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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Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alchemaic wrote:
Skeld wrote:
Quote:
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 reading through this, I think the "feat chains" in question might be more akin to the class-based Talents that each class in Star Wars Saga Edition received, and not the "feat chains" we're used to seeing in Pathfinder.

That would make the more like chained Rogue Talents, which might be cool.

-Skeld

Most classes have that already though, so if that were the case it would be needlessly confusing for no purpose apart from confusing people.

Some classes have that, yes. There isn't a consistent name for it (Talents, Tricks, Discoveries, etc.). And, most of them aren't "chains," so I can see why they might have called them "feat chains" even though it is a confusing term.

-Skeld

Edit: I don't really care what they're called, but I do care what they are.

Paizo Employee Designer

15 people marked this as a favorite.

For folks who are wondering about backgrounds, we will be talking about those in detail later. They're not that similar to Starfinder themes or to 5E backgrounds, for the record.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gondolin wrote:

DM Alistair wrote :I never understood the hate against 4e and 5e.

For me, it was because when WoTC hyped their upcoming 4.0 and told us : «in the meantime, keep playing and buying D&D 3.5.» Only to find out later thant the 500$ worth of stuff I bought from those dweebs, would not be useable with 4.0. So I stuck with Paizo and Pathfinder and never gave WoTC another dime.

Or that 4E was supposed to be like Star Wars SAGA... and it wasn't even close.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Some of the common criticisms of some Pathfinder classes is that they don't allow regular choices of class features- Magi get arcana, oracles get revelations, rogues get talents but gunslingers and swashbucklers don't choose their deeds, sorcerers and clerics make their most meaningful choices at level 1, etc.

So I'm imagining they're just going to standardize the approach that people like- leveling a character involves making regular choices of class specific abilities. At least, I hope they're doing that.

Sovereign Court

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Paladinosaur wrote:
Just getting rid of the whole "do you mean racial traits or racial traits" thing is worth a 2E.

I know I'm certainly going to miss explaining the difference every couple of months or so. ^_^


I basically have zero desire to GM or play PFS anymore, at least until 2.0 comes out. Basically it feels like the last few years of building characters have been wasted and GMing anything going forward is pointless since stars, boon, entire classes, and more importantly money and time will be and have been wasted since nothing seems to be carrying over.

Grand Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

PFS has never been about the money, the levels, the boons. It's always been about....the play play play.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kohl McClash 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.

- 3 Core Books
- An adventure HC or 2 a year
- One crunch/fluff combo book about a specific topic

So in 4 years they have (I think)

- 3 Core Books
- 8 Adventures
- 3 Fluff/Crunch Niche Books (Volo, Mordenkainen and Xanathar)

I don't think people want non-stop books of feats and mediocre classes. Sales of 5E seem to indicate this and my personal buying preferences align with this philosophy.

Amen and agreeed! I bought the first few APs which were great but i stopped buying cause I already had enough to use in my lifetime so a slower release schedule fits my buying habits than the book of the month club Paizo release trend.

They don't put stuff out because Hasbro doesn't care enough. WoTC is in a three story building, with one floor storage and one being rented out. their bread and butter is Magic. They are having 3rd parties do their heavy lifting like Kobold and Green Ronin.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
PFS has never been about the money, the levels, the boons. It's always been about....the play play play.

I never thought I would enjoy PFS until PaizoCon. Met great people, played some Iconics and had fun. Took my papers home to apply to a character I was going to start playing in PFS... and passed because the PFS out here is nothing like the Con experience. Made me happy I have a somewhat stable game group.

The more I read, the more I'm looking forward to PF2.0.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Put me in the "rather have Tengu than Goblins" camp, though I imagine that ship has sailed already.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

They could replace half-elves, and kobolds could replace half-orcs... lizards with no mammalian glands!

Sovereign Court

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I'm in favor of pretty much anything over goblins, to be honest.

Hobgoblins would have been cool, though. We already have Kaoling. And imagine if Ironfang Invasion had been written around the hobgoblins getting a homeland of their own.


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

See, *hobgoblins* wouldn't be as much of an issue. They work well in groups, they have discipline, they're literate...

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

...they're kinda hot...

What?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

... Well, y'know, some of us have had goblin PCs for years now... <_<


4 people marked this as a favorite.

...hobgobs wig game is on fleek...


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Put me in the camp of "I will not play."

This is a losing move for Paizo.

You've been losing market share every quarter for 14 quarters. So.. whats management do?

Fragment your existing user base. Brilliant.

As I predicted a year ago - paizo would continue two trends:
a). simplification of the rules system (because 4th edition worked so well)
b). Diminish the power of mages.

So here is how all this is going to pan out.

Paizo is going to create a huge disenfranchised group that will not move to 2nd edition.

Paizo will not attract any new users to replace its old users? All those supposed new users are already playing 5th edition.

Nothing in this will attract new players. Nothing says I want to play more than - oh, yeah. All your old investment is hosed, go out and purchase $300-$400 dollars worth of crap.

What Pathfinder needed - rather than a rules reboot, was a better campaign. Micro transactionalize certs, to give paizo a slice, and then let independent judges set up a compelling world.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I still don't know why the watermelon was there.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

13 people marked this as a favorite.
Perfect Tommy wrote:
Micro transactionalize certs

I don't know if the folks at EA would recommend that.

Dark Archive

Hythlodeus wrote:
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?

Because you said paizo isn't respecting customers by creating new edition? So customers who disagree don't matter?

Anyway, from what I've seen, people preferring new edition is majority of people. Heck, my players prefer there to be new edition to fix problems of first one even though I didn't like idea :P

Again, problem of 4e wasn't that it was streamlined, problem of it was that it become more of tactical wargame with roleplayng parts being heavily downplayed. While I don't like 5e, it has been really positively received and until we see the playtest, we don't know for sure if Pathfinder is trying to become more 5e than 3.5. Either way, even if Pathfinder ended up being more complex customizable 5e, that wouldn't really be that bad.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Moreland wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
Micro transactionalize certs
I don't know if the folks at EA would recommend that.

Just in: Pathfinder 2e Loot Boxes confirmed.

(Definitely a joke, but don't get any funny ideas, Paizo)


Mark Moreland wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
Micro transactionalize certs
I don't know if the folks at EA would recommend that.

Sure, just because one company implemented it poorly means that all will. When I was talking about certs- I was talking about opening up a collaborative game world. If a third party wants to create a land of dragons - collect 5-10% of what that company collects for creating a good game play experience for players.

Look more than anything else, pathfinder is an IP (intellectual property) game. The question is how do you converts IP into $$.

WOTC developers had a fascinating panel discussion where they talked about they believe the future of the franchise isn't in rule books - but in licensing.

Bottom line: People get together at peoples homes, and at games stores and they play together. Conceptually this is no different than spending $10 for a movie.

You pay to play. Pathfinder has a poor conversion route. People can steal the IP, and play for free. They try to make money off publishing rule books.

They moved in the right direction when they sold adventure paths and modules. Personally, I'd tell them to give away the rules and sell the experience.

Personally, I suspect pathfinder players are probably willing to pay to play. Perhaps intro players, or those on tight budgets would pay $1-$3 dollar sessions, of staler content.

Upscale players might play $5-$10 for faster access or customization - the ability to modify the game world.

I'm not suggesting btw that people be able to purchase in game advantage - thats a pretty fast way to turn off players. But as a GM, I'd pay $5-10 to have a setting or encounter populate a virtual world.

As a player, I'd probably pay a couple of bucks to play well rated, well judged encounters.

Silver Crusade

17 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Perfect Tommy wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
Micro transactionalize certs
I don't know if the folks at EA would recommend that.

Sure, just because one company implemented it poorly means that all will.

Look more than anything else, pathfinder is an IP (intellectual property) game. The question is how do you converts IP into $$.

WOTC developers had a fascinating panel discussion where they talked about they believe the future of the franchise isn't in rule books - but in licensing.

Bottom line: People get together at peoples homes, and at games stores and they play together. Conceptually this is no different than spending $10 for a movie.

You pay to play. Pathfinder has a poor conversion route. People can steal the IP, and play for free. They try to make money off publishing rule books.

They moved in the right direction when they sold adventure paths and modules. Personally, I'd tell them to give away the rules and sell the experience.

Personally, I suspect pathfinder players are probably willing to pay to play. Perhaps intro players, or those on tight budgets would pay $1-$3 dollar sessions, of staler content.

Upscale players might play $5-$10 for faster access or customization - the ability to modify the game world.

I'm not suggesting btw that people be able to purchase in game advantage - thats a pretty fast way to turn off players. But as a GM, I'd pay $5-10 to have a setting or encounter populate a virtual world.

As a player, I'd probably pay a couple of bucks to play well rated, well judged encounters.

Please stop.


I for one am excited. I started playing maybe 4 or 5 years a go, but over the past year or two i've played more 5E but I always preferred Golarions Lore, and Paizo as a company over all. I am excited to try out the new system, and offer my 2 cents in when the playtest comes out.

I for one am excited for goblins as a core race, and some of the new rules seem really fascinating.

I hope those who don't move over to 2nd edition continue to find great games to play, if I a reading correctly society for 1E won't be shut down, so in my deepest hearts I hope you can continue to find what you are looking for.

ALso P1E looks like Pie and I will forever call it pie from now on.


Something specific that's concerning me is this story about races now being called "ancestry."

Why the name change? Are the rules for races different now? Sounds exciting TBH.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have to admit, while I'm optimistic with any updated game system will include better mechanics to streamline combat and make a more organic character creation system... my friends and myself are perhaps a hair's breadth away from just switching to the more versatile "Mutants & Masterminds" game (published under "DC Adventures", but it's the same creature) for one aspect alone.

Magic.

The current magic system, built off an archaic system that was always clumsy, rarely allows you to create the sort of magic using character that you want. It's rigid, restrictive, and just clunky. There are SO many flaws with it, it's a ramble to just give one a sense of them all, but I'll hit a few key points.

◦ You have a great idea for a character that's a bit "themed". Hey, every other class seems to manage this fairly well, right? Warrior types have their swashbucklers to their barbarians. Rogues have so many options they're nearly too numerous to list. Clerics suffer a bit from the set-magic list, but they have their domain situation. Mages? You can choose from a pet or a stick for the most part. Other than that, your magic is IDENTICAL to that of another mage. Too bad if you want a necromancer-type, or maybe someone who's magic has a definitive concept of being mostly ice damage based because they're from a very cold climate. If you're fifth level and you have access to third level spells, you're kind of a dummy if you don't take either fireball or lightning bolt. Oh, you CAN customize your spells slightly... if you waste one of your too precious feats.

◦ Obviously, those classes that aren't primary spell casters shouldn't have access to as much magic as those that are. However, it's too completely dampened as to make that magic almost pointless in the heat of combat with the occasional exception of the Magus class (and then, only due to their class ability). The spell selection is far too narrow and the level of the spell is too low. I agree on keeping the number of spells available quite low... that's a good balance. But when the core spellflinger is using effects that damage nearly every opponent in a fray and you spend a round just giving yourself a +2 to hit... it often feels like a waste where it's better to simply wade into the fight than lose a round just to gain a 10% increase in your hit chance.

◦ A warrior's blade does not dull. A rogue's ability to sneak and disarm traps does not have a set number of uses in a day. However as a spellcaster, if you prep for your big spell that you can only use once a day and the scenario specifically is set up to foil that use... you feel cheated. You've wasted perhaps your most important contribution, and it feels as frustrating as spending all day getting ready for a big date only to spend an hour waiting on them showing up before realizing you've been stood up. It's not a good feeling, and that's something that should be avoided. Tricks and twists are good, but not making the player feel badly.

On that last point, this is something I've never been fond of. When you have an ability that has a limited number of uses (especially when it's only 1 to 3 times a day sort of thing), more often than not there is some sort of role associated JUST to see if the effect worked. Like a hero point spent to reroll a botched saving throw. If you roll poorly the second time... the hero point is just as wasted. I'd propose that those valuable limited abilities get spent ONLY when their effects take effect.

I'd also love to see some sort of game mechanic that conveys a good hit role to be involved in the calculation of damage when the result isn't a critical.
"I rolled an 18! Pretty good! Let me roll for damage... darn it. I rolled 1."
"Whew, I'm surprised that 12 hit for me... let me figure out my damage. I rolled max, whoo!"
How does this make even a lick of sense?

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
We said that something opened up. What has led you to the conclusion that something else has closed?

Not that it was closed, just that it never opened. If taking a background opens up feats tailored to that background it is not a big leap to think that also means you can't take feats a different background would have 'opened up' for the character.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

16 people marked this as a favorite.
Shisumo wrote:
Setting the politics aside, as we have been asked to do, the reason why I like the switch to "ancestry" is that it is a good umbrella term for what used to be ethnicity, race, and racial variant/subrace. While I don't know that this is Paizo's plan, it seems to allow for one mechanic, called ancestry, to cover "I'm a Chelaxian," "I'm a dwarf," "I'm a sea elf," and "I'm a peri-born," all in the same way.

This is a good summary of the mechanical advantages of this change in terminology, that's for sure.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
But.. I really dont want to spoil too much right now folks. Have a little patience. There is a lot here to cover and we are going to be doing blogs two to three times per week, along with recorded play sessions to give you a sense of what the playtest book will contain.

IMHO, this is a misstep. On the day of the announcement of 2e, the playtest PDF should have been made available. It boggles my mind that the playtest, starting in August of 2018 can result in any significant changes to the product released in August of 2019.

I understand Paizo wants to minimized the lame duck window when people will avoid the older edition. So a one-year window was picked. But really, other than some of the nitty-gritty details of the various classes, nothing monumental can be changed if the majority of folks just absolutely hate some of the subsystems. August to May, allowing time for final layouts and printing, is not a lot of time for playtesting an entire RPG.

The playtest material should be out ASAP. People hate uncertainty. They want to decide yay or nay. Trickling out the changes for four months will get people analyzing the blog's summary of the changes and not the actual changes. Each small thing released is another point where someone can make that yay or nay decision permanently.

Consider, the playtest page was up for a few hours and some folks thought PF2 was going to be a D&D5 off-shoot rather than a PF1 off-shoot. That's because the playtest page contains a summary of changes and not the actual changes. Nothing can describe the changes better than the playtest document itself.

Good luck.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

While I can see the need for an extensive playtest period to work out the bugs, I can also see the need for a shorter period, to prevent fatigue in the process.

With the convention seasons and whatnot being extended so long, I'm not sure a good playtest window is going to be August- May-ish.

I could be wrong.

I hope I'm wrong.

Life experience is a dear teacher, though, and trying to put a gaming community on a tight schedule is a worse exercise than herding cats in the summer when all the house windows are open.

With no offense to either cats or gamers in the above statement.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Pathfinder 1st Edition has often (and fairly rightfully) been called D&D 3.75.

I would like Pathfinder 2nd Edition to be effectively D&D 3.875 . . .

. . . and Pathfinder 3rd Edition to be effectively D&D 3.9375 . . .

. . . and Pathfinder 4th Edition to be effectively D&D 3.96875 . . .

. . . and Pathfinder 5th Edition to be effectively D&D 3.984375 . . .

Just don't hit effective D&D Edition 4.000000, or you Bust . . . Unless you make it an Unholy hybrid with Mutants and Masterminds.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I want PF2 to be what 4E should have been. It probably won't replace 5E as such but we can play both and I have been alternating 5E with AD&D/OSR games.


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Samy wrote:
Cerushad wrote:
And now I'm leaving for the next haven wherein 3.5 can Thrive.
Yeah I've been googling third party adventure paths a lot today...sadly I found out pretty much all of them have significantly less inspiring art than Pathfinder...

Lost a post to maintenance, but long story short, as a barrier to entry in pubbing a 60 page book I was looking at around $1500 in art assets. That's a very significant investment for something that is unlikely to recoup those costs. A single Iconic Portrait runs ~$200.

In order to get my book even partially illustrated I went into profit-sharing with my artist.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Putting my hat in the ring for tentatively pessimistic. I am hoping that this turns out to be Pathfinder v.1.5 rather than v.2.0. - combining original rules with F.A.Q.s/Errata, condensing the text down to provide clarifications rather than cutting down options. Then "fixing" things that have not been clarified. This does not seem to be the way things are going but I am going to keep an eye out, this needs to be given a chance after all.

*Waits to see*

P.S.: Another website glitch - the 'How to format your text' button is not working.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Phew. Okay, I'm not going to read all the posts before I write this post, because then my first post on the topic will probably be reactionary to somebody saying something I disagree with.

That having been said: Finally! I've been saying we'll get a second edition for five years now and I think the ten year mark of first editions release was something I thought likely as a release for the second one.

Things so far sound mostly good and interesting. The only thing which worries me a bit is that low-level spells are supposed to taper off in utility in later levels. Although I'm interested how that would work with combat utility like Haste, compared to obvious examples like Fireball. Of course it was obvious that something had to be done to elevate martials and it seems that Paizo did not go the Starfinder way of capping magic at level six spells. So kudos for that!

I hope the redesigned monsters will have options that allow them to work against the action economy advantage PC parties have against them. Additional rules for encounter design for groups with more (or less) than four players would also be very appreciated.

All in all, I am very excited and happy to participate in the playtest. Not sure if I can convince one of my groups to run the adventures, but we'll see what they think of it.


CorvusMask wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
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?

Because you said paizo isn't respecting customers by creating new edition? So customers who disagree don't matter?

Have you even read the rest of my answer, of how to pull of a second edition without alienating a large part of the customer base?

CorvusMask wrote:
Anyway, from what I've seen, people preferring new edition is majority of people.

from what I've seen, most people who are disappointed with Paizo's decision post about it once, declare that they would be leaving and that's about it. They don't stick around, naturally like those who are excited about the new edition


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I'm excited! Streamlines combat yes please!

I do agree that mages and spells selection is very similar in current PF and hopefully that will be addressed. I'd like to see a Necromancer have an entirely different spell list to say an Illusionist or Invoker.
Same for Different types of Druids and other spellcasters. Also more flexible spells. I think taking a couple points from Sphere's of power isnt a bad idea. Specifically having two low level but versatile spells that have unlimited usage. So that even if you run out of spells for the day you still can be useful.
Also more bad ass fighter options.
Heck I can't wait!

I do think it's a little weird to sell a playtest book though. Don't know why I would buy that instead of just wait and save cash for the official new 2e Corebook y'know.


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First off: I would like to say that I wish Paizo would open up the playtest to the general public before August 2nd for the simple reason that it will have to be shut down by January or February at the latest in order to meet the official release of Gen Con 2019. The beta test for the original edition was over a year.

Second: While I'm reserving final judgment until I have rules in hand; I think that skill pertaining to current action at time of encounter trigger for initiative is unnecessarily convoluted. The current initiative system is about as simple as it gets.

Third: I'm saddened by the news of losing CMB/CMD. This system was simple enough that people wanted to build characters that used it whether it be grappling, tripping, or sundering (or whatever other CM build). If this goes the direction that Starfinder took it, we'll see the loss of a whole classification of builds.

Fourth: Please do not go the route of Starfinder with the Stamina/HP/Resolve points. Dying and dead is so much simpler in Pathfinder as it sits currently.

Fifth: Let's keep the skill points/level. Proficiency slots sounds too much like both AD&D 2e and 4e and they were not good in either instance. I have seen people saying that it's unrealistic that an adventurer could become the foremost authority in so many subjects while actively adventuring; I say that it's not. 90% of those skills are the ones that they use day in/day out as an adventurer: Hands on, in-field experience.

Sixth: Can we please stop punishing the players that choose a ranged option as their primary offense. Charging 2 feats to get rid of a single penalty is just wrong. Starfinder did get that right. I would just ask to rework those feats in order to add to combat, not just do away with them completely.

Seventh: I like how Starfinder handled Encumbrance. The Bulk system is a lot simpler. I also like the gear levels; it makes it a lot easier for GM's to limit access to certain items until an appropriate level is attained (it also gets rid of the necessity for the Fame system in organized play for purposes item purchasing).

This is more of my personal preliminary wish list for 2e, not really a list of demands so pleas do not try to construe it as such. :)

Dark Archive

Hythlodeus wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
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?

Because you said paizo isn't respecting customers by creating new edition? So customers who disagree don't matter?

Have you even read the rest of my answer, of how to pull of a second edition without alienating a large part of the customer base?

CorvusMask wrote:
Anyway, from what I've seen, people preferring new edition is majority of people.
from what I've seen, most people who are disappointed with Paizo's decision post about it once, declare that they would be leaving and that's about it. They don't stick around, naturally like those who are excited about the new edition

Lot of Pathfinder's problems come from being too backward compatible with 3.5 to the point they didn't fix some things they really should have fixed from 3.5.

My view is that people on paizo forums who hate idea of 2nd edition are vocal minority, overall on paizo forum and other forums they are minority. I don't have concrete statistics of course, I did see some polls that implied the same though.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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RDM42 wrote:
If they become the stripped down game 5e is a lot of the appeal will vanish for many players. I seriously hope they don’t try to occupy the same design space as 5e.

I've heard this a lot.

Wizards has their space. Pathfinder has our space. Challenging them in their space would be a losing proposition... for us, for them, for gamers everywhere. Everybody loses.

Also, don't confuse "simpler" with "stripped down." If you haven't read the blog about the new action economy, please do. It describes a system that's simpler than we have now, but that is also more flexible than we have now. I can tell you from my own play experience, it allows for more varied play strategies and more interesting player decisions. But it's easier to learn and faster in play. I think it's more fun, and I think most of you will think that too, once you've tried it. THAT is what this is about.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've got mixed feelings about the high-level overview points you've provided. On the concerned side, I dread the automatic progression ideas.

If my character does not continue to train a skill, he or she should not get better at it; my street rat turned oracle will not contine to improve at sleight-of-hand or bluff - they're fluff skills that are sufficient to give her a slight edge and character, as are her sporadic in-game attempts to keep up her kn:local skill.

Worse is the thought of progression on magic items. A +1 sword will always be just a +1 sword unless I get someone to magic it up. It does not become a +2 sword when I make 5th level, nor does it magically gain the ability to help me on my saves. Want to give my cloak of the montebank some extra bonuses, fine - so long as they're static. The occasional story-plot or feat-requiring legendary item might power up along the way...

The other part that worries me is the aggressive attempt to force balance in to the game.

I'm not a "separate rules for monsters" GM. I'm open to a system that allows me to shortcut full builds or quickly create CR-balanced encounters, but in the end I want to be able to see a full stats block and some relation to a PC rules-based set of qualities. I don't want a system for monsters built for balance over interchangeability.

Also, I'm concerned when you say you don't want a wizard casting a spell to out-stealth the rogue. That's one reason why you have spell-casters - to one or twice per day exceed the normal limits of your party... In the same way, true strike is a one-shot sure hit - more certain than the fighter.

I'm intrigued if not necessarily sold on the change in actions. This is one of those "we've done it for so long..." things. If it opens up new possibilities like standing up without provoking for 2 actions, then I'm good with it.

I am also intrigued by the new character build system, some of which sounds interesting. Without the rules, it's hard to say how cool it is. I will say that the CRB could certainly use an update on the character creation process - the 5e overview was well done, e.g..

What really excites me is the evidence that you're breaking out of the same-old, same-old mold with distinguishing actions and abilities. PF1e classes and archetypes really haven't been breaking out of the mold much IMHO.

I'll join the chorus in saying you'll do yourselves and a base of loyal fans a favor if there's a decent 2e to 1e conversion guide that allows traditionalists to keep up their AP subscriptions without waiting for 2e rulebooks to re-create their favorite things. I'll also echo the desire to have more playtest time - earlier is better in hasing all of this out. I'm not sure if I'm crossing this border yet with you; I'd like to see what an updated system offers, but considering how much I didn't like from Unchained that serems to be echoed here, I'm concerned.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sebastian wrote:
Woot!!!!

Holy s*~*, he's alive.

Now, if only Mikaze came back. qq.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
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?

Because you said paizo isn't respecting customers by creating new edition? So customers who disagree don't matter?

Have you even read the rest of my answer, of how to pull of a second edition without alienating a large part of the customer base?

CorvusMask wrote:
Anyway, from what I've seen, people preferring new edition is majority of people.
from what I've seen, most people who are disappointed with Paizo's decision post about it once, declare that they would be leaving and that's about it. They don't stick around, naturally like those who are excited about the new edition
Lot of Pathfinder's problems come from being too backward compatible with 3.5

you mean, all those players who came to Pathfinder especially for that reason?


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
If they become the stripped down game 5e is a lot of the appeal will vanish for many players. I seriously hope they don’t try to occupy the same design space as 5e.

I've heard this a lot.

Wizards has their space. Pathfinder has our space. Challenging them in their space would be a losing proposition... for us, for them, for gamers everywhere. Everybody loses.

That's one of the first things I read about 2ed that makes me optimistic that 2ed might be closer to it's current iteration than suspected after reading the blog.

If that's the case, and 2nd is more like PF1.5 than D&D5.5 (which is how 90% of the blog reads), Paizo might be in good hands

Edit: Now, if we can make sure that PF2 AP2 are very easy to convert back into PF1 and that Monsters and NPCs are created by the same basic rules as PCs, I might even give PF2 a try sometime

Edit2: Also, rolled stats. Whatever you have in mind for character creation (and from the wording in the blog - that might be misleading - it doesn't look particularily enjoyable), please keep rolling stats an option


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Puck the Unlucky wrote:


I'd also love to see some sort of game mechanic that conveys a good hit role to be involved in the calculation of damage when the result isn't a critical.
"I rolled an 18! Pretty good! Let me roll for damage... darn it. I rolled 1."
"Whew, I'm surprised that 12 hit for me... let me figure out my damage. I rolled max, whoo!"
How does this make even a lick of sense?

I'd like to see something along these lines as well. Perhaps a flat damage modifier equal to the amount that the AC was exceeded by or an incremental amount (every 2, 3, or 5 points that AC was exceeded by).

I'm not sure how I feel about the exceeding AC by 10 or more being a critical yet either.


Hi all...I am interested to see what comes out in the wash so to speak. I would also be interested to get hold of a printed copy of one of the playtest books, but I assume the one shown in the pre-order form is the proposed hardcover. The deluxe edition is mentioned and sounds a different beast altogether. Would it be possible to see a copy of this before any of us decide it's worth the extra investment? Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

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).

Well, damn. Now my question to James in his thread is superfluous.

Alexander Augunas wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

YES. Please! Also

Spoiler:
Ressurect Rasputin and make him her advisor! :D


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Perfect Tommy wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
Micro transactionalize certs
I don't know if the folks at EA would recommend that.

Sure, just because one company implemented it poorly means that all will. When I was talking about certs- I was talking about opening up a collaborative game world. If a third party wants to create a land of dragons - collect 5-10% of what that company collects for creating a good game play experience for players.

Look more than anything else, pathfinder is an IP (intellectual property) game. The question is how do you converts IP into $$.

WOTC developers had a fascinating panel discussion where they talked about they believe the future of the franchise isn't in rule books - but in licensing.

Bottom line: People get together at peoples homes, and at games stores and they play together. Conceptually this is no different than spending $10 for a movie.

You pay to play. Pathfinder has a poor conversion route. People can steal the IP, and play for free. They try to make money off publishing rule books.

They moved in the right direction when they sold adventure paths and modules. Personally, I'd tell them to give away the rules and sell the experience.

Personally, I suspect pathfinder players are probably willing to pay to play. Perhaps intro players, or those on tight budgets would pay $1-$3 dollar sessions, of staler content.

Upscale players might play $5-$10 for faster access or customization - the ability to modify the game world.

I'm not suggesting btw that people be able to purchase in game advantage - thats a pretty fast way to turn off players. But as a GM, I'd pay $5-10 to have a setting or encounter populate a virtual world.

As a player, I'd probably pay a couple of bucks to play well rated, well judged encounters.

The day any company tells me to pay just to run my friday game is the day that company is dead to me.

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