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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

News - Pathfinder 2.0 is Coming! Itssss Coming!

Paizo announced earlier today that Pathfinder 2.0 would enter Beta Testing this summer. Is anyone all that surprised? I'm not. Starfinder is far from a failure, but it isnt the reboot of Pathfinder that is need to generate new revenue. While Pathfinder is still profitable for 3rd party publishers, D&D 5e took a huge chunk of the market away from Pathfinder. Hmmm, actually, they clawed back much of what they lost with 4e.

Anyhow, here's the link to the Paizo post about Pathfinder 2.0 and some interesting tidbits - and no, it doesn't look like its compatible with the current Pathfinder rules - cha-ching!

"The rules that make up the game have to fundamentally still fill the same role they did before, even if some of the mechanics behind them are different."

"We've made a number of changes to the way the game is played, to clean up the overall flow of play and to add some interesting choices in every part of the story. First up, we have broken play up into three distinct components. Encounter mode is what happens when you are in a fight, measuring time in seconds, each one of which can mean life or death. Exploration mode is measured in minutes and hours, representing travel and investigation, finding traps, decoding ancient runes, or even mingling at the queen's coronation ball. Of all the modes of play, exploration is the most flexible, allowing for easy storytelling and a quick moving narrative. Finally, the downtime mode happens when your characters are back in town, or relative safety, allowing them to retrain abilities, practice a trade, lead an organization, craft items, or recuperate from wounds."

"After initiative is sorted out and it's your turn to act, you get to take three actions on your turn, in any combination. Gone are different types of actions, which can slow down play and add confusion at the table. Instead, most things, like moving, attacking, or drawing a weapon, take just one action, meaning that you can attack more than once in a single turn! Each attack after the first takes a penalty, but you still have a chance to score a hit. In Pathfinder Second Edition, most spells take two actions to cast, but there are some that take only one. Magic missile, for example, can be cast using from one to three actions, giving you an additional missile for each action you spend on casting it!"

Note - italics above is added by me.

Podcast using the current state Pathfinder 2.0

Interesting times...


  1. I’d imagine the rules would be free online again.

  2. Interesting. I’m not sure it wouldn’t be compatible with existing Pathfinder; seems like PF and PF2 might be as different as some of the varied OSR products we currently mesh with each other all the time.

    I think I’m already excited by this announcement.

  3. I got excited when I saw Pathfinder and 2E. Alas it’s not Pathfinder based on 2nd edition D&D.

  4. My only issue is the setting "infused" bit. I strongly feel that there should always be a firewall between system and setting, when possible.

    1. I'm sure that goes against every marketing instinct they have.

    2. That’s pretty much the way Pathfinder has been from day 1 - everything ties in directly to their campaign world.

      I’d have actually liked Paizo to have had more official worlds than just Golarion; kind of the way we got Oerth, Dragonlance, Planescape, Ravenloft, etc. for 2E.

    3. John, I strongly agree; I think they might have a short burst of sales at first but in the long run it's a big risk and they might have been much better creating and promoting wild new settings.

  5. Totally with Jeff on this. I don't want Golarion in my Pathfinder. I get why they'd do it, but I don't want it.

  6. I might be interested if the new version is a little less crunchy than the older version, although I appreciate that many PF fans seem to enjoy the complexities of the system.

  7. Ooooh, this might be a mess.

    Thing about Pathfinder is that its original success was very much riding on the 4E backlash. Yes, it's big with third party publishers, but that's partly because slapping "Pathfinder compatible" on a product is a generally-understood way of saying a product is broadly compatible with 3.X D&D.

    The entire line was predicated on following the lead of a version of D&D which wasn't currently being actively supported by Wizards, and adding some improvements here and there. Now it sounds like they are going to dilute their brand by sprinkling ideas from 5E... which Wizards are presently supporting just fine.

    There's three particular Hells they can fall into here. There's the Hell of Blatant Fanbase-Milking, where they don't change enough to make an edition shift seem worth it. There's the Hell of Fanbase Purging, where they change so much that they drive away all the folks who originally came to Pathfinder specifically because they wanted something that cleaved true to 3.X D&D principles. And there's the Hell Between Two Stools, where both happens at once. It's going to be interesting to see if they can work out a way to avoid all three pitfalls.

  8. It's still going to be rules heavy; it has to be in order to be compatible with 3.5e and PF.

    1. And maybe, for that matter, to be a differentiated product? It seems to be that this is basically the niche available to them. I doubt they will ever get the 4e-haters back. 5e did its job too well.

  9. I don’t think this is smart on Paizo’s part at all.

    If PF 2e meant that they were paring back the rules bloat and just that, well maybe. There are still plenty of loyal PF players who didn’t jump ship to a D&D 5e game. But if they are just changing it up to bring it closer to 5e? That’s all it sounds like to me: a tacit admission that 5e’s simplicity (compared to PF) and its reversion back toward SOME of D&D’s roots, has really put a hurting on Pathfinder.

    This sounds like an Own Goal, the potentially game ending kind.

    I’ve played PF and wasn’t a fan: it’s intricate rules bloat problem was a haven for Optimization (what we Grognards used to call Min-Maxing). Aside from Optimization, it was also kind of a One-Trick Pony: Hey everybody! It’s not that complete betrayal of your core audience that D&D 4e was!

  10. I think I'd create a super-stripped down version called Pathfinder Basic, and rebrand existing Pathfinder as Pathfinder Advanced.

    Try to make the Basic truly, truly entry-level to bring new players to RPGs instead of trying to steal market share from other games.

    1. Interesting... I bought the Beginner Box and thought it was a great product, but it didn't draw me to the core line. Don't know if it would have been profitable for Paizo, but I would have scooped up an "expert set" sequel to the BB in a heartbeat. I would have given supporting materials (adventure paths, etc) a strong look as well.

    2. Interesting is your experience follows the old D&D Basic, Expert plan. Were you new to RPG at the time?

      The question is how to get new gamers in to pen and paper role playing and expand the market rather than draw gamers over from other systems. Was the Beginners Box really stripped down to the minimals so as not to scare newbies?

    3. Yeah, the Beginner Box for Pathfinder managed to tightly focus the rules to four classes, and it avoided mechical overload by removing excess choice, and simplifying certain key rules as necessary. The end result was really nice, even if you were an old Pathfinder vet....but it only went to level 5. Their follow up was really the Adventurer's Guide, which was a clean way of offering a similar experience for the base classes, but they never went anywhere else with the simpler design conceits introduced in the beginner set, which many people feel was an error. I think PF 2.0 is a byproduct of that learning experience (among other things, chief of which is that they know they need new blood, and the old fans are saturated with product).

  11. Myself and a collegue went through this list and it was met with a resounding "MEH". The rules are so bloated, cumbersome, and heavy that there needs to be a purging of the cruft and make things simple again. 5E makes things SIMPLE, that why we play it. The only time we really look at the book is because HeroLab cut off part of a spell/ability on print out and need to reference what it does.

    If PF went the way of 13th Age that would be ideal. The setting is rich enough to play really well with those rules.



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