Save the Date for a New Pathfinder Class Playtest!

Monday, August 23, 2021

With the end of summer comes a new Pathfinder Playtest!

Immediately after Gen Con, we’ll be releasing a playtest with two new classes for you to build characters with, play at your tables, and share feedback on. The playtest will run from September 20th to October 26th.

A general looks over a scale model of the battlefield, determining the best place to deploy her troops.

We wanted to share the news a bit ahead of time so you can assemble your groups and plan some games. If you’re a member of our organized play community, you can earn credit for a Pathfinder Society character at the same time that you playtest one of the new classes, using the normal Pathfinder Society rules for class playtests

Are you interested in helping test and shape the newest Pathfinder classes, but you need help finding a group or game? The Paizo Events Discord server, where our Gen Con Online events will be taking place, will have a channel for you to look for other gamers to playtest with. You can also check out warhorn.net or our VTT partners (Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, or Astral) for games. If you need a pre-made adventure, try playing a Pathfinder Society scenario or one or more Pathfinder Bounties!

Tune in to our Gen Con 2021 streams for more information on the new classes (and the book they’ll be appearing in), and be the first to play them right after the convention! We hope to see you there!

James Case
Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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Very excited for Thaumaturge. Hoping the spooky monster lore parts cover everything I'm looking for in Inquisitor thematically, spooky monster hunting were some of the coolest parts of the class in 1e. Also I'm curious how much it's supposed to be the 2e Occultist, I hope the expectations are different for Thaumaturge than they were for, say, Magus regarding similarity to the 1e class due to the name change.

Similarly excited for Psychic. I'm curious what the mechanical gimmick of the class will be, it feels like there is less room for those on full spellcasters than on other classes but that just makes me more excited to see how Psychic expands on full casting.

Also just found out I get to play in this playtest! As a player! One of my players offered to give me a break from GMing so we can playtest for a few sessions, so I'll get to test both classes! Super hyped!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm also expecting single Class Playtest at some point; likely around the time that most of 1e's Classes have been converted and/or don't share a theme. It's entirely possible for them to create more Class that fit a similar theme to pair with another; or even just drop another Class book with more than two, which wouldn't need a theme really.

Anyways, do we want to take stabs at what we could possibly see from either Class?

Personally, I think the Thaumaturge will be a Focus Spell heavy Class, theoretically powered by its various Talismans & Implements. I'm also willing to bet it'll be similar to the Monk, choosing the Tradition of its Focus Spells. My only reason for thinking this is the name change. They may have done it to step away from any negative connotations accosiacted with the name Occultist, although I highly doubt it given the Occult Tradition.

I've pointed this out before, but 1e had a Feat called Theurgy, which "combined" Arcane and Divine magic. Theurgy and Thaumaturgy are different words for the same thing. For its part, Thaumaturgy is described in-setting as the study or practice of magical or supernatural effects, sometimes in relation to objects. This fits what the Occultist was and what the Thaumaturgist is, but doesn't particularly paint the way to be Occult specific.

Now, I know a lot of people are kind of tired of the Variable Tradition thing, but it might makes sense here. So, I'd suggest maybe the Thaumaturgist Focus Spells will have the option to be Arcane, Divine, or Occult. I'm leaving Primal out, only because I have no reason to suspect Primal will play a role, even though there are Primal magical items. It's possible the Occultist and Antiquarian/Reliquarian are Subclass options, alongside an Arcane option. I remember someone using the term Artificer at one point during the stream. I don't recall if it was in relation to the Thaumaturgist, but I shall use it here for the Arcane variant.

Paizo Employee Designer

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AnimatedPaper wrote:


I wouldn’t be surprised if they do 3 1 class playtests some year.

Just from a logistics standpoint, even if we did three books that each had 1 class in them, we'd probably still try to playtest at least two of the classes together, if possible. Playtests are very time-consuming for you all and for us, and they can also burn out communities real fast if you're doing too many of them too close together.


So, I can't speak to whether we'll get Inquisitor eventually one way or the other, but we've been straight-up told that Thauaturge eats some of its lunch. That, to me, says a few things.

- It means that if you have an inquisitor concept, there's a decent chance that you can largely cover it with the Thaumaturge. In particular, it means that they're looking at the things that people *really like* about the Inquisitor, and they're trying to implement at least a few of them in ways that will make you happy. If the its they poached happen to be the bits you liked... then you have your inquisitor, in all but name, and you can just call it something different.

- By the same token, it means that the Inquisitor is less likely to show up soon. The degree to which people want various classes *has* to be one of the things driving their selection of which classes to work on. If they build a Thaumaturge that gives you part of what you wnat from the inquisitor, then some of that pressure fades, and they have more reason to work on other things that people really want (Shifter, maybe? Some of those class archetypes for viable bomber-focused alchemists, mutation alchemists, or synthesist Summoners?) On the flip side, if for some reason they know that they wont' get to one of those best-beloved classes for a while (or ever) it makes sense to package chunks of it up into other classes when you can. Works both ways.

- Side note: It *looks* like the Thaumaturge might have some of that "slotless caster" vibe. If that's true, it might be eating some of the Kineticist's lunch too, with all the same effects. (That's the only reason I didn't include "Kineticist" on the above list).

So... given that we're getting Thaumaturge, I wouldn't necessarily expect Inquisitor any time *soon*.


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What if the thaumaturge gets some mechanic to make them "best at rituals" or something? A lot of creepy occult stuff in literature is finding some rando book in a mansion/cabin and discovering a ritual to dark and unknown power. Use relatively short rituals to empower your implements or something.

It could end up something mechanically like the 3.5 Binder, even if it didn't go the route of a list of spirits that give you superpowers.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sanityfaerie wrote:
If they build a Thaumaturge that gives you part of what you wnat from the inquisitor, then some of that pressure fades, and they have more reason to work on other things that people really want

Maybe, but this was the same train of thought people had with "fighters and rogues have good support for one-handed weapons now so we'll never see a swashbuckler" and then that ended up literally being one of the first new classes.

At this point I wouldn't really discount anything.


Squiggit wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
If they build a Thaumaturge that gives you part of what you wnat from the inquisitor, then some of that pressure fades, and they have more reason to work on other things that people really want

Maybe, but this was the same train of thought people had with "fighters and rogues have good support for one-handed weapons now so we'll never see a swashbuckler" and then that ended up literally being one of the first new classes.

At this point I wouldn't really discount anything.

True, though we now have actual class archetypes in the mix too so that opens the door a bit more to modify Thaumaturge with one to bring out more of an Inquisitor vibe instead of reinventing Inquisitor as it's own class. It kind of depends how much of Thaumaturge borrows Inquisitor schtick really.

Saedar wrote:
What if the thaumaturge gets some mechanic to make them "best at rituals" or something?

That wouldn't be terribly popular with the groups I play with. I can't recall the last time I've seen a ritual cast. At this point, I just skip over the sections in the new books that have them in it.


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

It is rare that my group has ever cast a ritual -- but we have often had fights whose purpose was to disrupt an evil ritual being cast by the bad guys.


David knott 242 wrote:


It is rare that my group has ever cast a ritual -- but we have often had fights whose purpose was to disrupt an evil ritual being cast by the bad guys.

LOL Good point, I wasn't counting bad guys. A "best at rituals" for NPC's then. ;)


Any ritual stuff is likely to be optional and uncommon, because rituals themselves are at least uncommon.

If they don't include ritual stuff, an easy fix is allowing them to take the Ritualist dedication and subsequent feats without it counting as a dedication/archetype. Works for if you feel any other class should be more ritual-focused.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

For me I don't really pay attention to rituals or talismans but... they're kind of interesting, so a class that can somehow support them internally (albeit ideally optionally) might be interesting?

At least at my tables, it feels like a lot of the ambivalence comes from certain options just not feeling like they're worth the effort as much as anything else.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

They can be hard to wrangle into the game, but they're actually really interesting and evocative if you can. Recommended.


Saedar wrote:

What if the thaumaturge gets some mechanic to make them "best at rituals" or something? A lot of creepy occult stuff in literature is finding some rando book in a mansion/cabin and discovering a ritual to dark and unknown power. Use relatively short rituals to empower your implements or something.

It could end up something mechanically like the 3.5 Binder, even if it didn't go the route of a list of spirits that give you superpowers.

I think even if this doesn't make the playtest they could probably implement best-at-rituals feats without playtesting by borrowing from the ritualist archetype to make class feats for Thaumaturge. Those benefits have better understood effects on the game and in theory don't need playtesting, but if Thaumaturge gets them in-class without needing to archetype out they are better at rituals in one capacity than other classes.

I'd like to see rituals or conceptually similar mechanics implemented in a more adventuring day friendly way through thaumaturge, but even if they don't playtest that they might come out with thaumaturge better at basic rituals in the end.


Squiggit wrote:

For me I don't really pay attention to rituals or talismans but... they're kind of interesting, so a class that can somehow support them internally (albeit ideally optionally) might be interesting?

At least at my tables, it feels like a lot of the ambivalence comes from certain options just not feeling like they're worth the effort as much as anything else.

Yeah, this. Talismans are about as popular as rituals for me. Optional support would be fine, and if they had mechanics that made them more usable/interesting it could pique interest: maybe free talismans, like Talisman Dabbler, or an ability to reuse them or have free uses.

Rituals though... I'm not sure what would have to happen to make them tempting: between the cost, the need for secondary casters, very hard DC's and the time required it has multiple reasons it's unappealing to me.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Talisman dabbler is a cool idea but being limited to half level really limits your options. There are a few good talismans for that feat, but you can't access any of the neater ones and anything with a DC is irrelevant by the time you unlock it.

Same problem Alchemist dedication has ... and the free magic arrows you get from Eldritch Archer...


Squiggit wrote:
Same problem Alchemist dedication has ... and the free magic arrows you get from Eldritch Archer...

Mostly agree but the magic arrows can work: shining, beacon and climbing work. Shining and beacon follow the target or require a action to remove plus shining has no activation. Climbing is pretty universally useful in climbing and the ability to fire multiple ones means you can exceed the normal 50' limit by overlapping rope lengths with multiple shots: this means you could fire 10 from a longbow to reach between 450' and 500' [depending on what angle you have to shoot from].

The ones with saves/checks are pretty worthless though, and spellstrike is redundant.


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I hope the Psychic is more unique this time and not just a repurposed sorcerer. although highly unlikely I hope it uses different mechanics from other spell casting classes, and isn't just another spell casting class with a different flavor.

Silver Crusade

If that was a vague way of asking for Power Points then no, they use spell slots like every other caster.


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Rysky wrote:
If that was a vague way of asking for Power Points then no, they use spell slots like every other caster.

it doesn't have to be power points, just not another sorcerer with different flavor text.

Silver Crusade

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It will have the same spell slot framework as the other casters, it's other class abilities and class feats is what will define it.

They've avoided "just another sorcerer" with all the other casters thus far.


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If you define sorcerer as anything with spontaneous spell slot casting possibly powered by Cha, which is fair though I wouldn't agree, I guarantee you'll be disappointed. We KNOW it's a spell slot using, occult spontaneous spell caster, with choices to use INT or CHA.

Money is good that they'll be d6 hit points, with not many weapon/armor proficiencies. Though I suspect they'll be 3 slot rather 4 slot like the sorcerer, with more focus cantrips and weird powers.

Basically more like an bard with less free proficiencies (which bards mostly got for historical reasons).


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So we've got 3 different spontaneous occult casters. I wonder what a prepared one would look like (other than a kind of witch.)


Was it confirmed Psychic is Spontaneous? I know it was before but I could see maybe a change.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Was it confirmed Psychic is Spontaneous? I know it was before but I could see maybe a change.

Confirmed as spontaneous, with choice of Int or Cha for casting.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Sanityfaerie wrote:

So, I can't speak to whether we'll get Inquisitor eventually one way or the other, but we've been straight-up told that Thauaturge eats some of its lunch. That, to me, says a few things.

- It means that if you have an inquisitor concept, there's a decent chance that you can largely cover it with the Thaumaturge. In particular, it means that they're looking at the things that people *really like* about the Inquisitor, and they're trying to implement at least a few of them in ways that will make you happy. If the its they poached happen to be the bits you liked... then you have your inquisitor, in all but name, and you can just call it something different.

- By the same token, it means that the Inquisitor is less likely to show up soon. The degree to which people want various classes *has* to be one of the things driving their selection of which classes to work on. If they build a Thaumaturge that gives you part of what you wnat from the inquisitor, then some of that pressure fades, and they have more reason to work on other things that people really want (Shifter, maybe? Some of those class archetypes for viable bomber-focused alchemists, mutation alchemists, or synthesist Summoners?) On the flip side, if for some reason they know that they wont' get to one of those best-beloved classes for a while (or ever) it makes sense to package chunks of it up into other classes when you can. Works both ways.

- Side note: It *looks* like the Thaumaturge might have some of that "slotless caster" vibe. If that's true, it might be eating some of the Kineticist's lunch too, with all the same effects. (That's the only reason I didn't include "Kineticist" on the above list).

So... given that we're getting Thaumaturge, I wouldn't necessarily expect Inquisitor any time *soon*.

That is technically, the opposite of what they said, its not designed to be an inquisitor, but it does happen to play with some of the same conceptual space.


Aren't both of the new classes Int or Cha-based? I wonder when we'll get another Wis-based class.


Perpdepog wrote:
Aren't both of the new classes Int or Cha-based? I wonder when we'll get another Wis-based class.

Given that Psychic can flex between INT and CHA, I wouldn't doubt if they'd be open to giving them a WIS option as well.

And as for the Thaumaturge, the sort of hedge-mage fantasy it seems to be trying to fulfill should really also be open to INT and WIS as key abilities, especially given how important Recall Knowledge is for the class.

I know I'm going to lobby for opening up both classes in the playtest feedback.


I wouldn't be surprised if the Psychic class messed with metamagic and components more than other classes. It would certainly make it stand up against the Sorcerer and Bard.


Golurkcanfly wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Aren't both of the new classes Int or Cha-based? I wonder when we'll get another Wis-based class.

Given that Psychic can flex between INT and CHA, I wouldn't doubt if they'd be open to giving them a WIS option as well.

And as for the Thaumaturge, the sort of hedge-mage fantasy it seems to be trying to fulfill should really also be open to INT and WIS as key abilities, especially given how important Recall Knowledge is for the class.

I know I'm going to lobby for opening up both classes in the playtest feedback.

I've been considering that as well, though I am also unsure about it. Wisdom pulls a lot more weight as a stat than either of its mental cousins do, being tied to a save and also your perception, which might make selecting it in a variable stat situation kind of a no-brainer. If it turns out it can work, though, I'd be all for it.


Perpdepog wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Aren't both of the new classes Int or Cha-based? I wonder when we'll get another Wis-based class.

Given that Psychic can flex between INT and CHA, I wouldn't doubt if they'd be open to giving them a WIS option as well.

And as for the Thaumaturge, the sort of hedge-mage fantasy it seems to be trying to fulfill should really also be open to INT and WIS as key abilities, especially given how important Recall Knowledge is for the class.

I know I'm going to lobby for opening up both classes in the playtest feedback.

I've been considering that as well, though I am also unsure about it. Wisdom pulls a lot more weight as a stat than either of its mental cousins do, being tied to a save and also your perception, which might make selecting it in a variable stat situation kind of a no-brainer. If it turns out it can work, though, I'd be all for it.

I think the solution is to balance the Wisdom options appropriately with the weight of the stat.

So CHA and INT subclasses are stronger in a vacuum than the WIS subclasses, but the strength of WIS as an ability score offsets that.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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I hope they keep it Int/Cha. I like the connection with the old psychic spell components, Thought and Emotion.

Grand Lodge

No thank you


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Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

I hope they keep it Int/Cha. I like the connection with the old psychic spell components, Thought and Emotion.

This was confirmed today, in either the designer panel or the discord chat. Spontaneous occult caster with choice of Int or Cha for casting. Some old Mesmerist gaze stuff is in a feat.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I am glad the Psychic is spontaneous and is keeping a connection to Thought and Emotion; it is very fitting. Prepared spellcasting for the psychic is just... wrong. Prepared casting does not match any fiction I have ever encountered with psychic tropes. I'm also glad it seems to be taking on concepts from the Mesmerist, too. The Mesmerist always just felt like it should have been a part of the Psychic to me from the beginning or else that it should have just been an archetype; it never felt right as a class to me.

The Thaumaturge seems like it has a lot of potential and sounds like it is working in a new sort of design-space; so, I can't wait to see what that looks like. The Occultist in 1E was cool; but, this sounds like it will be even better.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Nice to know my thoughts on the Mesmerist were sound.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Thaumaturgist having no Focus Spells whatsoever is a surprise. But, glad to see my musings on its abilities being multiple Traditions isn't insane.

Also, I'm very curious to see how the Way of the Drifter functions with the Combination Weapon's Critical Fusion trait. Like, would it technically be possibly to critically hit with your reloading strike, reload the gun if empty, and THEN resolve the firearm attack?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Looking forward to today's playtest. I am interested in the thaumaturge. Psychic is not my cup of tea.


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Definitely psyched to get into psychic shenanigans


keftiu wrote:
This was confirmed today, in either the designer panel or the discord chat. Spontaneous occult caster with choice of Int or Cha for casting. Some old Mesmerist gaze stuff is in a feat.

I have mixed feelings about this. The Mesmerist was rather unique as focused debuffer. I hope that kit gets sufficient support.

Humbly,
Yawar


Would anyone know what time the paizo releases the playtest?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Legenderic wrote:
Would anyone know what time the paizo releases the playtest?

Probably in like 7 or 8 hours.


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Last playtest was posted at 11:20 AM PT, the secrets of magic playtest was posted 11:00 AM PT.

If those are to go by then I'd say it's about 6-7 hours left until it is posted.


Ly'ualdre wrote:

Thaumaturgist having no Focus Spells whatsoever is a surprise. But, glad to see my musings on its abilities being multiple Traditions isn't insane.

Also, I'm very curious to see how the Way of the Drifter functions with the Combination Weapon's Critical Fusion trait. Like, would it technically be possibly to critically hit with your reloading strike, reload the gun if empty, and THEN resolve the firearm attack?

where did they say the thaumaturge wouldn't have focus spells?


In the "Upcoming Projects" panel at GenCon.


Onkonk wrote:
In the "Upcoming Projects" panel at GenCon.

shoot, i missed it. anyone got a link? i dont see it on youtube


Ly'ualdre wrote:
Also, I'm very curious to see how the Way of the Drifter functions with the Combination Weapon's Critical Fusion trait. Like, would it technically be possibly to critically hit with your reloading strike, reload the gun if empty, and THEN resolve the firearm attack?

That's very John Wick, so I kinda hope so.


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UtaUta99 wrote:
Onkonk wrote:
In the "Upcoming Projects" panel at GenCon.
shoot, i missed it. anyone got a link? i dont see it on youtube

Here's a link to the Twitch VOD or The-Magic-Sword's write up on reddit

Grand Lodge

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Oh man, why does nobody think about the poor Germans. It's already 7.30 p.m. here. I see myself reading the playtest again in the middle of the night and waking up completely sleepy tomorrow. I denounced this!

with a cup of tea,
Teetroll

Paizo Employee Designer

All right, everyone, now that the playtest is live, I'm going to be locking up this "save the date for the playtest" thread--the date was clearly saved!

It was great to see everyone speculate on what classes could be coming out, but now you can actually read and TRY them yourself! Head to our playtest launch blog to check them out and to get links to the PDF, the surveys, and the forums where you can continue the discussion. Thanks again, and I look forward to seeing what everyone thinks about the new classes!

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