Pathfinder Second Edition Compatibility License Released


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Today, Paizo released the Pathfinder® Second Edition Compatibility License, and interested parties may now sign up for it at paizo.com/pathfinder/compatibility.

Note that this is a separate license from the First Edition Compatibility License, though its terms are very similar. If you wish to use the new Pathfinder Second Edition Compatibility Logo, you must agree to this license, even if you have already agreed to the prior license.

We are also now ready to begin providing early access for qualified publishers to certain Pathfinder Second Edition files in order to help you prepare your products for launch alongside Second Edition on August 1. In order to qualify, you'll need to meet the following criteria:

• You must agree to the new Pathfinder Second Edition Compatibility License at paizo.com/pathfinder/compatibility.
• You must be an active RPG publisher with products currently available through either paizo.com or Alliance Game Distributors.
• You must agree to a Non-Disclosure Agreement that prevents you from sharing the information you gain from early access until the public release date.

Paizo reserves the right to additionally qualify or disqualify parties at our discretion.

If you desire early access and believe you meet the criteria, first register for the Pathfinder Second Edition Compatibility License at the URL listed above, then send an email to licensing@paizo.com including your company name as you registered it and either 1) a link to one of your products for sale on paizo.com (along with the email of your paizo.com account if it is a consigned product), or 2) the Alliance product code (such as PZO2101) for one of your products for sale through Alliance Game Distributors.

Please note that validating a product code through AGD will take us longer than validating a link on paizo.com, so we recommend that you send a paizo.com link if possible.

Once you have been approved for early access, you will be emailed instructions on how to electronically sign the required non-disclosure agreement and obtain the early access package.

If you have already sent an email to licensing@paizo.com regarding this license, you will need to first agree to the license at the link above, then resend your email including the required information.

For those who do not qualify for early access, print and PDF editions of the new rules will be available for sale on August 1, and the Pathfinder Reference Document website will be available for free at pfrd.info.


I have a question about the license. Say you make a 3pp class and it's going to have one or more class feats from the CRB, either the same or slightly different from their CRB forms (like how some class feats in the Playtest are available to multiple classes, sometimes with minor differences). Do you have to put for that feat entry "see (class name) feats in chapter x of the Pathfinder Second Edition Core Rulebook" and then qualify any differences in that class' version, or would you be allowed to actually put the feat entry there, complete with any changes for your class, since you're actually giving them that ability and not referencing an existing ability like in the example given in the license?

I suppose the same question by extension applies to universal or semi-universal abilities like Weapon Specialization or the increases to weapon proficiency (or even the basic progression parts of the class table like when and how you get skill feats), which leans me towards assuming you could just put the text for those abilities in because otherwise 3pp classes would probably look a mess, with constant flipping back to the CRB to do anything at all.

I apologize if this is an obvious question but it's something I'd like to be quite sure on before making content.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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The Compatibility License doesn't have any specific requirements or restrictions on how you handle things like that. (The closest it comes is section 6, which tells you how to reference a product from the list of products in Exhibit C.)

Keep in mind that the Compatibility License is to be used in conjunction with the OGL, and the OGL tells you can "use" (specifically, "use, Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate and otherwise create Derivative Material of") Open Game Content. The OGL is Wizards of the Coast's license, not Paizo's, so I can't provide any binding advice on that; I'll just say that in my view, that sentence gives you a lot of leeway in your approach.


Vic Wertz wrote:

The Compatibility License doesn't have any specific requirements or restrictions on how you handle things like that. (The closest it comes is section 6, which tells you how to reference a product from the list of products in Exhibit C.)

Keep in mind that the Compatibility License is to be used in conjunction with the OGL, and the OGL tells you can "use" (specifically, "use, Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate and otherwise create Derivative Material of") Open Game Content. The OGL is Wizards of the Coast's license, not Paizo's, so I can't provide any binding advice on that; I'll just say that in my view, that sentence gives you a lot of leeway in your approach.

Excellent, thank you. Much appreciated.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Good to hear, Vic!


Edge93 wrote:
I have a question about the license. Say you make a 3pp class and it's going to have one or more class feats from the CRB, either the same or slightly different from their CRB forms (like how some class feats in the Playtest are available to multiple classes, sometimes with minor differences). Do you have to put for that feat entry "see (class name) feats in chapter x of the Pathfinder Second Edition Core Rulebook" and then qualify any differences in that class' version, or would you be allowed to actually put the feat entry there, complete with any changes for your class, since you're actually giving them that ability and not referencing an existing ability like in the example given in the license?

As I understand it (and I am not a lawyer), the section you're referring to only limits how you may refer back to the Pathfinder books. For example, let's say you're making an adventure and the adventure has a bunch of orcs in it. You could then write "4 gnolls (see Pathfinder Second Edition Bestiary)." You could not write "4 gnolls (See Bestiary, page 123)."

On the other hand, you could likely get away with using the actual stat block (as long as proper OGL references are made), but if you do you must make sure not to include any product identity. For example, if the gnolls have an ability named "Hunger of Lamashtu", you probably need to rename that ability (depending on what Paizo declares as product identity in PF2, of course).

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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Staffan Johansson wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
I have a question about the license. Say you make a 3pp class and it's going to have one or more class feats from the CRB, either the same or slightly different from their CRB forms (like how some class feats in the Playtest are available to multiple classes, sometimes with minor differences). Do you have to put for that feat entry "see (class name) feats in chapter x of the Pathfinder Second Edition Core Rulebook" and then qualify any differences in that class' version, or would you be allowed to actually put the feat entry there, complete with any changes for your class, since you're actually giving them that ability and not referencing an existing ability like in the example given in the license?

As I understand it (and I am not a lawyer), the section you're referring to only limits how you may refer back to the Pathfinder books. For example, let's say you're making an adventure and the adventure has a bunch of orcs in it. You could then write "4 gnolls (see Pathfinder Second Edition Bestiary)." You could not write "4 gnolls (See Bestiary, page 123)."

On the other hand, you could likely get away with using the actual stat block (as long as proper OGL references are made), but if you do you must make sure not to include any product identity. For example, if the gnolls have an ability named "Hunger of Lamashtu", you probably need to rename that ability (depending on what Paizo declares as product identity in PF2, of course).

As a general rule, proper names are almost always Product Identity, unless they are the proper names of real-world people, places, things, or mythological entities, like Asmodeus, Orcus, Tiamat, or the Mesopotamian demon/goddess Lamashtu.


Ron Lundeen wrote a review of the compatibility license on his site.

Dark Archive

Will there be a Community Use Policy
Applicable to Non-Commercial Activity similar to that for 1st edition?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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The existing Community Use Policy isn't edition-specific or even game-specific. It already applies to 1E, 2E, Starfinder, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, and more.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
The existing Community Use Policy isn't edition-specific or even game-specific. It already applies to 1E, 2E, Starfinder, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, and more.

Are there any plans to include the 2nd edition action symbols as a part of the community use license?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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We should probably do that.

In the meantime, if your Community Use Project involves PF2-compatible rules content, and is a book, electronic book, or freely available website, you can use the Compatibility License for it, and get access to the symbol font that way.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:

We should probably do that.

In the meantime, if your Community Use Project involves PF2-compatible rules content, and is a book, electronic book, or freely available website, you can use the Compatibility License for it, and get access to the symbol font that way.

Thanks Vic!


I applied for the use license to make freely available stuff. I hope the turn around isnt too long. Really need that fonts.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Compatibility License applications are automatically accepted at this time. As soon as you submitted it, you should have seen confirmation of that, including a notice that the Compatibility Logos have been added to your My Downloads page. If you see them there, you're good to go. If you don't see them there, something unfortunate happened, and you should resubmit your application.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When we apply for the license, it asks us to list the products we intend to make. What it if we don’t have specific plans at the time of application or come up with new products at a later date? Do we need to reapply?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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You don't need to be super specific. Note that you can update your registry entry at any time.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
You don't need to be super specific. Note that you can update your registry entry at any time.

Ah, cool, I hadn’t realized that. Thanks Vic!

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