Pathfinder Playtest 1.2!

The Pathfinder Playtest is changing again. That’s right, it’s time for some more rules updates!

This week marks the second set of changes to the Pathfinder Playtest rules. Be sure to head over to Paizo’s website and download version 1.2. But that’s not all! You’ll also need to download the new character sheet! It’s been edited to conform with the new rules, and been shuffled around a bit. I rather like the new layout.

Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook
Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook. Also available as a free download on Paizo’s website.

This update document is eight pages long, with the last page dedicated to the open game license and other fine print. It includes all of the updates to Pathfinder Playtest (from the first and second updates). This means that you only need to have the most recent version of the update document, not all of them. Any new additions to the update document are in bold. Although it sounds simple, it’s actually quite hard to differentiate between regular text and bold text in the document, so look closely!  Rules updates are split into four types of rule changes: New Rules Updates, Critical Updates, Other Updates, and Doomsday Dawn Updates. Despite being ranked by importance, it’s imperative you begin to use all of the new rules immediately.

As for the rules themselves, we won’t get into specifics. The document is free and does a better job of explaining things than I ever could. The biggest changes you will notice this time around are with signature skills. They’re gone. Poof. Vanished. No longer does your class restrict which skills you can become Master or Legendary with. Instead, anyone can become Master or Legendary in whatever they want — if you’re willing to invest in that skill of course. I’m a big fan of this change, so I’m happy they went this route. This change affects a lot of other aspects of the game. Some feats are now irrelevant, and others were modified. The text throughout the book has to change a lot. There’s other skill changes you’ll notice as well. Each class is automatically trained in a certain skill, and many classes have more skills they’re trained in to start with.  More nice updates, if you ask me!

There’s some other fun changes. Bards now have a feat that lets them gain 10th level spells. The range on their soothe spell has also been changed to 30 feet. Some of the spells granted by domains are different now. And the barbarian animal totem can now use weapons — as long as they’re NOT raging. There’s some other barbarian updates as well, so be sure to read closely!

This is just a taste of the changes. There’s a lot more updates. Changes will continue to occur over time so your feedback is incredibly important.

Feedback? What feedback?!

Pathfinder Playtest Doomsday Dawn
Pathfinder Playtest Adventure: Doomsday Dawn. Also available as a free download on Paizo’s website.

Surveys. When you’re done playing any part of Doomsday Dawn, the Pathfinder Playtest Society Scenarios, or just playing in general, head on over to Paizo’s website and fill out one of Paizo’s many surveys. Paizo goes through that feedback and makes changes. That’s right! Constantly over this next year they’ll be combing through your survey responses and adapting their rules for the playtest. It sounds like these changes will occur approximately bi-weekly, but don’t quote me on that. Not only do your responses provide Paizo with a large pool of data that they can use to decide the future of the game, it also lets them find out all kinds of nifty little bits of information.

At the moment, you can fill out surveys on a variety of adventures. Each of the Pathfinder Society Scenarios has it’s own trio of surveys: player survey, GM survey, and general feedback survey. Doomsday Dawn originally launched with access to three surveys, all for the first part of the adventure: The Lost Star. (Again, a player survey, GM survey, and general feedback survey). Surveys are now also available for the second adventure in Doomsday Dawn: In Pale Mountain’s Shadow, and the third adventure in Doomsday Dawn: Affair at Sombefell Hall. Further surveys for the later adventures in Doomsday Dawn will be released in the future. There’s also some general feedback surveys available. Soon you can expect to see new surveys on more general topics.

Now, if you haven’t filled out your previous survey on the Lost Star, or In Pale Mountains Shadow, don’t worry! It’s not too late. All of the surveys will be available until the end of the year, and will be revisited by the Paizo team regularly. You haven’t missed your chance to contribute.

Let us know what you think of the new changes in the comments!

Until next time,

Jessica

Playtest
Farewell old character sheet! It’s time to make some changes!

 

Pathfinder: Second Edition

Whoah!

Big changes were just announced for Pathfinder today. The release of Pathfinder’s Second Edition.

That’s right.

Whether that causes you to jump for joy or cringe in terror, it’s big news! What does it give me? Fear.

Now, thankfully, things won’t be happening right away, or all at once. On August 2nd Pathfinder’s launching their rules as a playtest. Called, Pathfinder Playtest, there’ll be a free copy of the new rulebook available as a download on their website, as well as a new deluxe adventure module, and a flip mat. All of these downloads can also be purchased in hard cover on their website. During the first few months after the release of Pathfinder Playtest you’re encouraged to try out the new ruleset and leave your feedback on their messageboards. Upon completion of the playtest they’ll launch Pathfinder Second Edition.

I rather like the playtest phase, and I am excited that there’s a free download of the rules that’s going to be available. So, thanks for that Paizo. But, honestly, I don’t want new rules. New rules means replacing rulebooks. It means a phasing out of the content I have at home. It means trying to get a handle on a new game. And mostly, it means more money. Money I don’t have to reinvest.

Now, let’s be clear. Pathfinder’s not perfect. Are there things that could be fixed? Yes. Streamlined? Yes. Does that mean I want it changed and altered? No. I stopped playing Dungeons and Dragons the moment they switched to 4th edition and took up Pathfinder instead. Why? Is it cause I hated 4th? No. I never even gave it a try. I stopped because I didn’t want to learn new rules, or buy another new Core Rulebook. I switched to Pathfinder, because I wouldn’t have to learn anything new. And I loved it. I worry that this switch will leave me behind.

I understand where they’re coming from. I understand that lots of players will be thrilled. Games and rules for d20 games are always evolving. Always getting better. I understand wanting to make Pathfinder the best it can be. I understand making it easier and more user-friendly for new gamers. And I certainly understand that after creating Starfinder, why wouldn’t they want to do the same to Pathfinder? I mean, at its core, Starfinder  ‘fixed’ and ‘improved’ a lot of the basic rules from the Pathfinder game into a ‘better’ version. After having done that, successfully, why wouldn’t they want to do the same for Pathfinder? I definitely get that.

And, I suppose, underneath my apprehension and fear, I am excited.

But what about the new rulebooks? They won’t be compatible with the old ones. What about all the wonderful books I own? I won’t forget about them. I won’t stop using them. It’s much more likely I stop buying new product. What about the Pathfinder Society? The classes? How compatible will Pathfinder Second Edition be with Pathfinder?

From a thorough reading of the information on Paizo’s website, I get the feeling that although adventures and monsters will be relatively easy to switch over to the new rules, it’s the character rules, and the basic rules themselves that will take more work. This won’t be something you just switch over. You’ll need the new rules for that.

As of August 2018 there will no longer be content published for Pathfinder (First Edition). Everything will be published for their new ruleset. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get the old books. The Pathfinder Pocket Editions will be kept in stock as long as people continue to purchase them, while PDF versions of their extensive Pathfinder collection will be available for the foreseeable future on their website.

As for Pathfinder Society? It sounds like the Pathfinder Society will continue on in two forms. Like the rulebooks, as of August all new scenarios will be to the Playtest/Second Edition ruleset. You’ll need new characters to play by the new rules. However, all of the ‘old’ scenarios will still be available for purchase, and can be run for credit with ‘old’ characters using the original ruleset. This is likely going to continue at conventions and via online play-by-post for a long time to come. Kind of like choosing between Core and Standard, now you’ll also have the addition of ‘Second’ (or whatever it’s going to be called…)

Pathfinder knows what they’re doing. And I love Pathfinder.

But when it comes down to it, what do I really think of the upcoming changes? What am I going to do?

I’m going to take a deep breath, and give it a try.

When Pathfinder Playtest comes out on August 2nd, I guarantee you I will download the rules. I will read the rules. And I will test out the rules.

In fact, I bet I’ll enjoy them.

But when Second launches will I buy the books again? Will I keep up with it?

In time? For sure. But right away?

 I honestly can’t say.

What I can say, is that I think they’re going about it the right way. This playtest will be invaluable for them, both for gaining valuable feedback, and for providing nervous gamers like me the chance to try out the rules for free, before we make up our minds. We get to give it a try before investing. And most importantly? Allowing and facilitating use of the old ruleset, for those of us who decide we don’t want to move on to a ‘bigger’ and ‘better’ Pathfinder.

Want to learn more about Pathfinder Playtest? Follow the link to Paizo’s website and give the FAQs a read for yourself.

Have an opinion? Want to let me know your thoughts on Pathfinder Playtest?

Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Jessica