In today's Pathfinder 2nd Edition news roundup, the playtest book preorders go live, Bulmahn and Radney-McFarland appear on a podcast, and what it would take to make "Pathfinder 1.5". As always this information will be added to the Pathfinder 2nd Edition Compiled Info Page!
- The Pathfinder Playtest book preorders are now open! You can per-order your playtest book, adventure, and flip-mat between now and May 1st. Of course, you'll b able to grab them for free in August as PDFs if you don't want the physical playtest books.
- At Gary Con, Jason Bulmahn and Stephen Radney-McFarland hosted a seminar about Pathfinder 2nd Edition. You can listen to it on the Plot Points Podcast. The podcast is about 90 minutes long.
- In response to how much information the Paizo preview blogs contain -- "The blogs are not going to be dropping huge excerpts of the book. There is a very simple reason for this... it is still in edit, and layout. Then it needs to be copy fit and go through a few more rounds of edit. To top it off, we are still making changes and will, much to our publishers chagrin, continue to do so until the very last moment. That said... we also had to announce it if we were going to let retailers and stores have a chance to participate in the release. Thats just how the distribution system works. So... the best we can do right now is to give everyone an idea of how things work. We've already leaked things that have been changed and I am trying to keep that to a minimum so that the game we are talking about is the game you are going to get to playtest. It's not ideal... but it is the best we can do right now. I hope that helps understand where we are at." (Bulmahn)
- Vic Wertz talks a little about what it would take for a third party publisher to use the OGL to produce a "Pathfinder 1.5" (or "D&D 3.85") -- "There's an inherent difficulty in that concept, though. If you've been reading playtest feedback—or even if you haven't, but you just know a bunch of gamers—you will know that there's a spectrum of desire here. On one end, there are players want no changes whatsoever; on the other, there are players who want changes to anything and everything to be considered. Most people are somewhere in between. Paizo has staked out a spot on that spectrum. Playtest feedback might move us one way or the other a little bit, but as far as broad strokes go, the playtest will show you where we stand. (In our opinion, it's not all that far from 1st Edition.) Any "3.85" concept has to have SOME changes—otherwise, it's just First Edition, and there's no point republishing that, because we're keeping it in print in softcover and PDF. So 3.85 cannot capture the "no changes" audience. A successful 3.85 publisher would therefore need to capture a viable number of people who think 1E needs to change, but who also think that 2E is changing too much. Are there enough of those to form a viable audience for your work? Even if there are enough, here's where it gets really challenging: By definition, that group of people has strong opinions about what they want. But they will not be of a single mind—that is, even if they generally agree on how much things should change, they won't necessarily agree on what should change, or on how each of those things should be changed. There's not some magic set of precise changes you can make to capture them all. Some of the choices you make will lose some of them. Can you make enough of the right decisions to keep enough of them (assuming there were even enough of them to start with)?"
- Mark Seifter on "flipping" enemy criticals -- "The best part comes when you're cruising along doing pretty well with your combo and punishing enemy crits (maybe even with a paladin buddy to also hit and debuff when they crit your druid), only to come across an opponent who does something extra and really nasty on a critical hit! Flips it back around for a double flip. Jason was the main designer of these kinds of flips, where you punish an enemy critical."
- Seifter talks some more about rules language and terminology -- "We want language that can both be quite precise, with rules terms used consistently, but also sound plain, natural, and elegant rather than clunky. We think we've figured out a way to have our cake and eat it though, thanks to Logan's masterstroke of making certain rules elements act as nouns, certain rules elements (like actions) act as verbs, and certain rules elements act as adjectives and then allow natural language usage. So for instance, the blog mentions the Stride action, so we can say "whenever you Stride, you ignore difficult terrain" or "While Striding, you gain concealment against any reactions" or "Whenever an enemy in your reach Strides" or any other form of the verb. Like many of these wording-based decisions, this is the kind of thing that might seem like it could be "obvious" in hindsight but still takes inspiration to realize."
- Seifter comments on the rogue's Instant Opening ability -- "Instant Opening might not seem as cool as it actually is because it might be easy to assume that it requires some kind of check (or a failed save, or a roll of some kind) in order to work. But it actually works automatically. So one action from you equals two rounds of AC debuffs and all your sneak attack-related favorites. And it's not flanking, so all-around vision-type abilities won't help them."
- 30-40 class feats to choose from? "Compared to '3 or 4' class feats, the fighter alone has more than 10 times that number (not going to be more specific because, as Jason has said, we aren't through with copyfitting, so we don't know how many are going to fit)." (Seifter)