As a GM I appreciate the evolution of the rules that have been provided here. There has been a lot of care and thought put towards balance and ease of play without sacrificing depth.
I must say I’m disappointed to see so much outcry from my fellow gamers regarding the change and perception that the game has been made simple and less complex or limited.
Let’s face it, there is a difference between depth and complexity. I see many comments posted here and elsewhere stating that the game is more simple as though that were a bad thing. I personally feel that having a game that plays well while still providing a wealth of options and tools is a win for my group and I hope for Paizo as well.
Pathfinder was originally built on the bones of a system released nearly 20 years ago, it is absolutely time to update and modernize. From corrections to shortcomings that have been present from the beginning and excellent updates that may seem superficial (layout and book design) the new edition comes together to make everything so much easier to learn and understand. Bringing in new players is great too and is what keeps the companies we love making games well into the future!
Many people feel threatened by change and as new rules arrive, so too do the fears. Like all well designed rpgs, the main goal is to have fun and if there are elements your table does not like, rules and game elements can easily be changed or omitted so that everyone has fun. I encourage all to try first and not theorycraft as actual play often goes differently (and better) than one may expect.
Lastly I want to say how happy I am that this is a great jumping on point for many gamers which makes the game approachable and is healthy for the hobby! For those concerned with options not available from First Edition, give it time there is a ton of content to keep us busy while Paizo roles out updated fan favourites over future releases. First Edition still exists for all who love it, but I can definitely say it’s refreshing for my friends and players to be able start fresh without the intimidation and feeling the need to buy into the massive library of content from First Edition.
Some standout things I love about the new edition:
- Character creation—> Choosing ancestry, background and class and getting stars, skills and many many feat choices feels awesome and adds personality right from the start. (Also as GM, I appreciate having balanced characters at the table so no one player feels like a chump due to the randomness of die rolls. Do players ever want to keep characters with lousy rolled stats? I get the appeal of randomness, but if we just reroll again until we’re closer to party average then it’s not really random anyway)
- Feats and Leveling —> Having so much choice is wonderful. From general feats to race and class and skill specific feats, there is so much option for players to choose from in a nicely structured way! Getting something fun and meaningful at each level is great and gives everyone something to look forward to each level... not just level 3 *cough cough*:P
- Skill levels and Rarity —> These are great concepts that makes investment in skills continue to matter for players so those who are better stand out as such and adds additional flavour at top level. For Rarity I appreciate having some guidance and expectation as to how common things are in the game. It’s not the players that decide anyway but keeps expectations in check and if I feel it’s appropriate I can always change or add anything anyway. So it’s useful AND flexible.
- 3 Actions in combat —> this system is really elegant and keeps things running smoothly. The game turns are reasonable and everyone knows what to expect without some crazy action economy shenanigans that used to happen.
This has gotten longer than I expected so I’ll wrap it up.
Pathfinder Second Edition is a great investment and a huge book full of value. More options are already in the horizon which should expand in a solid way as well.
My only ask for Paizo is to not go overboard on frequent releases. I get the need for rapid expansion at the start to fill out gaps as needed in the game but keeping things spread out allows customers to feel they can keep up without purchase fatigue.