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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8 people marked this as a favorite.
Squiggit wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
Paizo is a company that shows respect for their customers and fans
Yeah, until yesterday I thought so too. Then they kicked me in the balls
That is ludicrously melodramatic

No....not really.....

I know when I looked at the site this morning and saw the news....it felt like someone had punched me in the gut......a feeling that has persisted most of the day.

Just depends on what it means to you ;)

I jumped onto Pathfinder right during the 4E fiasco...in part because I was happy, not to mention financially heavily invested in the 3.5 system. There of course was also the way WC was treating long term collaborative allies (like Paizo) involved as well.....which was horrible.

As usual everyone is trying to stress why "their stance" is correct, and downplaying anyone who's reaction is different.
I get it, it's the broken communication mode the internet has created.

I'll look at the playtest....but if it's a drastically different beast....I'm not interested. With the exception of some very questionable recent releases, I like what Paizo has done with 3.5, and that's what I'm sticking with.

I don't want "streamlined" character creation that reduces characters to flat 2 dimensional characters.

I'm just not interested in "Table Top Video Games".


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Keith McVay wrote:

One thing I will say is that 5E got it right in the amount of products it releases, which are minimal.

Obviously it works for some people but I really have to disagree myself.

When 5e first came out I thought the system was neat but eagerly waited for more content to be published before I really dug into it... and in four years they've released all of two major splat books.

So I'm still waiting.

Also worth noting that such a model is probably unsustainable for a company like Paizo who doesn't have something like MTG to fall back on.

But I'll freely admit I'm on the other end of the spectrum here, to the point where I'm frustrated by how slow Starfinder's content cycle is too.

It seems to work for WotC, seeing how 5e dominates the market for the 15th quarter in a row, while also adding new players to the player pool.

This is something I think a lot of people is missing here. Some people has stated in this thread that "Paizo will lose the grognards" and "Paizo won't win 5e players back" or "Paizo won't beat WotC at their market" and whatever.

First, grognards are also being swallowed by 5e. There is no lack of podcasts and youtube series of people playing 5e with grey beards that starting to play the game when Dave Arneson's name was still printed in the books.

Second, "win the 3e grognards or win the 5e players" is a false dichotomy. It states that those two are the only kind of players out there, which is false, just like 5e showed. There is a different kind of player: new players. DnD managed to blow the sales ranks, while ADDING new players.

Third, new players are, long term, a much better investment. If only because old grognards with gray hair (like myself) will die of older age sooner than new players drawn into the hobby. There is people out there who started to play in 1980 or before. That's 35 years committed to the hobby. Those people won't be there for another 35 years, because of pure age. BUT new players who...

I actually think (that means I do not know, have no stats, no evidence except anecdotal) that a majority of PF players and 3e/3.5 grognards are not as old as the greybeards (AD&D grognards or OD&D grognards) on average. I'd say most started with 3e or 3.5 over a decade ago and most of the PF average grognards are probably ranging in age from their late 20s to their late 30s at this point.

Sure, they may die before the teen agers do...but I'd say on average the old 3e grognard probably has at least 40-50 good years of life left.

I'm not sure that's going to make a HUGE difference in how long this edition is played as the edition probably will last around 10 years (if that), and D&D has only been around for a little over 40 years.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I am so sad that my system is closing down and there will be no more APs for it. I waited really patiently for an Arcadia AP. I held out and out and out and out and I waited and I waited and I waited. I'm really sad that now, in all likelihood, I will never see the one thing I really waited for.

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

They have not announced the last AP, Samy. Nor what they will do in 2e.

You’re one of my favorite GMs. If they do release an Arcadian AP, I know exacttly whom I would want to GM it for me.

Hmm

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.

indeed, I believe it was Erik Mona that gave a very, very subtle hint that the final AP might be an Arcadian one. When asked directly about Arcadia, he said, "we haven't announce our final 1st Ed AP yet." Paraphrasing of course.

Of course this doesn't mean the final AP will be Arcadia, but its a distinct possibility.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
Paizo is a company that shows respect for their customers and fans
Yeah, until yesterday I thought so too. Then they kicked me in the balls
That is ludicrously melodramatic
No....not really.....

I'm skeptical of some of the proposed changes too. From what I've heard right now I'm not at all convinced I'll ever buy a PF 2e product. I really don't like 5e and I'm not going to invest in a game that throws customization and development out the window for a streamlined experience. It just doesn't interest me, although I will acknowledge that we actually have very little meat right now.

But all of that aside equating this to a personal insult, physical assault or some sort of fundamental betrayal is absolutely absurd, and frankly reading this thread has left me deeply concerned about some of my fellow posters.

So yes really.


Congrats, Paizo!

From reading the FAQ, it looks like you guys are making some great improvements. I expect you'll strike the right balance and end up with a great product.

I'll be taking a look at the playtest, but it is unlikely I'll be converting any time soon. But then, I've been playing a homebrew version of Pathfinder for many years now. You pretty much lost me back with the release of Unchained. Probably the biggest hurdle for switching will be the HeroLab monetary cost and the mountain of homebrew HeroLab code that would all have to be rewritten. But who knows?

That being said, what probably grabbed my interest most is the different "game modes" (Encounter, Exploration, etc.) If spell durations got tied to that, that would be a huge improvement. A few of the durations now are a little awkward - min/level and 10 min/level.

I'll have to see how you implement it, but having lots of different Reactions, like the Red Dragon example could be really cool or a giant mess of complexity that ends up being hand-waved or ignored.

Otherwise, what you've hinted at so far looks like a move in the right direction.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Squiggit wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
Paizo is a company that shows respect for their customers and fans
Yeah, until yesterday I thought so too. Then they kicked me in the balls
That is ludicrously melodramatic
No....not really.....

I'm skeptical of some of the proposed changes too. From what I've heard right now I'm not at all convinced I'll ever buy a PF 2e product. I really don't like 5e and I'm not going to invest in a game that throws customization and development out the window for a streamlined experience. It just doesn't interest me, although I will acknowledge that we actually have very little meat right now.

But all of that aside equating this to a personal insult, physical assault or some sort of fundamental betrayal is absolutely absurd, and frankly reading this thread has left me deeply concerned about some of my fellow posters.

So yes really.

Nope....they are expressing a reaction....and they are entitled to that reaction ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

And Paizo is entitled to not go out of business and layoff their devstaff.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
Paizo is a company that shows respect for their customers and fans
Yeah, until yesterday I thought so too. Then they kicked me in the balls
That is ludicrously melodramatic
No....not really.....

I'm skeptical of some of the proposed changes too. From what I've heard right now I'm not at all convinced I'll ever buy a PF 2e product. I really don't like 5e and I'm not going to invest in a game that throws customization and development out the window for a streamlined experience. It just doesn't interest me, although I will acknowledge that we actually have very little meat right now.

But all of that aside equating this to a personal insult, physical assault or some sort of fundamental betrayal is absolutely absurd, and frankly reading this thread has left me deeply concerned about some of my fellow posters.

So yes really.

Nope....they are expressing a reaction....and they are entitled to that reaction ;)

I'm with Squiggit on this one. You're entitled to be anxious, concerned, or even angry about the prospects of 2e all you want (as criticisms that are brought up will ultimately help make 2e as enjoyable as possible for those who will be buying it), but to treat the mere announcement of a playtest for 2e as some sort of personal slight or a proverbial punch in the face is downright childish.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:


Nope....they are expressing a reaction....and they are entitled to that reaction ;)

Well yeah, and I'm entitled to react to that reaction. So that seems pretty tangential here.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Hythlodeus wrote:
Arakasius wrote:
And Paizo is entitled to not go out of business and layoff their devstaff.
good, best way to achieve that: treat their customers better

They're treating you better than you're treating them. They're giving the playtest material out for free, and giving 1 1/4 year warning that it's coming.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Sooo just to check, like I said, I'm personally feeling mixed, but are you saying that customers who wanted 2nd editon aren't "real customers"? I mean, you just said that they should treat their customers better and there are plenty of people who are happy about 2nd edition being a thing. From places that aren't paizo forum, it even seems to be the more common opinion.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Hythlodeus wrote:
Arakasius wrote:
And Paizo is entitled to not go out of business and layoff their devstaff.
good, best way to achieve that: treat their customers better

Sorry dude Pathfinder is a dying game. They are losing their market share to 5th as well as other games. There is literally no content out there on the internet that actually talks about Pathfinder anymore other than Know Direction. I love those guys, but their videos get barely any views. Not many people outside these forums actually want to play this game anymore. It’s nice of you to say they should throw themselves on their swords to satisfy you, but I’m guessing they want to actually use the skills they’ve shown in ten years of this game to show they’re still relevant instead of slowly fading away into maintenance mode. The people on these boards are shrinking and leaving for other games and there is only so much they alone can make Paizo profitable and keep their staff employed.

Given that Pathfinder is only going downhill from here, what would you have them do? If they just stuck to what they have that’s only a losing proposition. The amount of players they’re hemorrhaging and their lack of appeal to new gamers is a death sentence to the pathfinder line. If like you said they treat the old guard better it gives them nothing but the end of all Pathfinder. That’s pretty much inevitable.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I have no idea if it has been said already, I just read the preview and came to comment: it sounds an awful lot like D&D 4E, which is honestly disheartening and terrifying.

The terminology itself causes goosebumps... "encounter mode", "exploration mode"... well, I have 8 Gb ram, can I run it?

That, aside from the fact that an entire new game with a new set of rules would have been perfectly fine. But another edition of Pathfinder should have never passed through people's mind. There would be a lot to say about this, but I guess it was said already and will be said again (a quick and minor example: the unchained rules when the system was already nearing the end of its life cycle... it's like "hey', come buy this book to correct how you played till now, nevermind that shortly we'll make you dump it along with all the others"); and if the developers want to take this route anyway, I guess this kind of let down is only natural in any company.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I read through the first twelve pages of comments, but gave up on the remainder due to time constraints (got a PbP to update!! woot!). I'm sure I missed many fave-worthy remarks. I offer humble apologies.

But, to get to the point:

1) I have deep reservations about this shift. This is most likely a holdover from my experience with the recent (-ish) iterations of WotC's particular property, so take this with a grain of salt:

3.5 was the upgrade 3.0 needed. 4th and 5th were, in my current estimation, grievous oversimplifications of a vibrant rules system for fantasy TTRPGing. There are elements of both that I do like, but they, by and large, butcher the joy of character building/development by streamlining too much. Cookie-cutters, indeed.

2) I will voice my vote to abstain from infusing the core rules with campaign setting lore. That said, I still frequently "copy/paste/rebrand" particular content for my own games, as I am an incorrigible sandbox homebrewer. It is far easier to port good rules/mechanics over to one's own game(s) when there is less "baggage" attached. "Setting-agnostic" gets my vote here. (But I would make that happen anyway, so -- "No biggie.")

3) Having goblins as a core race is a fine idea! There is always benefit to be found in expanding options. I prefer games that are inclined toward "no upper bound" in terms of viable choices. And, fortunately, resources *do* exist for adapting that vision to our existing games already -- Thanks, OGL!!

4) If any of you reading this are bound and determined to offload your PF1E books, I am *very* interested in finding a way to procure them. PM me with lists and asking prices!!

5) The best part of this announcement is that we see how active and engaged the entire community is. Whether for weal or woe in expressing ourselves here, we all love the game. I'll probably come through this transition as a resolute 1E'er, but my friendships here won't be lost because of the change. For instance:

Spoilered for content:
Disney may have acquired the rights to Star Wars (probably my favorite franchise ever, and I may be terribly displeased with what they've done with it, but as long as I'm alive, the SWEU will live on! It's tough for me to collaborate/cooperate with other Star Wars fans who've taken to that shift more warmly than I (as Orthos can attest), but I'm glad there are other fans out there!
CONCLUSION: We'll be okay, folks. Don't panic!

6) To Paizo leadership: best of luck! I'll see what I make of your new work as the day approaches!!

EDITED: 'cause I can't code, nor count, properly. lol

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, I guess at least I can look forward to seeing 1e product on sale at the FLGS...


5 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
are you saying that customers who wanted 2nd editon aren't "real customers"?

no, why, are you implying I'm not a 'real' customer?

look, I wouldn't be against a second edition per se if a couple of things were guaranteed, like a new edition that is more of an update (like3.5 was to 3.0 or PF was to 3.5), incorporating a couple of good ideas but not a huge rebuild from scratch and/or if it is easyly backwards compatible. that way everyone would have their cake, everbody had a choice, everybody would be happy, those who wanted a second edition would have a second edition, the rest of us could still have access to new content.
The decision was made to cut off a part of the customers by doing something different and I don't think that's very customer friendly


Heck just look at the Zenith guide page which has been great for me for building characters. Most of the guides date from 2014/2015 and are not being updated anymore. All the YouTube content on DMing which I’ve been voraciously watching over the last year is all 5th edition or Call of Cthulhu centric. It’s just really hard to find any good content out there for Pathfinder anymore. This is only going to continue to get worse. I hope Starfinder continues to do well, but I would prefer if Paizo can reinvigorate Pathfinder.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Arakasius wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Arakasius wrote:
And Paizo is entitled to not go out of business and layoff their devstaff.
good, best way to achieve that: treat their customers better

Sorry dude Pathfinder is a dying game. They are losing their market share to 5th as well as other games. There is literally no content out there on the internet that actually talks about Pathfinder anymore other than Know Direction. I love those guys, but their videos get barely any views. Not many people outside these forums actually want to play this game anymore. It’s nice of you to say they should throw themselves on their swords to satisfy you, but I’m guessing they want to actually use the skills they’ve shown in ten years of this game to show they’re still relevant instead of slowly fading away into maintenance mode. The people on these boards are shrinking and leaving for other games and there is only so much they alone can make Paizo profitable and keep their staff employed.

Given that Pathfinder is only going downhill from here, what would you have them do? If they just stuck to what they have that’s only a losing proposition. The amount of players they’re hemorrhaging and their lack of appeal to new gamers is a death sentence to the pathfinder line. If like you said they treat the old guard better it gives them nothing but the end of all Pathfinder. That’s pretty much inevitable.

Are we sure about this? I don't frequent other sites all that often but even I see them talk about Pathfinder/Paizo quite frequently. I think any reports of its death are wildly inaccurate.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm definitely interested to see how this playtest will change the game. One of the reasons I migrated away from Pathfinder was the incredible amount of product that was being released and the ability of players to create munchkin characters. I know that both of these issues can be mitigated by a good GM, but I got tired of trying to placate whiny players trying to create uber characters and I wanted less complexity in my game system of choice.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
knightnday wrote:
Arakasius wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Arakasius wrote:
And Paizo is entitled to not go out of business and layoff their devstaff.
good, best way to achieve that: treat their customers better
Sorry dude Pathfinder is a dying game.
Are we sure about this? I don't frequent other sites all that often but even I see them talk about Pathfinder/Paizo quite frequently. I think any reports of its death are wildly inaccurate.

Trying to base opinions for 2e off of whether or not Paizo/Pathfinder is dying or is financially dipping isn't really constructive, and in my opinion it gets in the way of objective conversation about the transition from 1e to 2e. 1e has been around for almost a decade, and Pathfinder is going to get a second edition - at this point there's no going back from that, regardless of whatever "motive" Paizo had to facilitate this evolution in the game, and at this point it's more important to ask how we can make 2e as enjoyable as possible rather than gripe about whether or not there needs to be a new edition to begin with.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Patrick Newcarry wrote:
Purplefixer wrote:
Will I be able to print my Golarion-centric Adventure Path ("World In Chains", because Zon-Kuthon needs more love) as a 1e third party product once the line is dropped?
In all seriousness, though, you will be able to publish your 1e AP under the OGL as a third party, as per the FAQ they released yesterday.

Actually, by my understanding (IANAL), that AP is unpublishable under any ruleset. It's not a question of OGL but of Paizo's intellectual property. No one else is allowed to use Golarion places, deities, proper nouns, etc.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
knightnday wrote:
Arakasius wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Arakasius wrote:
And Paizo is entitled to not go out of business and layoff their devstaff.
good, best way to achieve that: treat their customers better

Sorry dude Pathfinder is a dying game. They are losing their market share to 5th as well as other games. There is literally no content out there on the internet that actually talks about Pathfinder anymore other than Know Direction. I love those guys, but their videos get barely any views. Not many people outside these forums actually want to play this game anymore. It’s nice of you to say they should throw themselves on their swords to satisfy you, but I’m guessing they want to actually use the skills they’ve shown in ten years of this game to show they’re still relevant instead of slowly fading away into maintenance mode. The people on these boards are shrinking and leaving for other games and there is only so much they alone can make Paizo profitable and keep their staff employed.

Given that Pathfinder is only going downhill from here, what would you have them do? If they just stuck to what they have that’s only a losing proposition. The amount of players they’re hemorrhaging and their lack of appeal to new gamers is a death sentence to the pathfinder line. If like you said they treat the old guard better it gives them nothing but the end of all Pathfinder. That’s pretty much inevitable.

Are we sure about this? I don't frequent other sites all that often but even I see them talk about Pathfinder/Paizo quite frequently. I think any reports of its death are wildly inaccurate.

Paizo”s market share is declining, however I don’t think the game is dying.

Lisa Stevens posted recently that PF CRB books have been steady sellers and she didn’t think there’d been any significant drop in sales recently.

I suspect there may have been a drop off in sales of supplements (since they’ve obviously scaled back production in recent times and one would think that if it was workload based rather than sales based, they would rather have hired more people) but I haven’t heard that officially confirmed.

Like all things, I suspect it’s a complicated mix of factors. The designers are probably itching to design a game unshackled by the 3.5 constraints and there’s probably good business reasons to launch the change now.


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I have to agree with the side that feels this is bad news. I've been playing Pathfinder for a long time and even spent an entire summer participating with strangers in local PFS groups (which is a big step for me since I'm normally too introverted to go out by myself and talk to a group of people I don't know). That's how much I loved Pathfinder.

I enjoyed playing D&D 3.5, and when it become 4E, I disliked the change. I tried it, but really disliked it. Then I found out about Pathfinder, and it was exactly what I was looking for. I introduced some of my old 3.5 friends to it, the ones who were also disappointed with 4E, and together we started playing Pathfinder. And we loved it. It's hard to believe we've invested nearly 10 years in it already.

But now it feels like a legacy is coming to an end. It's a bit disheartening, but I guess nothing good lasts forever. I already know I will dislike 2nd Edition based on some of the things I've read. That doesn't mean I won't give it a try. I gave D&D 4E and even 5E a try, but I didn't like either of them. And I'll give Pathfinder 2E a try. But I really doubt it'll give me the enjoyment Pathfinder has given me all these years, so I will most likely not invest any more money into it.

It's a shame that this is the decision Paizo has come to. I didn't think they were hurting this badly. In each of the local gaming stores I do my shopping, Pathfinder by far dominates the RPG section. There's only one tiny shelf for D&D products, while Pathfinder covers nearly a dozen others. And I feel this decision only serves to split the playerbase. If new blood is what they were looking for, it would have been a much wiser decision to simply relaunch the game with a fully compatible system. In exactly the same way the Unchained book brought new life to several classes, a new "Unchained" core book with the original classes and races would have been better - a stepping on point for new players where you could make the changes that need to be made for new players and players who want the change; but still allowing older players to continue moving forward with what they've already invested in.


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knightnday wrote:
Are we sure about this? I don't frequent other sites all that often but even I see them talk about Pathfinder/Paizo quite frequently. I think any reports of its death are wildly inaccurate.

There is KnowDirection which has several articles a week on Pathfinder. I especially love Augunus’ content. They have good videos too. There is the blogs/posts here and on reddit. But there really is no Pathfinder specific sites out there or video content. Dawnforgedcast used to do Pathfinder but gave it up. Nerdarchy talks a little about it. When I started DM’ing at the start of last year I looked for resources on Pathfinder online to help me. There just isn’t any out there.

http://zenithgames.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-comprehensive-pathfinder-guides .html Has been immensely valuable. But look at the content there and how far out of date most of it is. Tons of unfinished guides, guides that haven’t been updated in years, authors who have moved on in life. Nothing has stepped up and filled the void since 2015 and the rise of 5th. The only time people outside the Paizo sphere mention Pathfinder is to say how outdated it is and that it’s being crushed by 5th. It seems like you guys are living in a bubble if you don’t know what the general public perception of Pathfinder is. It’s dying and it seems quite a few people here are oblivious to it.

Silver Crusade

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Okay, I have some opinions.

1: Everything Paizo has said about their reasons for doing this makes sense and is reasonable.

2: I am not worried that this game will be worse. I adored Starfinder, and so expect I will like 2nd edition more than I like 1st, and that's not taking into account that 2e will have the advantage of being playtested.

3: The idea that "you have to buy all the books again" is nonsense. If they didn't do this, they would have put out new books for PF and I would have bought them. It's the same either way. I'll buy maybe one extra hardcover total.

4: While the invalidation of previous purchases is a valid thing to be annoyed about, it is not as bad as them being useless. I have a lot of setting books, and many of them will be as useful as before. Most will only lose settlement stat blocks and their bestiaries.


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NO

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Friendly Rogue wrote:
at this point it's more important to ask how we can make 2e as enjoyable as possible rather than gripe about whether or not there needs to be a new edition to begin with.

Well, for me it's backwards compatibility. If I can use 2e APs in 1e mostly on the fly, then that will influence my opinion quite a bit. Maps and story obviously are easily transferable, so the big things are statblocks. I'm going to assume that CRs are going to remain largely the same, so I can drop a 1e orc into an encounter where the adventure has a 2e orc, and I can drop a 1e ettin into an encounter where the adventure has a 2e ettin. So it's only the custom statblocks that are going to largely be a problem. If the 2e statblock format will essentially give all the information that I'd need to run the creature in 1e ruleset, then I'm good and I think that would make me much more positively oriented. I suppose there will probably also be forum threads to backport APs, but those are a pain to browse while running a game, or to print out for gaming, so I would prefer a 2e statblock design that accommodates 1e as much as humanly possible.

If they *really* wanted to go out of their way in building bridges between the editions, custom statblocks could have a "Legacy Section" where they'd print a few lines of statistics that would be useful specifically to 1e players running the 2e AP in 1e. Such an overture would generate a massive amount of goodwill from me.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

Paizo”s market share is declining, however I don’t think the game is dying.

Lisa Stevens posted recently that PF CRB books have been steady sellers and she didn’t think there’d been any significant drop in sales recently.

I suspect there may have been a drop off in sales of supplements (since they’ve obviously scaled back production in recent times and one would think...

Paizo Market Share is declining, but because the market is bigger.

If you sell 10 millions in a 11 millions market, you have nearly 90% of the market. If 5e comes, and grows market to 31 millions, with Paizo holding 10 millions, 5e holding 20 millions, and everyone else 1 million, then you sell the same, but your market share is lower. This is mostly what is happening here.

I suspect APs still sell well, and core book and "basic additions" such as Advanced Player Guide still sell reasonably well. The extra supplements sell worse, because despite what some people seem to be adamantly believing, there IS a diminishing return in interest the more supplements you get out. A book about adventuring gear, or a book with extra base classes with iconic roots in fantasy, such as Magus, Witch or Alchemist, get more sales than The Complete Book of Halfling Traders With Wet Socks Who Live In Rainy Forest Areas. Niche goods only sell within a niche market.

Grand Lodge

Samy wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:
at this point it's more important to ask how we can make 2e as enjoyable as possible rather than gripe about whether or not there needs to be a new edition to begin with.
Well, for me it's backwards compatibility. If I can use 2e APs in 1e mostly on the fly, then that will influence my opinion quite a bit. Maps and story obviously are easily transferable, so the big things are statblocks. I'm going to assume that CRs are going to remain largely the same, so I can drop a 1e orc into an encounter where the adventure has a 2e orc, and I can drop a 1e ettin into an encounter where the adventure has a 2e ettin. So it's only the custom statblocks that are going to largely be a problem. If the 2e statblock format will essentially give all the information that I'd need to run the creature in 1e ruleset, then I'm good and I think that would make me much more positively oriented. I suppose there will probably also be forum threads to backport APs, but those are a pain to browse while running a game, or to print out for gaming, so I would prefer a 2e statblock design that accommodates 1e as much as humanly possible.

It's sounding more like it's just 1e stuff can be converted to 2e. It's like the PlayStation. You can absolutely play your PS1 games on the PS2, but you can't go back.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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Removed a series of escalating posts and replies. I know many of you are very excited (in either direction) about this announcement. It is not okay to insult, fight or be dismissive of people who are nervous or upset about the new edition. Conversely, it's not okay to pick on people who are all in on a new edition. There is room in the hobby, and on our messageboards to for people to like different things or variations on a thing. By all means, please let us know what you are excited about or not excited about, but you need to remain respectful of your fellow community members while you do it. Remember, we are all here because we share a connection over the enjoyment of roleplaying games. Help us foster a welcoming environment on our forums. Thanks.


Samy wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:
at this point it's more important to ask how we can make 2e as enjoyable as possible rather than gripe about whether or not there needs to be a new edition to begin with.
Well, for me it's backwards compatibility. If I can use 2e APs in 1e mostly on the fly, then that will influence my opinion quite a bit. Maps and story obviously are easily transferable, so the big things are statblocks. I'm going to assume that CRs are going to remain largely the same, so I can drop a 1e orc into an encounter where the adventure has a 2e orc, and I can drop a 1e ettin into an encounter where the adventure has a 2e ettin. So it's only the custom statblocks that are going to largely be a problem. If the 2e statblock format will essentially give all the information that I'd need to run the creature in 1e ruleset, then I'm good and I think that would make me much more positively oriented. I suppose there will probably also be forum threads to backport APs, but those are a pain to browse while running a game, or to print out for gaming, so I would prefer a 2e statblock design that accommodates 1e as much as humanly possible.

I agree; I primarily use a homebrew setting (I still love Golarion though) because it allows me to use the commonplace guns rules, as my homebrew setting is mostly gaslamp fantasy and I draw a lot of inspiration from the Georgian era, flintlock weaponry included. Having the ability to quickly transfer 1e firearm rules into 2e would be unfathomably beneficial for me until the Gunslinger (or firearms in general) gets ported into 2e

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
kevin_video wrote:
Samy wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:
at this point it's more important to ask how we can make 2e as enjoyable as possible
Well, for me it's backwards compatibility. If I can use 2e APs in 1e mostly on the fly, then that will influence my opinion quite a bit.
It's sounding more like it's just 1e stuff can be converted to 2e.

And that's why my initial reaction has been negative. If they can turn that boat around and make it more of a two-way street, then I can envision myself moving on to 2e someday. Just like I moved from 3.5 to PF once PF had filled out enough options to be worth playing (about 5 years into PF).


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Samy wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:
at this point it's more important to ask how we can make 2e as enjoyable as possible rather than gripe about whether or not there needs to be a new edition to begin with.

Well, for me it's backwards compatibility. If I can use 2e APs in 1e mostly on the fly, then that will influence my opinion quite a bit. Maps and story obviously are easily transferable, so the big things are statblocks. I'm going to assume that CRs are going to remain largely the same, so I can drop a 1e orc into an encounter where the adventure has a 2e orc, and I can drop a 1e ettin into an encounter where the adventure has a 2e ettin. So it's only the custom statblocks that are going to largely be a problem. If the 2e statblock format will essentially give all the information that I'd need to run the creature in 1e ruleset, then I'm good and I think that would make me much more positively oriented. I suppose there will probably also be forum threads to backport APs, but those are a pain to browse while running a game, or to print out for gaming, so I would prefer a 2e statblock design that accommodates 1e as much as humanly possible.

If they *really* wanted to go out of their way in building bridges between the editions, custom statblocks could have a "Legacy Section" where they'd print a few lines of statistics that would be useful specifically to 1e players running the 2e AP in 1e. Such an overture would generate a massive amount of goodwill from me.

This is a big point for me. If all of my 1st edition material is still relevant, and easily convertible.....fine.

If it's an entirely different game....with different rules...or a lot of re-writing..ya sorry....not interested. Easy backwards compatibility is a HUGE point for me.

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