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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I greet the news of a new edition with a mix of exceitement and trepidation. However, I eagerly await to get my hands on the playtest rules as soon as possible, and examine them with an open mind. As much as I love the current PF, there is much room for improvement (as evident by my numerous house rules for the system).

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

1) At least the same level of complexity in character choices as is currently. By which I mean I want us to be able to build our characters to fill a certain niche or emulate a certain character as close as possible. I want the gameplay of a wizard to be significantly different than that of a fighter that is significantly different from that of a rogue, and so on. I want players who invest options in different progression paths to feel rewarded for doing so, that their choices make them feel significant in the area they specialized in compared to the rest of the team. A Fighter who specializes in Diplomacy and tactics should play differently than a Fighter that specializes in Acrobatics and rushing in. This talk about "single proficiency" progression worries me that so many mechanics will revolved around this one statistic that the ability to significantly specialize differently from others of the same origin (i.e. same class or ancestry) will be vastly reduced, forcing players to pick different class or archetypes that have mechanics that they didn't want in the first place.

2) Rule systems where the mechanics are clear and understandable and integrate well with each other. One of the things I appreciated from D&D 3E/3.5/PF is that I understood what the numbers and the math in teh game mechanics meant, and how they interacted with each other. This allowed me to tweak those numbers if need be to fit my peculiar desires, or to develop my own house rules that still feel in line with the overall design of the system. I also want to see the many PF subsystems that Paizo has developed over the years unified to interact seamlessly together.

For example: Kingdom Building and Downtime are 2 subsystems that see great use in a sandbox campaign, and they have a link between them in that both feature a list of the same buildings. However, the cost and time to build the same building differ wildly between the 2 systems. Now, you can (mostly) justify why that is (BP represent more that cash such as having to involve favors from other people and bureaucracy; an individual pays less than a nation but has to generate the capital on their own), but I really shouldn't need to. And if my PC builds a building through Downtime rules, how does it benefit a kingdom under the Kingdom Building rules (which I currently rule as "yeah, your kingdom gains the kingdom stats for that building")? Both systems were developed by Paizo, and even featured in the same book! Why isn't their better clarification rules-wise as to how these two systems could work together? (This is a particular sore point for me because they both add so much gameplay to my current Kingmaker campaign and I just wished they played more seamlessly with each other).

3) Solid scaling of game mechanics for higher levels. I want to see this system designed for high-level gameplay. I want to see numbers, math formulas, and options scale up to higher level that don't become unwieldly or exploitable (or as much as they could possibly can). The mechanics should be clear in how they grow, and play nicely with other without losing that sense of power that comes from being high-level. I want to be able to slap together a high-level adventure with just as much ease as I did for 1st-level. I also want to see rules allowing for infinite growth. It's fine if the base game is intended to go to 20th-level with a capstone, but if I want to use the rules to play an Omega-level Marvel superhero style game, I want to be able to understand that I can scale up character to 40th- or 60th-level (so no hard-limiting abilities to +5 or 5/day or similar). In other words, design how this system should work at 20th-level, then work backwards as to how it'll work at 1st-level.

4) Retain significance of power gap between a 1st-level and 20th-level character, both in feel and in mechanics. At 20th-level character should feel godlike compared to a 1st-level character. None of this flat progression with only gaining different special features that 5E and E6 have gone with. I want impactful vertical scaling. I want characters to be able to reach godlike power if they work hard and long enough for it (and survive long enough).

5) PCs and NPCs/Monsters are built on the same framework. PCs and NPCs should follow the same rules. This allows me, the GM, to build encounters with a better understanding of the power levels of either party, rather than comparing a PC's level vs. a vague and nebulous CR number. I want to be able to build a new monster (or customize one) just as easily as I can build a PC. This would also give the option of creating new races (or rather ancestries now?) that are more monster like and having a better understanding of the balance involved. Race points was the first big step in that direction, now I want to see it expanded to full fledge monsters like worms and oozes.

6) Fewer stat-boosting items, more additional options for power to derive from the character. We seem to already be heading in that direction. No more +2 or +5 to a stat/AC/saving throw/etc. Each piece of gear should give impactful gameplay differences through additional powers or abilities. However, such gear should also be scalable upwards, increasing their current abilities or getting new ones. They should feel and be mechanically more powerful at higher levels.

These are just the points that I've come in the few hours since the 2nd ed. announcement. These are this points that I'll be looking to see how they'll be addressed in the new system before I jump to it from PF1. If I'm not satisfied in how they've been addressed, I'll be sticking with my houseruled edition of PF and convert future APs. As mentioned above, the rule mechanics are clear enough that I can understand how they work, and what my group (and the knowledge sourced from vetern PF players on the net) can do to address the exploits and weaknesses still inherent in the current system.

Best of luck to you, Paizo!


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

Totally stoked for this and will definitely be snapping up the printed play test stuff. Im currently running a Starfinder campaign but this should come out just in time to play test. Ive been saying this was coming for a while now. 10 years in print.. yeah its time. Look forward to seeing the new system.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

10th level spells. Will that mean we are having an extra spell level on top of 9th, or will all the spells be promoted 1 level from 0th level going to first, 1st going to second and so on. I like the idea of 10th level magic as a concept. If 9th was the realm of near total power with access to wish, then 10th would be like a wish plus. Like the magical equvilant of those legendary spells once thrown by the likes of geb, or vex in a war that probably made the manascar wastes.

Shadow Lodge

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Jojiro wrote:

To the unhappy folks:

The tabletop RPG market has innovated so far beyond Pathfinder's core rules that it isn't even in question. Play even a fantasy heartbreaker, the ones that TVtropes makes fun of, and you can see that Pathfinder is married to a lot of outdated concepts.

People say that innovation has hurt D&D, but even among the grognards who enjoy the B/X versions of D&D, there have been innovations in the modern OSR movement.

The fact that Paizo recognizes it is time for surgery, which is their own terminology for this change, is to their credit. Change is hard to stomach. You see this when YouTube channels change their filters or cameras, when TV series get a new director, when ships get a new captain, when companies get a new CEO.

You are certainly welcome to this perspective, and I hope it's everything you're expecting and more.

But what you consider surgery I and others consider an unnecessary operation on a healthy patient, or one who could be much more effectively treated with over-the-counter meds instead of a full reconstructive procedure.

Quote:
Trust is a lot to give to a company. But I say give it. They've served you well so far, haven't they?

I trust Paizo will continue writing excellent stories and filling them with intriguing plots, interesting characters, and wonderful art. On that, I agree, they have served well and I look forward to all such they will continue to do in the future.

But my trust as far as new editions and rulesets has already been broken by my dislike of Starfinder's, as I said in my last post, and thus lacks any further foundation for a new mechanical edition of PF for me.


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The players and Gms in my friends network have been waiting for a second edition announcement. Having played back when Pathfinder released, converting material from other editions was the standard back then as there wasn't an extensive hardcover and softcover library. Even now I use systems and items from other editions of D&D and retro clones in my Pathfinder game. People who have extensive libraries of Pathfinder won't find that material to suddenly be useless with a 2nd edition. They'll be adapting and converting their favorite material for years as 2nd slowly releases books.

Dark Archive

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Roregg wrote:

Wait. Species sounds too Sci-fi, when it is a real world, biological concept used in everyday life? That makes absolutely no sense.

Used in 2018, to refer to animals. Not different sentient creatures.

Although I can't hear heritage without "don't insult my dwarven heritage" followed by someone guzzling a gallon of ale.

You...realize Homo sapiens is a species, right? And that there are many sentient animal species?

But on the subject of animals, I actually do have a question for the developers. 3.5 and PF 1E have always had horrible animal stats. There's going to be some level of suckage inevitable when there isn't a biologist combing through everything, but have animals been revisited for 2E in a way that makes them more true-to-life?


I'm a bit excited and afraid for this. on the one hand, I am not interested in having to go through 4000+ reprinted monsters. on the other hand, maybe this will fix the unbalance of Golarion Bestiary entries (i.e. bestiaries with 1/3 of monsters being one overbearing type)
Maybe this won't be so bad, I mean they'll finally have it as "Fleshwarp, Drider", right?
also, when you guys say "New, but the same", does that mean we still get bestiaries with awesome new monsters of every variety every few years? I'm okay with that, as long as I don't have to worry about going through chromatic/esoteric/imperial/metallic/outer/planar/primal dragons all over again. I like dragons, don't get me wrong, but I don't want to go through 35 pages of the same dragons we already know.
I will continue to get your books, but only because I am addicted to seeing new monsters. oh, and just because you are making 2nd edition doesn't mean you've gotten out of making new Gigases roughly every 60 APs.

The Exchange

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I am excited about this.

A couple of personal hopes....

I hope that archetypes ADD abilities to existing classes, like they do in 5th edition D&D; rather than swapping abilities out.

I hope that the equipment is not level based, like it is in Starfinder. A sword should be a sword should be a sword.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I hope ancestry is a more accessible version of ARG 1.0 races than 'Oh, here's 1.0 CORE races with goblins added'.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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FroMonk wrote:
Just as a side note, it wasn't until I dug through the comments that I was able to find out that the core rulebook for the playtest would be a free PDF; there was no indication of this in the announcement post. From the way it was worded, the only free content was a bestiary "and other free game aids, such as character sheets and rules reference cards".

You appear to be quoting the FAQ answer for "What products will be published for the Pathfinder Playtest?" Scroll down a bit to "When and where can I get Pathfinder Playtest products?" and "How much will the Pathfinder Playtest products cost?"

Also, while it's inevitable that a small number of people will first learn about this from someone pointing them to the FAQ, we're trying to point people to the Pathfinder Playtest page, which pretty quickly gets to "All Pathfinder Playtest products will be released as FREE downloads exclusively at paizo.com on August 2, 2018. On the same day, we'll release limited-edition print versions..."

Dark Archive

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I want to take a moment and talk a bit about the a concern I am seeing here with some frequency, and that is that characters will be streamlined and not customizable. I get that we are using some terms that may lead you to think we are going with a similar approach to some other games, but that is simply not the case.

Characters in the new edition have MORE options in most cases than they did in the previous edition. You can still make the scholarly mage who is the master of arcane secrets and occult lore, just as easily as you can make a character that goes against type, like a fighter who is skilled in botany. The way that the proficiency system works along with skill feats gives you plenty of choices when it comes to skills, allowing you to make the character you want to make.

Beyond skills, every class now has its own list of feats to choose from, making them all pretty different from one another and allowing for a lot of flexibility in how you play. And just wait until you see what Archetypes can do...

Next Monday we will be looking at the way that you level up, and the options that presents. Next Friday (March 16th), we will investigate the proficiency system, and how that impacts your choices during character creation and leveling.

Stay tuned folks... we have a lot of great things to show you

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

I really hope that the reality matches the idea you are presenting here. My biggest grief with "some other games" is that if I make a rogue, my options are limited to what that game thinks a rogue should be. Sure there are a few different paths I can take, but in the end I'm the rogue they saw fit.

The biggest appeal to Pathfinder is that I can make a rogue that is unique to me. That rogue may not be "optimized" however they can be extremely gratifying to play. Part of that is that I can choose from feats, traits, gear, and such that the developers may not have thought appropriate for a rogue, but when put together in a unique way made for extreme interests.

The thought of proficiencies and now the knowledge that each class has a unique list of feats to choose from gives me pause. In "that other game" my characters felt too much like cardboard cutout. I pray this new addition doesn't do the same (even if there are more 7 cardboard cutouts rather than 3, the result is still the same).

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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I'm not crazy about shifting skills to a proficiency system like 5th Edition. That was a major thing I hated about 5th Edition.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It's interesting being on the opposite side of an edition change. I was on the other side of the 3.5/4E break. Now it looks like I'm in the 2E camp.

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

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Charlie Bell wrote:
I wonder if Starfinder will be to Pathfinder what Star Wars Saga Edition was to 4th Edition--an experiment with new mechanics as prelude to a new edition of the core product.

CALLED IT in 2016 :D

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

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Vic Wertz wrote:


Also, while it's inevitable that a small number of people will first learn about this from someone pointing them to the FAQ, we're trying to point people to the Pathfinder Playtest page, which pretty quickly gets to "All Pathfinder Playtest products will be released as FREE downloads exclusively at paizo.com on August 2, 2018. On the same day, we'll release limited-edition print versions..."

I'm sure this is on your radar, but I hope you guys are ready for the massive traffic load on launch day. I still remember another edition launch having an inauspicious beginning when the countdown reached zero and then the company website went down for 1d4 days...

P.S. - I'd be happy to help and download my copy early.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

3 people marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
It's interesting being on the opposite side of an edition change. I was on the other side of the 3.5/4E break. Now it looks like I'm in the 2E camp.

Have a slice of pie with me, TOZ. ;-)

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sebastian wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:


Also, while it's inevitable that a small number of people will first learn about this from someone pointing them to the FAQ, we're trying to point people to the Pathfinder Playtest page, which pretty quickly gets to "All Pathfinder Playtest products will be released as FREE downloads exclusively at paizo.com on August 2, 2018. On the same day, we'll release limited-edition print versions..."

I'm sure this is on your radar, but I hope you guys are ready for the massive traffic load on launch day. I still remember another edition launch having an inauspicious beginning when the countdown reached zero and then the company website went down for 1d4 days...

P.S. - I'd be happy to help and download my copy early.

I suspect this was part of the big push for the website overhaul that we've seen recently.

Sczarni

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Complete money grab that could back fire 4th edition is all I have to say


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Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:
I'm just interested to see what the class designs are and how this new iconic goblin alchemist compares to Damiel.
It will be shorter and greener.

I will agree to pose for Mr. Reynolds as the new goblin iconic, but any nudity must be tasteful.

But not too tasteful.

Bah! If you're doing your job right, your clothes will just end up on fire anyway!


Does this mean Paizo will not be publishing manuals for the previous edition of Pathfinder anymore?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've been through seven editions of D&D (conservatively), at least seven editions of Traveller, half a dozen editions of Champions, three editions of Mutants and Masterminds, four editions of Twilight Imperium and more editions of Diplomacy than I can count. I bought so many 2e boxed sets I could ballast a cargo ship with them. Please, tell me more about how your vast trove of Pathfinder stuff is now just sitting on your shelves, useless and forgotten...


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After nearly 10 years, it's time for a change. My one plea is to make the monster stat blocks as self-contained and ready-to-run as possible. Having to look up individual feats and spells in stat blocks is what drove me to simpler-to-run systems.


I'm still saying that what worries me the most is how much of what I have today for PF1E will be useful in PF2E - setting and rules wise...


11 people marked this as a favorite.
Jacob Blackmon wrote:


I hope that the equipment is not level based, like it is in Starfinder. A sword should be a sword should be a sword.

Oh by all the powers you believe in please do NOT let equipment be level based - that would be a deal breaker.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So how do we pre-order as it doesn't appear to be available in the Store yet?

I want to be able to make an educated decision

Spoiler:
Add moar tengu!
on the system but I cannot get to the NSLFGS to pick it up and am willing to pay for shipping and handling.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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Sebastian wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
It's interesting being on the opposite side of an edition change. I was on the other side of the 3.5/4E break. Now it looks like I'm in the 2E camp.
Have a slice of pie with me, TOZ. ;-)

It's damn fine pie.


11 people marked this as a favorite.
Tarondor wrote:
Please, tell me more about how your vast trove of Pathfinder stuff is now just sitting on your shelves, useless and forgotten...

(shrugs) You might have money to burn dude but some of us struggle to even save up enough cash to buy the PDF's.

Sovereign Court

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Ooo, i'm so excited I think I let out a cloud of spores!

--Vrockin' 2 Electric Boogaloo

Paizo Employee Designer

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Anguish 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.

First and foremost, thanks for dedicating some of your time to me.

Second, that's maybe interesting. Well, it's certainly interesting as a glimpse behind the curtain to see the wizard at work. But it's too early to tell if it addresses what I was alluding to. I know you guys aren't going to get specific, so no pressure there. I'll just make myself clear.

To me, part of the fun of the (existing) game is knowing that if I can do X points of damage to ability Y, that will impede my opponents ability to do certain things or resist certain things. Combining multiple tactics to get a job done, mathematically. Having a variety of different ability scores for...

Tactical options like that are some of my favorite to figure out too. I can definitely say that I enjoy solving those sort of in-game tactical puzzles, and my playtest games so far have scratched that itch more often than many of my games from PF1. This is partially because in PF1, I could build a character where the correct tactical option on almost every turn was to do my most powerful combo shtick that ends the fight, whereas the playtests encourage me to blend out-of-game character growth strategy with in-game tactical choices to get the best combination of effects.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


So how do we pre-order as it doesn't appear to be available in the Store yet?

I think it said preorders go live on the 20th. ^_^


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tarondor wrote:
I've been through seven editions of D&D (conservatively), at least seven editions of Traveller, half a dozen editions of Champions, three editions of Mutants and Masterminds, four editions of Twilight Imperium and more editions of Diplomacy than I can count. I bought so many 2e boxed sets I could ballast a cargo ship with them. Please, tell me more about how your vast trove of Pathfinder stuff is now just sitting on your shelves, useless and forgotten...

Not all of us have been through as many edition changes as you, Tarondor. I've been through one, 3.5 to Pathfinder. I know many who started with Pathfinder. And for many of those previous edition changes, there wasn't the digital component. For most of this hobby's lifespan, there was always the option to sell your old stuff to fund the upgrade to the new edition. In this era of PDFs and other digital content such as Hero Lab, that option is not there for many. It is true that many gamers hold on to their books just to have them, but plenty sell.


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All of this sounds good to me. I love evolution.


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

So, poking what little we have with a stick... WALL OF TEXT INCOMING!

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10th-Level Spells and 4 Spell Lists

Interesting, that... Lest anyone think that 4 spell lists is a diversity-killer, I just want to point out that in the days of AD&D, the spheres of divine magic allowed for a truly blistering array of variation in divine spellcasters... off of one list. One of the things I HATED (and still don't much care for) about 3rd/3.5/PF was the loss of Specialty Priests. 4 spell lists (I dunno, Arcane, Divine, Natural and Occult?) which can be accessed differently by different characters in different ways might add a hell of a lot more variety than exists at present. I certainly wouldn't mourn the loss of the weird little truncated spell lists that exist only for certain classes whose spell use is at most, a tertiary feature.

10th level spells- Won't mean anything until we see what levels 0-9 look like. 0-level spells are another weird little artifact of old bookeeping...

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Alchemists in Core

Presumably keeping the original 11 company. Hope I get a way to ditch Mutagen, 'cause I've never, ever liked it on thematic grounds.

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Archetypes and Multiclassing

Classic Monsters and Magic
Heroic Storytelling
Pathfinder Society
Production Values
Support
True to Pathfinder
Wayne Reynolds Art

These feel like simple reassurance lines.

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Class Changes

Designed for All Levels of Play
Race Changes and Feats

These are... "no duh" statements. A new edition mandates some change, but the idea of a core ruleset likewise makes some things inevitable.

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Clean, Modular Information-Based Design

Combat Maneuvers that Rock

Hm. "Modular," you say...

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Easier to Play

Simplified Actions
Streamlined Proficiencies

This could be... interestin'. See, those of us who have been swimming in these waters for over a decade once 3.5 is factored in may actually not find this to be the case, because we have a truckload of system knowledge baked in.

But.

Teaching people to play- especially new players, maybe players for whom this will be their first pen and paper RPG- will be the acid test for this claim. And easier to learn = more new blood at healthy rates.

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Goblin Player Characters

Golarion-Infused

While I love me some goblins.... it'll be interesting to see how these two are reconciled, 'cause Golarion goblins are, well, extremely crazy little critters.

I'm seeing a lot of "no lore in core" pushback... but a certain amount of lore just happens, because species, deities, and professions need some kind of context. I certainly wasn't exactly thrilled with 3E's choice to go with Greyhawk deities as its core pantheon, 'cause Greyhawk always bored me... but I was able to use the ruleset, and I didn't run one friggin' session in the Greyhawk setting.

Golarion is pretty kitchen-sink... and for a new GM just getting their feet wet, some training wheels are hardly a terrible idea.

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Innovative Initiative

This... I am somewhat curious about.

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More Customization

More? More than with a solid decade of published material? I am intrigued. Obviously, all of that material is there to pull from, but I have to wonder what form it will take.

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New Background System

I'll be curious to see the extent to which it differs from 5E or Starfinder.

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Rebalanced Magic Items

God I hope I can bid farewell to the mandatory dreary items... Cloaks of Resistance and Headbands of intellect may be statistically solid, but MAN are they boring.


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Cthulhusquatch wrote:
All of this sounds good to me. I love evolution.

Perhaps, but I fear we may be on the wrong side of it.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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The Gold Sovereign wrote:
I'm still saying that what worries me the most is how much of what I have today for PF1E will be useful in PF2E - setting and rules wise...

If you listen to the Glass Cannon podcast that went live today of Jason and Erik playing Crypt of the Everflame, I think you can get a good feel for how well the playtest mechanics fit into older content. That adventure is easier to convert because at the time it came out Pathfinder didn't have much more than the Core Rulebook, so most everything in it has a playtest analog. The setting and most of the character actions the players assumed they could take were all covered in the playtest rules. Some of the specific mechanics are different, but it sounds like they're playing Pathfinder.

As for deep continuity, as mentioned in the FAQ, we won't be changing any of the core assumptions of the setting, or jumping forward decades or anything. Some rulers might change here and there as makes sense, and some borders may shift from the default First Edition map, but the history of the world isn't getting retconned or anything like that.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
It's interesting being on the opposite side of an edition change. I was on the other side of the 3.5/4E break. Now it looks like I'm in the 2E camp.

Amusingly, our group migrated to 4E before feeling utterly screwed over by WotC after they abandoned it so quickly (mechanically, I actually loved 4E), and we switched to Pathfinder. I felt that with the end-of-life of 4E, WotC was actually actively sabotaging their product to drive people away from it.

Paizo's handling of the transition is so much more respectful.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ivan Rûski wrote:
For most of this hobby's lifespan, there was always the option to sell your old stuff to fund the upgrade to the new edition.

Having lived through the switch from AD&D to 3E, and then 3.5, and Pathfinder, and dipping my toes into 4E...

The old stuff you might sell was.... not terribly likely to finance any upgrade... not least because, apart from pure rules material, you'd hang on to setting material or splatbooks you liked 'cause you weren't sure you were ever going to see them again... I've still got a shelf full of 2E Ravenloft stuff...


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Where can we find more information regarding the new character creation system?
I'm worried players will no longer be able to invest ranks on skills outside those determined at character creation. For example a fighter at level 3 who wants to invest a rank in Use Magic Device or Spellcraft.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also curious about how the ancestries are going to fall down.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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Imaflying wrote:

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

I'm worried players will no longer be able to invest ranks on skills outside those determined at character creation. For example a fighter at level 3 who wants to invest a rank in Use Magic Device or Spellcraft.

In blog posts that have not released yet. We're going to be doing regular previews of various aspects of the playtest rules over the coming months, so stay tuned! It's a lot of information to disseminate (a whole book's worth, in fact!) so we have to portion it out to allow for sufficient discussion on each individual element.


Cole Deschain wrote:
Ivan Rûski wrote:
For most of this hobby's lifespan, there was always the option to sell your old stuff to fund the upgrade to the new edition.

Having lived through the switch from AD&D to 3E, and then 3.5, and Pathfinder, and dipping my toes into 4E...

The old stuff you might sell was.... not terribly likely to finance any upgrade... not least because, apart from pure rules material, you'd hang on to setting material or splatbooks you liked 'cause you weren't sure you were ever going to see them again... I've still got a shelf full of 2E Ravenloft stuff...

Well, just counting the "pure rules material" books I have in hardcover, I have 10 hardcover books that retailed from $40-$50. So you are telling me you couldn't take those to a used bookstore and get enough to buy the core book? And that isn't all the books, just what I personally own. Pretty sure physical copies of all the core line could fund an upgrade.


Listening to the Podcast over on Glass Cannon is easing a few of my reservations. A lot of it sounds like refining and improving a lot of the optional rules that already exist and making them core. I kind of like the Tactics Initiative system and might even impliment that in my own games next time I start up a campaign.

Still not thrilled by a new edition but it sounds like it's going the route of improve what is there instead of 4E's choice of throw it all out and make a totaly new game, while insulting the old game and anyone who enjoyed it. (Worst marketing strategy ever)


Well hopefully there will be a lot more stat points from leveling instead of relying on magic items for stat increases.


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great, they finally do a pathfinder ruleset book of taldor and then they go and do a new setting.

but they still have not done a pathfinder ruleset book of kyonin

well. I'm not sure Ill be getting your new books.

Liberty's Edge

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Just want to say - I'm a little nervous about this change, but just want to thank all the Paizo employees that are commenting on this thread. There are many things that could change in a way I'd not want, but the difference between Paizo and many other tRPG companies can be seen by the fact that a wide variety of employees are here posting to try and help out people worrying about the new edition! That simple fact allows me to put far more faith in Pathfinder 2.0 than I'd expected I'd have - I was quite against the concept as a whole.

Paizo is an amazing company, and the interaction all you Paizo employees have with us fans is a huge part of the reason why I'm confident that Pathfinder 2.0 will be well-made, despite my worry!


Well... did not see this coming at this time. We will see...

Dark Archive

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I'm withholding complete disappointment based completely on how reasonably well Pathfinder is backwards compatible. It's not fantastic, but I could sit down with a season 0 scenario and not really have to change anything and still have a good time. There are so many scenarios, modules, and APs left to get good fun out of that I'm not in any kind of hurry for a change. In fact based on Starfinder learning a new rules system to combat 'bloat' is just plain ironic. That said the biggest attraction of published content is not having to do as much work homebrewing. If retrofitting old APs is cumbersome then a 5, 8, or 10 year new edition cycle is irrelevant.

Scarab Sages

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Everything about this post is all I've wanted for Pathfinder since a lot of the unchained rules came out. Big six gone? Awesome. Revised action economy? Awesome. Streamlined progression and balancing? AWESOME. Can't wait to see what you guys do.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Awesome. I've been here since the original beta test release (still have our copy, in fact). I'm looking forward to Pathfinder 2E!

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