It’s rare we take the time to talk about RPGs and other games that are crowdfunding, but today we’re making an exception! Why?
Next year marks the tenth anniversary of Kingmaker, a six-part Pathfinder Adventure Path by Paizo Inc. This incredibly popular campaign was recently made into a computer game, by Owlcat Games (for more information check out this blog post). As with many of the popular Pathfinder adventure paths, Kingmaker has been out of print for quite a while. Although you can still find it kicking around on amazon, eBay, and other sites, it is not cheap!
Although Kingmaker’s not my favourite adventure path (sandbox-style campaigns aren’t my preference), I’ve always enjoyed reading and GMing Kingmaker. My copies of the adventures are more than a little dog-eared and worn. They’re riddled with highlighter and post-it notes, and I have multiple notebooks full of hand-written events and expansions for the campaign. Sadly, none of my campaigns ended up making it to the end. I’m cursed! Haha.
To celebrate Kingmaker’s tenth anniversary, Paizo Inc. is releasing an anniversary edition of the Kingmaker Adventure Path for Pathfinder Second Edition! Like previous anniversary editions, the campaign will be updated, enhanced, and expanded upon. Unlike previous anniversary editions, this book is huge. Seriously huge. And you know what? It has the potential to be even bigger.
Today Paizo Inc. began a crowdfunding campaign for Kingmaker 10th Anniversary Edition. There are two primary products you can purchase. The Kingmaker Adventure Path for Pathfinder Second Edition (which will be a minimum of 576 pages long!) and the Kingmaker Companion Guide, which contains information on two of the characters from the Kingmaker computer game (the gnome Jubilost and the halfling Linzi), and brings them to the table with stats, information, kingdom roles, and quests. Backers get both a print and PDF copy of the books, which are due out next year. In addition, there are some cool add-ons for this campaign. Among these are dice, hero tokens, a pin, and the Forest Kingdom PDF by Legendary Games. The most exciting add-on? The Bestiary! Kingmaker Bestiary takes all of the Second Edition creatures and NPC stat blocks and recreates them for Pathfinder First Edition or 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons! The Bestiary volumes will also contain notes and information on how to run the Kingmaker Adventure Path in First Edition Pathfinder or Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. Stretch goals include a Kingmaker Pawn Box (which I would love to get my hands on), flip-mats, and expansions to the Kingmaker Companion Guide. In addition, the Kingmaker Adventure Path will feature more and more content as the various funding goals are met.
Colour me intrigued!
For more information on the Kingmaker 10th Anniversary Adventure Path check out the video below, or head on over to the crowdfunding campaign on Game On Table Top.
Archives of Nethys, an online database for official Pathfinder and Starfinder content and rules, recently announced the launch of their new website: 2e.aonprd.com! This new site will be dedicated to Pathfinder Second Edition and will launch on August 1st, 2019, at 7:00 am (Pacific Time). That’s right! It’s coming out the same day that Pathfinder Second Edition launches in print!
Through the Archives of Nethys players around the world will have all the rules and characters options for Pathfinder Second Edition at their fingertips, online and free. I am absolutely ecstatic! I know cost is a huge factor to consider when deciding whether I’ll be able to give Pathfinder Second Edition a try. Seeing that barrier removed is amazing.
Paizo Inc. has announced the launch of the second edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game on August 1st, 2019! With over nine releases in August and more to come the following month, Pathfinder Second Edition is scheduled to launch with a BANG!
“The launch slate provides everything you need to set out on a world of limitless fantasy adventure,” said Paizo Publisher Erik Mona. “With more than 20 years of active development and playtest feedback from more than 125,000 gamers, the new Pathfinder rules are easy to learn and exciting to master. We can’t wait to see the diverse and deeply customized characters the RPG community will create!”
Pathfinder Second Edition is releasing three major hardcover rulebooks right from the start: Core Rulebook, Bestiary, and Lost Omens World Guide. The Core Rulebook is THE BOOK. The one you need no matter who you are and what role you take at a gaming table. Packed full of all the rules players and Game Masters need to play Pathfinder Second Edition, create characters, and run games, the Core Rulebook is a must have. Said to contain streamlined rules and intuitive presentation, Pathfinder Second Edition features the same deep character customizations we all love, allowing for unique characters and boundless creativity. Weighing in at an impressive 640 pages, the Core Rulebook contains game rules, advice, characters options, treasure, and more. There’s six ancestries to choose from (elf, dwarf, gnome, goblin, halfling, and human, as well as the variant human half-elf and half-orc), twelve classes (alchemist, barbarian, bard, champion, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, and wizard), thirty backgrounds (such as apprentice, bartender, and soldier), and hundred of spells, feats, and other character options. The hardcover will sell for $59.99 American, while the deluxe hardcover (bound in faux leather with metallic deboss cover elements and a bound-in ribbon bookmark) will sell for $79.99 American.
Bestiary is packed with around 400 monsters spread over 360 pages. This means that not every monster will get its own page and artwork, although there’s said to be full-colour illustrations on nearly every page. While statistics will fill the pages, sidebars are going to contain lore. In Bestiary you’ll also find the always handy Universal Monster Rules, guidelines for awarding treasure, and a variety of monster lists sorted by different qualities (like level, type, and rarity). Many of the creatures in the Bestiary will be familiar, but new creatures are also included (like the “living-nightmare nilith and the three-headed mutoli”). The hardcover Bestiary will sell for $49.99 while the Deluxe Hardcover will sell for $69.99 (bound in faux leather with metallic deboss cover elements and a bound-in ribbon bookmark).
Lost Omens World Guide is basically the new Inner Sea World Guide, with ‘Lost Omens’ being the new name for the Golarion campaign setting. This 136-page hardcover book sorts the Inner Sea into ten regions, and talks about each one. ‘The Saga Lands,’ for example, is a region which encompasses the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, Varisia, New Thassilon, Irrisen, and the Realm of the Mammoth Lords. Each region also contains backgrounds and archetypes thematically tied to the region. Finally, the Lost Omens World Guide contains a giant, two-sided, fully-detailed, poster map of Golarion. Let me repeat that: of Golarion, not the Inner Sea. Awesome! Want to know more about Tian Xia, Casmaron, and other areas outside the Inner Sea? You’ll have to wait — but hopefully not for too long. Lost Omens World Guide is the first book in the Pathfinder World Guide line, which will continue to release region specific books (like those currently in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting line) in a larger, hardcover format, to allow for greater exploration of the world of Golarion. Lost Omens World Guide is $36.99.
In addition to important rulebooks, Paizo is releasing two print adventures: Hellknight Hill, and The Fall of Plaguestone.
Age of Ashes is a six-part, monthly adventure path that begins with book one: Hellknight Hill. Said to contain “continent-spanning conflict against cultists, slavers, and a fiery draconic devastation that could unleash an Age of Ashes upon the world,” this is sure to be an exciting campaign! Set in Isger, Hellknight Hill begins when your PCs investigate mysterious fires which burn atop “the towers of a nearby citadel long ago abandoned by an order of Hellknights.” Written by Amanda Hamon for first level characters, Hellknight Hill will also contain a gazetteer on the town of Breechill (the starting location for this campaign), a GM guide Age of Ashes, new magic items, and over six new monsters. Hellknight Hill (and presumably all the follow-up adventure path volumes) will sell for $24.99.
The Fall of Plaguestone is a 64-page standalone adventure for first-level characters written by Paizo Director of Game Design Jason Bulmahn. Beginning with the PCs attempting to solve the murder of a friend, this adventure soon spirals out of control with the “discovery of forbidden alchemy, mutant animals, and a nearby forest rotting away due to a mysterious blight.” Ominous! The Fall of Plaguestone features wilderness exploration, dungeon encounters, and urban mystery. In addition to the adventure itself, The Fall of Plaguestone (and every Pathfinder Adventure to follow) includes new monsters, treasures, and player options. The Fall of Plaguestone is $24.99. Launching alongside this adventure is Pathfinder Flip-Mat: The Fall of Plaguestone which depicts the “hillside hideout of an evil alchemist.” The Flip-Mat measures 24″ x 30″ unfolded, 8″ x 10″ folded, and can handle dry erase, wet erase, and permanent marker. It costs $14.99.
Paizo is partnering with the awesome folks over at Dwarven Forge to release a deluxe set of pieces which will allow you to create encounter areas from The Fall of Plaguestone! Which is amazing, by the way. If you haven’t seen any of the Dwarven Forge terrain you should definitely check it out. They make gorgeous 3D terrain and map components, although be warned: it’s expensive!
Finally, Paizo is releasing five other accessories for Second Edition. First up? A GM screen! Featuring beautiful artwork on one side and handy charts, tables, and information on the other side, these high-quality screens are really useful. Available in a landscape style with art by Ekaterina Burmak, or in a portrait style with art of the Iconics by Wayne Reynolds, GM Screens are $19.99.
Up next? Pathfinder Combat Pad, which is basically a double-sided, magnetic, dry and wet erase board that functions as an initiative tracker. It comes with two sheets of magnets, which break down into 13 blue player character magnets, 13 red enemy magnets, 9 green NPC magnets, two round arrows, two turn arrows, and two next round magnets. Pathfinder Combat Pad sells for $24.99.
Pathfinder Character Sheet Pack is a set of class-specific, double sided, black and white character sheets. This set contains one character sheet for each of the twelve classes, as well as extra sheets for equipment and spells. The character sheets come in a folder and costs $14.99.
Pathfinder Combat Pad
Pathfinder Character Sheet Pack
Pathfinder Condition Card Deck
Finally, my favourite of the accessories, Pathfinder Condition Card Deck! I adore condition cards. I use them all the time in both Pathfinder and Starfinder, so I’m thrilled that they’re releasing a set for Pathfinder Second Edition right out of the gate. This 110 card deck of full-colour cards contains details and rules on the many Conditions in Pathfinder Second Edition, with the most common conditions having multiple cards. Pathfinder Condition Card Deck costs $22.99.
In addition to these awesome products, the Pathfinder Society Organized Play program will release two scenarios and a short quest every month!
I can’t wait to see how Pathfinder Second Edition turns out! (Now, if only I had the funds to buy some of it…). What are you most excited for about Pathfinder Second Edition? Let me know in the comments.
But, there’s changes coming to the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game! Lots of changes!
Last year it was announced that the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game was getting revamped. Not rebooted, mind you. All of your old cards will still work with new ones. But, updated.
In short, they want to make the game better, faster, and smarter. When asked what challenges the game faces, Mike Selinker explained the following issues:
“The game is a bit too slow in all phases: how long it took to set up, how long it took to take a turn, how long it took to tear down. We looked for solutions that sped up everything, even if we gained just a few seconds here or there.”
“For a game set in one of the most expansive fantasy worlds ever made, we gave you too little story. The opportunity we had to tell stories was mostly limited to tiny boxes on the backs of cards, and conveyed very little of the depth the orignal storytellers had given us.”
“Though we tell many different stories, the game often gives off a feeling of sameness.”
“Groups of players get varying experiences by group size. A solo character is less likely to run out of time and more likely to die; the reverse is true for large groups. While that’s fine, giving people the ability to toggle those variables seemed smart.”
“Many cards have complicated text. We’ve piled template upon template, sometimes requiring three or four powers on a card before we started making it interesting. Certain card types like armors and spells got burdened in ways we never envisioned.”
“Some sets were easy and some were hard, but regardless there was no way to control difficulty. If you wanted to make the game harder, you were on your own. We will benefit from giving players controls for this.”
“For a cooperative card game, the game is often not interactive enough. When you want to help your friend, the game generally tells you that you can’t unless you have a card that does so. It’s a co-op game, so it should feel more cooperative.”
They’ve come up with a lot of ways to solve these problems and over the last few months they’ve shared some of the results with us. Further changes and details will continue to be released up until the release of the Core Set this summer. So what do we know so far?
The game boxes will be smaller. The Core Set will measure 9″ x 12″ with Adventure Paths measuring 7.5″ × 9″. That’s a huge improvement!
The story your players go through in each game will be focused on more, and made much more clear. Personally, I’m thrilled for this change, as it’s the rich stories and worlds which drew me to Pathfinder in the first place. Inspired by the exciting stories of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Guild, they’re getting rid of Adventure Path, Adventure, and Scenario cards, and creating a storybook instead, which will have much more story and content. Each scenario will have a two-page spread in the 5.5″ x 8.5″ storybook. For the Core Set this storybook will be 24 pages long. Curious what this would look like? Check below!
There’s also going to be a variety of ways for you to change the difficulty and length of your games — which is awesome! As a player with young kids, this is a must have for everyone to enjoy the game. Shockingly, my kids don’t like dying all the time. Haha. To aid with this you’ll have the ability to use small, medium, and large locations, and you’ll be allowed to add or remove cards from the Blessings Deck, which is now going to be called the Hourglass. They’ve also added Wild Cards, which can alter scenarios and affect difficulty.
This past week they unveiled some further changes which highlight how they’re streamlining and simplifying the game, it’s text, and its rules. This would make it easier to understand, play, and would fix up any known rules quibbles and difficulties. Simple, right? Not so! That’s a ton of work and much easier than it sounds! Haha. New key words have been added to the game which allowed them to get rid of a lot of repetitive and confusing text that appeared on the cards. Reload, Local, Distant, Hour, Hourglass, and Vault are among some of the new terms. But, you can bet there’s plenty more where that came from. Other terms, like Basic and Elite, were removed from the game. The rulebook will contain a glossary, for ease of reference, and some notes on how to use cards from generation one that feature removed terms.
Want a sneak peek at some of the new cards? Below is what Paizo has shared with the public so far.
Wildcard: The Perils
Blessing: Cayden’s Revelry
Loot: Ally: Riding Allosaurus
Loot: Armour: Voidglass Armour
Loot: Weapon: Wyrmsmite
So, how is this going to affect the actual products we’re buying? For starters, all you need to play is the new Core Set.
The core set contains 440 cards and is based on the mega-module Dragon’s Demand, an adventure that sees your players stranded in a small town called Belhaim. Shortly after arriving an old tower in town collapses, some kobold corpses turn up, and the town wizard goes missing. In time they’ll see there’s more going on here than meets the eye, and face off against a legendary dragon who was supposedly killed long ago. The Core Set allows 1-4 players to play. It contains 12 character pawns of the Iconic Classes (the eleven Core Iconics, plus Fumbus the new Iconic Alchemist), a set of dice, tokens for tracking scourges, a quick start guide, a rulebook, and the storybook for running the Dragon’s Demand Adventure Path. In addition to the cards needed for Dragon’s Demand, the Core Set also contains “a modular core for infinite scenarios that allows you to control the difficulty and speed of play.” Colour me intrigued!
In addition, they’ll continue to release Adventure Paths. To play, you mix the cards from the Adventure Path in with the Core Set, and you’re good to go. Want to play a different Adventure Path? Just mix the Core Set with a different Adventure Path. This will even work with the previous Adventure Path releases, like Rise of the Runelords. As an added bonus, this allows you to play with a fifth and sixth player (if you so choose). And the first Adventure Path they’re releasing? Curse of the Crimson Throne, which is one of my very favourite Adventure Paths. So exciting!
This one Adventure Path release contains the entirety of the Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path. Yup! No more multiple expansions needed. Just this one box and the Core Set. Awesome! It contains 550 cards, a 48-page storybook, and four new character pawns (Hakon the skald, Kess the brawler, Quinn the investigator, and Varian Jeggare the wizard). It’s going to be awesome!
Well, that’s it! Today’s the day! The Starfinder Character Operations Manual Playtest officially comes to a close. It’s time to put down the dice and wave goodbye to the biohacker, the vanguard, and the witchwarper.
I don’t know about you, but my family had a blast testing out these classes. My husband created a brakim vanguard that he really enjoyed, I fell in love with the biohacker class, and both of my kids adored the witchwarper! Sure, the classes had some flaws. Vanguard, for example, had no abilities it could use with its ‘entropy points’ at first level, and I personally found the witchwarper’s ‘infinite worlds’ ability underpowered. But all of those things we discovered, complained about, praised, and gave feedback for will now be used by the folks over at Paizo to shake up these classes, and make some improvements. I can’t wait to see what they become!
The Starfinder Character Operations Manual will release in late 2019 and will contain not only these three new classes, but new character options of all kinds! That’s right! Abilities, feats, spells, and everything in between. It’s going to be awesome!
Got any stories to share about your experience with the Starfinder Playtest? I’d love to hear it!
Like previous Alien Archives this book is going to contain over a hundred aliens for allying with or fighting against, as well as over a dozen which can be used as player races. Starmetal dragons, living holograms, ‘body-snatching flayer leeches’ and irokirois from Osoro have all been confirmed to be in the book. Playable alien races include an intelligent swarm of tiny insects and a bioluminescent cephalopod.
As an added bonus Alien Archive 3 is going to contain some other player options and gear, which is a nice change of pace. Best of all? Rule for pets, mounts, and combatant creature companions! My daughters dreams have just come true. Haha.
Pre-order for Alien Archive 3 is scheduled to begin in August 2019.
Wednesday night on Starfinder Wednesday Dan and the gang over at Paizo talked about the Character Operations Manual Playtest, where you can take three new Starfinder classes for a test drive. This week was the final of three episodes streaming over the past month that took an in depth look at these three classes: the biohacker, the witchwarper, and the vanguard. So which was up last?
Host Dan Tharp welcomed special guests Owen K.C. Stephens and Joe Pasini to the show. Joe wrote the vanguard. Although this was his first time on the show he seemed comfortable and did a great job! Really enjoyable to watch!
To kick things off Dan asked Owen and Joe about the Starfinder Operations Manual Playtest. How has it been going? What sort of feedback have they been getting? What’s good and bad and so on. Owen admitted that it is both productive and frustrating. Obviously when you put creative content out there that you think is great and ask people to find it’s flaws and problem areas, they’re going to do that. And find flaws the playtesters have! Haha. But, in a good way. All these problems that have been identified are areas the team is excited to tackle and improve upon. Most exciting, Owen said that even the negative feedback has still been positive. Turns out fans really like the concepts of the three character classes — the biohacker, the witchwarper, and the vanguard — and are excited to see them in play. All in all, the folks at Paizo appreciate the time everyone has spent on this playtest and look forward to hearing more from us.
As an outsider, it sounds like they have some polishing and tweaking to do, but nothing too major.
For those of you who haven’t provided feedback to Paizo’s messageboards or surveys yet, you’ve still got time. The Starfinder Operations Manual Playtest closes on January 16th. Be sure to get your responses in by then!
From there the conversation shifted onto the vanguard. This was Joe Pasini’s first time developing a class, and I think he did a really great job. But, when asked his thoughts on writing classes he laughed and replied “Can’t say I recommend it.”
The gang clarified that writing classes is among the hardest things you can do in a d20 game, as this is the primary way in which the players are going to interact with your game. They have to be great, so your game can shine. Writing and developing them can be stressful.
The vanguard is mechanically different than anything they’ve done before, so they want it to play differently. It should feel different than a soldier and a solarian (which are the two nearest comparable classes), but it should still be as effective. Vanguard’s don’t do as much damage as those other full BAB combatants, but they target EAC, so they nearly always hit their enemies. But, at its core, its the vanguards resilience that makes them special.
Joe explained that when they were creating ideas for new classes, very early on they decided they wanted a constitution based tank type of character. It was Joe who suggested tying that to the idea of entropy. Further meetings helped focus the class down to its inspirations and final concept. And that’s when Joe got to step in, stare at some blank paper, and try to make it work.
In the end, vanguards became a class that stand strong on the front lines, protect their companions, take hits and become empowered because of them. They don’t mind getting hit, because it lets them use their abilities more effectively. They’re a class that’s just really cool and different. Both tactically and mechanically.
During the interview, Joe explained that one of the things he’s most excited for about the vanguard is how it can create a lot of different kinds of characters. It’s inspiration was very broad — including Captain America, the Juggernaut, the Terminator, David Dunn (from the film Unbreakable), and many more. All these kinds of characters and more can be expressed as vanguards. Later in the episode, spurred on by viewer questions, they even chatted about barathu and contemplative vanguards. (Which are awesome!)
Now, like the other playtest classes, vanguard is not without its flaws. Owen has pointed out that from playtest feedback they’ve discovered that vanguards sometimes have trouble getting into combat and could use a method to speed themselves up. In addition, they have nothing to spend their entropy points on at first level. Owen and Joe mused about creating a way to use entropy points to gain a speed burst (either short or long term) in order to fill both design gaps.
Much to my surprise and excitement, a creation of my daughter’s was mentioned in the episode, as well as her desire for animal companions. While we were watching she squealed in glee so loud we had to rewatch the mention just to hear what they said about her. And then she asked us to rewatch it some more. Haha. It made her night! Scratch that. It made her month. Probably longer.
“I was reading through [Starfinder Wednesday Fan Club message board] and saw someone posted that their daughter has a rabbit companion that they have strapped to their hoverdrone that follows them around. I thought that was so cool,” said Joe Pasini.
“That’s so awesome,” Dan Tharp agreed.
“And they’re asking about animal companion rules and I think that that would be cool. Some kind of alien companion rules.”
Surprisingly, Owen lavished praise on the idea in a way that insinuated they might already have such a thing in the works — or at least planned for the future. Here’s hoping it comes out with the Player Operations Manual! Haha. But, alas! Owen would offer no further spoilers!
Right near the end Joe brought up my daughter’s drone-wearing rabbit again, saying he’d like to hear more about it. Not just the rabbit, but cool concepts and ideas that are different. He explained that he loves that all the new classes are Starfinder classes. They’re not Pathfinder classes ported over to the new game. They’re different and unique, and they allow players to tell new kinds of stories.
And he’s right.
They’re varied and wonderful, and adaptable. They allow us to make something cool, while forcing us to think a little deeper. Not just the new classes. All of the Starfinder classes.
I really enjoyed last night’s episode. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend you do. Joe and Owen were great guests, and they offered wonderful insight into making not only the vanguard, but classes as a whole. Just wonderful stuff! Starfinder Wednesday streams live on Paizo’s twitch channel every Wednesday at 4 p.m. PST. You can also watch already aired episodes on their Twitch stream, or watch partial episodes on their youtube channel. For more information on the Character Operations Manual Playest and to download the new classes check out StarfinderPlaytest.com.
Before we sign off, my seven year old daughter would like to share some information about her now famous (at least in her opinion) drone-wearing rabbit.
“Hugs is a skittermander with fluffy pink and brown fur and a happy smile. She loves people and animals, even if they are ugly or maybe mean bad guys. And she loves making friends. She’s a mechanic, and an ace pilot, and she has a pet rabbit named Bun-Bun. To keep Bun-Bun safe Hugs made a hoverdrone which Bun-Bun wears like a backpack! It looks like Bun-Bun is a tiny pilot flying the hoverdrone and firing its weapons! Haha! But, Hugs controls the hover drone with her own AI, like all drones, and Bun-Bun is just along for the ride. Luckily, Bun-Bun really likes flying. Right now Hugs is teaching Bun-Bun to be her co-pilot! She has trained her to click a button on command. Hugs shouts:
“Bun-Bun! Do the thing!”
And Bun-Bun clicks a button. But, Bun-Bun can’t tell the buttons apart or anything, so he never clicks the right one! He always messes it up and its always very funny! But, Hugs thinks he is a great co-pilot. He just needs some more practise!”