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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Rysky wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Or we might get undercasting again, which is balanced a little better against spells known.
That would be nice. Or spells leveling up so you only have to take it once for the spontaneous casters.

If we are going alternative spellcasting, I'd say Dynamic Spellcasting -- where you learn it once and cast against a DC -- is the way to go.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Kalaran wrote:
While I am certainly not excited for this, I do understand that Paizo needs to make money. It's less expensive for them to rewrite the old books and sell them as version 2.0 than it is to pay creators to come up with new material.

First, it wouldn't actually cost any less. Manuscripts pay by the word.

Second, we have no interest in doing that. It be a terrible business plan. And it wouldn't make anyone here happy. Paizo is full of creative people. If we told them that we want them to spend the next ten years recycling everything from the previous ten years, I think they would all quit in 5 minutes. I know I would.

If your people are so creative then why do you even need to remake Pathfinder? You ARE going to end up recycling everything. It's inevitable. Another thing. You're trying to make this streamlined. We PCs don't WANT streamlined. We want cash, XP, and death around every corner.


MR. H wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Or we might get undercasting again, which is balanced a little better against spells known.

The balance is better, but it's also not as fun.

"Oh boy new level and my spells went to the treadmill and I have new low level options that I didn't want them but may be useful now..."

Vs

"Oh boy new level, new spells, and new advance ways to use older spells!"

DSP psionics kind of highlight this concept far better than 5e.

Put your bets on now on whether the Fighter gets a version of the first or not.


I'll go through the playtest. I'll give 2nd edition a fair chance. If I don't like it, I'll go back to Classic Pathfinder. Worst case, I'll hang up my dice bag. But I really don't want to do that.


SIGN US UP!!!! We'd love to give the playtest a run through or ten depending on the size of the party (goes between three and ten so we'd definitely find any issues you might have)

Shadow Lodge

16 people marked this as a favorite.
Zion Silvertail wrote:
We PCs don't WANT streamlined. We want cash, XP, and death around every corner.

Speak for yourself. I want story, action, and excitement around every corner. I don't want to account for my PCs wealth down to the last copper, grub for XP to get that next level up, and if my PC is going to die I'd rather have quicker, smoother rules for determining it rather than a tax document to work through over the course of an hour.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
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.
What does that even mean? A better campaign? Better than what? What's a "cert" supposed to be?

I don’t normally advocate disregarding an argument just because of one part, but I stopped worrying about overall meaning at the bit about adding microtransactions to tabletop gaming.

...

Wait, crud. I’ve actually done that before.

Bribing your GM with food does not f@&$ing count.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Zion Silvertail wrote:
Another thing. You're trying to make this streamlined. We PCs don't WANT streamlined. We want cash, XP, and death around every corner.

Please don't say "WE". I and some finite number of others want streamlined, and I suggest it is a goodly number, and as Vic(?) said upstream, streamlined does not equate to minimal choices.

Right now I am running 3 PbP and with most Paizo material and it can be a big headache. I no longer even try to keep up with the players character sheets. As my current games finish (hopefully one early this fall), I am going to streamline the character process down to: just the P1E CRB or the P2E CRB; and also the Spheres of Power (SoP - 3rd party magic system).

So GO Paizo. I just wish I could download the playtest documents now, but I understand holding off. I do have it marked on my calendar, and please have your store/web folks set it up so it goes live at 00:01 Pacific Coast time on the 2nd. I'll set my alarm for 02:55 (New York time) and download and read then.... heh

-- david

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TOZ wrote:
Zion Silvertail wrote:
We PCs don't WANT streamlined. We want cash, XP, and death around every corner.
Speak for yourself. I want story, action, and excitement around every corner. I don't want to account for my PCs wealth down to the last copper, grub for XP to get that next level up, and if my PC is going to die I'd rather have quicker, smoother rules for determining it rather than a tax document to work through over the course of an hour.

Ah yes, I too abhor the Abdaran rendition of The Most Dangerous Game.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Two of my sons have been here since I arrived home yesterday with the terrible (yes "terrible" news, because it is for us). None are excited for the change. Despite being assured Paizo is not competing with WoTC, the limited info still smacks (very heavily) of 5E.
So, it is likely that my family discontinues purchase of Paizo products as soon as the conversion happens. With raising 5 boys, you could have had generations of customers just from my family. Oh what could have been...


Vic Wertz wrote:

If this blog is your first exposure to the concept of a new edition, I would suggest doing these things (perhaps in this order):

• Read the Pathfinder Playtest page, and make sure you watch the video near the top.
• Read the FAQ linked at the bottom of that page.
• Engage! Join us on the Pathfinder Playtest messageboards. Tell us what you think. Ask questions. We can't answer every possible question you might have, but we need to know what's important to you, so we can make the game you want to play.
• Keep an eye on the blogs at the bottom of the playtest page; we'll be adding more content regularly.

I have been a Pathfinder Lurker for about six and a half years. By that I mean I was drawn in by the Golarion setting through the Pathfinder Comics, and ended up picking up various Pathfinder books and products over the year, but I've only played the game twice so far.

I'm following your blueprint for what to read so far (about to head over to the messageboards), and will keep tabs on the goings on for the next few months to see if 1) this is a good jumping on point for me to actually start playing, 2) this is the perfect jumping off point like I always say whenever Marvel or DC do a company-wide reboot every five years, or 3) if I should just continue loving the Golarion setting stuff into this edition.

I guess I've got my eye on how you treat the transition in the setting.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I've seen a lot of talk about where the playtest is going to include "10th-Level Spells and 4 Spell Lists" and a large number of people seem to be taking this to mean PF2e will only have 4 spell lists ever. I just want to ask... why do people seem to think this? PF1e at Core only had 6 spell lists (Sorc/Wiz, Cleric, Druid, Ranger, Paladin, and Bard) but clearly this didn't remain the case. While yes this means that someone in PF2e Core is either losing spells or using someone else's spell lists (my personal hope is that Ranger and Paladin are losing casting in favor of cool and exciting things but we'll have to wait and see) and Alchemist's Formula List may or may not be part of the 4 lists (if it is then I also wonder what's happening with Bards) but I have seen nothing official to imply that we'll never get more spell lists.


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A Paladin without spells? Isn't that, kind of, a bigoted fighter?

Lantern Lodge

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I for one am excited to see what the staff at Paizo can do with a new edition. I've been playing roleplaying games in some form or another since the advent of 2nd edition. I turn 40 this year, and honestly its been the quality of Paizo's products that's kept me in their stable. I heartily enjoy the D20 system, but lets face it, the system can still use some improvement. Paizo did a nice upgrade from D&D 3.5 to P1E, but were limited at the time by having to keep the game recognizable enough to attract 3.5 ed players who were unhappy with 4th editions changes. Its been 10 years, its time to iron out the rest of the kinks. Over the years we've seen new rules dynamics, classes, and optional rule sets introduced, lets take the best of them and craft a new edition. And yes, ill be sad that the immense library of 3.5 & Pathfinder books that I've amassed is no longer directly correlated to the newest edition, but hey, it sounds like there's enough similarities that it shouldn't be too hard to convert.

Even better, Paizo is giving US, the players, a FULL YEAR to play test the new system and provide commentary and suggestions. Its not some sealed product designed behind closed doors. If you've enjoyed their products so far, lets give them the benefit of the doubt and see what they can do. And if you end up not liking the results, well 3rd edition is still under the open gaming license, there will always be publishers out there who will produce those products if there's a genuine demand.

Otherwise, here's to the future
Cheers
Duane


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

We already have paladin archetypes with no spells. They still have enough supernatural abilities that nobody would ever mistake them for fighters.

But my guess is that the core paladin will use the base spell list for the cleric class, with the paladin only spells converted into optional class features of some sort.

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Papa-DRB wrote:


Please don't say "WE". I and some finite number of others want streamlined, and I suggest it is a goodly number, and as Vic(?) said upstream, streamlined does not equate to minimal choices.

And then you go on to how you're restricting player choices because they're giving you a head ache.

Let me be really blunt: I've playtested many games, both TT and VG. You'll find my name in Games Workshop's Battlefleet Gothic FAQ 2010 and my party was the one that showed how Dark Heresy 2.0' s initial combat system was utterly and inherently broken. (Unarmed guardsman: 'You're already Dead, Abaddon!' Single punch, Abaddon's terminator armored head promptly explodes with the actual damage and force of a hand grenade).

I'm going to give this a chance, but frankly, no, I'm not hopeful on this. In all the things I've tested, when people said 'streamlined' they really meant 'reduced options or increased number of books for the same options'.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Baron Iveagh wrote:
In all the things I've tested, when people said 'streamlined' they really meant 'reduced options or increased number of books for the same options'.

To be equally blunt, you apparently are putting Paizo in the category of all the other game / game companies that you have dealt with. I choose to believe Paizo is better than that. I guess we will discover which of us is closer to the truth when the game goes live in August 2019.

-- david


Donovan Whitten wrote:
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.

Wait, what? Who said anything about stars going away?

_
glass.


Baron Iveagh wrote:
I'm going to give this a chance, but frankly, no, I'm not hopeful on this. In all the things I've tested, when people said 'streamlined' they really meant 'reduced options or increased number of books for the same options'.

Isn't what we're looking at here is a pruning back and refinement of P1E's bloated system? Sure it won't be exactly the same game, but it also won't be unrecognisable either!

Ironically what many die-hard advocates of "keep Pathfinder as-is" seem to forget is that Pathfinder itself was a refined development of the bloated D&D3.5 system. We embraced change then, and Paizo delivered in spades, so why not believe they will now?

I just see this as a natural progression of the game we all love, and like several posters above justly put, also believe that we're in safe hands regards its future.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

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

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

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

I was just pop culture trolling. Mea culpa!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Black Dow wrote:
Baron Iveagh wrote:
I'm going to give this a chance, but frankly, no, I'm not hopeful on this. In all the things I've tested, when people said 'streamlined' they really meant 'reduced options or increased number of books for the same options'.

Isn't what we're looking at here is a pruning back and refinement of P1E's bloated system?

way too early to tell, but given the information we have, unlikely

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
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.

Ha, this answers my question about how the setting will be handled. Sounds good so far and makes me even more excited about the things to come.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Nice to see everyone in the Pathfinder community so excited and getting along respectfully with one another.

Oh wait...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Seriously though, I'm excited. From the action economy I'm loving the simplification and yet versatility of it. I wanna know moar!


Hythlodeus wrote:
A Paladin without spells? Isn't that, kind of, a bigoted fighter?

Right, because "lay on hands" and "aura of courage" reeks of bigotry.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
That Sean fellow wrote:

Nice to see everyone in the Pathfinder community so excited and getting along respectfully with one another.

Oh wait...

The way Paizo escalated the situation by using all the wrong words like 'streamlined', 'simple' or 'skill proficiencies' in their announcement blog, mocked us in the FAQ with their "you can still give us money for our books, but we won't support them" and no words on backwards compatability it is hard to get exited about a product that I never wanted to see. This is not the companies finest hour

Paizo Employee Designer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Charlie Bell wrote:
I was just pop culture trolling. Mea culpa!

Oh, I knew you were! No need for a mea culpa. It's just too much fun to rebut Kylo. :)


Cydeth wrote:
Jahhdog wrote:


Who would pay extra for a version that won't be the "final" version?

Me. And what I do with my money is none of your concern.

I also know at least one other person who's seriously considering it, and haven't talked to the other 5 people I game with yet.

I'll be picking up the hardcopy version. I really like having hardcover books to go along with my PDFs as well. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I really like to be able to hold a real book when I'm reading. The collector in me also likes to have the books on my shelves. I like the PDFs for actual gameplay because they are much more portable.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
This is not the companies finest hour

It might be. We'll see over the coming blogs and on August 2.

In other words, please do not state your opinion as fact.


Zaister wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
This is not the companies finest hour

It might be. We'll see over the coming blogs and on August 2.

In other words, please do not state your opinion as fact.

I'm talking about their communication skills

Grand Lodge

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
The way Paizo escalated the situation by using all the wrong words like 'streamlined', 'simple' or 'skill proficiencies' in their announcement blog, mocked us in the FAQ with their "you can still give us money for our books, but we won't support them" and no words on backwards compatability it is hard to get exited about a product that I never wanted to see.

As part of the VO corp, who were consulted on the phrasing of the FAQs before they went live, I apologize that we were not able to catch the mocking tone and lack of clarity about backwards compatibility in our review.


Hythlodeus wrote:
Black Dow wrote:
Isn't what we're looking at here is a pruning back and refinement of P1E's bloated system?
way too early to tell, but given the information we have, unlikely

All a matter of perspectives I guess. Given the information we have so far I'm very hopeful (and look forward to the coming weeks and months reveals).

Cup half full and all that...

The Exchange

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
That Sean fellow wrote:

Nice to see everyone in the Pathfinder community so excited and getting along respectfully with one another.

Oh wait...

Well, welcome to the second open playtest. I still remember the first playtest and the damage it did to the community because of some self-righteous...persons ...thinking they would know all about game design and everyone else with a different opinion was a brainless idiot.

We can only hope that those dummies stay in their den and don't return for round two. But even without them, my hopes for "getting along respectfully with one another" during the playtest to come aren't too high. In this time and day, people tend to feel offended when things aren't going exactly their way and the concept of compromise seem to have been forgotten with the end of the Age of Lost Omens.

This all said, I've become a fan of Paizo long before Pathfinder was even a thing and during the whole time, I've never had reason to doubt their respect for their property and their customers. So even when things won't go my way (and I pretty much expect not everything to do so^^), I'll never think that they are doing those things for the wrong reasons (for example out of disrespect for their long-time fanbase).


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
This is not the companies finest hour

It might be. We'll see over the coming blogs and on August 2.

In other words, please do not state your opinion as fact.

I'm talking about their communication skills

It's still only your opinion. I think they are communicating swimmingly.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Hythlodeus wrote:
That Sean fellow wrote:

Nice to see everyone in the Pathfinder community so excited and getting along respectfully with one another.

Oh wait...

The way Paizo escalated the situation by using all the wrong words like 'streamlined', 'simple' or 'skill proficiencies' in their announcement blog, mocked us in the FAQ with their "you can still give us money for our books, but we won't support them" and no words on backwards compatability it is hard to get exited about a product that I never wanted to see. This is not the companies finest hour

I'm not sure why you see the first as escalation or the second as mocking. You might not like that direction in design, but if that's the direction they're going, would it be better if they hid it?

And a bog standard business practice of not continuing development on old editions when new ones come out isn't mocking? Would it be better if they pulled all the pdfs down and pulped the existing hard copies?

As for backwards compatibility, they did at least talk about (and give examples of) playing an old module with the new rules.

Scarab Sages

10 people marked this as a favorite.

MAN, lots going on in here so I'll just say what I've been thinking.

A lot of it sounds like 5E, and I don't really like 5E - there are parts that are fine, but I don't like the skills, feats and bounded stuff. Too much relies on a good dice roll (the guy who's good at something is only like, 15% better than the average schmuk - every level feels like the low levels I hated in PF) and a good GM - Both of which are things I got to avoid in Pathfinder and is one of the reasons I keep playing PFS over other things.

I wasn't a fan of Starfinder, and I'll really miss the amazing 3/4 BAB 6 level Casting classes that I think were the peak of PF design (Hunter, Occultist, Magus). I'll give the playtest a go, but I really hope it goes better than the Medium from Occult Adventures - I'm apprehensive, even though a few things sound great.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
WormysQueue wrote:
That Sean fellow wrote:

Nice to see everyone in the Pathfinder community so excited and getting along respectfully with one another.

Oh wait...

Well, welcome to the second open playtest. I still remember the first playtest and the damage it did to the community because of some self-righteous...persons ...thinking they would know all about game design and everyone else with a different opinion was a brainless idiot.

We can only hope that those dummies stay in their den and don't return for round two. But even without them, my hopes for "getting along respectfully with one another" during the playtest to come aren't too high. In this time and day, people tend to feel offended when things aren't going exactly their way and the concept of compromise seem to have been forgotten with the end of the Age of Lost Omens.

This all said, I've become a fan of Paizo long before Pathfinder was even a thing and during the whole time, I've never had reason to doubt their respect for their property and their customers. So even when things won't go my way (and I pretty much expect not everything to do so^^), I'll never think that they are doing those things for the wrong reasons (for example out of disrespect for their long-time fanbase).

See, now I know I'd get along with you. Great attitude to have. Positivity and respect all the way. If it doesn't work out then nothings stopping anyone from playing the previous game or any of the hundreds of rpgs out there. They are just games after all.

High five.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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WormysQueue wrote:


Well, welcome to the second open playtest. I still remember the first playtest and the damage it did to the community because of some self-righteous...persons ...thinking they would know all about game design and everyone else with a different opinion was a brainless idiot.

In the years since Paizo did the playtest for the P1E the cultural norms on paizo.com and our moderation practices have been shifting. If you see posts insulting other members of the community, being offensive or devolving/derailing into edition warring flag them. If its particularly egregious or you think it might take some additional context to understand why it should be removed, you can email community@paizo.com (please include a link to the post or first post in a series).


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
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.

Last time you didn't go into too much detail the threads about the Shifter (and the UW product thread itself) became 'toxic' so perhaps, this time, it would be better to let some actual mechanics out early?

Unless vague promises of "bearowls" will work a second time, of course...

Ya know, this is the type of thing that gets on my nerves.

Have you looked at the HUGE playtest page they created? Have you checked the date of this blog? About 5 months before the playtest starts. The actual playtest starts in August and they will be present 400 pages of rules. If it is like the last playtest, it will probably be 2019 before we see the final.

Also, until the time of the edition change we are likely seeing multiple blog posts every week on the topic.

For Desna's sake, what the hell are you talking about? Damn. How much actual mechanics do you want? And how frickin' early were you expecting it?

But, don't let me stop you. Carry on with your bs passive aggressive crap.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Anguish wrote:

I'll likely try the 2e playtest rules, because it's only fair to give artists I like the benefit of the doubt, even when they decide to go in the opposite direction of my personal preferences (ie. "yay, we're getting rid of all those pesky hard things like rich action systems and complex bonuses and time-consuming stuff like iterative attacks that require math.")

But hey. Maybe it won't be too hard to convert the future adventure material to run with the 3.x level ruleset. Dare to dream.

As a fellow math nerd, it's actually a fascinating process. We crunched a lot of math; I knew that was going to be a big part of the process going in. But the part I didn't expect was how much delicate care we took to include all of that math into the game while not forcing you to need to go tangle with that math unless you choose to do so on your own terms. It's actually possible to make a game that, for instance, has an even richer action system while simultaneously being easier to handle, rather than a trade-off, but the design challenge for doing so is particularly intense. In general, we strive to use these principles throughout the game: solid mathematical underpinnings you can dive into if you choose, but simple user-friendly explanations for those who just want to play.

Can you publish this math for us? As a homebrewer, I LOVED when Trailblazer went through and took apart and explained the entire 3E math system. Doing that for Pathfinder would greatly enhance my ability to make modifications to get the game I want. Hell, you could, in the future, release a book that was just the math in switching from 3.5 to PE1, from PE1 to PE2, and in creating Starfinder, and I'd buy it.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rosita the Riveter wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Anguish wrote:

I'll likely try the 2e playtest rules, because it's only fair to give artists I like the benefit of the doubt, even when they decide to go in the opposite direction of my personal preferences (ie. "yay, we're getting rid of all those pesky hard things like rich action systems and complex bonuses and time-consuming stuff like iterative attacks that require math.")

But hey. Maybe it won't be too hard to convert the future adventure material to run with the 3.x level ruleset. Dare to dream.

As a fellow math nerd, it's actually a fascinating process. We crunched a lot of math; I knew that was going to be a big part of the process going in. But the part I didn't expect was how much delicate care we took to include all of that math into the game while not forcing you to need to go tangle with that math unless you choose to do so on your own terms. It's actually possible to make a game that, for instance, has an even richer action system while simultaneously being easier to handle, rather than a trade-off, but the design challenge for doing so is particularly intense. In general, we strive to use these principles throughout the game: solid mathematical underpinnings you can dive into if you choose, but simple user-friendly explanations for those who just want to play.
Can you publish this math for us? As a homebrewer, I LOVED when Trailblazer went through and took apart and explained the entire 3E math system. Doing that for Pathfinder would greatly enhance my ability to make modifications to get the game I want. Hell, you could, in the future, release a book that was just the math in switching from 3.5 to PE1, from PE1 to PE2, and in creating Starfinder, and I'd buy it.

I would buy such a book so fast!


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Olorin_Plane_Walker wrote:

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.

Ancestry allows for subraces/cultures easily. «viking» could work for both humans and dwarves, for example. I like the design space it opens. Let's see how it develops


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hmmm...

I wasn't in the camp of people clamoring for a second edition, but I wouldn't mind having a few things streamlined either. Some of the changes mentioned so far have me a bit concerned and some sound interesting. (Maybe the initial reluctance is just my freelancer brain going "have to learn a new system now, whaaaaa?")

A couple of things I'd like to see:

1. Backwards compatibility. This is the main one. Regardless of how much I end up liking 2E, I still have a ton of 1E stuff that I'd like to make use of, and I wouldn't want to have to wait several years to get all the classes I want to play back. Making the APs relatively easy to convert back into 1E going forward would help immensely. I don't mind a bit of conversion work, but it would be nice if that were as easy as possible.

2. Keeping an option for rolling stats. I like rolling stats.

3. Maintaining the customizability to character building. Characters all playing in the same or similar ways simply doesn't appeal to me. I like being able to choose weird niche options rather than having a set of top-down choices handed to me based on my race/ancestry and class.

I'll definitely hit up the playtest when it starts....reserving opinion until then.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Olorin_Plane_Walker wrote:

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.

Ancestry allows for subraces/cultures easily. «viking» could work for both humans and dwarves, for example. I like the design space it opens. Let's see how it develops

Whether or not it opens the design space or clutters it is very much going to result in how this is implemented.

My worry is that, by making "ancestry" an aggregate of "race and culture" (and possibly other factors) that means that you need a new "ancestry" listing whenever either of those factors changes. Before, an elf was an elf, whether they came from Varisia or Ustalav or even Castrovel. Now, if "ancestry" is race and culture together, are we going to see one entry for elf/Vikings, another for elf/pirates, etc., sitting alongside the ancestry listing for human/Vikings, human/pirates, etc.?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sara Marie wrote:
In the years since Paizo did the playtest for the P1E the cultural norms on paizo.com and our moderation practices have been shifting.

I know that, but while I think that you're doing a pretty good job with your moderation, I'd still prefer if that shift wouldn't have been necessary at all. That shift involves closing threads, deleting posts, banning political discussions, and while I understand the necessity of all of this, to me, that's part of the damage I was talking about.

And yes, I'm aware that it's our (a.k.a. the community's) own fault, if and when you had to resort to those measures.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

There should definitely and absolutely be a two-tier hierarchy to races and subraces/ethnicities.

Kellid and Osirian should be subraces of Human, and gold dwarf and shield dwarf should be subraces of dwarf. Putting them all on the same level so that Kellid is a race, Osirian is a race, gold dwarf is a race, shield dwarf is a race, changeling is a race, dhampir is a race and they're all on the same hierarchical level to one another is awful.


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thejeff wrote:
DropBearHunter wrote:

you could have gone with Species to distinguish between Humans, Elves, Dwarfes etc. and with Heritage for what is now Alternate Racial Traits.

That would give you a biologically correct term on the top level and a politiically correct term for the diversity.

Not like "species" in the biological sense really applies to world in which some different <whatever-we-call-ems> casually interbreed, new <whatever-we-call-ems> are created by wizards or gods on a semi-regular basis and there is no basic assumption of common descent with modification.

But mostly it sounds like they want to blur those concepts together into one term for anything ancestral, rather then have different terms for what they want to use as the same mechanical concept.

If I had to guess (which I don't, but I will anyway) is that going the Ancestry route in PF2e means developers and GMs won't have to worry about weirdness like:

"OK, my half-orc sorcerer with the draconic bloodline counts as human and orc...
and he was born and raised in Kaer Maga...
and he picked up Fey Foundling at 1st level...
and he has the Adopted (dwarf) character trait...
and after 3rd level, he'll probably pick up Eldritch Heritage (Abyssal)...
and..." (yes, this is a deliberately hyperbolic example)

and instead, the PC gains an Ancestry at creation and develops/unlocks new bonuses, abilities, characteristics, etc. as they level up. If it's something kind of similar to that, a simple Race descriptor won't adequately cover it all.

Edit: This is just my guess. Don't be angry at Paizo for something I, a non-Paizo peep, pulled out of my Chaotic butt on the spot. :)

Edit 2: A unified Ancestry could also go a long way toward removing the monocultural/"One Hat Race" feel of the non-human PC races and better integrating them into the world/setting.

Edit 3: I don't think this will remove qualities unique to each race. Most elves will still get low-light, immunity to sleep & a bonus to defeating spell resistance, mosr half-orcs will still get their ferocity and darkvision, etc.


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My point is that if you play an elf that sails a,ship plundering other ships, you might choose the Ancestry «elf», which will give you elvish stuff that other elves could share, even if they are desert nomads. Things like being graceful. Or you could pick «seafarer», which would give you stuff about the sea. Things you could share with other pirates, smugglers, or sailors, even if they are halflings.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It’s a shame they had to change the website design to something so awkward to use just before this announcement was made. It’s a pain in the bum looking for blog posts and news and trying to keep an overview.

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