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Pathfinder 2E Paizo Announces Pathfinder 2nd Edition!

Paizo has just announced the Second Edition of its Pathfinder Roleplaying Game! Read on for the announcement straight from the horse's mouth. The horse, in this case, being Pathfinder designer Jason Bulmahn. "In 2008, Paizo launched an unprecedented public playtest aimed at updating the third edition rules to make them more fun, easier to learn, and better able to support thrilling fantasy adventures. More than 40,000 gamers just like you joined in the fun by playtesting the new Pathfinder RPG rules and providing feedback, and the rest is gaming history. Now, 10 years later, it's time to put the lessons of the last decade to use and evolve the game once again. It's time for Pathfinder Second Edition!"


PlaytestRulebook.png


Welcome to the next evolution of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!

Just shy of 10 years ago, on March 18th, 2008, we asked you to take a bold step with us and download the Alpha Playtest PDF for Pathfinder First Edition. Over the past decade, we've learned a lot about the game and the people who play it. We've talked with you on forums, we've gamed with you at conventions, and we've watched you play online and in person at countless venues. We went from updating mechanics to inventing new ones, adding a breadth of options to the game and making the system truly our own. We've made mistakes, and we've had huge triumphs. Now it is time to take all of that knowledge and make the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game even better.

By now, you've probably read all about the upcoming launch of the Playtest version of the game set to release on August 2nd, 2018 (but just in case you haven't, click here). In the weeks and months leading up to that release, we are going give you an in-depth look at this game, previewing all 12 of the classes and examining many of the most fundamental changes to the game. Of course, that is a long time to wait to get a complete picture, so I wanted to take this opportunity to give you insight into the game, how it works, and why we made the changes that we made. We will be covering these in much more detail later, but we thought it might be useful to give a general overview right now.



Illustration by Wayne Reynolds​
[h=2]New, but the Same[/h]Our first goal was to make Pathfinder Second Edition feel just like the game you know and love. That means that as a player, you need to be able to make the choices that allow you to build the character you want to play. Similarly, as a Game Master, you need to have the tools and the support to tell the story you want to tell. 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.
[h=2]Building a Character[/h]It's worth taking a moment to talk about how characters are built, because we spent a lot of time making this process smoother and more intuitive. You start by selecting your ancestry (which used to be called race), figuring out where you came from and what sorts of basic statistics you have. Next you decide on your background, representing how you were raised and what you did before taking up the life of an adventurer. Finally, you select your class, the profession you have dedicated yourself to as an intrepid explorer. Each one of these choices is very important, modifying your starting ability scores, giving you starting proficiencies and class skills, and opening up entire feat chains tailored to your character.

After making the big choices that define your character, you have a variety of smaller choices to make, including assigning skill proficiencies, picking an ancestry feat, buying gear, and deciding on the options presented by your class. Finally, after deciding on all of your choices, the only thing left to do is figure out all of your bonuses, which are now determined by one unified system of proficiency, based on your character's level.

As you go on grand adventures with your character, you will gain experience and eventually level up. Pathfinder characters have exciting and important choices to make every time they gain a level, from selecting new class feats to adding new spells to their repertoires.
[h=2]Playing the Game[/h]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. Downtime is measured in days, generally allowing time to flow by in an instant.

Most of the game happens in exploration or encounter mode, with the two types of play flowing easily from one to the other. In fact, exploration mode can have a big impact on how combat begins, determining what you roll for your initiative. In a group of four exploring a dungeon, two characters might have their weapons ready, keeping an eye out for danger. Another might be skulking ahead, keeping to the shadows, while the fourth is looking for magic. If combat begins, the first two begin with their weapons drawn, ready for a fight, and they roll Perception for their initiative. The skulking character rolls Stealth for initiative, giving them a chance to hide before the fight even begins. The final adventurer rolls Perception for initiative, but also gains some insight as to whether or not there is magic in the room.

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!
Between turns, each character also has one reaction they can take to interrupt other actions. The fighter, for example, has the ability to take an attack of opportunity if a foe tries to move past or its defenses are down. Many classes and monsters have different things they can do with their reactions, making each combat a little bit less predictable and a lot more exciting. Cast a fire spell near a red dragon, for example, and you might just find it takes control of your magic, roasting you and your friends instead of the intended target!
[h=2]Monsters and Treasure[/h]The changes to the game are happening on both sides of the GM screen. Monsters, traps, and magic items have all gotten significant revisions.

First off, monsters are a lot easier to design. We've moved away from strict monster construction formulas based off type and Hit Dice. Instead, we start by deciding on the creature's rough level and role in the game, then select statistics that make it a balanced and appropriate part of the game. Two 7th-level creatures might have different statistics, allowing them to play differently at the table, despite both being appropriate challenges for characters of that level.

This also makes it easier for us to present monsters, giving us more space to include special abilities and actions that really make a monster unique. Take the fearsome tyrannosaurus, for example; if this terrifying dinosaur gets you in its jaws, it can take an action to fling you up to 20 feet through the air, dealing tremendous damage to you in the process!

Hazards are now a more important part of the game, from rangers creating snares to traps that you have to actively fight against if you want to survive. Poisons, curses, and diseases are a far more serious problem to deal with, having varied effects that can cause serious penalties, or even death.

Of all of the systems that Game Masters interact with, magic items are one of the most important, so we spent extra time ensuring that they are interesting and fun. First and foremost, we have taken significant steps to allow characters to carry the items they want, instead of the items that they feel they must have to succeed. Good armor and a powerful weapon are still critical to the game, but you no longer have to carry a host of other smaller trinkets to boost up your saving throws or ability scores. Instead, you find and make the magic items that grant you cool new things to do during play, giving you the edge against all of the monsters intent on making you into their next meal.
We can't wait until you find your first +1 longsword to see what it can do!
[h=2]What's Next?[/h]There are a lot of things we are excited to show off, so many in fact that we have to pace ourselves. First off, if you want to hear the game in action right now, we've recorded a special podcast with the folks from the Glass Cannon Network, converting the original Pathfinder First Edition Module, Crypt of the Everflame, to the new edition. Head on over to their site and listen to the first part of this adventure now!
Stop by tomorrow for the first blog taking an in-depth look at Pathfinder Second Edition, starting off with the new system for taking actions, then visit us again on Friday for an exploration of the Glass Cannon game, exploring some of its spoilers in detail!
[h=2]We Need You![/h]All of us at Paizo want to take a moment to thank you, the fans, players, and game masters that have made this exciting journey a possibility. It's been a wild ride for the past decade, and speaking personally, I could not be more excited for where we are heading. But, as I am sure you've heard a number of times already, we cannot make this game without you, without your feedback and passion for the game. Thank you for coming with us on this adventure, thank you for contributing to our community, and thank you for playing Pathfinder.

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design
[h=2]Pathfinder Playtest Features[/h]The new Pathfinder Playtest rules are the first step in the evolution to the new edition. We have incorporated the best innovations and lessons of the last 10 years to move the game forward in new and exciting ways. As we count down the days to the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook release, we'll be revealing more information on the following topics (and more!) on the Paizo blog:

  • 10th-Level Spells and 4 Spell Lists
  • Alchemists in Core
  • Archetypes and Multiclassing
  • Class Changes
  • Classic Monsters and Magic
  • Clean, Modular Information-Based Design
  • Combat Maneuvers that Rock
  • Designed for All Levels of Play
  • Easier to Play
  • Goblin Player Characters
  • Golarion-Infused
  • Heroic Storytelling
  • Innovative Initiative
  • More Customization
  • New Background System
  • Pathfinder Society
  • Production Values
  • Race Changes and Feats
  • Rebalanced Magic Items
  • Simplified Actions
  • Streamlined Proficiencies
  • Support
  • True to Pathfinder
  • Wayne Reynolds Art

[h=2]Compatibility?[/h]The big question -- backwards compatibility? Paizo says "While many of the rules of the game have changed, much of what made Pathfinder great has remained the same. The story of the game is unchanged, and in many cases, you can simply replace the old rules with their new counterpart without having to alter anything else about the adventure. As for individual rules, like your favorite spell or monster, most can be added with a simple conversion, changing a few numbers and rebalancing some of the mechanics."
[h=2]Pathfinder Playtest Products[/h]All Pathfinder Playtest products will be released as FREE downloads exclusively at paizo.com on August 2, 2018. On the same day, we'll release limited-edition print versions of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, Pathfinder Playtest Adventure, and Pathfinder Playtest Flip-Mat Multi-Pack for players and Game Masters seeking the ultimate playtest experience. These print editions will be available for preorder from local retailers now and paizo.com between March 20 and May 1. We'll also have copies at the Paizo booth during Gen Con 2018 in Indianapolis on August 2–5.
[h=4]Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook[/h]This massive 400-page rulebook contains everything you need to create characters and run Pathfinder Playtest adventures from levels 1–20! With gorgeous new illustrations by Wayne Reynolds, the Playtest Rulebook lights the path leading directly to Pathfinder's future. Available in three editions: softcover, hardcover, and deluxe hardcover with foil-debossed faux-leather cover and ribbon bookmark.
[h=4]Pathfinder Playtest Adventure: Doomsday Dawn[/h]This 96-page super-adventure contains seven multi-encounter scenarios designed to introduce the new rules and put them to the ultimate test on your game table! With adventures spanning all 20 levels and featuring most of the game's newest rules, Doomsday Dawn provides a thrilling tour of the new rules, and of the Pathfinder world itself!
[h=4]Pathfinder Playtest Flip-Mat Multi-Pack[/h]Throw your heroes into the action with this collection of two double-sided Flip-Mats for use with the Playtest Adventure. These beautiful full-color maps measure 24" x 30" unfolded and set the scene for climactic battles that will determine the future of Pathfinder! The maps' erasable surface can handle and dry-erase, wet-erase, or even permanent markers.
[FONT=&quot]Save[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Save[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Save[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Save[/FONT]
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I’m very skeptical of the action economy presented.

Bonus actions are one of the best things about the various games that have them, from 4e and 5e, to saga, even to PF’s less well used swift action. The idea of most spells using 2/3 of your turn to cast, so all you can do is fast fireball and move OR do a minor thing, is very unappealing to me.

I’ll check it out and provide feedback, but that part jumps out at me immediately as a very big potential negative.
I like it a lot. It’s actually functionally pretty similar to bonus actions. Think about it this way:
In 5e, you can move and cast one spell. Unless you have a spell that can be cast as a bonus action, in which case you can move, cast your bonus action spell, and attack or cast a Cantrip.
In PF2, you can move and cast one spell. Unless you have a spell that can be case as one action, in which case you can move, cast your one action spell, and attack or cast another one action spell. Or, if you want, you can cast your one action spell and a two action spell and not move. Or three one action spells and not move. It’s neat because instead of having actions categorized by type and getting one of each type, you just get a number of actions to spend on any action, regardless of type. Creates a lot of interesting tradeoffs.
 

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Moon_Goddess

Adventurer
Supporter
The D&D 5e playtest ran for two years, which, while it might have led to a better game, was probably a bad business decision, as 4e product sales seemed to dry up once the 5e playtest was rolling.

That's hardly a fair thing to say, you really can't know if they dried up due to the playtest, They gave up on us. During the 2 year playtest, 2 books were published for 4e... Both of them during the 1st 6 months of the playtest.
 

Shasarak

First Post
Anyone who says 15+ years of D&D 3E, didn't actually make the whole ride. Everything 3.0 went out the window after 3.5 was released. While Pathfinder made conversions possible to and from 3.5, it was eventually so much work that everyone shelved out serious money for 3.5 to PF versions of the product they already owned in 3.5. I suspect that many will do the same for PF2.

As someone who has been on the whole ride, I am not going to say you are wrong and on the other hand it was years of 3.5 before we noticed that my DM was still using the 3.0 Monster Manual.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
How is "only" getting to cast a spell and move a negative? Anything to gut the power of casters in PF is a positive IMO. High level spells should ideally take multiple actions (rounds) to pull off.
Multiple rounds. Holy crap we have different ideas of what is fun. Multiple rounds to cast a single spell? I assume you mean combat spells, as well? I’ll keep Dad away from that game. 5e’s spells that take 1 minute or longer to cast are one thing, but making a high level attack spell take multiple rounds is a non-starter for me.

Anyone masochistic enough to dare play a melee has to eat a ton of feats to move before and after a single flippin attack!

This is a separate issue. They can fix his without making the action economy for spellcasters terrible.

Hell, they can fix faster balance without screwing with action economy at all.

This is the equivalent of if 5e requiring an action and a bonus action to cast Fireball.
 

Lylandra

Adventurer
I do hope that the 2e will introduce options for Path of War / 4e style martial maneuvers. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see "regular" combat maneuvers that are actually better than "I use full attack", but the downside is that anyone can use them. So maybe include a class or two that can use some special wuxia extras.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
If by 'unplayable' you mean they have to take care when casting and can't always do what they want when they want how they want then yeah, gimme.

Do you really think that this will stop caster supremacy, by itself? Do you think this is necessary to stoping caster supremacy?

Instead, it just means that it is annoying to play a caster, which has nothing to do with balance.

Casters having to spend multiple rounds to get off a powerful combat spell sucks during play, but does nothing to balance the game.
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
Multiple rounds. Holy crap we have different ideas of what is fun. Multiple rounds to cast a single spell? I assume you mean combat spells, as well? I’ll keep Dad away from that game. 5e’s spells that take 1 minute or longer to cast are one thing, but making a high level attack spell take multiple rounds is a non-starter for me.

Any aspect of gaming that removes the player from the game needs to needs to be questioned on if it is appropriate to be in the game.

Lets say a 9th level spell takes 5 rounds to cast. That's Round 1 where Billy says "I start casting BIGSPELL!" Then there's 4 more rounds where Billy walks away from the table.

If a player isn't actively in the game while it's running, they're going to question why they're playing. People who start asking why they're playing stop playing.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Do you really think that this will stop caster supremacy, by itself?
By itself, no. But every little helps.
Do you think this is necessary to stoping caster supremacy?
Yes, and have been saying so since 3e came out.

Instead, it just means that it is annoying to play a caster, which has nothing to do with balance.

Casters having to spend multiple rounds to get off a powerful combat spell sucks during play, but does nothing to balance the game.
Someone else threw in that multiple rounds bit, not me. :)

For my part, I'd like to see something like this: you start casting your spell on your initiative count. You will resolve ten or fifteen or twenty initiative counts later*, rolling over into the next round if needed. Anything that does damage to you or jostles you (e.g. a missed melee attack or someone bumping into you) during the intervening time automatically interrupts the spell, which is lost**.

* - meaning if your initiative is 18 that's when you'll start casting, and you'll resolve on 8 or 3 or even 18 of next round depending on spell level and-or complexity. You'll resolve simultaneously with anything else that might be going on during that initiative count, so if you're resolving on an 8 and the Fighter's got her melee swing on an 8 they'll both happen at once.
** - for added fun, throw in a chance of a wild magic surge on an interrupted spell.

1e D&D worked like this and even there the casters got out of hand at higher levels; yet for some inexplicable reason 3e took these restrictions off and made casters even more powerful as a result.
 

By itself, no. But every little helps.
Yes, and have been saying so since 3e came out.

Someone else threw in that multiple rounds bit, not me. :)

For my part, I'd like to see something like this: you start casting your spell on your initiative count. You will resolve ten or fifteen or twenty initiative counts later*, rolling over into the next round if needed. Anything that does damage to you or jostles you (e.g. a missed melee attack or someone bumping into you) during the intervening time automatically interrupts the spell, which is lost**.

* - meaning if your initiative is 18 that's when you'll start casting, and you'll resolve on 8 or 3 or even 18 of next round depending on spell level and-or complexity. You'll resolve simultaneously with anything else that might be going on during that initiative count, so if you're resolving on an 8 and the Fighter's got her melee swing on an 8 they'll both happen at once.
** - for added fun, throw in a chance of a wild magic surge on an interrupted spell.

1e D&D worked like this and even there the casters got out of hand at higher levels; yet for some inexplicable reason 3e took these restrictions off and made casters even more powerful as a result.
While I agree casters in PF are horribly overpowered compared to martials, your suggestion leads to casters doing nothing for a round other than casting, which is boring as hell. Probably why 3e did away with it, even if they didn't fully grasped the consequences.
 

BryonD

Hero
Any aspect of gaming that removes the player from the game needs to needs to be questioned on if it is appropriate to be in the game.

Lets say a 9th level spell takes 5 rounds to cast. That's Round 1 where Billy says "I start casting BIGSPELL!" Then there's 4 more rounds where Billy walks away from the table.

If a player isn't actively in the game while it's running, they're going to question why they're playing. People who start asking why they're playing stop playing.
I'm not on-board with "standard" spells requiring multiple rounds to cast. So maybe this isn't a great place to comment. But I will offer that if Billy is walking away from the table then the DM isn't doing a very good job. I completely believe that a well run game can, and should, be just as engaging as a great movie. And further enhanced by the fact the player has skin in the game, even when it is not actively their turn.
 

trancejeremy

First Post
I appreciate the sentiment, and I absolutely don't blame you (or anyone) for jumping to conclusions based on the first day's necessarily limited info dump. The revised action economy is very similar to the one we introduced in Pathfinder Unchained a few years ago, and any similarities to 5e are coincidental.

It's hard to believe that a game that uses the same terminology and seemingly touts many of the same features of its biggest competitor is merely a "coincidence"

I think most people understand the situation. 5e basically stole your lunch and now you are trying to steal some of it back by acting like 5e, even if you won't publicly admit it.

And on top of it, re-sell new editions of every PF1 book. Since most will be recycled, ideas, if not rules/words, that saves on development cost.

But personally, I think you and your customers would have been better served by just officially supporting 5e and continuing to support PF1. Trying to chase after the new thing isn't going to work (since 5e fans will still prefer 5e) and will just alienate those 3.5 fans that your company was built on...
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It's hard to believe that a game that uses the same terminology and seemingly touts many of the same features of its biggest competitor is merely a "coincidence"

I think most people understand the situation. 5e basically stole your lunch and now you are trying to steal some of it back by acting like 5e, even if you won't publicly admit it.

And on top of it, re-sell new editions of every PF1 book. Since most will be recycled, ideas, if not rules/words, that saves on development cost.

But personally, I think you and your customers would have been better served by just officially supporting 5e and continuing to support PF1. Trying to chase after the new thing isn't going to work (since 5e fans will still prefer 5e) and will just alienate those 3.5 fans that your company was built on...

Blimey. Do you feel better now?
 

Shasarak

First Post
I’m very skeptical of the action economy presented.

Bonus actions are one of the best things about the various games that have them, from 4e and 5e, to saga, even to PF’s less well used swift action. The idea of most spells using 2/3 of your turn to cast, so all you can do is fast fireball and move OR do a minor thing, is very unappealing to me.

I’ll check it out and provide feedback, but that part jumps out at me immediately as a very big potential negative.

I dont know if I see this as being too much different from the normal process of being able to cast fireball and move.
 

BryonD

Hero
On topic....
I'm cautiously optimistic and mostly feeling like I have nothing to lose.
I like 5E and I like PF 1E even more. If I just ran the stuff on my shelf (unplayed APs alone) I've got quite a few years. And my current campaign is a 2 year old home brew. So I'm set for life.
A big swing at a new system sounds great and if they whiff it is really not much of a loss with a decade of content that anything new would just pile on top as further diminished returns. (Don't take that as negative as it may sound, read as: the pile of awesome simply can't get any bigger)

A lot of things sounds really cool. Some of them concern me. Frankly, I think 5E has proven that my personal ideal game and the "best for the overall marketplace" game have some important differences. And that was no surprise to me. So I do think 2E, learning from 5E and other things (no I don't think they will emulate 5E, just learn from it) will make some moves away from my ideal. But there is still enough innovation and growth out there that I could easily like it just as much or even more. And hey, "new shiny" :)

So we will see. The pot odds are really sweet and I'm enthused.
Easy to say when 99.9% of the game is still speculation. :)
 

BryonD

Hero
It's hard to believe that a game that uses the same terminology and seemingly touts many of the same features of its biggest competitor is merely a "coincidence"

I think most people understand the situation. 5e basically stole your lunch and now you are trying to steal some of it back by acting like 5e, even if you won't publicly admit it.

And on top of it, re-sell new editions of every PF1 book. Since most will be recycled, ideas, if not rules/words, that saves on development cost.

But personally, I think you and your customers would have been better served by just officially supporting 5e and continuing to support PF1. Trying to chase after the new thing isn't going to work (since 5e fans will still prefer 5e) and will just alienate those 3.5 fans that your company was built on...
wow
time machine post. :)
 

Shasarak

First Post
For my part, I'd like to see something like this: you start casting your spell on your initiative count. You will resolve ten or fifteen or twenty initiative counts later*, rolling over into the next round if needed. Anything that does damage to you or jostles you (e.g. a missed melee attack or someone bumping into you) during the intervening time automatically interrupts the spell, which is lost**.

If Paizo did this it would be like the 70's all over again and not in a hippy free love type of way just bell-bottoms and plaid.
 

Kobold Boots

First Post
Leaving the "lets bash Erik/my game is dying" stuff to those with reputation to burn and no care for human compassion or common sense.. I'll jump back into the caster balance argument from a game design perspective.

If you want to balance casting it's not a discussion that's simply about creating new rules for casting or spells. In reality its a rework of the combat system and character options from the perspective of what would actually happen to combat and character options in a world where magic happens.

1. Do not make it harder to cast than it is to swing a sword in combat.
2. Do ensure that if casters have to prep spells ahead of time in exchange for their flexibility that you enforce that prep in game.
3. Do not nerf caster ability, if they have to prep ahead of time then they need to be cool when they cast their stuff.
4. Do provide martial classes with some sort of resistance to magic or magic combat training to counteract spells*

* The above needs to be thought out more. I'm not saying magic resistance is a good idea I'm just saying that if mages can be super fiexible then the balancing point for martial classes is to be able to resist/avoid certain things. It's a good way to explain why mages became flexible too.

5. If martial classes need to roll to hit for most things, then caster classes should also need to roll to hit for most things. Both should have exceptions. If casters have magic missiles and AoE auto hit, then martial classes should have similar abilities at similar scale with flavor that reinforces the differences between martial and casting classes. *2

*2 Some may note that this reads a bit like 4e, but my opinion is they went way too far with the concept as it felt like they treated everything like a spell like ability. Personally, I'd use casting schools and fighting styles or some derivative. I'm equally sure though that that's not an original concept. it's just all about how it's executed that counts.

Last, I agree that there needs to be a flexible initiative system or some mechanic that forces re-evaluation of the order of combat periodically through a fight. Ebb and Flow is part of a fight that needs to be simulated so "leet builds" aren't always effective. It'd go a long way towards protecting the system from power creep once the splats start coming out.

Two cents
KB

PS. Left out one point that should be noted and I'll add it to the DO's and DON'Ts relative to game balance.

Do allow players a full understanding of the magic that's available in your game and the rules that the GM will use to add more along the way so mages can do spell research.

Do allow martial classes the same option to create new fighting styles.

Don't allow martial classes to create the "All casters must die fighting style" Each must have its pros and cons when dealing with casters.

Don't allow players access to world bending magic without serious balance considerations.

Example: Wish as a spell. Good to know it exists. Bad to use it without good reason. Worse to give it to players as an available spell without serious consideration. If you treat magic like the resource it is to your campaign, you don't let caster power overtake the martial classes ability to compensate for it.
 
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Remathilis

Legend
So in the last 24 hours, I've chewed on this announcement a bit with friends and read the nuclear apocalypse that is Paizo's forums right now, and I've had a few thoughts.

Pathfinder fans right now are basically in one of two camps; those who like PF because of its lore/stories and mechanical innovations, and those who use it as a D&D 3e-era emulator with bugfixes. The camps aren't mutually exclusive. However, Paizo cannot keep courting the latter because its starting to interfere with the former. The game needs to grow and evolve. It needs to use its own voice to speak. Take the Core Rulebook, which still reads like a gussied-up SRD rather than a fully formed game game. It still, to an extent, lives in a world defined by the choices made in the year 2000. There is no reason why goblins (the literal avatars of Paizo) shouldn't be the core-rulebook at this point, and it certainly fitting that (like WotC did with warlock) a popular supplemental class finds its way into the core book alongside the other core classes. It also needs to work on those classes without the hamstringing of legacy mechanics or design decisions. It needs to fix the math so that play beyond 12th level doesn't collapse under its own weight. It needs to pair down bad options and promote good ones. It needs to evolve. And, like D&D, it needs to dump the stigma of being the "Generic Fantasy Gaming System" and embrace its lore, tone, and world.

While I don't play PF anymore, I must admit I'm excited for PF2e. I hope they re-invigorate their brand, get new players to join, and spur WotC to look at new ways to innovate in 5e (if for no other reason than to keep the competition from overtaking them again). I want the phrase "We play Pathfinder" to mean more than "we still use patched up 3e rules".
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Any aspect of gaming that removes the player from the game needs to needs to be questioned on if it is appropriate to be in the game.

Lets say a 9th level spell takes 5 rounds to cast. That's Round 1 where Billy says "I start casting BIGSPELL!" Then there's 4 more rounds where Billy walks away from the table.

If a player isn't actively in the game while it's running, they're going to question why they're playing. People who start asking why they're playing stop playing.

Right, it’s just bad design. The players should be engaged every round, ideally. Mechanics that actively work against that aren’t good.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
By itself, no. But every little helps.
Yes, and have been saying so since 3e came out.

Someone else threw in that multiple rounds bit, not me. :)

For my part, I'd like to see something like this: you start casting your spell on your initiative count. You will resolve ten or fifteen or twenty initiative counts later*, rolling over into the next round if needed. Anything that does damage to you or jostles you (e.g. a missed melee attack or someone bumping into you) during the intervening time automatically interrupts the spell, which is lost**.

* - meaning if your initiative is 18 that's when you'll start casting, and you'll resolve on 8 or 3 or even 18 of next round depending on spell level and-or complexity. You'll resolve simultaneously with anything else that might be going on during that initiative count, so if you're resolving on an 8 and the Fighter's got her melee swing on an 8 they'll both happen at once.
** - for added fun, throw in a chance of a wild magic surge on an interrupted spell.

1e D&D worked like this and even there the casters got out of hand at higher levels; yet for some inexplicable reason 3e took these restrictions off and made casters even more powerful as a result.

Those days saw many players that just weren’t willing to play casters because it felt stupid to not a spell because something jostled you, and it was that awful combination of boring and annoying to have spells end up taking multiple rounds to cast.

No thanks.

It absolutely is not necessary to balance casters. 5e sees a more balanced caster than was the case in 2e, and doesn’t bother with any of that.

That’s also completely unecessary complexity, for very little benefit, with playability downsides. A rotten deal, all around. Maybe if it came with a Concentration check like in 5e, but even then it’s pretty bad.

And no, most importantly, every little bit does not help. It adds up, which is just a risk. It’s balancing by making the game less fun, but it’s also balancing with a hatchet, risking going much too far and making casters underpowered. Possibly even the Ivory Tower Trap, which is an even worse outcome IMO.

If you don’t like casters, that’s fine. But I do hope that the game isn’t designed by people who have a desire to make casters less fun to play.
 

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