Welcome to the Pathfinder Advanced Player’s Guide playtest! In the document below, you’ll find four new classes set to be introduced in the Advanced Player’s Guide in July 2020, but before we can add them to the game, we need your help to ensure they are the best they can be! To do that, we need you to create characters using these classes and give them a try. We’re hoping that each of these new characters offers you a style of play that’s enjoyable, effective, and distinct from the currently available classes, allowing you to tell even richer stories with diverse experiences in all modes of play.
Curious about what these classes are all about? Here is a brief synopsis of each to get your character ideas flowing.
- The investigator is a savvy, street-smart character who takes cases to uncover clues and solve mysteries. This class ties to parts of the game that aren’t covered in depth in the Core Rulebook, so the playtest will see if their approach to solving mysteries is satisfying, while keeping the rules for the game as a whole flexible.
- The oracle commands divine powers by drawing from universal concepts, casting powerful revelation spells that take a toll on their body and manifest as a double-edged curse. We want to make sure the curse effects are fun and engaging without disrupting the balance of the class compared to other characters. For the playtest, we’ve selected only a subset of mysteries, but there will be more in the final version.
- The swashbuckler is the flamboyant daredevil of the battlefield, tumbling through foes and entering a heightened state to deliver devastating finishing blows. We’ll be testing a system that encourages them to gain panache, a state of bombastic flair that lets them use more powerful abilities. The playtest version emphasizes new rules specific to the class so that we can playtest those thoroughly, but the final version might pick up some of the fighter’s weapon feats suited to dueling.
- The witch serves a mysterious patron entity, casting spells and hexes learned through a powerful familiar. This is the most flexible spellcasting class we’ve introduced, since it allows you to build your own path by selecting not only feats, but also lessons from your patron. We want to make sure those options work well both narratively and mechanically across all three of the spellcasting traditions the witch can gain access to.
How to Playtest
The playtest will run until December 2nd, 2019. We’re looking for your feedback, comments, and criticisms regarding these classes, but we’re focusing our attention on feedback from play. Make new characters, use them as PCs or adversaries, and run a few game sessions or encounters incorporating them!
What the Playtest Is, and What it Isn’t
When playtesting these classes, remember that almost anything can change based on the results of the playtest! These are early iterations of the new classes; some abilities might be a bit extreme or stretch some assumptions of the game, and the best way to find out if we’ve gone too far (or in the wrong direction) is for us to deliver these classes into your hands. If you’re new and used to open betas on a video game where there’s mostly only small refinements, this will be a different experience. If you’re a veteran of the Pathfinder Playtest for the new edition of the game, you should note that because the playtest window is relatively short this time, we don’t expect to release any changes to these classes during the playtest itself, but your thoughts and feedback will still be vital in shaping the final versions of the classes.
How Can You Help
We’d like you to play these classes in a variety of levels and situations. If you’re looking for a published adventure to get some standardized feedback, we recommend trying out Fall of Plaguestone, which offers a stand-alone experience at some of the most commonly played levels of the game with some particularly challenging series of combats that can help put the classes through their paces.
Once you’ve had a chance to try the classes, you can submit your feedback in the following ways. If you only have time for one form of feedback, we’d ask you to please take the survey. It makes it easier for us to hear and apply your feedback, since it’s more structured and puts your responses directly at our fingertips.
- Surveys: Head to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/APGClassSurvey and https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/APGOpenResponse to take surveys that will allow us to gather your responses. These surveys will be available starting Tuesday, November 12, 2019 and they will remain open until the end of the playtest.
- Forums: On paizo.com, you’ll find a general forum for discussion and announcements, plus forums for each of the four new classes. When you post to the forums, look for existing threads on your topic before starting a new one. Remember that every poster is trying to make the game better for everyone, so please be polite and respectful.
You can find the downloads right here. We’d like to thank you for participating in the Advanced Player’s Guide playtest, and we’re looking forward to seeing what you think and using your feedback to make these classes the best they can be!