Yesterday, news broke that Paizo is preparing to unleash the second edition of Pathfinder onto the world!
While I had no prior knowledge of the impending new edition, I had suspected that one would be along shortly. Pathfinder has been around for a decade or so—which is a cracking innings in the industry for a game edition—and I’ve been vaguely planning for such an eventuality for several years.
(Keen-eyed readers of our Pathfinder books might have spotted a reduction in the amount of crunch in our books in favour of flavour over the last few years; this was partly in response to patron’s feedback our [Patreon patrons are awesome] and partly an attempt on my part to “edition proof” many of our books).
It’s too soon to say what the new edition means for Raging Swan Press. The company started exclusively publishing products for Pathfinder, but we now have 5e compatible and System Neutral ranges. I hope and plan to—obviously—continue publishing Pathfinder compatible materials after the new edition releases (in August 2019).
Some of the details of the new edition have me cautiously optimistic. Some do not.
Things I like:
- Rebalanced magic items (assuming they mean a reduced reliance on magic items and not new and exciting ways to pimp your character to the nth degree)
- Easier to play (but then who is going to claim their new game is harder to play!)
- New background system (if it actually promotes role-playing and is not merely a vehicle for gaining more abilities)
- The various modes (combat, exploration and encounter) of play; they seem like a good way to segment sessions
Things I don’t like:
- Goblin PCs (except in all-goblin games) because when a goblin enters a standard village or town they aren’t exactly going to be welcomed with open arms
- Alchemists as a core class (I’ve never understood the point of this class)
- 10th-level spells (because wish isn’t powerful enough…’I cast chain wish!”)
I’ll be playtesting the new edition—and I foresee a lot of reading in my future. That said, until we get sight of the new rules we are in the territory of “hurry up and wait.” I for one will be keeping an eye on Paizo.com for more information—hopefully we’ll get actual crunchy details and not marketing hype.
What Do You Think?
Are you excited? Could you care less? Let me know, in the comments below (particularly if you buy Raging Swan products or have signed up to our Pateon). And be civil.
64 thoughts on “My First Thoughts on Pathfinder 2.0”
I really hope the new rules make some things easier, especially the high level gaming.
What would be cool is a system, in which pcs don’t need to have magic items in order to face higher challenges – as a DM I just don’t like the comcept of magic shops, where you can spent wealth in magic items (a mayor of a town would go nuds, if such a shop would offer 50%off of all fireball wands, not even to mention charm person wands), and never had those shops in my campaign.
Another wish I have: I really, really hope Paizo will listen to comments from the playtesters (I will order those playtest rules asap), so that we don’t get another Mythic Rules mess, where, once the rules had been out, it was obvious, that nobody had listened to those playtesters who showed huge flaws in the game (I just mention Initiative and the Action Ecomomy here).
Otherwise: let those rules come, I’m ready!
Looks at a huge bookcase of books and just shakes head sadly.
I’m totally sympathizing.
Having said that, one of the goals of Paizo could be making their 1e content compatible with the 2e rules.
If they stick with the current 1e policy, the backwards compatibility is NOT a thing, as they will definitely want to boost sales of their new content.
BUT, if they learn from WotC and their 5e policy, then low-volume content might actually be the thing. And then yes, they might offer backwards compatibility.
Good insights Creighton. I am hopeful for their new action rules. Alchemist must be a generational thing. I dont get it either. The 10th level spells does make me wonder too…reminds me of Epic 3.5
I’m not a massive fan of PF1E TBH (although I have the core books), I’ve always found it far more crunchy than necessary for my games (I tend to prefer something in a 5E or OSR vein), although I know that a lot of PF fans–certainly the more vocal online ones–seem to love the crunch.. Unless the crunchiness is toned down for PF2E I doubt I’ll be investing in it, and if it is toned down it’ll need to offer a significant gaming experience than D&D 5E to tempt me over.
I don’t mind the Goblin PCs as an option since their suitability would depend on the role of Goblins in the campaign world, traditionally it probably wouldn’t work but I don’t think it’d be difficult to create a campaign world where they’re accepted. I’m a little cautious about the talk of the setting being more entwined with the rules since I prefer to run homebrew settings.
What I don’t understand is, they already have goblins as a playable race…along with several other humanoid races considered monsters. Why is this even a thing for 2.0?
My first thoughts are for compatibility.
If I can still utilize my existing Pathfinder 1.0/3.5/3.0 library, then I’ll be fine.
If this is reminiscent of the change from 2nd edition to 3rd, where my extensive library became relics of a bygone era, I’m not going to be anywhere NEAR as happy… I stopped buying as much physical product after that shift…
I believe I can say, with certainty, that I will buy as many Pathfinder 2.0 books as I bought D&D 4Ebooks. That number being zero.
I started playing in Basic D&D. I bought into Advanced eagerly. I bought the Player’s Handbook not realizing that it was a totally different game (mostly). And I recognize that it was better. I bought into 2nd edition because my group did. I liked it, but the “return on reinvestment” was already flagging.
I came late to 3E. I wouldn’t have at all if a friend hadn’t given me the book for Christmas. I liked what I saw. Then came the GenCon release of 3.5 and the ill advised mention (in a panel, by what might well have been a slightly tipsy WotC staffer) that 4E was waiting in the wings. This as WotC was pimping new 3.5 books…
By the time 5E came onto the scene I was pretty much done with the model to which the whole of the industry has taken.
Pathfinder 2.0 finds me disinterested in restocking my shelves to feed Piazo’s -or Hasbro’s, or Cryptizoic’s, or AEGs- coffers. There are too many
good games by small presses who won’t expect the fan based to “reload” endlessly.
I am always in awe of those people who follow their game’s chosen path no matter what. I’ve seen it for years with TSR – now WOTC… and now Paizo has joined the ranks. I first started playing D&D regualrly (buying books) with 3.5… and then someone decided it wasn’t good enough, we need a 4th edition to recycle the same ideas and sell more books. So now its happening to Paizo. This is the ugly side of the RPG industry IMO. The idea of “no no no…those books you scrounged and saved for are no good for you anymore… you have to get these books now.” I realize folks have to earn a living… but there are other directions that could be taken (modern adventures, expand on your Starfinder, horror adventures) rather than saying “forget all this stuff, now we have this stuff – which is the same as the old stuff, but with slightly changed rules that you need to buy the news books” Am I ranting… yep, you bet I am. It bothers me that much.
Do you recall the flatly insulting trailer WotC produced and used to announce 4E?
It focused on the struggle of dealing with all those books. The heartache of the poor dumb gamer trying to understand it all.
We’re just to stupid to keep up with the brilliance of it all. But 4E will end that flood of splat books. It will be simple. Streamlined. Just three books!
im amazed by people who dont understand that a business has to make money. PAIZO waited 10 years to roboot adn they waite duntil they had a lto of new ideas to stream line rules and create what is hopefully a better gasmer. if its not better, byall means dont play, but poeple complaining that a company is doing a 2nd editon after TEN YEARS is jsut silly.. its called EVOLUTION and al things evolve with time.
I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with and getting a taste of the new edition at UK Games Expo. I’ve been running a Starfinder campaign since the Autumn and am finding the more streamlined rules more to my taste. There are still tons of crunchy player options but I think it’s easier to run and that bodes well for Pathfinder 2e.
Richard–is there a list of UK conventions where we’ll be able to try out the rules. I missed that!
There are two…
“Paizo will be attending a number of conventions in 2018 where you’ll be able to get your first look at the new rules in action.”
The UK ones are: June 1–3: UK Games Expo—Birmingham, and July 20–22: PaizoCon UK—Birmingham.
Anxiety is my main reaction! For once I find myself caring far less about the quality of a system, and far more about edition wars and a splintering fanbase. The difference is that I’m looking at this more as a writer than a player. I’ve invested a lot into pathfinder, and I really want to still be writing for it when this is settled, whether that means in first edition or second.
But stepping back from that, I agree with you that reduced reliance on magic items sounds great (and it does seem like thats what they’re aiming for). Not only do I dislike my characters getting decked out in magic gear to perform at an expected level, I really don’t like how magic items are so common and uninteresting. I want every magic item to feel special and interesting, both mechanically and in terms of flavor.
I also like the sound of different play modes. To me it sounds like a good way of creating new ways to measure time, to effectively get useful terminology for non-combat mechanics. Its something that could make it easier to support more utility and social options, rather than remaining so combat-centric, and I definitely like the sound of that.
On the subject of 10th level spells, I’m personally hoping its a way to turn iconic but very powerful, difficult to handle spells into capstone and endgame abilities, making it so you don’t get things like Gate, Miracle, or Wish until the very end.
My main disagreement with you would be on the subject of goblins. I’ve become increasingly uncomfortable with ‘monstrous humanoids,’ that is, sentient species that are continually trapped into the role of the Other and the Enemy. Its this nasty mirror of real world bigotry, and I think its an idea that we need to start breaking down. So I see goblins as PCs as progress, though I’m not real confident in how Paizo will portray them given their history with goblins.
This line of thought played a strong role in the development of Echo Harbour. I wanted to reject the idea of orcs as evil brutes and push a society that wasn’t composed of one race.
I understand what you are saying about the role of orcs etc. in the game. I think that examples of orcs (or whatever) breaking racial stereotypes is great. (For example, Echo Harbour).
However, most campaign worlds are set up with orcs, goblins and so on as the enemy. Adding goblin PCs into the mix in a “normal” world adds so much stress and hassle to an average adventure simply because of the way NPCs will (justly) react to the goblin. I’m not a big fan of the game world readjusting itself to suit the PCs; the PCs should build characters that make sense in the world. If a player makes a goblin paladin (for example) I suspect he/she would get rightly annoyed everytime he gets attacked by villagers, but that (to my mind) is the logical reaction to riding into a human town. That kind of constant reaction is just going to suck the life out of an adventure and inevitably lead to frustration.
I am quite happy with a societies compased of a single race, just like the real world with just the human race (well for the last 20-30 thousand years).
I can accept protrayals of non-humans as humans with insignificant differences – like Star Trek’s bumpy foreheads – where they exist to tell a particular story point, but it has limitations. In a RPG it tends to leaf to “race” being select on the basis of stats rather than how they would behave.
I like non-humas species in fantasy games that are portreyed as truely non-human. Renequest does that well. Golarian goblins are pretty good too. If makeing them a playable race involves making them more human like I would regret that. It is jarder work which conflicts with having hundreds of types of sentient creatures.
I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with. Paizo has shown over and over that they are top notch and believe in the spirit of DnD, so I have no reason to believe it isn’t going to be, at least, good.
re: goblin pcs
Yeah, I could do without this, but I , as the resident GM, will simply ban them as PCs. Often, in all of these discussions about rulesets, I find many forget that GM fiat is a crucial part of the ruleset. So, anyway, no biggy here.
As to new editions, etc. this is always a thing. Honestly, as a gamer and collector, I am always buying books, and if I have to start replacing books every 10 years … is that REALLY a big deal? I don’t think so. Still have my original AD&D GM’s guide, and it is right next to all of PF books (including Raging Swan 😉 )
Your approach with products has been spot on, C! You have carved out a niche that is a MUST for me, and should be for any GM, and it really doesn’t have much to do with crunch. With that said, I do appreciate the quality of crunch you provide when you do provide it, but if you decide not to support PF2.0, I don’t think it would change my buying habits when it comes to Raging Swan products 🙂
Here is to a bright, new gaming future!
I’m more interested in how the new edition will affect the life of Raging Swan Press. Yes, I know it is way too early to predict anything.
I’m mainly buying system neutral products, but I also plan to use the 5e stuff soon. One of my players convinced me to try out 5e D&D. I also proposed to play Pathfinder, but after reading through the core rulebook, it just looked overly complicated comparing older or newer game systems.
However, I hope they will keep the accessibility. When I was looking for a newer edition of D&D, I choose Pathfinder in the first place because I could buy the core book in PDF format at a reasonable price. If they keep this in the future, I may try their new edition.
Although I lost the intention to play Pathfinder, there are many other valuable products I can use at my game table from the Raging Swan Press directory.
I probably won’t convert. I’m not mad or anything. Piazo definitely got their mileage out of the 1st Ed, but I just can’t justify restocking my bookshelf when what I got is still more than enough to keep me playing for years.(haven’t even read through horror adventures yet) plus, I’m looking into investing into Starfinder too. Between Raging Swan giving me the fix for “classic” gaming and being able to do some arcade style play with the Pathfinder core rules, I just don’t feel the need take on another project right now.
The “less crunch” is one of the things I really like about your stuff. I haven’t been as concerned for PF -specific information as for idea-spawners. 🙂
But as for your points
The Goblins don’t bother me any more than Half-Orcs. Both are going to be less than loved in most locales. Just like tieflings will in some, etc.
As for the 10th level spells, I can’t make a solid opinion since there’s too many ways this could work. It could be that there’s no 0-level spells so everything just moves up a number. It could be that it doesn’t add spells, just spreads them out over more levels. Until I see how it’s done, I will hold off.
But what I’ve seen so far of the action economy seems to hold promise. Not sure how it will work past the basic couple of levels or with other things like multiple weapons, but again we’ll see when it comes out.
Thank you for the kind words, Charley!
I’m a bit of an old fart when it comes to gaming. I don’t generally allow tiefling PCs or other such non-standard races. (And I define standard as the races that first appeared i the good old 1st edition Player’s Handbook!) My taste in fantasy is very low-level and gritty–think Conan, Lord of the Rings or the Riftwar. I’m not into the more “fantastic” style so tielfling, aasimars, dragonborn and the like very rarely make it into my games.
You make a great choice about 10th-level spells. They could be including 0-level spells; I hadn’t even considered this.
Don’t super care overall for the some of the things that have discussed with the new edit. Simpler doesn’t always mean better. I personally hate the idea of proficiencies for everything, Skills, Weapon (aka BAB), and Saves. Like they want to use Bulk like in Starfinder. Problem is I have every AP released monthly since Kingmaker. So I have plenty of stuff for a Pathfinder 1 game. Plus loads of 3.0/3.5 books that can be easily converted into Pathfinder rules. Don’t want 20 years of gaming material to be collecting dust.
I wonder (hope) that 10th level spells are a way to push back the availability of the most powerful spells (Wish etc) until PC’s hit level 20+, rather than bring in an entirely new tier of overpowered magic to the table.
Three actions per round in combat to simplify the action economy sounds interesting (which could be three attacks or two spells), but I can also see it bogging down the time it takes each player to complete their turn, and combat taking even longer to complete. Initiative modifier depends on what each player is doing prior to encounter, which again I can see slowing things down. I want crunch in character creation but relatively quick game play.
I excitedly bought the Starfinder Core book and was underwhelmed. SF now appears to be the equivalent of Star Wars Saga Edition precursor to the new edition. I hope I’m wrong, but I worry that PF2 will move away from what I at least view D&D to be. 5E, like it or not, does it’s best to capture the essence of D&D irrespective of what edition you grew up with. Perhaps Paizo feel they need to be in contrast to 5E but will that win back old and new players? Good luck to them, but I am worried.
Anyway here’s a playtest of the new rules DM’d by Jason Bulmahn with Eric Mona playing: https://glasscannonpodcast.com/the-pathfinder-playtest-parts-1-and-2/
I’m a System Neutral kind of guy anyway. It’s the quality of your material that I love, not the stat blocks.
I don’t really care about PF or D&D one way or the other.
Thank you, Ben. I’m glad you like our books.
What system do you play, out of interest?
As I read through the announcement last night, my teenage daughters wandered across the house to learn what the cussing was all about. (My sagging bookshelves! My empty wallet!) Upon hearing the news, my GMing daughter shrugged and said, “Whatever. We’ll just be a first edition family.”
She’s right, but it’s hard enough to find a gaming group where I live without further filtering by system.
I will say that 10th-level spell *slots* as used in epic 3E were a great way to get more mileage from metamagic feats at higher levels. That said, I could house-rule that if I ever had a group that wanted to play on the demigod field.
Ultimately, Paizo is losing my hard-earned dollars. That means more for Raging Swan, of course…
Hooray (regards your dollars); the wife will be pleased!
Your daughter’s comments strike a chord with me. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what edition you play in your home game. If you are all having fun, who cares how old the books are!
I would give this a cautious welcome.
I moved to 5e having found Pathfinder less of a satisfying gaming experience (for me and the group I games with generally).
It felt to me that the rules were too intrusive to the detriment of the roleplaying experience (regularly requiring pauses and checking). I also felt that many players I was encountering were focused increasingly with power-builds, which again took away from the story in my opinion.
Finally I was less and less happy with the curve which felt like players were more superheroes than characters I could relate to.
Now, I accept that this is a personal view which will not apply to everyone, but I would welcome a Pathfinder edition which enables a degree of complexity above 5e, but which allows for ‘theatre of the mind’ gaming which prioritises roleplaying over optimisation.
I am optimistic with some elements, but will await the playtest material before deciding whether to return to the system.
I’m theoretically okay with a PF 2e, myself. Of course, I’ve been burned out on PF for over a year – running Wrath of the Righteous, with 20th level mythic tier 10 hybrid class PCs (the PCs were a warpriest, a shaman, a slayer, a bloodrager, and a paladin) kind of wore me out. Then one of the players passed away suddenly, and I haven’t yet recovered the urge to Pathfinder. So my feeling of investment in PF 1e is very low (despite my actual $$ investment in 1e books being RIDICULOUS).
So, I am open to a 2e, but I’m also not expecting too much – Starfinder didn’t wow me, and as someone mentioned, Mythic Adventures was pretty heavily flawed.
PS: Regarding goblins as PCs – I wouldn’t have a problem with it, in many settings. In GURPS’ Banestorm, or Freeport – sure, no problem. But Golarion’s goblins are defined as pyromaniac, dog & horse-hating, vicious, violent, antisocial little monsters that eat other sentient beings’ children. Yeah, that’ll make a fine PC ancestry (and the iconic goblin will be a class that has reading & writing things in books as a class feature, when goblins hate and fear all writing). So, either goblins are getting revised, or Paizo’s just going to quietly ignore all the fluff they created for ’em.
Bob you have a good point. I’m not an authority on Golarion lore, but Paizo have done a fantastic job characterising goblins. It would be a real shame for them to quietly tiptoe away from all that lore.
As someone who is running an ongoing Pathfinder campaign, and has dozens if not hundreds of PF and PF-compatible books and adventures, I’m very excited. This was overdue. For quite some time, PF has been unwieldy, bloated, and in need of improvement. This coming from someone who loves the game, warts and all. I’m hopeful that with this re-set, the same mistakes won’t be repeated.
Completely agree with Creighton about goblins as a core “ancestry” and the Alchemist.
I’m also excited to see the fully-fleshed out initiative system and the new combat action economy.
I do understand those who are upset and feel betrayed and find it ironic that PF, which was started in order to retain a particular system and modality of play (3.5) is evolving to a new edition.
To that I say, times change. Adapt or go the way of the neanderthal.
If PF 2E is not fully backward compatible with PF 1E then I am not making the switch. I have no desire to change systems just for the sake of change. I have plenty of great 3E/3.5E/PF1E material still to explore (as well as 2E modules like Night Below and Rod of Seven Parts). The problems with PF1E (Christmas tree effect, high-level play) seem solvable while still maintaining the essential framework. If a drastic edition change does come I will limit my purchases to either material that is compatible with PF1E or system neutral. I do not want to obsolete my entire library again.
I tend to see new editions as an attempt (the success is always up for debate) to tap more effectively into the gaming zeitgeist of the era. PF did this to spectacular effect when it came out; it’s not any one thing, but as a whole a new edition attempts to modernize. I think perhaps it appeals more to younger / newer players / GMs. There’s this combination of art, design, and mechanics that if done correctly, just ‘fits’ with the modern day. I love my D&D 2e books, and my Rules Cyclopedia, but when Gaming use PF, because it’s newer and modern…it might sound silly, but there’s something to it. Most of us of a certain age can GM without any books at all, with our Homebrew in our heads, but it’s nice to be able to buy an up-to-date book.
That said, a new PF could easily just be a redesign of the original, with some new additions for flavour that reflects changes in gaming in the last ten years; and maybe that’s kinda what they’re getting at…? I wasn’t super pumped about the 2e redesigns back in the day, but they were newer and modernized, and I used them, so there’s something to it! Personally I’m excited.
I was skeptical at first, seeing as how I have an uncountable amount of books and PDFs combined. But, the new changes are interesting, and Paizo isn’t telling anyone they can’t still play 1e. I plan on getting the paperback, maps, and module, and trying it out at our table. Why not? I think my players are less hyped about it, as they are a “Pathfinder only” group. I’m trying to convince them that this is still Pathfinder, just a new version. The wizard isn’t very excited about it, seeing as spells take two actions to perform, and lower level spells will almost be mundane as he levels up…he’s used to rolling like 10d6 two or three times each time he attacks, lol. IMO, just let this happen. Its playable for free, if you don’t like it, stick with original Pathfinder.
Backgrounds is the big thing for me, especially if tied to trait choices (they are more or less half-feats to many) and background narrative/story.
For me where Pathfinder needs to improve:
Simplification of some in-game mechanics, e.g. grapple.
Social mechanics (too simple and o.p. if munch-kinned).
Enhance the skill system, skills at times feel like an afterthought to some classes (2 skill points a level for example does not leave you much room for these).
Spell progression changes, I’d like to see the schools gradually increase in options and power rather than retain the inherited system. By this I mean, say a school like enchantment becomes more viable, flexible and powerful as the spell levels progress rather than just various iterations of ‘save or suck’. Hideous Laughter for example is a first level spell for a Bard, Hold Person is 2nd yet many monsters are just flat out immune to both so the Enchanter is left with two useless options. Evocation feels similar, slightly different blasts with some conditions/area control occasionally.
The bit… about 10th level spells and “chain wish” made me laugh.
But it all seems like a sound assessment. In all seriousness, I think that the 10 level spell model is probably about spreading out the spells across 10 levels instead of 9. My speculation is that it will help with class design (your highest spell level is half of your actual level, you get 10th level spells at level 20, so wish is really an end game thing, etc). Plus, it makes it a bit easier for half-casters (so again, speculating that paladins might get 1/4 spell progression, getting 5th level spells at level 20).
The math comes out neater, and it abandons the artefact of character progression that was in place before all race/class combinations had a simple 1-20 leveling model.
But I do agree with pretty much everything you say. And if my speculation is wrong, I’d be upset that they made spell-casters irresponsibly more powerful, given the current disparity in power between martial types and casters.
I am cautiously optimistic – I just started a Pathfinder campaign and may port it over the to the Playtest when it comes out. I’m trying to reserve judgment until I see it myself! Will likely buy the soft cover, I like books!
We are also picking up some soft covers–I’m too old to run from these new fangled PDFs…
The Chain Wish comment was gold, but I suspect they’re going to flatten the spells a bit to spread them out over the various levels. They’re talking about only having four spell lists, so it sounds like they are trying to simplify things a little in that arena.
I feel the exact same way about Goblins as a PC class as you do for all the same reasons. I make it tough on my half-orc characters in the more rural villages. I get the point about not wanting to perpetuate racism, but, and maybe I’m blind to the implication, your fantasy game needs fantasy bad guys. And intelligent, thinking, and preparing bad guys tend to make things a little more interesting and challenging. I’m open to feedback if I’m missing a bigger picture, though.
I, too, have a shelf full of now “obsolete” books, like others. I guess I’m still open to seeing what they come up with. Pathfinder is far from a perfect game, so I’m open to it if improvements are made. The thing is, as I get older I’m starting to appreciate how the mechanics of a game influence the kind of game you’ll be playing. I’m way over of the RP side of the spectrum, so PF has never been the perfect game for me (disclosure, we’re in year 3 of a PF game that I GM). I’ve been giving The One Ring and even older versions of D&D a closer look. The best thing about the Internet is the accessibility to new ideas, even for old editions. That feeling of, “Darn, my favorite edition isn’t supported anymore,” is muted by the fact that it’s a lot easier to connect with enthusiasts of your same edition.
I’ve typed too much. I’ll wrap by saying that no matter what system I’m running, the bending bookshelf with all the Raging Swan books on it still stays relevant and will be used regardless. Too many good ideas that really aren’t system dependent to ignore!
PQ–you’ve fallen into my sinister trap–thank you!
Having not looked at it, there are a few things that I have heard that make me very cautious about PF2.
While moving away from a magic item based system where the object is to Kill the Boss to Get Better Loot to Kill the Next Boss to Get Even Better Loot to Kill the Even Tougher Boss for the Really Skookum Loot so that we can Kill the….Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! Sorry, went off there. But getting away from that would be boss , however, my fear is that “rebalanced” really means “Scaled so high level stuff is even MORE outrageous, but now we use a level system like Starfinder”.
Changing attacks to everyone gets the same (3 attacks or 2 spells) seems to me to just nerf high levels while making the system even MORE item necessary.
10th level spells make me think…Why?! It will either nerf existing 9th level spells by moving them to higher levels or add even MORE power to the game
The biggest thing that I like about Pathfinder is that they moved the game back from 16-20 being the “funnest” levels to 7-20 being the cool levels, so 10th level magic is, IMO, unnecessary.
As to things like goblin PCs, I think that it is cool to take them out of the traditional cannon fodder role to impale themselves on the PCs weapons, and turn them into a serious (well, at LEAST as serious as gnomes) heroic race. I felt the same hesitation with Romulan PCs in Old Star Trek RPG and then with Minotaurs in Krynn, then Tieflings being added to the main RPG of the Forgotten Realms, and Warlock PCs, and the dreaded CN Tiefling Warlock PC. Anytime that a roll is reversed whether it is Klingons in the Federation, or Sith PCs in Star Wars, or Evil Elves (don’t you remember the Drow controversy?), or even Half-Orc Paladins there will be those on both sides of the fence that will cling to some absurd belief that this is either inherently right or inherently wrong. There are Luddites and Pipe Dreamers in abundance, and we shouldn’t feed either.
Using the metaphor of food, there are cultures on this planet that eat scorpions. Would you? Personally, I look at it to say, well lobster and crab are just giant sea bugs, so given that ultimately a bug is a bug, I’d try a bite (for the record, delicious, sorta tangy, smokey and crunchy). But there are those that for whatever reason, be it moral (like religious reasons) or ethical (eww, gross!!) wouldn’t even consider trying it, and there are others who for reasons unfathomable get the opportunity to try roasted scorpion and they grab two or three handfuls at a time and start stuffing their pie hole. IMO neither of these approaches is healthy, you should always try new things but not at the expense of common sense.
I am running a game in a post apocalyptic Earth that includes all of the races (it was a quasi-magical apocalypse) in lesser or greater numbers throughout the remaining cities. For instance Queenstown is mostly human and “demi-human” (to use old terms), Fort Whistler is mixed with a majority Human/Human bloods (half-orc, half elf, etc), but a significant number of Demi-humans and humanoids (mostly minotaurs and goblins), New Vegas is mostly non-human humanoids led by a minotaur Queen (benevolent) and Texas (which now encompasses Northern Mexico and a few states up to the Nevada and California borders) is inhabited by humans who keep non-humans as slaves (any comparison to any places, real or imagined, is purely coincidental). So we have been experimenting with “no fixed alignments” for humanoids, and it has been working.
So basically I am saying, try a bite. Look for reasons to include a goblin PC, and see how they work. One of my favorite PCs is a NG Goblin Vigilante and another is a CG Orc Skald.
Anyway I’ve ranted long enough to lose most of you, but for you Creighton, keep up the good work, I doubt that the switch to Pathfinder 2: The Search for More Money, will affect my relationship with Raging Swan, your stuff is tops.
I love Pathfinder and it ticked all the boxes for me as far as what I was looking for in a game. So much so in fact, that for the first time ever I did not get excited about the new edition of D&D. However over time Pathfinder has got bloated. That is no-one’s fault, in fact it is inevitable. If a gaming company is to survive it must publish. If it publishes inevitably there is bloat. Then you get the third party publishers (and yes I love you Raging Swan), whom add wonderful layers of complexity and detail to an already detailed game. One of my joys in life is creating characters, now when I begin the process the choice is almost intimidating, and don’t even talk to me about trying to choose interesting spells as a first level wizard.
So when I heard about Second Edition my heart soared. A chance to get back to the heart of the game. I too read about the Alchemist and was underwhelmed, I am willing to give 10th level spells a trial but they are neither a killer concern or a source of joy, however I disagree on Goblin PC’s. In real life I am fascinated with language and psychology. How do the two sustain a patriarchal society? What role do they have in racism? It is so easy in Fantasy Role Playing. Bad is Bad, and good is Good. But need it be thus? Why do we all love Drizz’t so much? Now do not get me wrong, I like having a villain. I am just not desperate for there to be quite so much certainty. Devils and Demons do a great job of occupying that ground. Why not give a little space to Goblins and their kin?
I am very much looking forward to seeing what you do with the next edition Creighton. Thank you for being here.
well said, too may people take these books as gospel & law and they are not. they are an accumulation of suggestions and ideas. as always the DM has final say ( so make sure youve got a good DM).
The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don’t need any rules. Gary Gygax
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/gary_gygax
Thank you for the link, Brian. I didn’t know about some of those quotes. It’s a shame they don’t have attributions with them–I would have loved to read the rest of the text/section for context.
Please keep the evaluations coming. I just got into PF at the request of a friend so I’m a bit miffed that all the brand new books sitting on my shelf are going to be obsolete sometime next year. I certainly won’t be buying any new ones.
I began supporting your Patreon a few months ago, when I noticed Raging Swan was including more “flavor” in its products — enough to warrant system-neutral versions. I’d previously read your blog posts and purchased products from time to time when they appeared to have sufficient non-crunch. This is because I don’t care for Pathfinder (although I’m happy there are so many fans out there, and that they support Paizo and the wonderful third-party publishers), and only purchase Pathfinder products when there’s enough flavor to spark ideas that I can pull into my games.
Pathfinder 2E appears to take steps to address some of the issues that I have with 1E. The proposed changes have caught my interest, and I’m planning to keep an eye out as more information is released. If I like the playtest — especially if I like it more than other systems I’m playing — I’ll invest in future products. I’m approaching it with an open mind.
Thank you for the support on Patreon, Tim. I’m particularly happy that the flavour of our products was what lured you into our ebon clutches. I’m a huge fan of flavour in my games and I thoroughly enjoy publishing flavoursome products as it is what I love writing!
Only because you asked, I have ZERO interest in PF2e- just like I did PF1e.
I was wondering if Paizo was going to support 5e with Golarion material (modules, setting, etc) or do a 2nd ed. Looks like it’s 2nd edition! I’m curiously optimistic.
I’m probably in the minority, but I do hope that backwards compatibility isn’t a huge issue for designing a better pathfinder game. I would prefer a faster lighter pathfinder, even if compatibility has to be sacrificed.
I love the skill and save system, that’s fine. The monster stat blocks are obnoxious and need to be revised.
The magic item christmas tree can be go away.
I do enjoy 5e but it falls short on a few levels, but succeeds wildly in other areas. If Pathfinder 2nd ed could find a sweet spot between 5e and PF1st Ed that would be awesome. It’s been 10 years for PF1, it’s about time to change it up.
The goblin PCs, eh, i don’t care if they’re in there, but i’m not a fan. I tend to run more traditional games and monster PCs don’t interest me.
I’ll pick up the playtest materials and see what all the fuss is about.
I doubt I will buy any Pathfinder 2.0 books; at least not the core books. I’ve basically come full circle and run OSR style games of Myth and Magic or Castles and Crusades now. Rules bloat and too many options leading to rules lawyering and endless character optimization caused me to leap off of the D&D and Pathfinder product train. I own the core rules of both and should I ever play them again will only use the core rules.
On the other hand, Paizo has put out some very nice Adventure Paths. In fact, I’m running a Kingmaker / Night Below mashup using Myth and Magic right now. If they continue to put out Adventure Paths, I’ll likely purchase some of those to mine for ideas and inspiration.
I don’t really understand the issue people have with buying new material, as it isn’t as if Paizo is publishing new editions every couple of years. It has been 10 years since pathfinder came out. It is really hard to adjust and overhaul a rules system once it is going. If you want to make actual changes to the game, you really have to create a separate edition or else its near impossible to get people to adopt the changes. Paizo realized a lot of things they liked and didn’t like with pathfinder and they decided they wanted to do a huge overhaul of the system.
Does this mean people can’t play pathfinder 1e anymore? It doesn’t as people can feel free to play whatever system their group likes. This change also doesn’t mean you have to buy into 2e, just keep doing what you are doing. There will be people interested in the new edition and those people will play it.
I am hopeful for this edition and that people end up enjoying it. I am at the very least going to be doing playtesting for it.
I, for one, am looking forward to the new rules. Though there hasn’t been an opportunity to actually play the game, I did get the previous Beta and liked it well enough. It’ll be interesting to see what if they replicate anything from 5e, which it sounds like they are.
We’ll be playtesting the game live every month on our Skinner Games YouTube channel, from character creation onward, using 1e AD&D’s Temple of Elemental Evil as out adventure. That should give the rules a good, hard scrub!
I saw this coming a ways back. The lack of information on future releases at both Paizocon and Gencon, combined with all the alterations of the system in Starfinder got me things Pathfinder 2.0 was coming. Then the last Pathfinder hardcover book looked more like an after thought then a real book. That caused me to say, yes 2.0 is coming.
For those that don’t understand the Alchemists class, it the Pathfinder version of the non OGL Artifiser class from Eberron, just like the Witch is the Pathfinder version of the 3.5 Warlock class.
From what I have read so far, it not for me. It appears to be a lest video gamy version of 4th edition D&D. And I don’t need that.
That being said Gaming in general recently really upset me, and taught me to no longer trust people, they will always turn on you. And after 30 years in the hobby, if I ever decided to get back into gaming, I have a library worth of games I can play.
I’m sorry you have had some bad gaming experiences, Ben. I hope you come back to the hobby soon and find a great group to play with.
Its never been gaming itself, its been the people I have gamed with. And the people I work with during my time so of on the fringe of the Adventure Gaming Industry.
Right now (with my limited knowledge of what 2.0 will bring) my only comment/suggestion is when the new edition comes out please continue to support PF1.0. If D&D has taught me anything it is that there will be a ton of people who will want to continue playing the older edition and refuse to “upgrade”. When WoTC dropped support for 3.5 in favor of 4.0 it was very frustrating and annoying. I tried 4.0 and hated it, so until PF came along I was still playing 3.5.
Like most groups, we will leave PF 1.0 since we prefer to game on a current system. We’ll consider our options. We’re taking the opportunity to test drive a DCC RPG campaign when our current campaign ends, and if that doesn’t float our boats then we’ll probably evaluate whether to move to PF 2 or D&D 5.
It’s basically a d&d 4e retroclon
I’m fairly late to the Pathfinder 2.0 gig. Personally, I like that they are attempting to tackle many old Pathfinder issues, including things like racial movement speeds on smaller characters. But for some reason they stop short of actually solving the issue. For instance, while they are now gravitating to 25 feet as the new standard movement speed, they still kept dwarves at a movement speed of 20 feet and elves at 30 feet. So the improvement is that dwarves now only have to compensate for speed when fighting anything elf instead of everything not small, but still to a lesser degree against everything else since all other races move 5 feet faster. I guess my expectation is if they are creating a massive patch to a game and selling it as a new edition, it should make the best effort possible to solve all existing problems.
I’ve been playing PF since it came out. I have just re-read through the PF2 rules again, and I am not feeling it. It is not a “change is bad” sentiment, or “I don’t want to buy more books”. Publishers have to publish. I wanted to be excited about something shiny and new! And, yet, I’m not.
I run a PF game, and I play in a 5E game (and I really am not a fan of 5E either). I hoped PF2 would go in a different direction, but it went where the market has gone – and this may sound harsh, but it feels like a soul-less over-gamification of D&D geared towards MMO playing milennials. It’s like they looked at their options and thought 4E did a great job with actions and powers and defining everything into categories, to the point where it feels less like roleplaying and more like choosing which button to mash to take your next action.
So, no, at this point I’ll continue with PF1, although I am actually working on a full on revision of my own (I’m calling it 1.5) that will be more the game that I want to play. And that’s the beauty of games such as this – the flexibility to make them what we want. I just wish Paizo and made something more like what I wanted.
I suspect quite a lot of players who don’t like P2 are in the same boat. A new edition is practically an invitation to go crazy modding the old edition to suit one’s tastes. Good luck with your tweaking!