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Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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We here at Paizo want to thank you for visiting our community to talk about the next evolution of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game! Before diving into the discussions, please keep the following points in mind.

These boards are for discussing the preview content as it becomes available. Feel free to point out news and spoilers as you uncover them, but be aware that we will not be posting new spoilers here. If you are looking for the latest news and information about the upcoming release of the playtest rules, visit the Pathfinder Playtest page. Finally, remember that we are all here to build a better game, so treat your fellow forum posters with kindness and respect.

Thank you! We can’t wait for you to see our new game!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design
Paizo Inc.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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If you're just stopping by, I would suggest doing these things (perhaps in this order):

• Read the Pathfinder Playtest page, and make sure you watch the video near the top.
• Read the FAQ linked at the bottom of that page.
• Read the blogs linked at the bottom of that page.
• Engage! Tell us what you think. Ask questions. We can't answer every possible question you might have, but we need to know what's important to you, so we can make the game you want to play.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm just starting to listen to the GCP beta playthrough, hope to hear some good things. I am excited!

https://glasscannonpodcast.com/the-pathfinder-playtest-parts-1-and-2/

The Exchange

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Interesting, will probably get into this.


Excited to see what this new edition will have in store!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

FINALLY.

Grand Lodge

I'm curious, are you not releasing electronic versions of the playtest? I do not have a retailer on-island that I would be able to take the pre-order form to.


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I'm simultaneously nervous and excited about this.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

PDFs of all the playtest materials will be available for free here on paizo.com starting August 2.

Grand Lodge Contributor

EEEEEEEEEEEE! Gimme.

Will the Playtest physical products be available from booksellers such as Amazon? I'm in the UK, and would welcome the chance of physical copies without the added shipping I'd pay if I bought direct from you guys. I'm getting physical copies regardless, of course.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Shaun Hocking wrote:
Will the Playtest physical products be available from booksellers such as Amazon?

Yes. But we're only doing one print run, so you'll want to preorder if you can. Please see the Pathfinder Playtest products section of the Pathfinder Playtest page for important information on that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

So many thoughts on this topic. And pretty much all positive.

So, Pathfinder 2E will still be D20 I assume?

Grand Lodge

Vic Wertz wrote:
PDFs of all the playtest materials will be available for free here on paizo.com starting August 2.

Thanks! I will try to take a look on the 2nd then!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Mogloth wrote:

So many thoughts on this topic. And pretty much all positive.

So, Pathfinder 2E will still be D20 I assume?

Long answer: (I know this is a bit pedantic, but terminology is legally important here.) Historically, Wizards of the Coast used to offer a license called the d20 System Trademark License that a lot of 3rd parties used to publish content for 3.0 and 3.5. They also offered a separate license called the Open Gaming License that could be used with or without the d20 license. The Pathfinder RPG has always used the OGL but has never used the d20 license. That will continue.

Short answer: Pathfinder will continue to be based on the same foundation you know and love.


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Shane Weber wrote:

I'm just starting to listen to the GCP beta playthrough, hope to hear some good things. I am excited!

https://glasscannonpodcast.com/the-pathfinder-playtest-parts-1-and-2/

Glass Cannon Podcast

Thanks for that, I was on their site and couldn't find it

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
CrystalSeas wrote:
Shane Weber wrote:

I'm just starting to listen to the GCP beta playthrough, hope to hear some good things. I am excited!

https://glasscannonpodcast.com/the-pathfinder-playtest-parts-1-and-2/

Glass Cannon Podcast

Thanks for that, I was on their site and couldn't find it

Vic - is this going to be pushed so that I can pick it up in a podcast app rather than as a audio file on a website? Being able to play at only 1x speed, and having to do it as a stream are two unatractive features on listening to something I'd really like to listen to on the way to work tomorrow...


Rereading some stuff: I sincerely hope skill proficiencies are not at all like they are in 5e, where all it does is prevent skill customization.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Enlight_Bystand wrote:
Vic - is this going to be pushed so that I can pick it up in a podcast app rather than as a audio file on a website? Being able to play at only 1x speed, and having to do it as a stream are two unatractive features on listening to something I'd really like to listen to on the way to work tomorrow...

I believe that Glass Cannon will have it up on iTunes as soon as Apple approves it.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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james014Aura wrote:
Rereading some stuff: I sincerely hope skill proficiencies are not at all like they are in 5e, where all it does is prevent skill customization.

Not at all. You get to pick how you gain the levels of proficiency with your skills. It's your choice.


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Not all positive. I don't want my books invalidated, thus I don't want a 2.0.

I'd rather Paizo went after HEROFINDER or something else to give them the chance to continue making new content without driving away previous customers.


Will players be able to play their Druid/Monk/Barbarian/Paladin whatever characters without acknowledging alignment in the slightest the way similar to how we don't have to worry about that sort of thing in Starfinder? Because I would really like to be able to play/discuss/share my character concepts without feeling like I have to fight an uphill battle to do so or that I'm somehow being pressured into letting go of my arbitrarily deemed badwrongfun characters. It's very dismaying to constantly put up with that disdain.


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This is copy-pasted, but isn't intended as spam. I meant to post them on the stickied thread and then proceeded to fail at this hilariously by mis-remembering which post was which.

Thoughts from Episodes 1 & 2 of the Playtest Podcast

1. If Pathfinder is making its own brand, is there some value in straight up taking Intelligence and turning it into Knowledge? So many Intelligence-based checks are already colloquially called "Knowledge checks" by the Pathfinder community.

Such a departure from D&D's tradition would achieve three things, one for newbies, one for GMs, and one for marketing. For newbies, it completely and instantly solves the problem of "what is the difference between Intelligence and Wisdom" which has existed every edition, ever since Gygax chose those unfortunate names.

For GMs, it solves players using Intelligence checks to avoid critical thinking. Without any ability score that represents logic/critical reasoning, players will have to solve puzzles themselves rather than just rolling to bypass those. None of the weird standoffs as players attempt to "skip" those moments with "Intelligence arguments" about how their character is smarter than they are. The character can have more knowledge and can be more aware (a la Wisdom), but can't be smarter.

From a marketing perspective, it indicates Pathfinder is willing to boldly claim its own brand in any way that would improve the game's clarity, even if it means departing from tradition. We've seen ALL D&D clones mirror the Intelligence/Wisdom divide, but all it does is perpetuate this lack of clarity for reasons entirely bound in tradition. Such a change still keeps all Pathfinder rules compatible with 1e-5e modules, so you don't lose anything, and gain clarity.

2. Initiative with Tactics is quite an innovation. I approve of the idea of innovation.

However, I humbly offer that this procedural method destroys what Initiative does at tables. Initiative is a meme at this point - it unites the attention of players in a moment of tension. Creating a mini-game for the GM to figure out initiative removes this memetic aspect, the increased complexity, slight as it is, doesn't add to the player experience. Few people play RPGs for Initiative. Once the combat starts, after all, initiative isn't particularly meaningful.

To quote Robert Schwalb:

>>>If determining initiative produces a continuous turn order for the combat—you are locked into the same point in the round for the duration of the scene, initiative only becomes important during the first round of the combat. The whole point to initiative is to determine if the PCs can chip away at their opponents before their opponents get to do the same to them.

There are changes to initiative which are interesting while preserving the qualities I mention above. I realize that once players get used to the rule, this meme will be preserved, but it means every time a new player comes, it will be suspended.

Also, even slight complexity added to initiative disincentivizes hit-and-run tactics. For folks who view combat as war rather than sport, this gets in their way.

3. Perception as not a skill is excellent. "Roll Perception" is the most-quoted thing in 3.5-forward D&D, and over the course of a campaign this takes so much time. Great.

4. The unification of actions with a price sounds neat. I really hope you have a graphic designer make a very clear infographic to showcase how this works, rather than simply explaining it in words like every other tabletop RPG. Having a clear infographic in Fragged Empire really makes action economy come across as elegant, rather than challenging, to new players. Plus! It allows you to print something and give it to players.

5. Circumstance bonuses are still around, I see. I suppose they do help set up situations tactically that aren't available when you take them out, though I do wish there was something more elegant there. Are advantage/disadvantage intellectual property, or just too much of a copycat? They do create a quicker explanation and are quicker to execute, because they're a keyword that everyone gets, rather than a bonus you may need to explain.

6. At 1:18:08 of podcast episode 1, you have one of the common aspects of tabletop RPGs which is never covered in the ruleset, but honestly should be, even if by one line: your character should know stuff automatically that they would know sensibly. This is similar to what background features grant in 13th Age. Just by *being* from a village or helping wizards out, you should get free info from them. It shouldn't be dependent on checks. Like, the rules should literally say "don't use checks for this", or at least explain this sort of situation in an developer note like "in John's games, he tends to offer such information for free, as the dice don't add any meaningful stakes and in fact distract from what would be sensible in the fiction".

7. I'm not sure why explicit "modes" are necessary for players to "go into". If you want to organize GM advice that way, go for it, right. But the more modes you have which are distinct game moments, the harder it is for players to immerse as roleplayers. They are instead rewarded as "gamers", doing game-designed actions rather than actions which make sense if they were in the situation.

8. Goblins/Alchemists as core expands the scope of the game for sure, and as I understand it this is a big selling point to the game community. I want to comment that this makes it a bit trickier to run medieval and swords & sorcery Pathfinder. It'd be neat if there were a developer's note addressing this, like "verily tis cool if you expand or reduce the options to fit the game that most suits you and your players". Without such notes, players can use the rulebook as a hammer against GMs (and oh have I experienced this before).

9. Wizards seem to really need to read up on their spells to use them, with components even more important than before. I'm wondering if this is critical. It increases the texture of spellcasting (good) but it means if you have a party with a spellcaster, those games will be significantly slower, even more so than spellcasting *already is*.

10. If Light is a cantrip and thus "free", it may be valuable to reduce folks with darkvision. ACKS for example has as a design principle "what if nobody has darkvision", and it *greatly* increases the texture of the game without being harder for newbies (cuz we understand light as important intuitively) or being harder to run. One of the odd aspects of D&D 5e is that so many races have darkvision, so when the GM narrates "oho it is dark" players often say "whatever". This is even true for the podcast - in episode 2, the GM says "it's so dark that you have trouble navigating" and it's only player etiquette that prevents them from dismissing this.
Other benefits: it makes torches matter more, you can hire torchbearers, and of course folks appreciate magic light more.

11. Nerfed Detect Magic is incredible as a tool for GMs. It allows GMs to utilize many tricks that were made unavailable to them with a more powerful Detect Magic.

12. Fifteen gold to start! Promising. Economics remains something which matters, then.

13. Armor affecting movement is good for texture, but I wonder if that texture does in fact again enhance the gameplay experience. When I play games where armor doesn't inhibit movement, I don't find myself missing out on anything, right? Plus, it slows character creation, AND historically most armor wouldn't significantly hinder you in combat. So I'm not sure if it's worth preserving. It seems purely to maintain video game tropes...which are a questionable virtue in tabletop RPGs. If armor encumbrance is compelling of course, or attached to class balance, then lovely! If not...well. I respectfully question their inclusion.

14. Bulk works in Starfinder and works well here too. Lovely way to simplify things.

15. Just general kudos to the GM, haha. He's quite the enjoyable narrator!

16. I'm noticing that while actions are simplified, you still have a lot of options, like grappling, disarming, etc, that seem not to be class abilities, but just general abilities of any old player. Again, I hope this gets graphic designed rather than merely presented as text. That way, the graphic can be printed and held at the table. Newbies always tend to not really get the disarm/grapple options, and never go for them.

17. George Takei reference (episode 2) makes all games better.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
james014Aura wrote:
Rereading some stuff: I sincerely hope skill proficiencies are not at all like they are in 5e, where all it does is prevent skill customization.
Not at all. You get to pick how you gain the levels of proficiency with your skills. It's your choice.

Do wait...

Are we leveling our skills???

My mind was just blown, in the best way possible!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber

So, is the playtest edition hardback only good for one year, when a 2E hardback comes out?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Sliska Zafir wrote:
So, is the playtest edition hardback only good for one year, when a 2E hardback comes out?

Well, it's not like it's going to crumble into dust—if you want to keep using it the playtest version of the rules after the finished product is released, you're welcome to do so. But we won't be publishing anything that references it once we're into 2019.


I'm so excited about this!
I've liked Pathfinder from the time I've read, but I felt it was too troublesome to DM for, so I went elsewhere.
However, that may be changing right now. I'll be happy to buy the new edition.
Just a question: do the designers read the suggestions given in the forums, or otherwise know about them?

The Exchange

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Igwilly wrote:

I'm so excited about this!

I've liked Pathfinder from the time I've read, but I felt it was too troublesome to DM for, so I went elsewhere.
However, that may be changing right now. I'll be happy to buy the new edition.
Just a question: do the designers read the suggestions given in the forums, or otherwise know about them?

I get that, I absolutely love Pathfinder, and Golarion is my favorite RPG setting, but Pathfinder can get... crunchy, and as current there are so many abilities and classes and archetypes and etc. etc. That it can be pretty overwhelming. This is part of why I like D&D 5e as well, because (for me at least) it's a little easier to run (especially with less prep time). The sense that I'm getting from 2e so far is that it will be more streamlined and easier to run and prep (monster design, for example, seems to be taking a page from Starfinder, which I think it great), but still retain a lot of the fiddly options for characters, albeit somewhat truncated at first because we'll only have the core book for some amount of time. It's pretty exciting.

As to the Paizo team seeing what's on the forums, they tend to be all over the forms, and pretty responsive, so I imagine they'll see most of what gets said (the good and the bad) and I'm sure some of it will be taken into consideration. When the actual playtest hits though, that's when we'll really have a chance to get our opinions across. I'm looking forward to it!

Liberty's Edge

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Awesome that you are doing another public playtest, I enjoyed the first one.

Even better, the PDF playtest documents are being released on my birthday. What better present could I wish for?

RPG Resource will be following the process with interest!

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

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Really interested to see how this comes out! The game is in very good hands. I trust you guys to do something great.

It's been a long time since I've been on these boards. I really miss everyone here.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Welcome back, Clark! And Megan!

Shadow Lodge

I saw that one of the playtest adventures is 1-20. Do you guys think four months is really enough for that? Because I've played your adventure paths before I am heavily skeptical.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
james014Aura wrote:
Rereading some stuff: I sincerely hope skill proficiencies are not at all like they are in 5e, where all it does is prevent skill customization.
Not at all. You get to pick how you gain the levels of proficiency with your skills. It's your choice.

Amazing that an answer that was here. This alleviates some worry.


I miss the first Pathfinder Playtest, so I'm really exited to be part of this. So far everything that has been reveled loos good, just please refrain for nerfing casters.

I wish you the best of lucks.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
I saw that one of the playtest adventures is 1-20. Do you guys think four months is really enough for that? Because I've played your adventure paths before I am heavily skeptical.
Pathfinder Playtest page wrote:
This 96-page super-adventure contains seven multi-encounter scenarios designed to introduce the new rules and put them to the ultimate test on your game table! With adventures spanning all 20 levels and featuring most of the game's newest rules, Doomsday Dawn provides a thrilling tour of the new rules, and of the Pathfinder world itself!

The way I read this isn't "one adventure from level 1 to level 20" but "seven linked encounters, each set at a different level/tier between 1 and 20."

There's no way they're getting a 1-20 adventure in 96 pages. I'm guessing it's more like "here's an encounter where 1st-level PCs fight the goblins that attacked during the festival, then here's one where they go to Magnimar 3 levels later and fight something else, etc." Like excerpts from an AP.


I just ordered the softback and the adventure and looking forward to the play test.


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Joana wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
I saw that one of the playtest adventures is 1-20. Do you guys think four months is really enough for that? Because I've played your adventure paths before I am heavily skeptical.
Pathfinder Playtest page wrote:
This 96-page super-adventure contains seven multi-encounter scenarios designed to introduce the new rules and put them to the ultimate test on your game table! With adventures spanning all 20 levels and featuring most of the game's newest rules, Doomsday Dawn provides a thrilling tour of the new rules, and of the Pathfinder world itself!

The way I read this isn't "one adventure from level 1 to level 20" but "seven linked encounters, each set at a different level/tier between 1 and 20."

There's no way they're getting a 1-20 adventure in 96 pages. I'm guessing it's more like "here's an encounter where 1st-level PCs fight the goblins that attacked during the festival, then here's one where they go to Magnimar 3 levels later and fight something else, etc." Like excerpts from an AP.

You are right, that Doomsday Dawn is not a full AP from level 1 to 20, but given that Return of the Runelords is going to reach level 20, and one of the goals of PF2 is to streamline and support the whole character advancement up to level 20, I guess a good way to archive that is making APs reach level 20 for now on.


Brother Fen wrote:

Not all positive. I don't want my books invalidated, thus I don't want a 2.0.

I'd rather Paizo went after HEROFINDER or something else to give them the chance to continue making new content without driving away previous customers.

If they went that route, built a brand new game of Herofinder, and still stop to produce the old Pathfinder... what would you gain? I'm missing something here, I feel.


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Quote:
12. Fifteen gold to start! Promising. Economics remains something which matters, then.

At first glance, that looks like the starting 150 but divided by 10. I wonder if "silver is the new gold", and more things are planned to be sold and bought in silver.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Quote:
12. Fifteen gold to start! Promising. Economics remains something which matters, then.
At first glance, that looks like the starting 150 but divided by 10. I wonder if "silver is the new gold", and more things are planned to be sold and bought in silver.

I hope so. To me, the basic unit of currency in Pathfinder is a k. Basic magic items cost 1k, and the fanciest cost 100k, or thereabouts. Having gold be treated a little less trivially would be nice for the feel.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
gustavo iglesias wrote:
If they went that route, built a brand new game of Herofinder, and still stop to produce the old Pathfinder... what would you gain? I'm missing something here, I feel.

I think the idea behind that might be that Paizo should, instead of updating Pathfinder, publish another new system and then support both systems in the future (similar to what they do with Starfinder).

Personally though, I don't think that would be a good idea. We have a predecessor for that (with OD&D and AD&D getting published parallelly for some years), but that was when D&D was at it's prime. And we already kinda have that with D&D 5E and PF, so I think that would just split the market even further.


No way Paizo will publish 3 lines of AP per year, for Old PF, SF, and the new game, plus a full line of suplements for each. Something has to go, and the obvious answer is the old edition.


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SirKillian wrote:
I just ordered the softback and the adventure and looking forward to the play test.

wait, how did you order the adventure? I looked around and found nothing on this site. (granted, the new layout doesn't make it easy)


Hythlodeus wrote:
wait, how did you order the adventure? I looked around and found nothing on this site. (granted, the new layout doesn't make it easy)

You can print out an order form and give it to your local retailer

Preorder Form.

Otherwise you have to wait until March 20 to order it here.


oh, I see. thank you


Hello, new guy here! Just wanted to drop by and say I'm excited about PF2 and wish the best to Paizo.

Pity I won't be playtesting, not having a group currently and all...

I'll have some suggestions to make when the time comes to discuss the setting book though. Be well!


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theCopper wrote:
Pity I won't be playtesting, not having a group currently and all..

Once playtesting starts, keep an eye on the Play-By-Post opportunities here on these boards.

Even if you don't have a RL group, you can still play online.


theCopper wrote:

Hello, new guy here! Just wanted to drop by and say I'm excited about PF2 and wish the best to Paizo.

Pity I won't be playtesting, not having a group currently and all...

I'll have some suggestions to make when the time comes to discuss the setting book though. Be well!

I'm guessing it'll be pretty easy to get in on an online game. Doubly so if you want to run it for some folks.


Thanks CrystalSeas and QuidEst, I'll consider it. Though I doubt it; it's not my style and all. Be well!


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I am really excited about this PF 2nd edition, and am already pumping up my players for the playtest!

One thing I hope to see available at some point is a single-class Rogue-Sorcerer type. Multiclassing has never been smooth in Pathfinder without sacrificing half your power and combat-ability, unless you like cherry-picking levels to min-max your character. With the overall success of the Magus class, I was hoping on a "ShadowMage" class somewhere along the line that would incorporate arcane mage and subterfuge. The arcane trickster is a step in the right direction, but waiting till 7th level (at least) before you can play the kind of character you want is difficult.

p.s. I know that I could always create an archetype or something which allows a nearly-customized creation, but I've always been hoping for a single-class that would combine this iconic brotherhood of rogues and thieves who use magic to pull off their sneaky-ness.


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I haven't read through everything you've put out so far and I don't have time to do it now. And I don't expect an answer right now, either, but this is just something that's been a problem I've had with D&D/Pathfinder since I started playing it and I'd like to know if any thought's been put into it. Maybe you guys can do a blog post about it if you haven't already thought of doing it.

The big problem that I have is that magic items are too necessary for the game at high levels. You NEED to have magic equipment at higher levels just to be able to deal with the higher level challenges and the end result is that so many items get boiled down to +(Insert number) to (insert stat) and they're all so common that it becomes mundane. In classic fantasy stories like The Hobbit or Connan the Barbarian, a single magic item was an awesome thing and you maybe only saw one or two in a single story. Hell, in The Hobbit, the turning point of the entire novel was a character finding a ring that, as far as he knew, did nothing but make him invisible. That one item changed the story's whole direction. That gives magic items a kind of thrill that's been lost in pretty much every edition of D&D/Pathfinder I've ever played.

Do you guys plan on doing anything about that?


Will Pathfinder 2nd edition release products that expand on the other lands of Golarion or will it still stick exclusively to the Inner Sea?

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