Welcome to 2023 everyone! With the Second Edition of Pathfinder now in its third year, the folks on the rules team are really thrilled to see how all of you are engaging with the game and telling thrilling stories of adventure with friends and family. Behind the scenes, we’re continuing to make the game as good as it possibly can be by creating brand new content and going back to make sure that our existing books are working the way we intended.
That means errata, and today we’re happy to announce several exciting changes to the Pathfinder Core Rulebook that make the game a little easier to play and bring certain aspects of it more in line with our current thoughts and sensibilities. But before I toss the blog over to Lead Designer Logan Bonner to walk you through some of the highlights, I want to take a moment to talk about some upcoming changes to the errata process itself!
In the past, our errata process has been tied to when we reprint books, so that you could make sure your print edition matched what was currently on store shelves. While this had its advantages, it often meant that changes were made quite infrequently. In addition, if a book didn’t see a reprint, it might mean that we never went in to apply a patch. The result was a process that just was not living up to our needs and desire to make sure you have a great game experience. So, we are changing the process.
Starting this year, we will release errata twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Since errata will no longer be tied to reprints, it frees us up to cover errata issues from a wide range of products as well. We hope this will allow us to be a bit more responsive to your questions and any issues you might have spotted with the game, so keep posting your questions to Paizo.com. Your passion helps us make a better Pathfinder!
Alright, that’s enough process talk from me. I’m going to toss it over to Logan to take a look at some of the changes made to the Pathfinder Core Rulebook!
Core Rulebook Errata
Thanks, Jason! You might notice that Jason said spring and fall, and it’s not... either of those. This batch of errata is coming to coincide with the new fourth printing of the Core Rulebook. While typically any such errata will have already been covered under the new process, this one is playing catch-up. You’ll find all the errata on the FAQ page, but I want to give context and explanations for a few of the major changes.
First comes the most expansive change: alternate ancestry boosts. We’re implementing the option for you to choose two free ability boosts for a character of any ancestry. There have been many ongoing conversations in the gaming community and within Paizo about biological essentialism in RPGs. We think it’s time to address this issue and have added this universal option. This makes it clearer that ancestries aren’t a monolith, and adds more nuance to the world and a wider breadth of characters. To be clear: this is an alternative for all characters and campaigns, not a variant rule, since it’s expected to be in line with the power level of other options. If you have made or want to make a character using an ancestry’s printed options (such as a dwarf with a Con boost, Wisdom boost, free boost, and Charisma flaw), those options remain, and those characters still follow the updated rules. We started heading toward this adjustment in July and are very pleased to have this chance to implement it and bring it to the community!
The alchemist gets major changes to add more flexibility. This dovetails with new alchemy options coming in Treasure Vault, allowing more flexibility in choosing items for a research field instead of a narrow list. The largest number of changes are with the chirurgeon. An alchemist with this field can choose elixirs with the healing trait and can fully substitute Crafting for Medicine checks and proficiency prerequisites. Now that they can choose items that heal HP, we needed to add a limit for perpetual healing items to keep out-of-combat healing from careening out of control. As with alternate boosts, any alchemist you already made remains a valid character!
Most of the remaining changes are smaller improvements, like fixing an oversight on Simple Weapon Proficiency for clerics, making the horse animal companion work as intended, and having the soothe spell target “1 willing creature,” as suggested by Book of the Dead and the Blood Lords AP. We do, however, have one significant downgrade to talk about. The gnome flickmace was a bit overpowered. A one-handed reach weapon was stronger than we expected it to be, and it’s having more of an outsized reputation than a single weapon should usually have in the game. We’ve reduced its damage and added the sweep trait to bring it more in line with other flails. Its new stat line is Price 3 gp; Damage 1d6 B; Bulk 1; Hands 1; Group Flail; Weapon Traits Gnome, reach, sweep.
We look forward to seeing what new characters you make with these changes to the Core Rulebook!
Director of Game Design
Pathfinder Lead Designer
Changes to the Way We Make Changes
Tuesday, January 03, 2023