing on top of the attack magic). I'm concerned that 2E won't offer similar thematics early on and that I won't be able to run a character with quite the same flavor until several expansion books are released. Are my fears misplaced?

Sczarni

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While I am interested, I remain very reserved. Until I see it I won't know if it is more like Vampire, Robotech, D&D, ICE, or any number of the dozens of game systems I've played.

If it is too much divergent, it will flop (welcome to 3.5the). If it is spot on, we'll still need to "rebuy everything" we've ever bought for PFS.

An adaptive rule set and simple rules corrections (ie. a whole book of FAQ clarifications for current rules with slight changes made) would probably go over better. But you've been giving FAQs away for free, so how to package them up and sell them? I get it... but remain reserved and interested in at least seeing what comes of it.

It's already annoyed me that you changed "RACE" to "Heritage" or whatever... What was wrong with the word choice? Is it a PC updated version or something?


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One thing I'm wondering is about the hints from the podcast that you might get critical hits if you roll >10+AC.

Now, let me say right out that I'm not a fan of DEX to damage in melee, really. It just doesn't feel right, but that is just a personal option.

However! What I could get behind? Something that progresses from DEX-to-hit in melee and starts giving more frequent criticals. Improve a critical to a roll >5+AC. Let DEX-to-hit characters stack effects onto those criticals that normal heavy hitters can't do.

Let STR-to-hit characters keep STR-to-damage. Let them hit harder, let them have effects that show off brute force. Let the DEX-to-hit characters hit BETTER. Let them have effects that show off the benefits of accuracy. You'd still want a heavy hitter, but the skirmisher wouldn't just have static damage from a different stat, they'd actually do something different on the table.

But that is just an idle thought I wanted to share before turning in for the night.

Paizo Employee Designer

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
the magus build

Since, as I understand it, the core PF2 rulebook is just going to have the original CRB classes plus the Alchemist (which does not include the magus) is it safe to assume that the plan eventually will be to produce Pathfinder2 versions of all or most of the Pathfinder classes?

Since every class is probably somebody's favorite class, are there classes other than the CRB ones that you can confirm will/won't be coming back?

To be clear, my magus build doesn't have levels in a "magus" class. It's a character build using the existing options and the new action economy in an unexpected way to play very similarly to my favorite PF1 magus characters.

Paizo Employee Designer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
RickDias wrote:

So, I'm cautiously optimistic about the upcoming 2nd Edition but have some concerns.

Namely, it took a long time for Paizo to create/offer a lot of game material supporting the character concept I wanted. I was largely interested in a Sorcerer who followed Sarenrae, complete with using Merciful Spell as needed and wielding lots of holy/light-themed magic.

It took a while, but we got there. Burst of Radiance was a big help with this, as was the Solar Bloodline (which granted meaningful healing on top of the attack magic). I'm concerned that 2E won't offer similar thematics early on and that I won't be able to run a character with quite the same flavor until several expansion books are released. Are my fears misplaced?

I think you might be pleasantly surprised by the character I played in last week's Wednesday playtest game (I was trying to mimic a similar character to yours in the new system)...but more on that later!

Really, the new system is very flexible, especially if you're clever about combining things.


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Stone Dog wrote:


Now, let me say right out that I'm not a fan of DEX to damage in melee, really. It just doesn't feel right, but that is just a personal option.

However! What I could get behind? Something that progresses from DEX-to-hit in melee and starts giving more frequent criticals. Improve a critical to a roll >5+AC. Let DEX-to-hit characters stack effects onto those criticals that normal heavy hitters can't do.

Big problem is that criticals tend to be swingy, and thus increasing the frequency of them can rapidly cause either frustration (since a bad run of luck means you're not actually seeing the effects of your investment) or absolutely wreck encounters (which can lead to frustration on the part of the GM). It's an idea, but it likely doesn't go where you want it to.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
xorial wrote:
First things first. If I can play the character I want then the MAGUS needs to be in the core book.
Once more of the rules have been revealed, you'll have to remind me to show you the magus build I whipped up using the current playtest rules only. I'll mention the key reason my build can even get started since that's something already revealed in the blog and the podcast: Turns out that having three actions assigned however you want can give you a nice spell combat style cast+attack without need for an explicit class feature allowing it like in PF1!

I have a half-orc Fighter/Wizard who is going to be very excited about this.

Paizo Employee Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Chris Kenney wrote:
Stone Dog wrote:


Now, let me say right out that I'm not a fan of DEX to damage in melee, really. It just doesn't feel right, but that is just a personal option.

However! What I could get behind? Something that progresses from DEX-to-hit in melee and starts giving more frequent criticals. Improve a critical to a roll >5+AC. Let DEX-to-hit characters stack effects onto those criticals that normal heavy hitters can't do.

Big problem is that criticals tend to be swingy, and thus increasing the frequency of them can rapidly cause either frustration (since a bad run of luck means you're not actually seeing the effects of your investment) or absolutely wreck encounters (which can lead to frustration on the part of the GM). It's an idea, but it likely doesn't go where you want it to.

There are other toggles to play with, however; if you listen to the Crypt of the Everflame Glass Cannon podcast, you can learn a cool advantage that some of those dexy weapons have over the bigger damage ones. I won't spoil the surprise, though a fan compilation thread exists that has a partially-correct version of this tidbit if you'd rather not listen (but you should, Glass Cannon, Jason, and Erik are hilarious!)

Paizo Employee Designer

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Charlie Bell wrote:
Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.

Oh, you've been talking to *that* guy. The past isn't dying! All the amazing stuff from first edition is what got us here, and we're really focusing on preserving what made people love Pathfinder in the first place. One of the big tasks of the playtest is making sure the game still gives players the same feeling as playing Pathfinder. We're doing a lot of that "saving what we love" business.

We want to show people new things too, and there are quite a few parts of the rules where we reached for the more extreme version of several options. Then, if people hate it, we can redirect for the final version. The playtest is by no means fully locked in as the final rules.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I remember early days of Pathfinder, there was a lot of fun converting 3.5 class options to a Pathfinder equivalent. The back of the book says 3,5 compatible, but people were still multiclassing monk/rogues to build early ninjas, or trying Vital Strike builds to emulate mobile swashbucklers. It was a fun time, and if the new system is as flexible as these early hints taste of, there might be far less reason to expand endlessly with base classes if those concepts can be expressed easily at low-levels with archetypes, feat selection or multiclassing.

Grand Lodge

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Nice money grab Paizo.

Glad you are are doing well financially, because you won't be getting any more money from me - not even 1e product.

Been there, done this with 3.0/3.5/4.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Subparhiggins wrote:

Is the lore for Golarion going to be kept relatively consistent for a seamless transition with PF2E? I admit I was disappointed with other games when they decided to axe half the pantheon, etc, and erase entire species from existence.

Edit: Also is the timeline going to be continuous? Or will there be any time skippage backward or forward involved?

I suspect someone else has answered this, but we have always assumed that Golarion's timeline moves forward on a 1:1 basis with time in the real world, and when we revise the campaign for Pathfinder Second Edition we'll update the current year to 4719, which is a 12-year shift from the first Pathfinder Chronicles Gazetteer and Pathfinder #1 back in 2007.

Usually this doesn't really impact books or adventures, so we don't make a big deal of it, but it's been a part of the setting from the very beginning.

In updating the base presentation of the setting to 4719, we'll also codify the resolution of certain Adventure Paths with important international implications. War for the Crown will bring us a new monarch in Taldor. Return of the Runelords will shake things up in Varisia. The one after that will have its own implications. While we're at it, we'll update the world to a new situation in the Worldwound, for example.

But we're not killing off any gods or anything. All oracles in the campaign setting don't suddenly turn into clerics or evaporate into smoke or something.

We're not jumping forward to a time when EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT(tm).

Grand Lodge

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Charlie Bell wrote:

But also, I hope PF2E does the following:

1. Jettison any complexity that gets in the way of play.
2. Fix character creation.
3. Fix high-level play: get rid of the buff-stacking and rocket-tag games.
4. Give us a robust conversion document so we can easily convert past content to PF2E.
4b. Make that conversion document robust enough that the community can convert and share past PFS content converted to 2E, and run it for credit. Don't abandon the old content! Crowdsource conversion so your PFS designers aren't trying to tackle it alone.
5. Don't try to make adversaries play by PC rules. There are some things boss monsters need that should never, ever be in PC hands. In particular, absolute immunities (e.g. freedom of movement) and things that affect action economy (haste, dazes, etc.) should be really, really hard for PCs to get.
6. Fix magic items. No magic item should ever be "required" for a PC's "build" to function. Make magic items feel special again. Put control over magic item acquisition back in the GM's hands, not the PCs'.

I'd like to add to this...

7. Make it practically impossible for ridiculous broken power gaming. Too many times have I've seen players become absolutely invincible by level 4 with their 34 AC and assembling of feats that give them six attacks of opportunity before they even have their turn. All because they own all the books and min-max the hell out of their multiple classes. And I especially never again want to see someone be able to have AC 108 by the time they're level 20.


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Its really ironic that the main reason PF exists was for old fans to keep playing what they loved (playing 3.5 instead of migrating to 4e) and now PF sits with the EXACT same issue... It was bound to happen at some point I guess, a revision would probably even be very good, as long as it stays true to its roots. But still, that's really ironic.

*Laughs*

How long till another company brings out a "new" game that plays awfully similar to Pathfinder?

All joking aside, I completely agree with everyone's complaints about having to "re-buy" content they already bought. I guess there's no way around it & Paizo naturally has to turn a profit, they can't just give stuff away for free, but damn...

Grand Lodge

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So no Forgotten Realms style butchery.

Erik Mona wrote:
Subparhiggins wrote:

Is the lore for Golarion going to be kept relatively consistent for a seamless transition with PF2E? I admit I was disappointed with other games when they decided to axe half the pantheon, etc, and erase entire species from existence.

Edit: Also is the timeline going to be continuous? Or will there be any time skippage backward or forward involved?

I suspect someone else has answered this, but we have always assumed that Golarion's timeline moves forward on a 1:1 basis with time in the real world, and when we revise the campaign for Pathfinder Second Edition we'll update the current year to 4719, which is a 12-year shift from the first Pathfinder Chronicles Gazetteer and Pathfinder #1 back in 2007.

Usually this doesn't really impact books or adventures, so we don't make a big deal of it, but it's been a part of the setting from the very beginning.

In updating the base presentation of the setting to 4719, we'll also codify the resolution of certain Adventure Paths with massive international implications. War for the Crown will bring us a new monarch in Taldor. Return of the Runelords will shake things up in Varisia. The one after that will have its own implications. While we're at it, we'll update the world to a new situation in the Worldwound, for example.

But we're not killing off any gods or anything. All oracles in the campaign setting don't suddenly turn into clerics or evaporate into smoke or something.

We're not jumping forward to a time when EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT(tm).

Dark Archive

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
the magus build

Since, as I understand it, the core PF2 rulebook is just going to have the original CRB classes plus the Alchemist (which does not include the magus) is it safe to assume that the plan eventually will be to produce Pathfinder2 versions of all or most of the Pathfinder classes?

Since every class is probably somebody's favorite class, are there classes other than the CRB ones that you can confirm will/won't be coming back?

I doubt it will be a 1-to-1 conversion though and frankly I'm of the mindset that less classes can be better. Not less diversity mind you, but I believe many of the classes could easily be baked in as Archetypes of existing groups. Especially with the new action economy and if they give Archetypes the ability to be a bit more robust. A few examples:

- As Mark said just a few comments up, a Magus can now be much easier created out of a spellcasting class as you get three actions and could use 1 (or 2) to cast a spell and another to attack with a weapon. In addition, an Archetype on a Wizard/Sorcerer that allows spells to channel through a weapon gets you pretty close to a Magus.

- Shifter could easily be a Druid Archetype

- All of the hybrid and alternative classes just scream Archetypes to me.

- Psychic could fit neatly into Sorceror

- Summoner and Spritualist could go to Wizard

- Oracle could fit into Cleric

Of course some may not fit so neatly, but there is a pretty darn good start if you ask me. I'd love to see these types of very robust Archetypes (more so than many are now) rather than whole new classes. Of course that's my opinion is all.


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I do want to point out (since I looked it up) that 2nd Edition AD&D was first released in 1989, and third edition followed it in the year 2000- eleven years later. If 3rd edition was a reasonable thing to do after 11 years of AD&D 2nd edition, then I fail to see how Pathfinder 2nd edition being released 11 years after Pathfinder 1st edition is even remotely unreasonable; particularly since Pathfinder has been much better supported than AD&D 2e. Note- I still have all my 2nd edition books and I do not consider them worthless.

Like, 11 years of continual support is as long as any version has lasted in this family of games. Sure, it might have been nice to see Pathfinder challenge GURPS 3rd to last 16 years between versions, but a new version was always in the cards once Pathfinder became sufficiently successful. I sorta suspect the folks going "that's it, I'm done" would have been just as mad if Pathfinder lasted 16 years too.

I mean, people got really excited for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, even though it had only been about 8 years since the 4th.

Grand Lodge

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I believe the game that you are looking for is Dungeons and Dragons 5e.

Charlie Bell wrote:

But also, I hope PF2E does the following:

1. Jettison any complexity that gets in the way of play.
2. Fix character creation.
3. Fix high-level play: get rid of the buff-stacking and rocket-tag games.
4. Give us a robust conversion document so we can easily convert past content to PF2E.
4b. Make that conversion document robust enough that the community can convert and share past PFS content converted to 2E, and run it for credit. Don't abandon the old content! Crowdsource conversion so your PFS designers aren't trying to tackle it alone.
5. Don't try to make adversaries play by PC rules. There are some things boss monsters need that should never, ever be in PC hands. In particular, absolute immunities (e.g. freedom of movement) and things that affect action economy (haste, dazes, etc.) should be really, really hard for PCs to get.
6. Fix magic items. No magic item should ever be "required" for a PC's "build" to function. Make magic items feel special again. Put control over magic item acquisition back in the GM's hands, not the PCs'.

Silver Crusade

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What happens to the pre-existing Golarion NPCs of classes that aren't in 2E yet?


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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Will the setting still focus in the Inner Sea Region or will it get a more global approach?


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Last month I finally bought a hardcover Pathfinder Core Rulebook. (I've had the PDF version since its release.) Tonight, I see & read this. Oh, well. Based on my buying patterns, I think I can now predict the next version.

Grand Lodge

Its certainly better than the 3 years between 3 and 3.5 granted. or 5 years of 3.5. Or 6 (egads) years of 4.

And well, its a different era that we live in than the timeframe around 2e (plus TSRs troubles) so its really not going to be apples to apples comparison.

But the 3.0 was also tied up in the whole Wizard buying rights to the brand, etc. New company, new product - you see that a lot; look at the StarWars license, or heck Traveller too. Every time a license changes hands, the new guys in town think they have all the answers and can do a better edition. Sometimes thats true, sometimes its a hit and miss, and sometimes its just not true at all.

This isn't a new company, but the economics of gaming has been discussed to death on every BB, forum, news feed, etc. for 30 some odd years... so eh.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I do want to point out (since I looked it up) that 2nd Edition AD&D was first released in 1989, and third edition followed it in the year 2000- eleven years later. If 3rd edition was a reasonable thing to do after 11 years of AD&D 2nd edition, then I fail to see how Pathfinder 2nd edition being released 11 years after Pathfinder 1st edition is even remotely unreasonable; particularly since Pathfinder has been much better supported than AD&D 2e.

Like, 11 years of continual support is as long as any version has lasted in this family of games. Sure, it might have been nice to see Pathfinder challenge GURPS 3rd to last 16 years between versions, but a new version was always in the cards once Pathfinder became sufficiently successful.

I mean, people got really excited for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, even though it had only been about 8 years since the 4th.


Invictus Novo wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
the magus build

Since, as I understand it, the core PF2 rulebook is just going to have the original CRB classes plus the Alchemist (which does not include the magus) is it safe to assume that the plan eventually will be to produce Pathfinder2 versions of all or most of the Pathfinder classes?

Since every class is probably somebody's favorite class, are there classes other than the CRB ones that you can confirm will/won't be coming back?

I doubt it will be a 1-to-1 conversion though and frankly I'm of the mindset that less classes can be better. Not less diversity mind you, but I believe many of the classes could easily be baked in as Archetypes of existing groups. Especially with the new action economy and if they give Archetypes the ability to be a bit more robust. A few examples:

- As Mark said just a few comments up, a Magus can now be much easier created out of a spellcasting class as you get three actions and could use 1 (or 2) to cast a spell and another to attack with a weapon. In addition, an Archetype on a Wizard/Sorcerer that allows spells to channel through a weapon gets you pretty close to a Magus.

- Shifter could easily be a Druid Archetype

- All of the hybrid and alternative classes just scream Archetypes to me.

- Psychic could fit neatly into Sorceror

- Summoner and Spritualist could go to Wizard

- Oracle could fit into Cleric

Of course some may not fit so neatly, but there is a pretty darn good start if you ask me. I'd love to see these types of very robust Archetypes (more so than many are now) rather than whole new classes. Of course that's my opinion is all.

This is actually a really good idea... Hey Paizo

*Olorin points to Novo*

Listen to this one, he/she knows the way.

Grand Lodge

Bingo.

Olorin_Plane_Walker wrote:

Its really ironic that the main reason PF exists was for old fans to keep playing what they loved (playing 3.5 instead of migrating to 4e) and now PF sits with the EXACT same issue... It was bound to happen at some point I guess, a revision would probably even be very good, as long as it stays true to its roots. But still, that's really ironic.

*Laughs*

How long till another company brings out a "new" game that plays awfully similar to Pathfinder?

Olorin_Plane_Walker wrote:


How long till another company brings out a "new" game that plays awfully similar to Pathfinder?

Why not? PF is OGL'd... there is bound to be someone(s) as passionate about it as Jason was about 3.X!

Olorin_Plane_Walker wrote:


All joking aside, I completely agree with everyone's complaints about having to "re-buy" content they already bought. I guess there's no way around it & Paizo naturally has to turn a profit, they can't just give stuff away for free, but damn...

Yup... as good excuse as any to have a new version.


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Olorin_Plane_Walker wrote:

Its really ironic that the main reason PF exists was for old fans to keep playing what they loved (playing 3.5 instead of migrating to 4e) and now PF sits with the EXACT same issue... It was bound to happen at some point I guess, I revision would probably even be very good, as long as it stays true to its roots. But still, that's really ironic.

*Laughs*

How long till another company brings out a "new" game that plays awfully similar to Pathfinder?

All joking aside, I completely agree with everyone's complaints about having to "re-buy" content they already bought. I guess there's no way around it & Paizo naturally has to turn a profit, they can't just give stuff away for free, but damn...

You may be joking, but I've already encountered some people who are already gearing up to do just that; Its a little early for such drastic actions in my opinion, but depending on what changes in 2e...well...there could be half a dozen Pathfinder 1.5's popping up.

All I'm hoping is that I don't have to wait ten years to play a Magical Child Vigilante, Traceless Operative Inquisitor, or Gray Paladin using an official 2e release. If we even get those three Archetypes (and class, in regard to Vigilante, for that matter) in 2e.

And Dhampir, though I'm less worried about Dhampir from making an appearance.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Friendly Rogue wrote:


Just out of curiosity's sake, are there any plans to delve a little deeper into non-Inner Sea continents, such as Arcadia?

Yes. The initial focus will be the Inner Sea, but for instance we just had a high-level conversation the other day where we were discussing that the "cover absolutely everything/everything gets one column" approach we ended up taking for the Dragon Empires could have been a lot better, and that the framework we're building for setting stuff needs to better allow for deeper dives on out-of-the-way places.


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After reading the your energetic introduction of the "New System", I'm not very enthusiastic from what I read, and even less from the Podcast. The group had fun, but they are a developed group and are used to having fun regardless.

Please don't _ever_ make backgrounds a necessity for character creation. For some groups this could be great, but in my experiences with my groups, such shoehorning leads to a _lot_ of problems.

There are some intriguing things that things mentioned, such as concentrating on spells to to give further benefits

The way you describe changing the monster building scheme will make it difficult for those that are used to the current formula to adapt, especially if they want to use the previous editions, especially with equipment. Limiting equipment is already the frustration of characters and players alike, but to cut down what they get to play with will _really_ make them feel punished if they are coming from Pathfinder (or similar systems).

Basing Initiative on many different rolls can easily get confusing. In the example given, the DM should have already known what was going on and been able to play without need of initiative rolls to begin with just based on what the characters are doing.

If you want a truly intriguing system for making truly custom characters with backgrounds unique to themselves and paths that may cross, but will always be different no matter how you play (unless you specifically set out to build a specific character over and over again, but that's virtually any game made thus far) you should check out Custom Characters: http://easydamus.com/CustomCharacters.html

I've used these rules as the basis for my games since I found them years ago. I'm adamantly of the opinion that a 'classless' system is the way to go, but I know many might find that a true heresy.

I've long included Pathfinder in my games, primarily because it's building on solid rules that are known and loved. Now you're trying to change those rules for something 'new and shiny' that Wizards of the Coast chose to do also, and look what happened... 4th edition has some interesting ideas, but they turned it into a MMORPG and most people hated it. Now they have 5th edition that cuts out half the game and changes everything else so that it's _kind of_ usable for those of us that want to use the mechanics that we love without altering things too much, but it's not the same game anymore. It is true that 5th edition is flourishing, but so is Pathfinder already.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And so it begins.

RuyanVe.

Grand Lodge

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Or go copy Traveller... heck, the character can die in creation!
Many of good times were had with that and the little black books.

AOKost wrote:


If you want a truly intriguing system for making truly custom characters with backgrounds unique to themselves and paths that may cross, but will always be different no matter how you play (unless you specifically set out to build a specific character over and over again, but that's virtually any game made thus far) you should check out Custom Characters: http://easydamus.com/CustomCharacters.html


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I'm concerned by the fact that a lot of people have pretty contradictory desires, and also the fact that I had been considering what I would put in the core of an update of pathfinder and I doubt you'd come up with the same answers; most of my favorite classes (Oracle, Investigator, Kineticist, Occultist) and races (Changelings, Tengu, Skinwalkers, Aasimar) are non-core.

While building monsters differently than PCs could be OK, for NPCs to not be compatible is a big no-go for me; I really like the feature a lot of adventure paths have where there are NPCs that are pointed out as being possible cohorts or new player characters if a player's character dies or a new one wants to jump in (possibly temporarily).

I dunno, I have more thoughts about what stuff should be made accessible in what order, but that's what I can marshal right now (it's rather late).

Edit: I do also second concern with backgrounds; even things like the ones in Ultimate Campaign rarely even remotely approach the idea I have for a character, and I almost always approach my characters from a concept and origin first, before a lot of other stuff. No matter how broad the background ideas are, there are a lot of ideas that they won't cover. That said, breaking up what parts of a character come from their biological traits and which ones come from cultural traits is probably a good idea.


This looks interesting, can't wait to learn more. :)


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You keep using words like "confusing" and "stream-lining", but you're not very convincing about it. Because, face it, most GMs can hand wave any of the difficulty of your system away, but can that difficulty so easily be reinserted? Your game is challenging and complex, and while it seems you think that is a detriment to your bottom line, I think you're going to find that the majority of your players see it as the very core of your value.

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