Changes to the Way We Make Changes

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

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!


Pathfinder Second Edition Core Rulebook, featuring an image of the Iconics battling a red dragon breathing fire through a crumbling stone wall, on a red background


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!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

Logan Bonner
Pathfinder Lead Designer

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Tags: Errata Pathfinder Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

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Incorporating this new batch of errata into PFS play will be addressed in Thursday's OP Monthly update, so stay tuned for that!

Liberty's Edge

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

Love it all, and am not sad about flickmaces :P

Grand Archive

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

HUZZAH!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Can't wait to see aura clarifications!


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If I'm understanding the optional ability boosts, the dwarf in the example would be (free, free, free, no flaw?)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I feel vindicated by the ability score changes, as someone who's already decided to start doing "three free boosts and one free flaw"... which i'll still do probably. Very promising look to the future!


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Very cool to hear that errata's going to be happing more consistently. Love a lot of the v4 changes too.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

I know it won't happen, but this makes me wish it meant that PF1 items would get errata added to its page that never had things addressed properly, or were hidden deep in forum posts. (e.g., Ultimate Wilderness.)

Grand Archive

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H2Osw wrote:
If I'm understanding the optional ability boosts, the dwarf in the example would be (free, free, free, no flaw?)

No, only 2 free boosts, and no flaws.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
H2Osw wrote:
If I'm understanding the optional ability boosts, the dwarf in the example would be (free, free, free, no flaw?)

From how I read it, I think it's that you can take either the listed ability changes (+Con, +Wis, +Free, -Cha) OR you can do what Humans do and take +Free, +Free.

There are some ancestries where this is simply a net buff rather than a sidegrade because their ability boost structure is something like +Dex, +Free such as Fetchling and Automaton.


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I am confused if future new ancestries will be having printed ability boosts alongside the option to take two free instead, or if ancestries simply won't have printed ability boosts going forward?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
H2Osw wrote:
If I'm understanding the optional ability boosts, the dwarf in the example would be (free, free, free, no flaw?)

Yea, they should maybe flesh out that example, because I interpreted it to be the default or just "two boosts, no flaw."


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I thought the problem with flickmaces was more to do with the reach and critical specialization of flails being so powerful with AoO.


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neurogenesis wrote:


There are some ancestries where this is simply a net buff rather than a sidegrade because their ability boost structure is something like +Dex, +Free such as Fetchling and Automaton.

Not as much a buff as avoiding pigeonholing classes into ancestries - something gets a Dex bonus, and suddenly every Dex class guide lists it as blue, and you end up with too many Fetchling Dex Rogues and too few anything else Dex Rogues because that's how human brains are wired.

Not to mention some flaws never made much sense, such as Dwarf Cha penalty leading to scarcity of Dwarf Bards, when a dorf skald or storyteller is like one of the iconic professions for that ancestry if we go with the Scottish/Norse cliche.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ageron wrote:
H2Osw wrote:
If I'm understanding the optional ability boosts, the dwarf in the example would be (free, free, free, no flaw?)
Yea, they should maybe flesh out that example, because I interpreted it to be the default or just "two boosts, no flaw."

That's the consensus so it's my misunderstanding. Thanks all!


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*Scribbles alchemical notes*

The good news is this looks familiar. The bad news is you guys were this close to doing the 2/6/12 scaling...


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
H2Osw wrote:
If I'm understanding the optional ability boosts, the dwarf in the example would be (free, free, free, no flaw?)

No, just Free, Free


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So much nicer than scouring Youtube channels.


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Leaving individual changes aside, I really love this new process. It's a much needed improvement. Good job. :)

I hope this means we'll see errata for Secrets of Magic, as there's a number of things in there that have been waiting a long time for it.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Gnome adoption rates plummet in Golarion!


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Does this mean we won't be seeing updated PDFs of books with errata (unless a new printing occurs)? I would love it if the pdfs would stay up to date, as well as the third party sites like Archives of Nethys. I often use both during a game to look stuff up, so having consistency would be real nice. Referencing these FAQ pages as the official way to use the errata, without the context around the changes does not sound like a good time.

Paizo Employee Director of Marketing

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Schtroumpf wrote:
Does this mean we won't be seeing updated PDFs of books with errata (unless a new printing occurs)? I would love it if the pdfs would stay up to date, as well as the third party sites like Archives of Nethys. I often use both during a game to look stuff up, so having consistency would be real nice. Referencing these FAQ pages as the official way to use the errata, without the context around the changes does not sound like a good time.

We share our errata with our licensed partners, often before the public, so Demiplane, Archives of Nethys, Foundry, HeroLab, Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, etc., should all have access.

There is a lot of labor in updating the PDF, so for now, we plan that will still occur when/if print copies are reprinted.


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Really like the change to changes, it will enable a much more fluid and adaptable system. Specially for you're also making changes to APs and Lost Omens, which earlier ones had many errors that needed fixing.

I'm sure some people will not be happy with the ability score changes to ancestries, but you can still just say that's not how it works at your table and problem solved.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

These are all excellent changes!


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Thanks for listening to your base.

Small changes that help the alchemist and reduce the dominance of the flickmance. Plus clearing up that minions can be hasted/slowed.

Much appreciated.


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My favorite piece of errata is the one that now officially says if you speak Jason's true name he has to give you an unlimited wish (:

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber

Some great errata here! Glad it will be coming more frequently.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Official Jason Bulmahn Botherer wrote:
My favorite piece of errata is the one that now officially says if you speak Jason's true name he has to give you an unlimited wish (:

Good luck figuring out the spelling...


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Alwaysafk wrote:
I thought the problem with flickmaces was more to do with the reach and critical specialization of flails being so powerful with AoO.

True you still have that. It is still a good weapon that is worth taking.

You are at least paying a weapon die size for your reach ability. It has been brought back to the field. You might perfer the extra damage of a Warhammer. It has a competitor in that there is another 1d6 reach weapon - the Asp Coil.

Dark Archive

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There are plenty of excellent, long awaited faq answers in this errata/clarification! Thank you, excellent work! Really loved the nuanced answer to the "1 vs 2 hands" question!

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Does the flickmace change mean a similar change is due for the Asp Coil? It is also a one handed reach weapon (although it does require a purchased boon)

Vigilant Seal

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Good changes for the most part, but the voluntary flaw rebalance is a bit of a gutpunch for the human and orc ancestries because it removes their only option for getting three ancestry stat boosts like every other ancestry can.


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Quote:
having the soothe spell target “1 willing creature,” as suggested by Book of the Dead and the Blood Lords AP.

Unfortunately, undead are still immune to effects with the healing trait, so it still doesn’t work on an undead creature. (Yes, I know that undead PCs run by different rules; that’s not my point.)


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i really appreciate the chirurgeon's changes! Does Bestiary errata comes next?


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In love with the Ancestry alternate rule!

And the Flickmace nerf is deserved.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

"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."

What does that mean, you nerfing out-of-combat healing?


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Naarg wrote:
Does the flickmace change mean a similar change is due for the Asp Coil? It is also a one handed reach weapon (although it does require a purchased boon)

Asp coil was just a balanced flickmace, which flickmace will now be too.

---

Thanks, Paizo- all very welcome changes!


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Reebo Kesh wrote:

"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."

What does that mean, you nerfing out-of-combat healing?

Due to the way perpetuals worked, you could theoretically make, like, 300 elixirs of life and pass them out within 30 minutes. Even the lowest-level perpetuals would've been basically infinite healing. At least Treat Wounds and Battle Medicine both have cooldown timers and, while they can heal for a lot very easily, they weren't nearly as easy to abuse as EoLs could if they were made available as perpetuals.

So, giving all perpetuals with healing HP a cooldown, while making the perpetuals that don't heal HP be without the cooldown, is a nice compromise!


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Cori Marie wrote:
Gnome adoption rates plummet in Golarion!

But now due to the alternate ancestry boosts change, we will see many more gnomes who beat people up.

Gnome Giant Barbarian was my first love in Pathfinder 2e. There is just something wonderful about being 2 feet tall and hitting people with a tree-sized polearm.


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Do these and all other changes/errata exist or will they exist in a single file or do we have to keep looking around the site? Personally I prefer everything together in a single file...


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KingTreyIII wrote:
Quote:
having the soothe spell target “1 willing creature,” as suggested by Book of the Dead and the Blood Lords AP.

Unfortunately, undead are still immune to effects with the healing trait, so it still doesn’t work on an undead creature. (Yes, I know that undead PCs run by different rules; that’s not my point.)

Ahahahahahaha I missed that, that's amazing.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for deciding to do twice-a-year errata updates. This means the most egregious mistakes can be covered before too long after a new book comes out, and it'll be able to lead to a much more healthy lifespan for this game. It's what I wanted for PF2E for years, it is amazing, and once again, THANK YOU!!!

I love the alternate ability boosts. I can choose either to work around the ancestry's default boosts/flaws, or forgo it and just take 2 boosts and no flaw. It's more options, and a really simple solution.

MORE ALCHEMIST CHANGES, YES! Love seeing all the love go to the Chirurgeon to make them far more functional. And there's a lot to look forward to with Treasure Vault now that Alchemists have access to more kinds of items! Those new previews can't come fast enough~

The changes to Flickmace are pretty warranted, but honestly, a look into nerfing the Crit Spec for Flails should be considered. Even a Fort Save against Class DC would put it much more in line, and it'd still be a pretty strong option overall.

Other changes are good! I agree with someone up above that either the Healing trait needs to be adjusted so it doesn't kill off Soothe's purpose as an Undead healing spell, or the Undead PCs stuff from BotD should have an FAQ clarification about the Healing trait and how it interacts with the Undead trait that all Undead PCs gain.

...andpleasefortheloveofgodnerfelectricarcpleasepleaseplease--

Other than that, uh, great work!


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Oh, cool! I like that the new ability arrays are being presented as an option, not a flat replacement. Obviously, making them a flat mandatory replacement would be totally untenable anyways, but I think it gives more options. Some people enjoy the different bonuses, and some people like having a full range of customizability, and both playstyles are valid and should be supported!


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm pretty happy with these changes. I think I like the gnome flickmace even more now tbh.

Keeping the ability boosts while also giving everyone the option for the two free boosts is a elegant solution. I like the thematic influence ancestry arrays can provide but I am glad they aren't set in stone(which is why I also liked the previous version of voluntary flaws). Not to mention we are seeing more and more cultures of various ancestries that don't quite fit the standard array. In particular the dwarves of the mwangi expanse never quite felt like the noncharasmatic type. Also letting small or tiny races have big strength is really fun for us.

I also like the change to soothe, and the alchemist very big wins. (i'll probably continue to homebrew natural medicine to function similarly to the new Chirurgeon feature, but I understand why officially that is not the case)

The clarification for minions and haste/slow is well appreciated. It was what I always assumed was intended but a lot of people disagreed with me. I feel validated.

That being said I always thought shield block could be used for non-attack physical damage, I now know that isn't the case. I might still homebrew that but I understand why it is that way. It has given me much to think about.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Cori Marie wrote:
Gnome adoption rates plummet in Golarion!

Probably not. The real power of the weapon isnt being addressed. This will help, but the real reason it is so special is that it is a 1 handed mace with reach. Basically 1 handed plus the crit specialization of auto-trip is what makes it power. Reduced damage is fine, but won't nerf it much.


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Very happy to hear about all of this!

Aadan wrote:
Good changes for the most part, but the voluntary flaw rebalance is a bit of a gutpunch for the human and orc ancestries because it removes their only option for getting three ancestry stat boosts like every other ancestry can.

Unless I missed it in the post, they didn't mention voluntary flaws going anywhere, so you should still be able to do that.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
CrackedOzy wrote:
Ezekieru wrote:
Reebo Kesh wrote:

"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."

What does that mean, you nerfing out-of-combat healing?

Due to the way perpetuals worked, you could theoretically make, like, 300 elixirs of life and pass them out within 30 minutes. Even the lowest-level perpetuals would've been basically infinite healing. At least Treat Wounds and Battle Medicine both have cooldown timers and, while they can heal for a lot very easily, they weren't nearly as easy to abuse as EoLs could if they were made available as perpetuals.

So, giving all perpetuals with healing HP a cooldown, while making the perpetuals that don't heal HP be without the cooldown, is a nice compromise!

Where does it explain what the limits on perpetual infusions is going to be? Or do we need to wait for the full errata or Treasure Vault book?

Go to the FAQ page on Paizo's website, and look under "Pathfinder Core Rulebook Errata (4th Printing)". It's posted there.

But I'll copy/paste it here as well for you:

Pathfinder Core Rulebook Errata (4th Printing) wrote:

Perpetual Infusions (page 75): All of these have changed somewhat to offer a broader selection. In addition, due to changes to perpetual potency and perpetual perfection, there's a new sentence here: "Each time you gain a level, you can swap any number of your perpetual infusions with other eligible infusions." 

"Chirurgeon: Choose two 1st-level elixirs with the healing trait. If a creature heals Hit Points from a perpetual infusion, that creature is temporarily immune to healing Hit Points from subsequent perpetual infusions for 10 minutes (but not immune to any other effects of those infusions).

Perpetual Potency (page 75): The choices you can make are more broad, and you no longer need to upgrade your choices from perpetual infusions (hence the ability to swap out your perpetual infusions when you level up, so you can upgrade your favorite item if you like). The levels are different between research fields to maintain the intended balance while still allowing the options from previous printings of the Core Rulebook.

"Chirurgeon: Choose two 6th level or lower elixirs with the healing trait.

Perpetual Perfection (page 76): These changes are similar to perpetual potency's, but did not require the same level restrictions.

"Chirurgeon: Choose two 11th-level or lower elixirs with the healing trait.

Hope that help you out!


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Salamileg wrote:

Very happy to hear about all of this!

Aadan wrote:
Good changes for the most part, but the voluntary flaw rebalance is a bit of a gutpunch for the human and orc ancestries because it removes their only option for getting three ancestry stat boosts like every other ancestry can.
Unless I missed it in the post, they didn't mention voluntary flaws going anywhere, so you should still be able to do that.

They still exist, but they were changed.

Quote:

Voluntary flaws remains an optional rule. Due to many of its advantages being supplanted by the rule above, we've made some adjustments to voluntary flaws to make them purely a roleplaying choice.

Optional: Voluntary Flaws

Sometimes, it’s fun to play a character with a major flaw regardless of your ancestry. You can elect to take additional ability flaws when applying the ability boosts and ability flaws from your ancestry. This is purely for roleplaying a highly flawed character, and you should consult with the rest of your group if you plan to do this! You can’t apply more than one flaw to any single ability score.


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Okay, so, I am personally unhappy with the change to Voluntary Flaws. I'm not saying it's the reason behind the change, but I really don't get the weird stigma some people have against "dump stat" mechanics. As another poster pointed out, it's a real gut punch to ancestries that don't get a Boost-Boost-Boost-Flaw option, and in general, I do not understand why, in an update aimed at improving diversity of choice, we would remove a choice--one that was already a variant rule to begin with!--for basically no reason other than, from what I can tell, "tidiness". I'm disappointed by this.

My girlfriend suggested, "Make every ancestry a voluntary +2/+2 ancestry with the option to take a flaw for a boost." That just seems to make the most sense to me. Blegh. It's a real shame. I will be ignoring this errata, but I am not looking forward to dealing with GMs who see it differently.

Honestly, justice for dump stats.

Anyways, back to positive stuff. The alchemist changes are excellent--my friends who play alchemist builds are so thrilled. I don't so much, but, like, great job! They're so happy.

I'm happy with the tools clarification. I had to have that one explained to me a while back, so I'm glad it's now easier to work out on one's own!

As a girl who loves tormenting her girlfriend by slipping third edition lingo into PF2 design documents, the "bull rush" error makes me giggle.

Overall, an excellent errata! I'm happy with this.

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