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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6 people marked this as a favorite.
TheAlicornSage wrote:

There are features of d20 I dislike, such as classes, but being classless is not enough of a feature on it's own to make me want to use a system.

I enjoy classless games (HERO being a favorite), but the flexibility that kind of thing offers comes with a price. Balance. Classes can be balanced - but the more freedom you have the more chance of broken combos. And when that happens - balance is shifted from being something the games system does to something the GM does.

In HERO the GM being the guiding light of balance in games is pretty much a part of the package. They set point build points, attack and defense guidelines and such. If you play in the system a lot, you get used to "no - that won't work in my game" as a normal part of play - you have to, because the freedom of creation forces the GM to do it.

Given how many heated discussions we have had over "It's in the book so I should be able to play it" and "GM doesn't allow X, he's a horrible GM" that if the main force of balance in Pathfinder moved to the GM there would be rioting in the streets.

I'm happy with Classes and Levels in Pathfinder, it's not just baked into the rules, but the attitude and culture of the players.


What worries me the most is the statblocks changes for monsters or whatever you want to call them. I cringe at having to put aside a bunch of Bestiairies in order to buy new ones. If it comes to that, maybe make bigger books......


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Gondolin wrote:
What worries me the most is the statblocks changes for monsters or whatever you want to call them. I cringe at having to put aside a bunch of Bestiairies in order to buy new ones. If it comes to that, maybe make bigger books......

Hopefully they'll do what they did with Starfinder and release the monster creation rules in the first Bestiary. Once I had that I had no problem converting monsters.


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Finally, the end of a very long thread.

I am very excited about the new edition!

I understand that change can be difficult, I do however think since this a play test, they should trot out all sorts of ideas and put them up for preview. Let the reaction from the play test determine if each idea is good or not.

I have designed a lot of software over the years. We always preview the screens and features with the actual users. Sometime the final screens and features look very similar to the design, sometimes they are radically different. They often reflect what can be accomplished within budget, time available and most importantly, users desires.

I applaud Paizo for there approach and their willingness to accept our input.

</soapboxmode>

Zendar


Lord Mhoram wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:

There are features of d20 I dislike, such as classes, but being classless is not enough of a feature on it's own to make me want to use a system.

I enjoy classless games (HERO being a favorite), but the flexibility that kind of thing offers comes with a price. Balance. Classes can be balanced - but the more freedom you have the more chance of broken combos. And when that happens - balance is shifted from being something the games system does to something the GM does.

In HERO the GM being the guiding light of balance in games is pretty much a part of the package. They set point build points, attack and defense guidelines and such. If you play in the system a lot, you get used to "no - that won't work in my game" as a normal part of play - you have to, because the freedom of creation forces the GM to do it.

Given how many heated discussions we have had over "It's in the book so I should be able to play it" and "GM doesn't allow X, he's a horrible GM" that if the main force of balance in Pathfinder moved to the GM there would be rioting in the streets.

I'm happy with Classes and Levels in Pathfinder, it's not just baked into the rules, but the attitude and culture of the players.

The idea of d20 being balanced primarily by the rules is a silly illusion.

Rules can make things easier or more difficult for a gm to balance, but all rpgs, every last one of them, is balanced or not balanced by the gm. Every last one.

This is because the players are not themselves equal. Evidence: optimizers.

Some players can take rules and use them to great effect by being very creative, others are limited to the superficially obvious ability and thus can't do as much with so little.

The gm has to adjust for the players individual capacities, tastes, and behaviours.

More than that, is the gm run side of things. Do you run Tucker's style kobalds, or are the kobalds stupid and simply charge into combat heedless of the danger? (they are often portrayed as cowards who run into combat asking to die. Oxymoronic.)

The gm is vital to the running of a game in way that no system can compare. The system should make the gm's job easier (among other things), not pretend to take over on the gm's behalf.


Aaron Goddard wrote:

Power level of magic missile tied to actions and not wizard level?

Dealbreaker.
Not F*!$ing Joking.

It is tied to Wizard level in addition to how many actions you use with it. If you're trying to run and gun then you can fire a single one off. If you're repositioning a bit and attacking, you get another. If you're unloading on your opponent you get more. Just like a ranger making multiple attacks with their bow.

However, it still is based on how you have that spell slotted. If you've got 19 levels of fighter and one level of wizard you'll still fire it off as a first level wizard. If you've got 19 levels in wizard you can make it really powerful by slotting it into a higher spell level.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

(I gave up on reading all the posts above mine. My comments are based upon both the blogs and some replies from the designers.)

I'm not at all thrilled by this news. The thought of all my rulebooks being useless for future modules/APs is depressing - not to mention my recent huge investment in Hero Lab.

Goblin Alchemists?

No, thank you. Goblins are pyromaniac nutjobs, not PCs. This sounds like fan-service for kids, or people who actually like kenders and ewoks. (Both kenders and ewoks would be forbidden in any game that I might run in those settings/systems.)

And the Alchemist class is certainly not one of my favourites. It looks like another long wait for my favourite non-CRB classes like Oracle, Warpriest, Swashbuckler, Witch, etc. And I suspect that when the Magus rolls around in PF2, it will be - yet again - a Spellsword-type (something which I despise).

I will try to keep an open mind when the playtest starts. I will download the PDF, read it through, and see if any of my players want to try some/all of it.

However, unless the playtest - and the official version of PF2 - really wows me, I suspect that I will no longer be buying Pathfinder rulebooks, modules, and APs. Even the campaign setting books could become less interesting if the new crunch is too prevalent.

And I feel frustrated at the idea that now we will never get any more errata for PF1 (and are unlikely to get any more FAQ answers due to designer focus on PF2).


Bellona wrote:
pyromaniac nutjobs, not PCs.

You don't know my PCs [in one game anyway]

Sidenote though, there's pretty good odds Paizo might get the Fighter right this time and you won't need a Swashbuckler. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one.


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Bellona wrote:

And I suspect that when the Magus rolls around in PF2, it will be - yet again - a Spellsword-type (something which I despise).

What about this concept do you dislike? Is it just the implementation? I know I really dislike the assumption that a spellsword uses damage and attack focused spells.


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

"TENGU TASTE LIKE CHICKEN!!"

Speaking as someone who played D&D out of a red box, I just have trouble seeing goblins with heroic level abilities, and reaching levels any higher than 10th, and even 10th is pushing it. The same goes for kobolds. Half the fun of playing the little buggers is that they are both sub-optimal (often incompetent) adventurers, and super-humorous ne'er-do-wells who find challenge not in defeating rampaging minotaurs, but rather actual farm cows--no doubt belligerent farm cows, but farm cows nonetheless.

Making them straight-laced seems to me to be a mistake.


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Bellona wrote:

(I gave up on reading all the posts above mine. My comments are based upon both the blogs and some replies from the designers.)

Same. I don't have the time to read everything.

Bellona wrote:


I'm not at all thrilled by this news. The thought of all my rulebooks being useless for future modules/APs is depressing - not to mention my recent huge investment in Hero Lab.

There are absolute decades of play worth of modules and APs already created. I highly doubt you've already played everything. It would take my group 2-3 years to play an AP and they come out with 2 of those a year.

Bellona wrote:


Goblin Alchemists?
No, thank you. Goblins are pyromaniac nutjobs, not PCs. This sounds like fan-service for kids, or people who actually like kenders and ewoks. (Both kenders and ewoks would be forbidden in any game that I might run in those settings/systems.)

Half-orcs are barbaric dunderheads who only know how to hit things with an axe. Gnomes are weirdos that want to lick and feel everything they see. We can do broad generalization of any particular race which may/may not be accurate.

Lone goblins have been shown in PF books to be helpful and useful. It's when you get them together in a tribe that they become the unruly pyromaniac raiders we all know and love.

Bellona wrote:


And the Alchemist class is certainly not one of my favourites.

Just because something isn't your favorite doesn't mean it doesn't have value. Additionally, they're going to be revamping the way alchemist works compared to the current version. To quote another poster alchemists will no longer be "gatorade wizards" and instead be able to make better use of alchemical items from the CRB.

Alchemical items themselves are supposedly getting some rework as well which is why alchemists are being put in the core rulebook. Might as well do both at the same time.

Bellona wrote:


It looks like another long wait for my favourite non-CRB classes like Oracle, Warpriest, Swashbuckler, Witch, etc. And I suspect that when the Magus rolls around in PF2, it will be - yet again - a Spellsword-type (something which I despise).

I love me some Oracle and Witch as well. However, that doesn't mean they'll necessarily play the same when they come back out in PF2. Additionally, classes that used to be boring will probably be revamped as well and may start to be interesting to you.

And there's no reason to hate on the Magus concept. It's a classic.

Bellona wrote:


I will try to keep an open mind when the playtest starts. I will download the PDF, read it through, and see if any of my players want to try some/all of it.

And like I said earlier, there are decades worth of play you can get out of the old adventures if you want to wait. It's not like Paizo is forcing you to burn your old books or anything crazy like that.

Bellona wrote:


However, unless the playtest - and the official version of PF2 - really wows me, I suspect that I will no longer be buying Pathfinder rulebooks, modules, and APs. Even the campaign setting books could become less interesting if the new crunch is too prevalent.

We're months from even the playtest so it's hard to tell what's going to happen with it. We simply just don't have enough information about the new system.

Bellona wrote:


And I feel frustrated at the idea that now we will never get any more errata for PF1 (and are unlikely to get any more FAQ answers due to designer focus on PF2).

I imagine we're still going to get some FAQ answers for a while. After all, they did a bunch of FAQ changes to the Shifter just a couple months ago. They would have been focusing on the PF2 design at that time as well.


I saw it mentioned but didn't see the details.

What's this rule of 10 to hit? If it's flat why upgrade anything? If it can be improved, then it's not really 10 to hit is it? Or is this the new crit range?

I saw this talked about with DnD 5e and people seem to be split on it, what does Pathfinder 2 do to not be the same?


MerlinCross wrote:

I saw it mentioned but didn't see the details.

What's this rule of 10 to hit? If it's flat why upgrade anything? If it can be improved, then it's not really 10 to hit is it? Or is this the new crit range?

I saw this talked about with DnD 5e and people seem to be split on it, what does Pathfinder 2 do to not be the same?

If you succeed by 10+ on a roll (including skill checks), it's some kind of critical success with added bonuses. It all sounded pretty cool.


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That doesn't sound too bad. I mean even video games cap out usually at 99% at times.

Though I have bad memories of RNG so messing with something a core as the dice roll.., we'll see.

Stop critting my hero unit you unbalanced piece of...

Oh I'm sorry, I went to a dark place for a sec


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bellona wrote:

And I suspect that when the Magus rolls around in PF2, it will be - yet again - a Spellsword-type (something which I despise).

TheAlicornSage wrote:

What about this concept do you dislike? Is it just the implementation? I know I really dislike the assumption that a spellsword uses damage and attack focused spells.

I'm really old school, in the sense that I cut my teeth on 1e (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1e). In my eyes a fighter/wizard type of character doesn't channel magic through his weapon (that came with 3e's Spellsword) and become a one/two/three trick pony who narrowly focuses on just a few spells.

A Magus should be about tactics and magic. He should be able to drop a Fireball and then wade into melee afterwards in order to mop up the survivors. He should be able to Dimension Door the Barbarian and Ranger to behind the BBEG's frontlines. And have some utility spells for after combat. In other words, more like the Eldritch Knight prestige class - but with the ability to cast spells while wearing armour. (Something which I still don't understand why the Eldritch Knight did not get from the start.)

I even experimented with a Magus archetype which I named Old School. It replaced Spellstrike and Spell Combat with different class features.

Silver Crusade

Bellona wrote:
A Magus should be about tactics and magic. He should be able to drop a Fireball and then wade into melee afterwards in order to mop up the survivors. He should be able to Dimension Door the Barbarian and Ranger to behind the BBEG's frontlines. And have some utility spells for after combat. In other words, more like the Eldritch Knight prestige class - but with the ability to cast spells while wearing armour. (Something which I still don't understand why the Eldritch Knight did not get from the start.)

Um, Eldritch Knights can cast spells in armor, right off they bat if they like (start out as a magus, be a summoner and eventually you can ride your eidolon into battle, spend money on armor that does hamper your movement, get some feats, etc...). Remember. their "right of the bat" doesn't happen until at least 7th level, so there's time. Shonne couldn't cast spells until 3rd level when she got her first wizard's spellbook, but she could fight and wear armor just fine before then. As a prestige class with an increasing number of routes to join its ranks it is possible to create one that just wears tight pants, and a billowy white shirt whose top buttons are rarely used.

I haven't heard much talk of prestige classes, so I hope they made the cut. You don't need a lot of them but I appreciate some of them for their character-building aid (double entendre intended) and the flexibility they give to character design. Yes, one can find flexibility in class prerequisites, if only in the ways one goes about overcoming them. Frameworks help guide creation, keep the art from spilling all over your mom's new carpet, and give you a little dopamine hit when you have successfully met and overcome their challenges.

So let's hear it for more mystic theurges!

I'm not a huge fan of the magus as a class mechanically speaking--as pointed out it is very narrow in its scope (sword and spell and that's it), but it's fine if you want to play a fighter who likes their special effects. It doesn't bother me that it is included with other classes, I just don't use it a whole whole lot--just when I'm in that sorta niche mood. With the right archetype it makes for a descent version of the 3.5 hexblade, and the blade bound (while a bit clunky in execution) is cool as well.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
MerlinCross wrote:

That doesn't sound too bad. I mean even video games cap out usually at 99% at times.

I think it's the single best piece of rule they have shared to us so far. I think it's elegant, simple and genius, with a lot of (probably intentional) side effects.

Consider two characters that can hit someone with 11+. Now, let's go a little further: one of them gains +3 to hit.

Suddenly character 1 has: critical failure with 1 (misses by 10+). That does not make him lose the weapon or something goofy like that, but opens the chance for the enemy to trigger a reaction, such as a riposte, or maybe a monster ability that drops you prone or whatever. He hits with 11+. He can crit with 20s.

Character 2 cannot critically fail (he hits with 8+, so he can't roll an attack which is 10 points worse). He also hits more than character 2. AND he crits with 18+. Overall, that means he is doing as much as 50% more damage, everything else being equal,just because he is 3 points better in accuracy.

This means characters with small degrees of number spread CAN be much better in combat. A fighter with 3 more in attack than, say, a rogue or cleric or other "half-combat class", is still MUCH better combatant. And that means the AC of enemies can be targeted to be a challenge against a much smaller spread. No longer need to see situations where if the fighter hits with 8+, then everybody else needs 20s to hit. A fighter can hit with 8+ (or 4+, whatever is the sweet spot goal), with other combatants being just 3-4 points worse. That makes those other combatants still relevant, but the fighter still substantially better.

This is also applied to saves (spells can crit) and skills. It allows for different degrees of success: for example, a Flesh to Stone might have a "petrified-stun-slow-nothing" degree. If you fail your save, you are stun for 1 round, then check again. But if you miss your save by 10, you are petrified, and if you pass, you are slowed. If you crittically pass, you don't suffer anything. It makes "save or suck" spells viable in the game. It's no longer a binary situation of "either this spell is useless, or this spells ends the combat".

I think it's genius.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Berselius wrote:
Quick question, is the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook going to be available for free download as a PDF? If so, is it already available and if so where can one download it?

It will be available for (free) download when the public playtest starts in August.

_
glass.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
The correct number of character classes in a role-playing game is zero.
GURPS already exists and is a perfectly fine game for playing classless, and when I want to play GURPS I do. That's not what I come to Pathfinder for.

GURPS is not the only way to play classless.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
The correct number of character classes in a role-playing game is zero.
GURPS already exists and is a perfectly fine game for playing classless, and when I want to play GURPS I do. That's not what I come to Pathfinder for.
GURPS is not the only way to play classless.

You can also overthrow the nobility and redistribute their wealth.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Snip

Much like everything else, I'll need to see the numbers and how they play with each other rather than an example in a vaccum. Even if said example could be how the Devs said its how it works.

Much like the save or suck spells. Yeah they do stink in how strong or weak they are but the actual effect based on the save roll sounds odd. Too weak an effect and the spell cold easily fall back into never prepare, more so if the lessor effect is resisted or immune. Example, you cast a spell to remove one enemy. They pass the save but eat the lessor effect. But they are(Undead, Construct, Ooze, etc) and are immune to it. Yeah that spell isn't getting used for this adventure.

Again it does sound interesting but I've always been a hands on learner, so I'll have to play with the system before I can make a full judgement.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bellona wrote:

A Magus should be about tactics and magic. He should be able to drop a Fireball and then wade into melee afterwards in order to mop up the survivors. He should be able to Dimension Door the Barbarian and Ranger to behind the BBEG's frontlines. And have some utility spells for after combat. In other words, more like the Eldritch Knight prestige class - but with the ability to cast spells while wearing armour. (Something which I still don't understand why the Eldritch Knight did not get from the start.)

Shonne wrote:

Um, Eldritch Knights can cast spells in armor, right off they bat if they like (start out as a magus, be a summoner and eventually you can ride your eidolon into battle, spend money on armor that does hamper your movement, get some feats, etc...). Remember. their "right of the bat" doesn't happen until at least 7th level, so there's time. Shonne couldn't cast spells until 3rd level when she got her first wizard's spellbook, but she could fight and wear armor just fine before then. As a prestige class with an increasing number of routes to join its ranks it is possible to create one that just wears tight pants, and a billowy white shirt whose top buttons are rarely used.

I'm talking about a base class that mimics the 1e elven Fighter/Mage in elven chainmail. Some staying power, backed up by armour, and the ability to cast Mage (i.e., Wizard) spells too (just a caster level or two behind the single-classed Mage [Wizard]) - but not simultaneously with hitting things. Not the mono-focused Magus, nor the Eldritch Knight who is Magus-, Summoner-, or Bard-based.


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I agree that I've seen PCs without any class in almost every RPG system


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Hythlodeus wrote:
I agree that I've seen PCs without any class in almost every RPG system

How many "Classless" have (character) levels?

There are systems like GURPS, BRP, etc that do away with levels/classes, and if we want to play them, we can go play them, no need to bash other systems in the process.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

who bashes other systems?


Anyway...

Goblins being a Core Race + Alchemist being a Core Class = "We Be Goblin" AP?


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Souls At War wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
I agree that I've seen PCs without any class in almost every RPG system

How many "Classless" have (character) levels?

There are systems like GURPS, BRP, etc that do away with levels/classes, and if we want to play them, we can go play them, no need to bash other systems in the process.

Pretty sure it was a joke. Put another way, just because the system has classes doesn't mean the characters will stay classy.


Souls At War wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
I agree that I've seen PCs without any class in almost every RPG system

How many "Classless" have (character) levels?

There are systems like GURPS, BRP, etc that do away with levels/classes, and if we want to play them, we can go play them, no need to bash other systems in the process.

Why would I want tk play gurps or brp? Classless all by itself doesn't make those systems fun or enjoyable.

And the last time I cracked open a gurps book, half of it was classes in all but name.

Edit; Not sure of the edition, just in case that matters.


TheAlicornSage wrote:
Souls At War wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
I agree that I've seen PCs without any class in almost every RPG system

How many "Classless" have (character) levels?

There are systems like GURPS, BRP, etc that do away with levels/classes, and if we want to play them, we can go play them, no need to bash other systems in the process.

Why would I want tk play gurps or brp? Classless all by itself doesn't make those systems fun or enjoyable.

They were the first two that came to my mind when thinking "classless".

QuidEst wrote:
Souls At War wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
I agree that I've seen PCs without any class in almost every RPG system

How many "Classless" have (character) levels?

There are systems like GURPS, BRP, etc that do away with levels/classes, and if we want to play them, we can go play them, no need to bash other systems in the process.

Pretty sure it was a joke. Put another way, just because the system has classes doesn't mean the characters will stay classy.

a case of Humour/Sarcasm on the Internet then?


Souls At War wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:
Souls At War wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
I agree that I've seen PCs without any class in almost every RPG system

How many "Classless" have (character) levels?

There are systems like GURPS, BRP, etc that do away with levels/classes, and if we want to play them, we can go play them, no need to bash other systems in the process.

Why would I want tk play gurps or brp? Classless all by itself doesn't make those systems fun or enjoyable.

They were the first two that came to my mind when thinking "classless".

Does it really change my point?

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Removed some posts and their off topic replies.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I play with a Pathfinder group and was reluctant to try 5e, but my other group switched. So now I play both. I find that there are good points and bad points in both systems. I still prefer the richness of Pathfinder. I have adopted the "Party Stealth Check" and "no change in initiative order" from 5e to my Pathfinder group. They enjoy this quick little streamline. When 2nd edition Pathfinder comes out, I will keep and open mind, but have no intention of starting to buy a new line of books with the same world and race information with the only change being in the mechanics. If I here about a rule I like, I will might incorporate it as a house rule in my PF 1e.

I know Paizo needs to make money, but they already have a very rich world with TONS of areas to write about. I would also like to see new Adventure Paths written for areas that have already been done before. Why can't they write a new Adventure Path for the Shackles area or Belkzen?


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

I don't know why a new version of the PF ruleset should require a complete rewrite of existing campaign setting material. Golarion is Golarion. Whether the ruleset for adventuring there is PF1, PF2, GURPs, Harnmaster, or some other set is irrelevant.

The question is not "why can't they?" but "why haven't they?" I suspect the answer is that they have other places they want to write about first.

Silver Crusade

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

Yep, they’ve explicitly stated all the lore is being carried over (and no Time of Troubles or Spellplague either) and that they won’t simply repackage everything.


Could anyone give me any idea of how much it will change? Will it be like dungeons and dragons 5th edition or will it be something like how pathfinder first edition is similar to dungeons and dragons 3.5?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nick O'Connell wrote:
Could anyone give me any idea of how much it will change? Will it be like dungeons and dragons 5th edition or will it be something like how pathfinder first edition is similar to dungeons and dragons 3.5?

We (the public) won't know for certain until August 2019, although the playtest release in August 2018 will be an indication. However, someone from Paizo has stated that there are various degrees of rules changes that have been developed, with the most extreme ones being used in the playtest.

Presumably, they (Paizo) will talk more about the playtest document at the Paizocon Saturday buffet (where they normally talk a bit about upcoming major releases).

I'm not sure if that helps, or not!


Nick O'Connell wrote:
Could anyone give me any idea of how much it will change? Will it be like dungeons and dragons 5th edition or will it be something like how pathfinder first edition is similar to dungeons and dragons 3.5?

The most appropriate comparison is 3.5 to 4e, so take that as you will. It's total reworking of the game (it's still d20, though), but so much different math and assumptions. For what it's worth it feels like 4e being done right, and although some things stink to me now, some things I really like. Since they are releasing only glimpses of mechanics, we will really know the full game in August.


4e was already done right, it was just a minitures tactics game with story instead of a roleplaying game and thus left all the roleplaying to be done freeform and outside of combat.


Nick O'Connell wrote:
Could anyone give me any idea of how much it will change? Will it be like dungeons and dragons

Hopefully it will continue to be progressively less about dungeons :P


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So, it took me forever to read through all of this. Having been an avid player and DM of games since the early 80s (yup, red box was my initiation), I have some reservations about the new developments I have been able to view so far (in no particular order):

Ancestry. Initially I thought maybe we would get a way to get a half something that was not half human. Looks like it is just a way to skin backgrounds with recurring effects (i.e. gain more as leveling). Please take a look at separating human from total association with ancestry (i.e. half and quarter races). I do like the direction of the biological vs, cultural backgrounds. What I am not thrilled with is a packaged background as a necessary start point. Give me the idea, give me the associated mechanic and let me decide which elements I want to include in my background. I have always rewarded well thought out and fleshed backgrounds from my players. It provides more to add to the story and invests their interest in keeping the character around for the long haul. Most players I have encountered (as a little context, I have traveled extensively and met more people than a static group would normally encounter), are more in favor of developing the details of their background than being restrained by the options available on a list. I really am at a loss for simplifying this, but as a mechanic for a long term character, it is a poor substitute. Now, for short term games such as tournaments, where a character is not expected to be played repeatedly beyond an event or weekend, that solution has minimal impact. I believe it is mostly because the characters are already viewed as "throw away."

Action economy. I am interested to see how this fully develops and I am convinced this is probably the single largest basis for change in combat. Think about how much is impacted by this single change. I believe this change, to be properly implemented, required the overhaul of all the other subsystems involved and as such, necessitates the introduction of a new edition. While I am aware it was piloted under the Unchained rule set, I do not believe it properly addressed any of the balance concerns many have clamored for.

Setting material. I am of mixed mind about this. On one side, I can ignore anything from a setting I am not using, on the other, we are already have a large number of books to rifle through to find the game info we need, now, that number of books will increase because some of the space in each book will not be dedicated to the rule set, but campaign material. Most of us want to find rule material in rule books and campaign material in campaign books for ease of reference, storage and many more reasons I do not want to spend the space on.

Skills, proficiencies, and feats. There is a lot to be said here. I think I am finally seeing the new skill/proficiency system the developers are creating. to coin a phrase, it sounds good on paper, but how much adjudicating am I going to have to do and keep track of with these different proficiency levels? It is already loads of fun (insert sarcasm here) keeping track of DCs for all the random unpredictable things players come up with that are not already defined by the rules, now I also have to keep track of when they will be able to try? I am leaving this in the wait and see for now, but that is where my mind is taking me with the limited info we currently have. In the case of feats, I am already of the opinion there is so much feat bloat, something had to change. Either the entire system restructured, or characters had to be allowed a new category of feat, one for the highly situational feats. Anywho, also seeing the design of character classes as replacing most of the class abilities with class feats as level advancement, I think we need some new words to identify the differences at a glance. You are smart people and I think you can come up with something better than feat for this and feat for that, etc.

Herolab debacle. Honestly, this does not affect me, I never used it. Too expensive once I bought the books. What comes next will be unpopular to many, but some must understand, this one is not Paizo's fault. Herolab created a product and you bought it. It was based on Paizo's work, but it is not Paizo's product. You are still going to have to fork over the same relative amounts for the new material, it is just going to feel like you are repurchasing the same material, but it is in fact new. I had to erase a lot here again because even I recognized it as unproductive. Moving on.

Different monster building rules. Quite frankly, I do not understand the issue here. Logically, I can see the argument, I just do not understand it. I see nothing wrong whatsoever with monsters being made differently than PCs. Many monsters already have so much that is inherently different from PCs that I do not see the necessity in shoehorning them into a creation process that needs so many exceptions because of those differences. When I get to a point I am unsure how to proceed (when making a new monster), well, I do the same thing I do in the middle of a play session when the PCs come up with something that falls completely outside of the current rule set, I make it up. Take notes so I can keep some semblance of continuity and move on. Sorry folks, I just do not get this one (and in the interest of transparency, I am an intelligent individual, if I have not figured it out by now, drawing it out in crayon for me is not going to work, just let it go).

I had some notes about the dying rules, but that was recently cleared up with a recent release of information. However, I wonder how the Barbarian who rages past life expectancy and then falls over dead at the end of battle will be handled under the new rule set. I always thought that was a good mechanic that showed an iconic view of the typical barbarian.

Something I would like to see done away with is the concept of wealth by level. Not all PCs or the games they play in are equal. Keep it for the PFS and community games if you must (I never played them anyway, not my thing), but do not hogtie the rest of us that enjoy the serendipity of luck.

Please do something to address the common terminology between the old edition and the new. If a new concept bears little to no resemblance to an older concept, give it a new appropriate name. The precedent is when D&D got third edition and created Feats whole cloth and renamed proficiencies to skills. Help us to learn the new edition with new terminology and only keep those things that survived to the new edition.

That brings me to another issue recently brought to light and I sincerely hope I am wrong here. Mode. I get what you are trying to do with separating timed events such as combat, down time, and everything else, but the term mode engenders a vision of video games. It is too associated with the digital world in context. Again, you are smart people, you can do better. What I hope I am wrong about is that these new "modes" will create circumstances that are unique to their "mode." What I have read so far indicates, for example, a spell cast for a combat situation will not carry past the transition to explore "mode," even if not even a minute has passed before another combat starts. It has happened before and it will happen again. I do not look forward to telling those spell casters, etc. your effect ended with combat, you need to create it all over again, even if the time of the effect would still be going if you had just stayed in combat "mode." Please tell me I am wrong here and you are not creating effects that will be specific to certain "modes."

Opinion. I think fast advancement is too fast. I played a game in another system where we advanced three times before leaving the first building in the campaign. That is a lot of advancing with very little story. I have a lot of story to tell, especially at the low levels when I am laying ground work. I need to tell that story before they get too powerful, it helps shape the context of the campaign before the players do it for me and I am having to scrub all my plans, all the time.

Another thing I think is going the wrong direction is the additional HP characters are getting at low level. Low level should be particularly dangerous. It teaches players and PCs about the real (relatively speaking) dangers their characters will face even when they get more powerful and have that cushion of HPs. Not every challenge should be defeated through combat, even if it is designed that way. Help us put the RP back in RPG. Character death should be an inevitable danger in game, especially at lower level. Players should want to use their considerable abilities to avoid it, not rely on extra padding, just in case. This kind of goes toward the complaint of "dumbing down" the game, at least, that is how I can describe what I am trying to get across here. Further, and again, I hope I am wrong, but I am getting the distinct impression that the terms short and long rest are being associated with PF. I certainly hope not, we are already stretching the bounds of credulity (magic and the whole fantasy genre aside) here, and this one will pull us back into that dreaded "seems like a video game" realm again.

Now, the arguments about Starfinder as a playtest for PF2 I cannot atest to. I never played it and have no interest in playing a sci-fi version of PF in any form. I am sure it is a great game, but I am already attached to too many games and I simply cannot find any more time or resources to commit to another. That said, I certainly hope we can keep our genres from being crossed (i.e. keep your sci-fi out of my fantasy). It is the whole bounds of credulity thing again.

Finally, I want to leave with a bit of advice. Can we get a basic version of the PF system for introducing new players with zero experience in RPGs? Handing over a character sheet with a fighter and learning on the go is not really working anymore. But a basic version that I can run some adventures through that is not a box set would be really nice to introduce new inexperienced players to.


Quote:
It is already loads of fun (insert sarcasm here) keeping track of DCs for all the random unpredictable things players come up with that are not already defined by the rules

This really isn't the case. The DCs relate, at least in 3.x and PF1, to the narrative in a particular way. 10 is average untrained individual, and 40 is Einstein. It scales smoothly between the two points, and extends onwards at the same rate for superhuman and demigod power levels.

Just understanding that means that all you need for a DC is to understand how difficult characters in the narrative would find the task.

The idea of lvl appropriate DCs is not a d20 concept, though some folks have tried to splice it on in supplements, which only indicates a complete lack of understanding the d20 rules. For that matter, the entire concept of "level appropriate" anything is outside the scope of core d20, and is a rather video-gamey thing that really should never have seen the light of day.

Quote:
Something I would like to see done away with is the concept of wealth by level.

I agree with the idea, but there is a problem, the Ironman principle, which basically relates to the fact that there is a difference between what Tony Stark can do and what Ironman can do.

I think the best solution here is to split wealth away from the other things, and balance classes/abilities for zero wealth, and then have a wealth lvl such that a certain amount of wealth should have an approximate amount of impact on mechanics.

Thus you could take character level plus wealth level, and relate that to CR for a good starting point on judging the difficulty of encounters.

To me this is a tool for estimation, and should not be regarded as a rule that must be followed, but it would really help, especially with players who "play the rules."

Quote:
Can we get a basic version of the PF system for introducing new players with zero experience in RPGs?

Something I've got planned for my system already, though truthfully, I think this substandard tactic, at least for simulationist systems like d20.

Personally, I find it far more effective to not even show the new player the mechanics at first, but rather to build their character for them by asking them questions about their character and so on. Then a couple times each session, I would show them a particular element and what it means and how it relates to what they are doing. First session might call for an ability check, so I show them the six ability scores and tell them what narrative aspects of their character are represented by those scores, and how to make an ability check. Later on, once they have ability checks down, this would expanded to include skill ranks, then bonuses to skills, and so on.

Adding these single elements at a time is not far more effective, but by starting with no mechanics at all, you start them off actually roleplaying rather than "playing the rules," the latter of which tends to happen if you start with rules at the beginning (and teaching the rules first is, in my personal opinion, responsible for the prevalence of players who "play the rules" with no concept of using the rules without "playing the rules" as even a possibility, which means that they miss out on the very fun style of "playing the story" which they don't even know they are missing).


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TheAlicornSage wrote:
Something I've got planned for my system already, though truthfully, I think this substandard tactic, at least for simulationist systems like d20.

That only works if you come to Pathfinder in an apprentice/master situation.

The simple introduction is important if you're trying to learn Pathfinder on your own. I don't think Paizo should focus on a sales system that requires newcomers to find not only the books, but also someone to attach themselves to in order to learn how to play.

The reach of Paizo is much, much bigger than the reach of organized play.


Hence why I still plan on including something, but please note, I was responding to someone who wanted it to run a game for newbies, and obviously they are experienced.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:

Could anyone give me any idea of how much it will change? Will it be like dungeons and dragons?

Hopefully it will continue to be progressively less about dungeons :P

Less about Dungeons, or less about Dragons?


Ensign 5th Account wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:

Could anyone give me any idea of how much it will change? Will it be like dungeons and dragons?

Hopefully it will continue to be progressively less about dungeons :P

Less about Dungeons, or less about Dragons?

Dragons are sufficiently rare but dungeons still appear to be the most common adventuring environment/scenario.

We need more wilderness and more open urban and planar and....


I have never seen the player character generation process described accurately in any RPG manual. In all of the years I have been roleplaying, the players I have games with have created characters as follows:

1. Choose a class. This is by far the most important criterion for most players. People generally start out having a pretty good idea whether they'd rather play fighters, spellcasters, or whatever. It's also important to make sure that the party has a good mix of classes. So this is what nearly everyone starts out choosing.

2. Choose a race that is interesting and is appropriate for that class (e.g. one whose racial bonuses aid that class).

3. Roll or assign stats in the way that best benefits the chosen class.

4. Now that you know everything important about the character, you can come up with a background that explains him.

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