Big Pathfinder/Starfinder Reference Document News!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

As a fan and a community advocate, you grow attachments to things you wouldn't have ever imagined you would. One of the projects I've gotten the opportunity to make my mark on at Paizo is neatly nestled into that fan/community/design challenge niche: the Pathfinder Reference Document. As it became obvious in this last year of architecting and laying out the plans for the future of paizo.com, and as the time increased between that "last updated" date and our resources began to shift course, a problem arose that we needed to solve: how do we provide our community a free, up-to-date online version of the rules for our games? Well, I finally get to share the answer with you all!

Paizo is pleased to announce that Blake Davis and the Archives of Nethys will be maintaining the Pathfinder and Starfinder Reference Documents!

As an official licensed partner, the Archives of Nethys includes setting-specific rules content as well as Open Game Content, so you'll be able to find the Golarion- and Pact Worlds–specific rules you're looking for quickly and easily.

Eventually, these reference documents will become more integrated into the paizo.com website, but for the near future, we will be redirecting PRD and SFRD requests to the Archives of Nethys website:

Pathfinder Reference Document: pfrd.info
Starfinder Reference Document: sfrd.info

During this transition, you will not be able to search the PRD or the SFRD using the paizo.com search tool—you'll need to use the Archives of Nethys search tool instead for Pathfinder content; the search engine for the Starfinder site is still in development and is expected to go live in the next 1-2 weeks.

(The AON will not be hosting a Pathfinder Playtest reference document, as those rules are transitory, but we are planning to launch the reference document for Pathfinder Second Edition with them next year.)

Both reference documents on the Archives of Nethys will remain a completely free resource, but you can help support their future growth on Patreon.

I'm so excited to see our new partnership with Archives of Nethys and our online offerings to the Pathfinder and Starfinder communities evolve! Be sure to check out the AON, update your bookmarks, and keep up with the Paizo blog for future announcements.

Chris Lambertz
Web Product Manager

9/14/2018 Update: After reviewing community feedback, the legacy PRD website has now been made available at legacy.aonprd.com. It does not contain the search functionality, however.

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Tags: Licensed Products Paizo Pathfinder Reference Document Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Starfinder
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No problem, Papa.

BTW, you can search by sourcebook by clicking "sources" in the menu, which may help looking for certain features.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I don't know if this is just my Internet or what, but none of the links to the PRD seem to be working for me. I've tried:

aonprd.com
legacy.aonprd.com
pfrd.info

None of these seem to work. I had a game to run today so I had to resort to d20pfsrd but I didn't enjoy that since it's a fairly slow site (at least compared to the original PRD).

Are others also having no luck with these URLs or is it just me?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

He's been struggling with his server provider for awhile now. It was supposed to be getting worked on Friday night, but it looks like it's still an issue.

He must have the Starfinder stuff hosted elsewhere, because it's been fine...


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"Legacy" PRD has always been horribly slow since transfer to Nethys in my experience.
(not sure if it is generic server issue, or how the legacy content is set-up, which might be suboptimal?)

Some time ago I discovered d20srd.org is actually hosting a Pathfinder SRD as well as 3.5 and 5thEd.
If you want the direct link to pathfinder SRD, just use pathfinder.d20srd.org
(the 'front page' of d20srd domain is a bit hard to read at first, since Pathfinder is indicated by green "Pf")
I've found this site to be extremely fast and functionally identical to Paizo hosted SRD.
EDIT: In all honesty, pathfinder.d20srd.org seems a better target for legacy SRD redirects than Nethys's hosting of legacy.
But that probably (should) depend on d20srd actively wanting to be target of such redirects, which I can't speak to.

Nethys of course hosts alot more content than just the Core rules line, and gives alternate interface to access it all.
But many times I prefer using the book/chapter-centric interface of original SRD, and d20srd is best means for it now AFAIK.

Bigger picture it seems reasonable enough for Pathfinder 1st Ed SRD to be a OGL community thing going forward (i.e. post 2ndEd)
but I wonder if Paizo is planning on doing their own 2nd Ed SRD or what?
Having created and formatted that SRD data (for 1stEd) is enabling it to now be duplicated/hosted by d20srd and Nethys,
and IMHO that book/chapter -centric approach is always welcome to have even if other approaches are useful too.
(and AFAIK, is more friendly to Paizo's book sales business by cultivating familiarity with actual book structure)
But I worry they might not create a classic SRD in the first place, leaving only disparate approaches like Nethys and d20pfsrd.

EDIT: Another question that came to mind while thinking about what happens post-2ndEd-release, is what happens to FAQ/Errata? I believe d20pfsrd integrates those into their content directly, but having somewhat "vanilla" discrete FAQ/Errata is still very nice to have IMHO.
Not sure if this is already being planned to be transferred to partner site(s) like Nethys or what... And obviously Paizo COULD continue to host them for some time, but it seems plausible they would lose interest in doing so EVENTUALLY, so then what?


Thanks for the additional Pathfinder SRD link. Always good to have another one in case something fries.


I don't agree with Paizo's decision in turning over their 1st edition PRD site responsibilities to a third party, no matter how professional and organized his site is.

As others have mentioned, as a player and DM, you knew if it was on the PRD that it was official. Now that it is no longer monitored or run by Paizo this cannot be considered 100% accurate.

I understand new additions are used to draw in a new player base. I understand the business model, however when done in this way, as it seemingly always is, it alienates older edition players that don't have any desire to learn a new edition. Pathfinder at its core, I feel, is and was about a community base that didn't want or have any interest in learning a completely new edition thus its initial conception.

As a player and DM Paizo's desire to shed their responsibilities to a third party only affirms they have forgotten the player base that helped them grow into the community they are.

Lastly, I am not saying or suggesting to stop putting out new editions. I am simply asking that the company that acknowledged the 3.5 community in the first place actually stay true and still show support and respect for us, your players and DMs, and maintain the PRD site in honor of all the support you have received over the past decade from us.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Sour grapes.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Tyego wrote:

I don't agree with Paizo's decision in turning over their 1st edition PRD site responsibilities to a third party, no matter how professional and organized his site is.

As others have mentioned, as a player and DM, you knew if it was on the PRD that it was official. Now that it is no longer monitored or run by Paizo this cannot be considered 100% accurate.

Sorry, what? The Paizo-hosted PRD still exists in "legacy mode", so literally nothing has been lost. Also, said Paizo-hosted PRD is lacking massive quantities of what is actually, really, truly "official", and is therefore demonstrably inaccurate. Adherence to the state-of-the-game has increased dramatically by shifting to AoN.

Quote:
I understand new additions are used to draw in a new player base. I understand the business model, however when done in this way, as it seemingly always is, it alienates older edition players that don't have any desire to learn a new edition. Pathfinder at its core, I feel, is and was about a community base that didn't want or have any interest in learning a completely new edition thus its initial conception.

Sorry, what? You opened with a specific statement and topic, and I'm straining to see what this paragraph has to do with that topic.

Quote:
As a player and DM Paizo's desire to shed their responsibilities to a third party only affirms they have forgotten the player base that helped them grow into the community they are.

Sorry, what? Paizo didn't have the resources to maintain the PRD internally, and embraced the community-driven AoN site, and that's evidence that Paizo has forgotten the community? This suggestion - I gently suggest - is illogical.

Quote:
Lastly, I am not saying or suggesting to stop putting out new editions. I am simply asking that the company that acknowledged the 3.5 community in the first place actually stay true and still show support and respect for us, your players and DMs, and maintain the PRD site in honor of all the support you have received over the past decade from us.

Sorry, what? What does truth or respect have to do with what server hosts the Paizo-written PRD that was abandoned a couple years ago? I sense highly emotional response in your words, but the logic is... beyond me.

Nothing has been lost. Nothing has decreased. Nothing has gone away.

I admit that when the adoption of AoN was announced, my initial reaction was to feel that Paizo should "support your product yourself, damnit", or that Blake (owner of AoN) should be put on payroll. Once the PF2 announcement happened, I lost the last shreds of that feeling, on the basis that the tradition of PF1 content was over... since the edition was ending. Maintaining/updating the Paizo-hosted PRD was no longer on the table. And coming up with a new model for PF2 - a totally different game with the same name - is fair (to me), given it's a natural break point. So, while I immediately felt uncomfortable, once I knew all the facts my intellect won me over.

It's Zen O'Clock now.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Also, the idea that something isn’t “official” because it’s done by someone under license instead of by a direct employee shows a peculiar fascination with admin.


Quote:
Sorry, what? The Paizo-hosted PRD still exists in "legacy mode", so literally nothing has been lost. Also, said Paizo-hosted PRD is lacking massive quantities of what is actually, really, truly "official", and is therefore demonstrably inaccurate. Adherence to the state-of-the-game has increased dramatically by shifting to AoN.

The search and filter features have been removed and they are no longer updating the site with the material that is still being published. I do agree that the more I use AoN I am pleased with this his site, but again this is about Paizo not maintaining their own.

Quote:
Sorry, what? You opened with a specific statement and topic, and I'm straining to see what this paragraph has to do with that topic.

It further reflects Paizo's desire to distance themselves from their 1st edition of Pathfinder.

Quote:
Sorry, what? Paizo didn't have the resources to maintain the PRD internally, and embraced the community-driven AoN site, and that's evidence that Paizo has forgotten the community? This suggestion - I gently suggest - is illogical.

No, not illogical as you suggest here, but more emotional as you mentioned further down. Paizo had a unique opportunity to maintain and continue to update the PRD site with the remaining 1st edition material still being published, but they simply chose not to. I see that as an unfortunate decision on their part.

Quote:
"Paizo didn't have the resources to maintain the PRD internally."

It's absurd to believe that a company can't maintain their own site, but a private individual can? To that I must respond in kind, Sorry, what?

Sour grapes, yeah a little. Emotional, yep. But as you mentioned it is in good hands with AoN.

Thanks for hearing my ramblings and taking the time to respond.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Tyego wrote:
It's absurd to believe that a company can't maintain their own site, but a private individual can? To that I must respond in kind, Sorry, what?

It's absurd to believe a company would devote resources to a part of the site that does not generate revenue over other parts that do. A private individual can support a SRD more effectively than Paizo can, at least in Paizo's assessment.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tyego wrote:


> But as you mentioned it is in good hands with AoN.
> Now that it is no longer monitored or run by Paizo this cannot be considered 100% accurate.

Choose one.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Tyego wrote:
Quote:
Sorry, what? The Paizo-hosted PRD still exists in "legacy mode", so literally nothing has been lost. Also, said Paizo-hosted PRD is lacking massive quantities of what is actually, really, truly "official", and is therefore demonstrably inaccurate. Adherence to the state-of-the-game has increased dramatically by shifting to AoN.
The search and filter features have been removed and they are no longer updating the site with the material that is still being published.

FYI, the filter features still work. I just used the Bestiary filters about a week ago. The filter features that don't work (some of the spell search features) were broken on the original Paizo site and hadn't been fixed, but all of the filters are as Paizo coded them. The search is removed (because it was attached to the Paizo store), but you can tab out to Google or your favorite search engine and type site:legacy.aonprd.com and then whatever you are looking for and search the site that way. No, it's not as convenient, but sometimes I find the results are actually better anyway.

In hopes of offering some perspective that I hope may be mollifying:

The last time Paizo updated the PRD was in 2015. FOUR YEARS ago. There are core RPG line products that never made it to the site (e.g., Ultimate Intrigue, Ultimate Wilderness, Villain Codex, Bestiary 6), as well as errata that never was implemented. As they branched out to working on Starfinder and 2e, their staff limits were stretched and they kept never getting around to updating the site--and the more time passed, the more stuff needed updating.

In the meantime, other 3rd party SRDs were keeping their databases updated and were actually becoming more reliable to use.

It sucks that the PRD got to that state, but things being what they were Paizo could have
1. Decided to abandon the PRD altogether (which WOULD have been a sign that they were not interested in supporting 1E anymore). Many gaming sites and companies often cease updating stuff without a word, so while it wouldn't be a good move, it wouldn't be unusual.

2. Update 4 years of backlog while also still trying to publish 1e products (including the digital work that requires), and work on 2E and Starfinder. Which frankly, given what a small company Paizo is (something I think we all forget sometimes), was likely impossible. I speculate that indeed they'd hoped they would get to the backlog at some point and never could and decided to face the music and take a different tack.

3. Sanction one of the third parties that already had a much more updated, reliable reference document.

Paizo, as a small company, hires freelancers and makes partnerships with third parties all the time. A good number of the credits in their books are freelancers (including in a few books, my name). While this is slightly different as it's more licensing out to a different entity, it's still essentially outsourcing labor that their in-house staff can't take on.

I also trust that they evaluated carefully who would be the best party to work with and sanction and know that they could bless as "official" and mean it. If Paizo says a third party partner is official, I trust that it is, because I trust Paizo.

Question: Dynamite Entertainment publishes licensed Pathfinder comic books. Do they feel "unofficial" because Paizo doesn't publish those comics in-house? Is the Pathfinder Kingmaker video game unofficial because Paizo didn't program it themselves?

Quote:
I do agree that the more I use AoN I am pleased with this his site, but again this is about Paizo not maintaining their own.

I agree it would have been ideal that Paizo kept updating the PRD on their own, but that ship had already effectively sailed several years ago, unfortunately.

Quote:
It further reflects Paizo's desire to distance themselves from their 1st edition of Pathfinder.

That I disagree with, for two reasons:

1. If they really wanted to abandon 1e, they would have just let the PRD sit four years out of date with no official sanctioning of anything, third party or otherwise.

2. Paizo is planning to continue to keep 1E products in print for as long as people buy them. They are the ONLY major RPG company I am aware of that has ever done anything like that. Yes, sometimes companies produce "legacy" or "nostalgia" copies of old editions, but they are usually limited print runs that go OOP quickly. Most RPG companies, especially larger ones like WotC, do everything to obliterate the existence of prior editions that they can, including instantly pull old edition copies from shelves, digital and physical. Paizo is the only company I am aware of that hasn't.

Quote:


No, not illogical as you suggest here, but more emotional as you mentioned further down. Paizo had a unique opportunity to maintain and continue to update the PRD site with the remaining 1st edition material still being published, but they simply chose not to. I see that as an unfortunate decision on their part.

I think the fact that they hadn't updated the PRD in four years shows that the impetus behind that choice was necessity due to the realities of the workload Paizo's bosses set for the digital production folks, not anything arbitrary and certainly not malicious.

I totally agree it would have been ideal they kept it in house. But I'd rather they admit they couldn't keep up and find a real solution to the problem than continue to have abandoned the PRD (which again, had already been abandoned for four years).

Quote:
"Paizo didn't have the resources to maintain the PRD internally."
Quote:

It's absurd to believe that a company can't maintain their own site, but a private individual can? To that I must respond in kind, Sorry, what?

Yet they obviously couldn't maintain it because it hadn't been updated in so long. Wanting to be otherwise can't ever make it so. Again, Paizo is a small company that relies heavily on independent contractors and third party partnerships. Maybe you perceive them as bigger, richer, or more powerful than they really are. That's bound to cause you to set unmeetable expectations for them.

As for "but a private individual can"? Well yes. That private individual is only updating that site, not also trying to publish two active RPGs in print and PDF, a series of card/board games, and myriad other related products, as well as maintain a website, forum, and store.

*I* find it absurd to assume equivalence between a relatively small group of people publishing hundreds of products and supplementary materials versus a single person who puts most of his time into only one website, if a comprehensive website.

I totally dig the disappointment about the PRD not staying at Paizo--again, I wish it had too--but I'm glad they owned up to their limitations and found a solution rather than left things as they were, which was a situation that was not working and becoming more an obvious sign of neglect as time passed. That is why I trust Paizo, not because they always do things perfectly and amazingly and exactly the way I want them to, but because they recognize clearly when things aren't going right and find realistic solutions to the problem.

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