Creating a playtest process for a game as complicated as Pathfinder has been a challenge unto itself. While we knew that we needed robust play data from all of you, which took the form of Doomsday Dawn, we also wanted to grab wider-ranging feedback based on not only your experience at the table, but also your time spent reading the book, building characters, and dreaming up new adventures.
So, today we're launching the first of our Game Feedback Surveys, starting with the Ancestry and Backgrounds Survey and the truly massive Class Survey. But before you go rushing off to take these surveys, there are a few things you should know.
First off, you should note that you can take each of these surveys only once, though you can choose to leave a survey and come back to complete it later (until we close the surveys at the end of the playtest). This might be useful for the Class Survey in particular, which is quite lengthy and could be difficult to finish in one sitting, and which is also divided into sections for each class.
Second, you don't have to answer every question in these surveys. The Class Survey asks you if you want to give feedback on a class before displaying those questions, allowing you to skip classes entirely if you find that you don't have any feedback on their theme or mechanics. You can also skip questions that you find aren't relevant to your experience (although we've tried to provide response options for you to clarify this as well).
Finally, while you don't have to answer every question, it's still important that you go all the way to the end of the survey, as there are several important questions that come later on.
So, if you think you're ready, go on over and take these surveys using the following links! We're looking forward to hearing what you think!
Ancestry & Backgrounds Survey | Classes Survey
If you have more open ended comments or feedback, you can take these surveys to give us more detailed commentary on the rules.
Open Response Ancestry and Background Survey | Open Response Class Survey
Tune back in here in the coming weeks as we add even more surveys to the mix, which will ask about your view on various game mechanics and monster design!
A Note on Playtests
Just to recap some of what we talked about on the Paizo Twitch stream on Friday, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the playtest as a process. Some of you have begun to notice that the Doomsday Dawn adventure feels a bit different that the adventures you're used to seeing. This is intentional—each part of Doomsday Dawn is specifically designed to stress test one or more facets of the game. This means you might see encounters with the same theme repeated multiple times at various challenge levels, or that every encounter in one part of the adventure might share a common element. It might also mean that some of the fights are beyond challenging.
Making the best version of Pathfinder that we can means finding where the current system breaks. In some cases, we need you to do that, so that we can figure out where the line actually is. But it's equally important to the data collection process that playtesters not know what those goals actually are until the test is over, since to do so any other way would bias the results.
The design team offers our sincerest thanks to everyone for helping us with this rigorous process. We promise to pay for resurrections and therapy for your poor PCs when this is all over.
Director of Game Design
Join the Pathfinder Playtest designers every Friday throughout the playtest on our Twitch Channel to hear all about the process and chat directly with the team.