Pathfinder 2E Pathfinder 2nd Edition Compiled Info


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[jumpto="basic"]Basic Info[/jumpto] | [jumpto="morrus"]Morrus' News Posts[/jumpto] | [jumpto="blogs"]Paizo Blogs[/jumpto] | [jumpto="links"]Other Articles & Links[/jumpto]

[jumpto="products"]Playtest Products[/jumpto] | [jumpto="future"]Future Products[/jumpto] | [jumpto="compatibility"]Compatibility[/jumpto] | [jumpto="ogl"]Open Gaming License & Other 3rd Parties[/jumpto] | [jumpto="1e"]Support for 1E[/jumpto] | [jumpto="style"]Overall Style & Complexity[/jumpto]

[jumpto="iconics"]Iconics[/jumpto] | [jumpto="misc"]Miscellaneous[/jumpto] | [jumpto="modes"]Game Modes[/jumpto] | [jumpto="characters"]Characters[/jumpto] | [jumpto="hp"]Hit Points & Healing[/jumpto] | [jumpto="ancestry"]Ancestry[/jumpto] | [jumpto="classes"]Classes[/jumpto] | [jumpto="skills"]Skills & Proficiencies[/jumpto] | [jumpto="feats"]Feats[/jumpto] | [jumpto="advancement"]Advancement[/jumpto] | [jumpto="actions"]Actions & Combat[/jumpto] | [jumpto="magic"]Magic[/jumpto] | [jumpto="items"]Magic Items[/jumpto] | [jumpto="monsters"]Monsters[/jumpto] | [jumpto="lore"]Lore[/jumpto]

Please email me any scoops or tidbits to, or post a reply below. This is a compilation of links to all known information about Pathfinder 2nd Edition.
  • Latest updates -- I have started posting in the comments below this post as I add chunks of information so you can scroll down to see what's new.
On March 6th, 2018, Paizo announced that the 2nd Edition of its ten-year-old Pathfinder Roleplaying Game was coming, and would be entering a public playtest phase. Here is Paizo's summary of the main differences:"At its core, the story of both games is essentially the same. You still build your own character, venturing off on daring adventures, risking your life for a chance at fame and glory, defeating deadly foes that threaten your friends, your family, and perhaps the very world itself. Beyond the narrative, there are many things that have changed, but mostly in the details of how the game works. You still pick a race, even though it is now called your ancestry. You still decide on your class—the rulebook includes all of the core classes from the First Edition Core Rulebook, plus the alchemist. You still select feats, but these now come from a greater variety of sources, such as your ancestry, your class, and your skills.Where the changes really shine through is in how the game is played. Gone are the confusing action types like move, standard, swift, and immediate, instead replaced with a simple system of three actions and one reaction each round. All of the varied systems and formulas for determining your character's bonuses and statistics, like saving throws, attack bonuses, and skills, have been unified in a single, easy-to-use proficiency system based on your choices and your character's level. You no longer need to collect a specific set of magic items to be a balanced character, relying on specific magical statistic bonuses. Instead, you get all of the bonuses you need from your regular armor and weapons, allowing the rest of your items to be truly wondrous."

[aname="basic"]Basic Info[/aname]
  • Official Playtest Page
  • Playtest will release on for free on August 2nd 2018.
  • Print editions available from local retailers available for preorder between March 20 and May 1. Copies at Gen Con August 2-5.
    • Paizo reports that the pre-orders on for the Pathfinder Playtest products are being delayed until March 27th -- "We are delaying the start to provide better shipping options, including picking up at Gen Con 2018! The preorder period will still end at 11:59 PM Pacific on May 1." Note that you can preorder now at your local game store.
    • Pre-order form -- use this to ask your FLGS to reserve a copy of the Playtest book.
    • Preordering print editions -- "The March 20–May 1 preorder window is only for placing preorders on Retailers who accept preorders will have different windows. (Distro has to place their order with us by May 1, so they will probably want preorders from their retailers sometime before that.)" - Vic Wertz.
    • Why no Kickstarter? -- "We considered that, but didn't feel like that would be fair to our brick and mortar retailer partners, who are a significant part of the Pathfinder ecosystem, and one that we're trying to support more and more." - Erik Mona.
  • Official FAQ
  • EN World Pathfinder Forum
  • News -- the best and easiest way to follow all the news is to keep an eye on EN World's news page.
  • Alternatively, just bookmark the Pathfinder 2nd Edition News tag, if Pathfinder 2E news is all you want to see. The news is gathered from every source I can find, all in one place.
  • Playtests -- internal playtests are being done like crazy. (Mona)
    • Current playtests much more robust than 5 months ago. Solid collection of monsters now. (Mona)
    • Been playtesting for the last couple of years. Now at the point of not saying "do we have this rule?" but rather "where in the book is the rule?" (Bonner)
    • Major parts of the rulebook are pretty unlikely to change now. Playtesting with a fairly reasonable final version, but it's not too late to make a change. (Mona)
    • They're going to make changes up till the last section, but they aren't operating off drafts. (Mona)
    • Sometimes in the playtest, they couldn't decide whether to make a big leap, so in the playtest is the more extreme thing. Some envelope pushing, with the chance to pull back. (Bonner, Mona)

[aname="morrus"]Morrus' News Posts[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])

[aname="blogs"]Paizo Blogs[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])

[aname="links"]Other Articles & Links[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])

[aname="products"]Playtest Products[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • PDF versions will be free on August 2nd.
    • Paizo's chief technical officer Vic Wertz commented on the timing of the announcement, the PDF releases, and the playtest -- "One of the primary drivers for telling people now is that we have to tell our retailer channel about things that are happening in August months in advance, and we picked this week because it gives us the opportunity to talk to retailers about it face-to-face at the game industry's biggest retail-oriented trade show next week. Believe me, I wish we could announce it and drop the PDF on the very same day, but that would be horrible to our distribution network."
    • In response to suggestions that Paizo release the PDF of the players rules early, he said "Not going to happen. This is a coordinated worldwide campaign—our German and French translation partners are in on it too, and they don't even get to start their work in earnest until the English edition is locked down. We have other licensees working on playtest support as well, and most of them also need us to finalize things before they do the bulk of their work. And we're not going to treat people who choose to participate by picking up the book at their favorite retailer or at Gen Con as afterthoughts. As far as the time requirements for the playtest goes, we have a guided plan that will ensure we get the feedback we need in the time we have. Playtest products release August 2. The playtest itself begins August 6. For everyone."
    • Chief Technical Officer Vic Wertz comments on the amount of preview those at conventions are getting -- "That "early look" is a verbal explanation of the rules they need to play through the session. It's very much like the one that you can hear right now via the Glass Cannon Podcast (and in many cases, the convention sessions aren't that long, so they don't even get that much)."
    • Wertz also addresses how the are trying to treat the whole market fairly -- "You may have seen people in the forums saying that they want to make sure that we aren't listening only to a single segment of the audience. Allowing people who download the PDF to give us feedback long before people who buy it in stores can, or before people who play in French or German can, would prioritize one segment of the audience over others."
    • Vic Wertz on the length of the playtest -- "The plan involves some iterative feedback, and we aren't going to know how long those iterations will take until we're into it." He also says "We have a structured plan that will allow us to get us the answers we need from a huge number of people in a focused way. We'll talk more specifically about what that means a bit later, but August 6 is the day it begins."
  • Translations. 2nd Edition has a French translator at present. "Our French publishing partner, Black Book Editions is onboard. Sadly, we do not have a Dutch partner."
    • Translations -- I had mentioned the French translation, but Vic Wertz confirmed the German arrangements. "Note that Black Book will also be translating the Playtest Edition. And our German translation partner, Ulisses Spiele, is also onboard for Second Edition as well as the Playtest Edition. Here's their page."
  • Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook. "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."
    • This book will only be available once. It will not be reprinted.
    • Available in softcover ($29.99), hardcover ($44.99), and deluxe hardcover (faux leather cover, $59.99)) editions.
    • Will be on Amazon. "Yes. But we're only doing one print run, so you'll want to preorder if you can." - Vic Wertz.
    • ​How much to expect from the playtest document -- "The playtest document doesn't have everything that will be in the 2nd edition CRB (it's important that people know that and don't worry too much if something particular isn't in the playtest yet), so I can't speak beyond the playtest doc. As to mimicking a 3.5 WotC PrC with a big subsystem of grafts and implants, obviously you won't be able to do this directly. That said, I can easily dream up a character that fits that theme of aberrant weird stuff and raging using the playtest CRB." (Seifter)
    • On the playtest book cover being a nod to tradition -- "That is in fact the correct explanation for putting Seoni and Valeros on the cover. And the goblin alchemist is there to show you that this is something new. The white dragon is there to show you that this is also something old." (Wertz)
    • What will the deluxe faux-leather special edition playtest book look like? "It will be much like the Limited-Edition versions of the Starfinder Core Rulebook or Curse of the Crimson Throne. We'll release a mock-up image before we begin taking preorders." (Wertz) [see images below]


  • Doomsday Dawn (Playtest Adventure, $24.99). "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!"
    • Osiriani countdown clocks -- In response to the question "Some believe that the ancient Osiriani countdown clocks point to a date early in 4718 AR, which these scholars claim is the date a massive Dominion invasion force will arrive on Golarion", James Jacobs replied that "The plot of the playtest adventure, Doomsday Dawn, is all about this exact thing."
    • "The Pathfinder Playtest Adventure, entitled "Doomsday Dawn," takes players on a tour of the Inner Sea region of Pathfinder's world, bringing us back to several important locales from throughout the years we've published Pathfinder—the adventure title itself is tied to a campaign plot point that stretches all the way back to the 2008 module The Pact Stone Pyramid. You'll also find a bit more of the setting appearing in the rules themselves. We'll get to updating the campaign setting in a major way on the other side of the playtest, with many more details on this front to be released as the playtest continues and as we near the actual Pathfinder Second Edition release in 2019." (from the FAQ)
    • Each section of the starting adventure is predicted to take about 6-8 hours to complete. (source)
  • Pathfinder Playtest Flip-Mat Multi-Pack. ($24.99) "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."


  • Products -- it was Erik Mona's decision when to do Pathfinder 2nd Edition. (Know Direction)
    • Final (non-playtest) products release in August 2019.
    • It turned out (back in 2008 with the PF1 playtest) it was cheaper to buy a copy of the playtest book from Paizo than to print it yourself, and they sold out in three days. (Mona)
    • Starter BOX TBD. Haven't discussed post playtest products. Revising the ruleset and creating a beginner box are two very different tasks. (Mona)
    • Not just going to regurgitate products people have already bought. Obviously we'll do the core book, monster book. But we're not going to just convert Advanced Players Guide and Ultimate Magic and so on. Taking a holistic look at the whole thing and the opportunity to create truly new stuff. Same way PF1 didn't just repeat D&D and do Oriental Adventures and Dungeoneers Survival Guide. I refuse to just regurgitate the same products (Mona)
    • Erik Mona comments that Paizo knows a lot more about how to make books after 20 years of experience with the 3.x system, and evolving a presentation template which was initially created back in 1999 for D&D 3.0.
    • Playtest cover won't be cover of final book. (Mona)
    • Tons more Wayne Reynolds art. In the playtest, some will be black and white "in process" art. (Mona)
  • Space -- the current playtest is 400-416 pages, roughly, maybe a bit bigger. The final core rulebook guidelines is it can't be bigger than the 1E book (576 pages is the line). That means there is room to create new stuff to deal with issues which come up during the playtest. (Mona)
  • Logo - there will be a new Pathfinder logo. Playtest logo is not the 2E logo. Haven't started designing it yet. (Mona
  • Subscriptions -- will continue, with plenty of warning about what's coming down the road. Don't want people to have to reset up their subs. Don't know about paces and sizes of each sub yet. (Mona)
    • Playtest stuff not part of subscription. (Mona)
  • On how to abbreviate editions of Pathfinder -- "Speaking just for myself, I'm gearing toward PF1 and PF2. The lowercase "e" is superfluous, as the number denotes the edition. PF1 is more useful to specify between editions, i.e. "they did this so much better in PF1." If Pathfinder First Edition is called simply PF, it loses function as a catch-all abbreviation for the game in general, its world, the culture and customs associated with it, etc. Anyway, just my two cents." (Erik Mona)
  • There will be monsters! Erik Mona confirms that there will be monsters available for use when the play test land in August -- "There will be a big monster download for free on August 2nd. The actual monster book for Second Edition (no matter how large) will presumably come out with the Core Rulebook in August 2019."

[aname="future"]Future Products[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • Erik Mona mentions the Bestiary --
    • On a suggestion that monsters have more information and context -- "I'd also very much like this, but this also adds pages if you don't want it to come at the cost of more options and stat blocks."
    • On including most of the monsters from Bestiaries 1-3 -- "I'm guessing a truly credible version of that book would be at least 600 pages. Are you willing to pay $60-70 for such a book? I'm genuinely interested in people's answers, because to tell you the truth I am strongly considering a base monster reference that is significantly larger than Bestiary 1's 320 pages. So... don't be shy about your opinions, please."
    • "The first monster book has got to be a basic reference, so there will be a lot of key monsters in the book for sure, no matter how long it ends up being. That said, I refuse to publish the same exact book, so we'll be adding a lot of stuff that isn't in the B1 book, moving a few weird choices to later books, etc. So it won't be exactly the same. This is honestly part of why I'm curious about a bigger book. With more pages, there can be even more "new" stuff." (Mona)
    • Will monsters have subtypes, like goblin archers, bombers, etc.? "This one is currently an open question. Especially if the book is a bit bigger, I can see including more than one stat block for REALLY common characters, but I understand that some people hate this kind of thing. Speaking as a gamer and not as a publisher, I'm of two minds. I figure one reason people buy books is to have the publisher doing some of the work for them, so two pages with five different orc stat blocks that keeps me from having to crunch five different stat blocks? Sign me up. THAT SAID, monster creation is much easier to do "on the fly" in the new edition, so we're still working through the best choice on this front. Book length will probably play into this decision, ultimately."
    • Hags will be organised properly -- "I don't know if we'll end up fitting ALL of the hags in the first monster book, but we'll for sure alphabetize them properly when we do. This is one of our proudest editorial bugaboos with the current edition as far as monster organization is concerned, so it's a dead lock that we'll be addressing it in PF2."
    • Erik Mona on monster books again, and how self-contained stat blocks will be -- "I don't think we've fully committed one way or the other yet. The playtest monster book is going to be mega stat block dump without a lot of description of what, say, a skeleton looks like or eats. :) As for special abilities and how they're formatted, while I know the design team has been hard at work on this stuff, I haven't interacted with it too much yet (I just finished going through magic items last night!)."
    • Both Erik Mona and James Jacobs feel strongly about the presence of more outsider types on the summoning lists -- "No, actually, James Jacobs and I also feel very strongly about this. Very strongly."
    • Size/format of the book -- "I'm going to have to be cryptic for the moment, but I've been thinking about you and your heavy book concerns, and I honestly think I've come up with a non-digital solution that allows you to read a bunch of cool lore AND run games without having to heft around the Book of the Damned."
    • A possible bigger first bestiary? -- "I'm VERY sympathetic to the folks who want a really decent-sized chunk of the "core plus" Pathfinder monsters, classes, ancestries, etc. right out of the gate, and all of my current thinking is focused on trying to deliver a credible version of that relatively quickly. That's part of the reasoning behind the idea of a potential "bigger" first monster book. Buuuut, that book's going to end up costing $60 or $70, and I don't think people have the endurance for that price level year after year after year, even if it does mean getting the whole of PF1's conceptual content out sooner rather than later. And we're gonna do a bunch of new stuff, too. I'm not interested in waiting until we've re-done everything in PF1 before treading new ground. I always want to be doing that. So. The first monster book is very likely going to be bigger than the later ones."
    • The Bestiary will have new monsters -- "I wanted to jump in immediately even before reading the rest of this post to state clearly that THERE WILL BE NEW MONSTERS IN THE FIRST MONSTER BOOK. And ALL the monster books. We want to convert as much PF1 content as we can, but we're not just starting at the beginning and re-doing everything we have done before. There will ALWAYS be new monsters!"
    • Golarion animals and vermin which aren't the same as Earths? "This is a good idea."
    • Mark Seifter on converting monsters between editions -- "Department of Expectation Management: Being able to run on the fly if you have the new version of the monsters does not mean that all the numbers are the same. It does mean that when they aren't the same, we provide you with the tools to quickly determine what the new number should be."
  • Erik on the scope of setting books -- "Lots of things to think about when it comes to treatments of Golarion in second edition, but for me, within the context of a single book, the main questions are "how wide is the focus" and "how deeply do we explore the topic. Right now, as in the case of the Dragon Empires book, the answer is usually REALLY WIDE, ALL-INCLUSIVE, REALLY and NOT PARTICULARLY DEEP. I am starting to think that might not be the best option in second edition... Yeah, to be totally honest I'm not really interested in publishing a book with four pages on each of the Inner Sea nations. I kinda feel like people have already bought that.

[aname="compatibility"]Compatibility[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • How backwards compatible? -- "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. If you'd like to witness conversion in action, our partners at the Glass Cannon podcast are releasing a multi-part session of designer Jason Bulmahn GMing the First Edition Pathfinder Module Crypt of the Everflame, converted for the Playtest Edition largely on the fly, with the aid of some pre-converted stat blocks."
  • Conversion isn't hard -- "It depends on what you mean, especially early on in the life-cycle of the new edition, when we're dealing with 12 classes and 8 ancestries. You won't be able to convert a 15th-level aasimar arcanist, for example. On the other hand, if you listen to the Glass Cannon Podcast posted to this thread you'll hear Jason Bulmahn run Crypt of the Everflame without too much trouble right out of the book, with some pre-prepared monster stat blocks just off to the side. It was very simple, and as far as the story is concerned you can't really tell much of a difference." - Erik Mona
  • No conversion guide -- "For the upcoming Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, we will be offering a sort of cheat sheet to help you with some of the big changes in the game, but there will not be a detailed conversion guide. The focus here is to test the new edition of the game, not convert pieces of the old edition. That said, once we are done with the playtest and the game has been forged into its final form, we will provide guidance for using material from First Edition."
  • Encounters -- "Most of the encounter groupings will work pretty well. Converting a 2E monster to a 1E one will take some time (more time than going in the other direction anyway), but is pretty doable. For interaction and all that, certainly all the same concepts will be there, just implemented in different ways. And any adventure featuring downtime heavily will probably require Ultimate Campaign and some work by hand." - Logan Bonner.
  • Treasure -- "Treasure is your biggest wild card here. Money will need tweaking, and you might have to add in more +1 longswords and the like. Individual items may or may not be in the P1 Core Rulebook, but you kind of already know the sorts of replacements you might be able to drop in." - Logan Bonner.
  • Conversion -- converting an adventure not too hard. Some monkeying with treasure, but encounter grouping transferable. You'd have to convert new monsters (there's a new monster system, about 15 mins to convert a mid-level monster). (Bonner)
    • Easier to replace a stock giant spider from early years than an advanced Bestiary 6 monster from later. (Mona)
    • Originally specific backwards compatibility was vital, but after a decade there are areas where it's more important to improve the gameplay. (Mona)
    • We never said we would never do a new edition. (Mona)
  • And on converting 1E to 2E -- "I have been directly running Shattered Star in PF2 out of the PF1 AP volumes for a while and am nearing the end of Book 3. I can do the whole thing on the fly, even including converting monsters and NPCs that hadn't been converted yet on the fly, but I suspect for most people there will be a little time beforehand converting those monsters and NPCs (and that probably in Part 4 I will run into an NPC too complicated to convert on the fly)."
    • On converting from 2E back to 1E -- "Honestly, the main barrier to doing that, and the reason it's harder than vice versa, is simply PF1 itself. By which I mean, If you have an appropriate PF1 monster or NPC handy already (like if you're fighting a troll and you have the B1 troll handy from PF1), it shouldn't be too hard, with the main task being treasure adjustment. If not, then just the fact that making a monster/NPC is always inherently complicated in PF1 is going to slow you down in that direction."
    • Could ancestral feats be resigned for PF1? "Some of them are riffs or more powerful versions of alternate race abilities already in PF1 (Advanced Race Guide and elsewhere), so I bet you could mod them and call them "Improved XX" or make up a name when they share a name. The awesome poison one our dwarf had probably would take some work due to poison not working the same way in PF1, but it shouldn't be too hard to get similar functionality." (Seifter)
  • Starfinder -- its its own thing and genre. Not a halfway edition between Pathfinder 1 and 2. A different branch off the same tree. (Mona)

[aname="ogl"]Open Gaming License & Other 3rd Parties[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])

[aname="1e"]Support for 1E[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • ​While 3PPs will be able to continue to support 1E, Paizo will not be doing so.
  • 1E PDFs will remain available and 1E print pocket editions as long as people keep buying them.
  • On support for 1st Edition -- "Pathfinder Society will continue allowing playing and reporting First Edition characters in First Edition scenarios for the foreseeable future." - Vic Wertz.

[aname="style"]Overall Style & Complexity[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • NOT similar to D&D 5E. "This thing is far less 5e-inspired than people are assuming based on the first day of information we've dropped and the use of some similar terminology." ... "While it's reasonable to assume that developments in other games have gone into some of our thinking with this new edition, it'd be wrong to assume that we're explicitly trying to make the game more like 5e, or like any other game. What we're trying to do is make the very best version of Pathfinder that we can." - Erik Mona.
  • On D&D 5th Edition -- "The fact of the matter is that [Pathfinder 2 and D&D 5E] are branches of the same tree to some degree; the design goals that they had with D&D 5th Edition were "4th didn't really work, how do we take the basic 3.5 rules, or really going back to 1st Edition, and evolve those into today", and they had a set - I assume - of design goals. We're doing the same thing in the sense of we had Pathfinder, which is an off-branch of 3.5, and now we want to make Pathfinder the best version of Pathfinder, and so there's going to be some things that are similar but in no way is there an intent to make this 5.1. Quite frankly, we're so busy playing Pathfinder, which we enjoy, that we're not experts at 5th edition. We wouldn't dream of making "an even better versions of 5E!"; that's not the goal. The goal is to make a better version of Pathfinder, and it may be that some of the solutions we come up with are similar to some of the solutions that they came up with, and frankly some of the solutions that they came up with are very similar to Pathfinder in the first place!" (Mona)
    • Some people ask is this a versions of 4E or 5E. It's neither of those, it's a version of Pathfinder. Still crunchy, still expansion-heavy. The things our fans love, like more options and more stuff they can dig deep into. 5E is a little simpler, a little more loose, a different play style than Pathfinder. We want to maintain a similar play style while smoothing down some of the rough edges. (Bonner)
    • "Streamlining", "proficiencies", "background" are three words in the publicity people have associated with 5th Edition D&D, and the implementation is significantly different. (Mona)
    • If you're concerned we're dumbing down the game or making it too simple, really that is not the case. Core foundation in the core rules designed to allow for more choice and more customization. We want tons of depth of character options. (Mona)
    • Tactical complexity. Pathfinder is the customisable complex game. I love the grid, miniatures. It's not just an excerise in roleplaying or acting. Pathfinder is a tactical roleplaying game. Were not changing that. (Mona)
    • Mark Seifter on 5E comparisons --
      • Comparison to D&D 5E's underlying math (this was actually from a few days ago) -- "The math we chose makes it much easier to tell stories where the PCs are oversized heroes critting left and right against weaker opponents or underdogs struggling against disaster against a powerful foe that requires serious teamwork to scratch, but the flatter proficiency from 5e would allow multiple weaker opponents to remain relevant threats for many more levels or greater foes to be defeated quite a few levels sooner by sufficiently tactical characters outnumbering them. Both can be awesome depending on which kind of story to tell! For instance, I remember when I was reading some fantasy novel where a ridiculous swordmaster was accosted by 8 brigands with swords all at once, and he thought to himself that no matter how good he was, the sheer numbers would make him likely to die here. That's honestly more realistic. But most of the books, TV shows, and movies I had seen before reading that book taught me that the high level swordmaster would annihilate eight basic brigands. This latter truth is very much the reality in the new game."
      • If you prefer the 5E style where multiple low level creatures are a threat to a high level character -- "I imagine that there would be a small series of mathematical steps that you could perform that wouldn't require any particularly challenging math-fu to get closer to that goal if you want to tell that story. The math juke could have some side effects, but I think it would work for what you want (depending on the level of the basic brigands and the swordmaster in the example)."
      • On how proficiencies work -- "...there are quite a few ranks of proficiency you can gain in a skill.... your proficiency modifier and ability modifier are not the only bonuses you can ever add to your skill. Is just proficiency+ability modifier with no other additions possible what 5e does? I actually don't know 5e solidly enough to be certain (I likely should learn 5e better, but with PF1, Starfinder, and PF2 rattling in my head, there's just too many games in there right now).... In that case, no, that's not what we're doing at all."
      • He talks about why people are connecting PF2 proficiencies with 5E proficiencies -- "I mean to be fair, proficiency is also a concept from Pathfinder, older editions of D&D, and a lot of other RPGs. I think people are reaching this connection because 5e is popular right now (and, from what I've seen of it so far, a cool and fascinating system designed by some really talented designers), and so it's in the zeitgeist. But that's not really what Pathfinder is, so we don't really have any interest in replicating that."
  • On complexity vs. depth -- "Considering some of the worries I am seeing about Pathfinder Second Edition being streamlined and easier to play, think I might need to do a blog on this topic and how it relates to our design philosophy... reducing complexity doesn't mean less depth. As it turns out, complex burdensome rules that you are familiar with and understand are still complex and burdensome. I want to keep the options, the choices, the tactics, but I want your access to them to be easy and intuitive. Not that I want to seem like I'm undercutting a genuine concern, but I think it might be good to explain the methodology and design approach. Let's folks know the how and the why..."
    • On depth of character creation -- "Just wanted to chime in here to say that the depth of options in character creation and advancement is a core principle of Pathfinder's design philosophy, and that has not changed with the new edition. If anything, there are even MORE ways to customize your character with the new rules, but we hope that they are better explained and work together a bit more seamlessly than all of that type of stuff does in the current version of the game." - Erik Mona.
    • Bulmahn talks about the breadth of character options -- "One thing that I think we could explain a bit better is the fact that every character has a breadth of options open to them when it comes to social and out of combat abilities. Some come from classes whose theme and purpose aligns closely with those parts of the game. For those classes, they usually get some additional choices so that they do not feel that they are lacking in combat ability (sacrificing social for combat, or vice versa). That said, everyone has access to skills, skill feats, and general feats that allow you to tune your character to perform in the way that you want outside of combat (exploration mode and downtime mode). We will be looking at the modes of play on Friday and I am going to sneak in some information on this topic then to give you a sense of what's out there."
    • Bulmahn on design goals -- "As for the issues at hand, we have been working hard to shift some balances around a bit. Making an attack more accurate over the levels of play, while adding some variability and scaling to damage. This gives us more "levers" for design, and will result in a better play experience. The math of the old system, and the way some feats interacted with it caused serious balance issues over the life of the system. We hope to have corrected them, but only a full playtest will give us any indication as to whether or not we have succeeded. We hope you will hold off on judgement until then."
    • Complexity -- Recalculating stuff on the fly has changed. E.g. Enfeebled condition. Tells you things that change - lowers our damage, lowers your attack bonus. Applies directly to the frontal numbers rather than changing your Strength and making your recalculate everything. (Bonner)
      • Example of it being easier and less math at the table, but the complexity hasn't been reduced. (Mona)
    • Less types of bonuses and things that stack. No types that stack and others that don't. The types don't stack. (Bonner)
    • Logan Bonner commented that math streamlining meant that some things which "looked good" on paper (e.g. "half your level", etc.) don't really hold up at higher levels. Now higher level is closer to the lower levee experience in that while one character may be way better at something, another character can still at least try it. Things that feel like you should be able to do are things you actually can attempt.
    • Terminology -- characters built in the same way - you don't have to learn the difference between a rogue "exploit" and a fighter's combat "feat". It's all feats. (Bonner)
    • Codifying terminology is a big thing. (Mona)
    • Vic Wertz on why things are named the way they are:
      • On feats and proficiencies: "They have the same name because they work the same way. Once you understand how proficiency works with weapons, you understand how it works with armor, and with skills, and with saves. And once you understand how ancestry feats work, you understand how skill feats work, and how class feats work."
      • On skill ranks: "There were skill points in 3.5: each level, you received skill points that you then invested into skill ranks on a 1:1 basis. When we were working on Pathfinder First Edition, I pointed out to Jason that was a completely extraneous layer of abstraction, so we just skipped that whole pointless transaction and gave you ranks to invest directly into a skill. (I think very few people actually noticed.)"
    • All "magic stuff" is spells; all non-magical abilities are feats.
    • Tags -- things have tags. Eg. "dwarf" tag, so we can thing that effect dwarves easily. (Mona)
    • Spells don't have to say "this functions as...."; it's clear whether it is or isn't the thing. Removes ambiguity. (Bonner)
    • So spell-like abilities are spells accessed in a special way, not a separate thing. Things that are kind of like spells are spells. (Bonner)
  • Logan Bonner comments on complexity, options, and the 'cognitive load' -- "We're keeping it in mind for sure. That's one reason we've rejiggered the number of bonus types, altered the action economy to make choice clearer, and (at least mostly) made it so you have options for static feats instead of only giving options to expand your list of actions. We'll see in the playtest whether that mix is right."
  • On theatre of the mind -- "I'd say it's about on par with PF1E in that regard. We haven't playtested TotM style because that tends to be less common among our fanbase. I should give it a shot so we can know what to expect for that style of game. My guess is that it would be easier for me personally to visualize what was happening when using three-action turns, but I'm not entirely sure! If you end up playtesting in this style, I'd be really interested to hear how your experience goes." - Logan Bonner.
  • Bonner on language clarification around unarmed attacks -- "I put a lot of time into unarmed attack language, and I’m hoping it’s close. We’re aiming to be more precise about not defining a thing that’s not a weapon as a weapon. (See also 1E natural “weapons” vs. unarmed strikes). Yet unarmed attacks need to live in some of the same categories for weapon groups, etc. Challenging!"
  • High level play -- less rocket tag. Better balance at big level spells and things that just end encounters. Less stress of having to remember tons of stuff a monster can do for just 6 seconds of game time. (Bonner)
    • Tighter math at high level. Fighter will hit more often still, Paladin's AC is still high, but gap between them and wizards isn't so great that the monster just squashes the wizard, or the wizard invalidates everyone with their spells. Still an expanding gap as you go up in levels, but not as drastic. (Bonner)
    • Rather than "fighter is the only one with a chance to hit" now the fighter hits more often than before, but the other classes are not falling quite so far behind and still have a chance. (Bonner)
    • Seifter talks about legendary martial prowess -- "It's a fundamental design goal that someone with enough martial prowess, especially if they're legendary (but not precluding those who are not) can do unbelievable and completely unrealistic-in-the-real-world things. So much so that down the line we've gotten questions back about some of the more powerful skill feats "Can you really do Extreme-Thing-X just because you're that good at the skill?" Yes. Yes you can."
    • Addressing Pathfinder's "power level" directly -- "The best part about proficiencies is the way they push the boundaries for nonmagical characters, particularly those with a legendary rank. If you're legendary in something, you're like a character out of real-world myth and legend, swimming across an entire sea while beating up sea monsters like Beowulf, performing unbelievable tasks like Heracles, or hunting and racing at astounding speeds like Atalanta. While we did perform a bit of research on things like real world Olympic records and average expectations when it came to the lower ranks, masters and especially legends break all those rules. Want your fighter to leap 20 feet straight up and smash a chimera down to the ground? You can do that (eventually)!"
      • Seifter clarifies -- "I think that one comes early in the master levels, actually. Don't expect trained or expert (and all characters start with at least something at expert at 1st level, even if certain categories are much harder to reach expert) to be drastically breaking real world records; these are characters at their earliest levels in the game. The world record for even a running high jump is about 8 feet up."

[aname="iconics"]Iconics[/aname]([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • The 11 core iconic characters will be present, along with the new iconic goblin alchemist.
    • Why no half-elf iconics? -- "And there are no half-orcs, either. I wish we'd done it differently back in 2007, but fixing it within the core 12 means saying goodbye to some very good friends, and we're not really interested in going there." (Erik Mona)
    • Why does Valeros now have a shield? "Longsword/shortsword is actually pretty solid now, or at least, I've seen that build putting out good damage. The switch to have Valeros also carry a shield, as I've heard it explained, is more to allow the iconic character to have access to the iconic sword and board style. But he still has his short sword, and there's no reason you couldn't build for two-weapon fighting with longsword and shield and then switch in a short sword for better damage and lower defense on occasion."
    • Erik Mona on Ezren's age -- "Funny story. 10 years ago, when most of us were in our late 20s or early 30s, making old-man Ezren 42 didn't really ping anyone's radar. Whelp, I'm 42 now, and holy gods Ezren should have been older in first edition."
    • Gnome Stew's report contains some more information on iconics:
      • Seoni, the iconic sorcerer character, will have a redesign that will be “less salacious,” but will highlight her signature tattoos more prominently
      • Characters like Valeros and Harsk will be given different gear to highlight how new class features work (for example, Harsk has two axes and Valeros will be carrying a shield)
      • An iconic goblin alchemist is being added to the core lineup, to highlight that both goblins and alchemists will be in the core rulebook

[aname="misc"]Miscellaneous[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • New Initiative system -- "The new initiative system probably took the most getting used to, but after the first combat, even that made sense and felt fine"
    • Depending on what the character is doing during exploration mode, this determines what they roll for initiative when entering encounter mode.
    • Examples include rolling Perception, Stealth, or Survival for initiative. (Glass Cannon Podcast).
  • Armor Class -- "Characters had normal AC and a touch AC, but no flat-footed AC (flat-footed in now a condition)"
  • Hazards -- these are more important, including traps, poisons, curses, and diseases. "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."
  • Bulk -- a new way to handle encumbrance.
    • Designer Mark Seifter on the new bulk system and Starfinder -- "Starfinder uses an offshoot of an earlier version of the bulk system that Logan had been designing for PF2. If I recall, one of your problem cases had to do with a very big character having trouble moving a smaller character around; there's a chart to help with bigger and smaller creatures in the playtest doc (that you can totally probably use in Starfinder for unusual-size creatures and bulk too if it would help!)"
  • Hero points - will be in the playtest. Not exactly the same way. Currency players have, not characters. Might be really divisive. (Bonner)
    • "Hero points are baseline. Everyone starts with 1 at a session. I'm not 100%sure what they can all be spent on because the charity game had extra options because you could donate money to give people points.
  • Low light vision treats dim light as well-illuminated. Dim illumination gives concealment.
  • Perception -- no longer a skill. You have a Perception Bonus.
  • Mona's top Pathfinder peeves (not necessarily addressed by 2E): (Mona)
    • Identifying magic items is a stupid waste of time. Being addressed in 2e, "it's pretty awesome".
    • A bunch of little editorial pet peeves like hags being alphabeticized by their first letter.
    • Detect magic spell. Takes several rounds to get info, some of which is not useful.
    • Wand of cure light wounds. Never read a fantasy story where somebody said "let me hit you with 49 changes of my cheap wand". Artifact from 1999 which has stuck with us.
      • Bonner clarified that "There *are* wands of heal, there are just diminishing returns on buying the cheapest one possible and spamming it."
  • Some math... Seifter posited a puzzle -- "Suppose you are a wizard who wanted to be a muscle wizard. You managed to keep apace with the fighter's Strength, bought magic swords at the same pace, and generally narrowed the difference between you and the fighter down to mostly the proficiency. Let's say that difference between you two was that the fighter had +3 more to hit than you did. Doesn't seem like much. Now you're fighting a monster that you hit on a 10, and the fighter hits on a 7 (since he had +3 more than you). On that attack, how much better on average, in terms of expected damage, do you think the fighter is going to do, expressed as a percentage (for instance, you might say "15% more damage")."
    • The answer turns out to be "For just one attack, 27% more or so without crits, 50% more with crits. I can see why the new crit method is being used. You’ll need to be careful with attack buffs, then."
    • Seifter discusses whether a "muscle wizard" is therefore weaker than both a normal wizard and a fighter -- "Well that depends. Certainly it will be drastically better of a percentage of a fighter's output without dropping spells and actions on buffing yourself than a sword-swinging wizard would be in PF1. But the question is: Would your group benefit from having a character that can melee a respectable but still diminished percentage of a fighter while also casting not quite as well (but still with full spell level access) as a casty wizard? That's going to depend on the group. I think that character is obviously not going to be any sort of deadweight, though, even if maybe your group composition would have worked better with a full specialist than a hybrid character."
    • He talks a little about the math behind shields -- "the bonus to AC from shields is very nifty. In a similar situation (enemy hits on an 8 without shield, on a 10 with shield), the AC alone is going to net you 25% less damage (much of which comes from avoiding big bursty crits that you really want to avoid), not even counting that you could do a shield block."
  • Equipment --
    • Equipment traits -- "Scimitar has sweep and forceful. Sweep reduces the penalty to hit a second person. Kind of like a soft cleave. Forceful does extra damage if you hit the same person more than once."
    • "Weapons are cool as xxxx. There's all kinds of weapon qualities on weapons. Agile reduces the penalty on your iterative attacks. Finnesse gives you dex to attack. Natural 20 still crit"
    • "Crits are no longer confirmed, there is a weapon property called deadly. It was on a short bow, and it mean that a crit did double damage +1d10. Rapier also has deadly." (source)
    • Defining whether items are held, wielded, or free -- "We've certainly put work into this and really want you to put it through its paces." (Logan Bonner)
    • On reasons to choose non-optimal armor -- "My paladin in one of the playtests was in splint mail and loving it!" (Seifter)
    • Logan Bonner informs us that coffee and tea have been added to the Playtest Rulebook.
    • Crafting -- "a relationship between proficiencies and crafting that will undoubtedly be the topic of a future blog post. Suffice it to say, the higher your proficiency, the higher the quality of the items that you can craft.
  • Making a functional Magus with playtest materials? "There's at least a small amount of feat support for the build too." The question referred to attacking and casting in the same round. (Seifter)
  • Some info on poisons from Mark Seifter -- "The basic poison rules are streamlined to be easier to use, deadlier to the poisoner's foes, but also less math-intensive and hit-or-miss in their mechanic, which leads to abstractions (perhaps not less unrealistic than before though, you'll have to let us know when you check out the book)."
  • "Falling damage is 1 foot = 1 damage, and someone critically fumbled their reflex save, so they took double damage." (source)
    • Bulmahn on falling damage -- "I messed that up in the podcast, having misread the sentence in the rulebook. To be clear here folks, we are not going for super realistic physics here. This is an RPG after all, but it would be nice not to have to have pits in dungeons that are 50 feet deep just to deal reasonable damage to a character (it always messed up dungeon floor plans.. where are those pits going down into the level below). The rule that is in place does reasonable damage over distance fallen. It does not try to simulate the 1 in a million chance of falling out of airplane and living or dying after falling off a curb."
    • Seifter adds "The damage per foot in the podcast was not done correctly (it should be lower). Logan actually did the math for terminal velocity and we have an extremely high max falling damage based on terminal velocity."
  • Mark Seifter on how corruption could work "...gaining a corruption could unlock a new set of ancestry feats, as your fundamental nature has shifted."

[aname="modes"]Game Modes[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • Game Modes -- Encounter, Exploration, and Downtime modes. "...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.”
  • On language and use of the word "mode" -- "Use of the word mode just lets us have sentences that make sense. When in the middle of running text we might say, "while exploring", but we also like having the ability to say "During encounter mode, you can..." . Its not really worth delving into on this thread (and seriously.. I do not want to derail things), but we are trying to take a little bit of a lighter hand with hard-coded grammar constructions for our rules so that the text is a bit easier to read and parse." (Bulmahn)
  • Exploration Mode -- depending on what the character is doing, this determines what they roll for initiative when entering encounter mode.
  • Game Modes! Jason Bulmahn gives us a more detailed look at Pathfinder 2nd Edition's new game modes -- encounter, exploration, and downtime.
    • Encounter mode -- this is the combat mode, with 6-second rounds, 3-actions per turn, cyclic initiative.
    • Exploration mode -- a free-form mode for solving tasks, interacting with the world, and travelling, measured in minutes and hours. What you are doing during this mode affects your initiative roll when you enter combat. Examples include Perception, Stealth, Diplomacy, Intimidation.
    • Downtime mode -- measured in days while you retrain (swap out a feat, skill, or class choice), craft, have a profession. Bard can use expert proficiency in Performance to make money at taverns. Craft weapons up to the quality to you proficiency, or with the Magical Crafter skill feat make magic weapons.

[aname="characters"]Characters[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • "Characters in the new edition have MORE options in most cases than they did in the previous edition. You can still make the scholarly mage who is the master of arcane secrets and occult lore, just as easily as you can make a character that goes against type, like a fighter who is skilled in botany. The way that the proficiency system works along with skill feats gives you plenty of choices when it comes to skills, allowing you to make the character you want to make... Beyond skills, every class now has its own list of feats to choose from, making them all pretty different from one another and allowing for a lot of flexibility in how you play. And just wait until you see what Archetypes can do..." - Jason Bulmahn
  • Mark Seifter says that PF2 is more accommodating of unusual race/class combos -- "Would you believe that it still manages to be drastically more forgiving than PF1 towards nonstandard ancestry/class combinations? We absolutely did not want to say "Alchemists and wizards who aren't humans or elves are always behind" or the like. You still might be behind a little bit if you pick an ancestry that traditionally has a penalty, but not nearly as much as a dwarf sorcerer in PF1 (which would have 4 less Cha than a human, halfling, or gnome who spent the same effort). It all comes down to the extra customization inherent in ancestry. If it seems like this might be impossible to achieve alongside the other features I mentioned to Daedalus, it wasn't easy. We worked really hard cracking this nut and had to reject many false starts before we found it."
  • Characters are created by selecting an ancestry (new name for races), background, and class.
  • You then choose skill proficiencies, an ancestry feat, gear, and class options.
  • 1st level characters -- choosing the same number, maybe a little more, options as 1E. But made a little stronger, a little more going on with them. (Bonner)
    • Sudden Charge for the fighter -- move double speed, make one attack with two actions.
    • Sudden charge, double slice.
    • Not a normal charge any more, but you can move twice and attack without Sudden Charge using your 3 actions.
    • Less times you'll take something OK to get something better later.
    • Retraining rules in core.
  • 1st level characters begin with 15gp. "The economy was different. All of the characters had been equipped with 15 gold. That bought Valeros a longsword, dagger, shortbow, and breast plate."
  • Stats -- "Rolling your stats is an optional rule in the Playtest book. Because we want to get the playtest results from a more stable dataset, we prefer people use the default ability system for characters they'll be giving playtest feedback on, but we did want to show how it could work." - Logan Bonner.
    • Seifter on ability score advancement -- "We are not using [the Starfinder] generation method. As Logan hinted in the blog itself, the stat generation is more organically tied to your character concept and helps you spread around your ability scores if you like. As it so happens, you also wind up with slightly higher overall starting stats, than in Starfinder mainly in your less important ability scores that you're fleshing out for RP purposes, though I'm considering using the PF2 statgen system the next time I run a Starfinder home game as it's more generous to multi-stat classes at low levels, like solarians."
    • Why keep ability scores and not just use the modifiers? "We support your decision to only use modifiers, the tradition of ability scores is too strong to remove them. It shouldn't be hard for you to just stick with modifiers though." (Seifter)
  • Backgrounds -- as yet unknown! But they are not like 5E's backgrounds. "For folks who are wondering about backgrounds, we will be talking about those in detail later. They're not that similar to Starfinder themes or to 5E backgrounds, for the record." - Logan Bonner.
    • "Background will grant a specific Lore, which is similar to a specialized knowledge skill, such as Lore—Alcohol being granted to a character with barkeep as a background". (source)
  • Archetypes in core -- mindful about classes being rebranded as archetypes. Demoting core classes would upset people, but focused on core game and going back and forth on how to deal with those.
    • Archetypes in playtest are a fairly small selection. (Bonner)
    • Not much like Starfinder or 1E. More experimental. (Bonner)
    • Broadly accessible concept archetypes in core rather than class-specific, but can theoretically could have prerequisites such as Wizard-specific. (Bonner)
    • Advanced Player's Guide is when "Pathfinder became Pathfinder" as a ruleset, with introduction of archetypes. But clerics had nothing to swap out and have been denied a fundamental part of the rules for 8 years. (Mona)
  • Difficult terrain and flanking are still in.

[aname="hp"]Hit Points & Healing[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • Hit Points - come from ancestry, class, and Con mod. (Glass Cannon Podcast).
    • Paladin gives 10.
    • Human gives 8.
  • You're going to want a small number of strong heals rather than a bunch of tiny heals. There's a cost associated. (Bonner)
  • 1st level characters will not be as fragile. 1st level paladin has 17 or 19 HP. (Mona)
  • Race hit points and class hit points.
  • No stamina/resolve from Starfinder.
  • 40% more HP! Mark Seifter does more math! This time about how many more HP you're getting -- "...let's consider a level 11 wizard with 18 Constitution. In PF1, that wizard would have 6 at level 1 + 35 from 10d6 on average (assuming you didn't give half rounded up) + 40 from Con to make 81 HP on average (86 for half rounded up). In PF2, you also get some at level 1 from ancestry, let's say 8 for this example, so you'd have 6 per level (66) + 8 ancestry + 40 from Con 114 HP on average. Double would have been 162 (or 172 if you use half rounded up)."
    • Why is HP increasing by 40%? "In general it will help you perform awesome feats and avoid rocket tag situations where the bad guys one-shot you with regular attacks (especially if your character couldn't afford to pump Con). I still strongly recommend raising your Con, but the less you do, the more this is going to help you survive and flourish (for instance, at 10 Con, it basically does double your HP, but the higher you go, the less of a percentage more this gives you). Ask anyone about the stats for Reiko, the iconic ninja, and the first thing you usually hear is "I wish she didn't have 10 Con." The way the math worked, those first few points in Con had an outsizedly big impact (raising your HP by nearly ~30% for going from 10 up to 12 on a low HD class). And it was sort of a secret hidden feature that many newbies learned at the end of a killing blow before making their second character (before someone mentions, yes, in PF1 you can focus on various defenses heavily enough to try to avoid taking HP damage in the first place and survive just fine on 10 Con, but you have to be experienced enough to get that up and running)." (Seifter)
    • Regarding a query about potential inflated hit point numbers causing lengthy combats, Logan Bonner replied that "It is on our radar. We're already considering some changes to monsters based on our playtests. (They're kind of the last thing scheduled to get done since the document doesn't need to be printed.) We'll also be closely monitoring people's satisfaction with combat speed and complexity during the playtest."
  • Non-lethal damage -- "Starfinder non-lethal damage rules, only the last hit matters, no more separate tracking." (source)
  • Ability damage gone? "Dex damage is confirmed to no longer be in the game (assumedly, this also means all other ability damage is also removed.)" (source)
    Conditions --
    • Slow is a condition. Slow 1 makes you lose 1 action. Slow 2 makes you lose 2 actions
    • ​Hampered gives you -5' to your speed.
    • Conditions now have a number which designates the degree - nauseated 1, for example, means you are nauseated and take -1 to whatever checks the nauseated condition specifies. Nauseated 2 is worse and gives you -2 on those checks. Seemed pretty clever! (source)"When sickened/nauseated, a character could spend an action vomiting to make another fort save in an effort to clear the condition." (source)
    • "Condition called sick [x]. "Take -[x] on all checks and DC's, cannot willing ingest potions or anything else. Can spend action to attempt to recover to reduce by 1, or 2 on a critical success". Party could not try to recover until they exited the effect." (source)
  • Removing conditions [like Mummy Rot] -- "Weirdly, we were just talking to editor James (not to be confused with Creative Director James) about an ability that does that without spells." (Seifter)
  • New Dying Rules! "RumpinRufus" reported on how they worked in the live streamed game at the GAMA trade show:
    • There are no negative hit points - if you take damage equal or greater than your HP, you go down to 0 HP and get the Dying 1 condition.
    • If a crit knocks you to 0, you gain Dying 2 instead of Dying 1.
    • Each round, you must make a save to stabilize. The save DC is based off the enemy - a boss may have a higher death DC than a mook, so you are more likely to be killed by bosses.
    • If you reach Dying 4, then you are dead.
    • If you make the stabilize check, you gain a hit point, but are still Dying. If you make another save at 1 HP, you are no longer Dying, and you regain consciousness.
    • If an ally heals you while you are Dying, you still have the Dying condition, even though you have positive HP. You still need to make a stabilize check to regain consciousness. But, once your HP is positive, you are no longer at danger of death from failing your checks - failing a stabilize check just means you stay unconscious.
    • The Stabilize cantrip puts you at 1 HP.
    • Mark Seifter further added -- "If you get well and truly annihilated by an attack, you die instantly. Even a 1st PC could probably insta-kill a kobold grandmother, even if the GM chose for full tracking of unconscious and dying NPCs."
  • Mark Seifter clarifies the new death/dying rules -- "I think due to the lack of context from the GAMA game, there's some misunderstandings here. There's not a game term designation of "boss" or "mook" that changes anything about a creature. Rather, a powerful hard-hitting creature that's significantly higher level than you (aka, a boss unless your GM is particularly cruel) is going to make it harder to recover from dying than getting hit by a weakling. If a weakling with tepid attack hits you for 3 damage with a shuriken, it doesn't matter if the GM calls it a "boss," it's still going to be easier to recover than from a powerful creature. It's not a narrativist mechanic like a death card where the GM just decides to make it harder to recover; it's mathematical. Now it does end up having a beneficial side effect that you're much more likely to die to a boss fight than an easy random encounter with weak enemies, but that's not due to handwavium."
  • On not basing the death saves on damage dealt -- "I mean you can try to do it based on damage, but that scaling doesn't really work and takes a lot of math to be close to working. Even assuming you found a good multiplier on damage taken such that the dying save was something you had a chance to both recover or die more (beyond a natural 20 or 1 of course); let's pretend that was a DC 10 + 2/3 of the damage you took or something like that, you're still going to be in an impossible situation on any critical hit because it's going to double the damage. Let's see that in action: Suppose I have +20 to Fortitude saves and got hit for 30 damage. OK, that's a DC 30 (10 + 2/3 of 30) in this hypothetical system, and it looks great. These are even numbers you might roughly see in the game if the stars align. But if the same attack is a crit for 60? Now the DC is 50 (10 + 2/3 of 60), and I need a Natural 20 to succeed (it isn't even close; a Natural 20 is 10 below the DC!) You can try to get around this by making the DC based on the base damage before the crit, but then that defeats the purpose of using damage to determine the DC and you're moving towards having it based on the monster's stats anyways."
  • Healing heals from zero -- "I want to point out one subtle point here that really changes the dynamic. In PF1 if you were at death's door, (16 Con fighter at -15) and you got healed to 5 hp by a spell, you would indeed get right back up and be in danger of going down again with almost any hit. In PF2 that same healing effect would put you up to 20 (because we don't do negatives). Once you made the save to get up, you would stand a much better chance of staying up for at least a hit or two, giving you the time needed to get some more healing if needed. We want you to feel the pressure of being so close to death that it alters your actions and the actions of the other characters around you. When an ally is critically hurt, we want the narrative to respond."
  • How often do characters die? "...assuming that nothing is attacking or damaging you after you already dropped and also assuming that someone in your party provides stabilize or some healing as part of their next turn, you actually can't die, even from the dreaded critical hit -> critical failure on Fortitude save. Now those caveats above don't always happen, so we have had characters die, but it's not super common." (Seifter)
  • So, we have gone round and round on these rules throughout the design phase. At one point in time we had three competing systems, all trying to reach for the same goals.1. Make falling unconscious a point of focus in the narrative of the combat. When someone goes down, everyone should stop and take notice. If the other players just shrug and stop worrying about you because you have 8 rounds to live, that is not great for game play.2. Add an element of randomness to the dying process. It should not be something that is easily predictable (as this violates point 1). 3. Make the condition of the character obvious to the player, so that they know how much peril they are in, even if they cannot predict how that will turn out.4. Prevent character's from "yo-yo-ing" between conscious and unconscious by giving a system that allows them to possibly return with a handful of hit points.Taking these into account, we ended up with the system that is currently in the game. Once you get a chance to use it, I think you will find that it is really no more complicated that being poisoned or afflicted with almost any other condition in the game.
  • Seifter on whether a dedicated healer is needed in the absence of cheap CLW wands -- "Here's what my playtest groups have seen in terms of healers (I've run a lot of playtests at this point; we try to meet once a week if we can for a year and a half):
    • Alchemist: The alchemists so far were easily able to keep the group healed, and with the power of distributed processing in their action economy.
    • Barbarian: Surprisingly, when the barbarian was the group's main source of healing, they did fine. This was an unusual barbarian though with an unhealthy obsession with Gorum, and the ability to be main healer had little to do with the fact she was a barbarian.
    • Bard: A single bard turned out to easily handle all the healing the group needed assuming he was willing to make room for healing in his spells, which so far most bards have been in my playtest groups.
    • Cleric: Groups with clerics have tended to be super great on healing, especially if the cleric does a heal nova (you can guess what this is based only on released information about healing). The best part is the cleric didn't even have to lose her prepared spells like she might in PF1.
    • Druid: The playtest session that had the most trouble so far had two higher level druids who refused to prepare any heals and tried to make do with as many 1st-level heal wands, potions, and scrolls as humanly/gnomely possible to see if they would eventually run out of resonance. They still made it through three fights including a pretty nasty one, but they eventually ran out of resonance. Druids completely can take care of your healing (especially two in one group), but in my playtests, they have been less likely to feel like it than others have.
    • Fighter: The fighters, which I may have seen the most different characters because everyone seems to want to play one, have almost always brought some non-consumable healing to the table. Over time that adds up. I've never had one be the only source yet.
    • Monk: In a very hard playtest, my monk sure was the one at full health while everyone else was dying (until my fellow PC, Jason's wizard, hit me with two spells anyway).
    • Paladin: Paladin as the group's only healer worked quite well, especially when the paladin specced for it.
    • Ranger: Rangers, like fighters, often did well with backup healing due to build choices not really related to their class.
    • Rogue: Like fighter and ranger, though for whatever reason they didn't do it as much despite having more chances to choose. Maybe this is also related to why the druids didn't cover heals as much even though they could?
    • Sorcerer: Surprisingly easy to heal the group with my sorcerer. Having so much resonance helped, of course.
    • Wizard: Wizards haven't really been helping with healing too much. They've had other things to do. I want to try an oddball build where I spec a wizard for healing like the barbarian did above, but haven't gotten a chance yet."

[aname="ancestry"]Ancestry[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • Ancestries -- what used to be races. Goblins are included. "...we're going with the normal gang (plus goblin) for the Core Rulebook." Other races will follow in other books -- "...tengu will not be too far behind, but we're keeping the core of our game similar in terms of classes and races, partly because people would literally murder us if we did otherwise." - Erik Mona
    • You don't just decide at 1st level, you come back to it again and again, so no two Dwarves are the same. (Mona)
    • Deeper than just a new word for race. Choice you make at creation, then as you advance a series of decisions you make to make yourself, say, even more Dwarfy. (Mona)
    • Gives opportunity for human ethnicities, half elves, half orcs, without getting into "this is technically a subrace". (Mona)
    • Goblins writeup is lighter on "eating babies" and more how a goblin works in context of an adventuring party. (Mona)
    • Goblin PCs are extraordinary, not typical conception of a goblin. Some verbiage addresses the social contract of the game and how to play well with others. (Bonner)While PC goblins are playable, in the bestiary there will be chaotic evil goblins. They are still adversaries too. (Bonner)
  • Vic Wertz was asked why there weren't more classes and races in the core rulebook -- "One answer to your second question (and a little bit to your first) is that there's only so much room in the Core Rulebook.
  • Human base speed is 25'.
  • Ancestries allow for wide variation -- "Just a note, we will be talking a lot about ancestries soon, but I wanted to make one quick note. The way they are built allows for a wide variety of variation and differentiation between members of the same ancestry. We do not want to mandate anything aside from a few basic characteristics. That is half the reason we made this change, to allow your ancestry to speak to who you are as an individual." (Bulmahn)
  • Goblins! Paizo reveals the first of the Ancestries - the Goblin!
    • Boosts to Dexterity and Charisma plus one other ability score of your choice
    • Flaw to Wisdom
    • 6 hit points
    • Speed 25'
    • Common and Goblin starting language
    • Darvision (see in the dark as though it were daylight)
    • Sample Ancestry feats --
      • Burn It -- bonus damage on fire spells or alchemical items, and increases persistent fire damage by 1 points.
      • Junk Tinkerer -- craft ordinary, poor quality items out of junk.
      • Razor Teeth -- 1d6 piercing damage.
      • Very Sneaky -- move additional 5' when taking the sneak action (normally half speed) and possibly render target flat-footed.
    • Jason Bulmahn on including Goblins -- "Concerning goblins and how they fit in Golarion: Times change and so do people's opinions. Goblins as PCs have been a part of our world since the first "We Be Goblins" adventure. Many of the comments here echo those from back during the launch of 3.0 when Half-Orcs returned to the game as a player choice. There was a lot of conflict at first, but the tone of them shifted over time. We always knew this would be a bit controversial and that there were some who would loudly proclaim "not at my table" and I get that. It's your table and your game after all. We are moving forward, trying to allow players to explore these characters, their culture, and their viewpoint. We are hoping to give you plenty of reasons, both mechanically and story-driven, to allow goblins in your game."
  • Halfings! Paizo reveals the new Halfling!
    • 8 racial hit points
    • Size small; speed 20 feet
    • Dexterity and Charisma boost, plus one flexible boost; Strength flaw
    • Ancestry feats --
      • Distracting Shadows (sneak using large creatures as cover)
      • Plucky (overcome fear)
      • Titan Slinger (damage bonus with slings vs. large creatures); also the sling does more damage than in PF1
      • Lucky Halfling (reroll one skill check or save you critically fail per day)
  • Gnomes! Paizo reveals the new Gnome!
    • 8 racial hit points
    • Con and Cha boosts, plus one flexible boost; Str flaw
    • Low light vision
    • Ancestry feats --
      • Fey Fellowship (more charismatic when dealing with fey)
      • First World Magic (bonus cantrip with various options)
      • Discerning Smell (find invisible creatures)
      • Animal Speaker (talk to animals)
  • Mark Seifter on that flexible ability boost -- "It's one of ways you get to really customize your ancestry to fit your character concept, melding the story and life of your character to the mechanics. Plus you can play the class you want without worrying about as much of an uphill battle with ability scores if you don't match the bonuses from the race with the class you had it mind. Incidentally, it provides a really nice design space to much more easily create and handle subraces that have different ability modifiers..."
  • What do ability boosts and flaws do? "We've mentioned ability boosts and flaws a few times now, so let's go into more detail about how those work! At 1st level, your ability scores all start at 10. Your ancestry then gives you ability boosts, each of which increases the score by 2. Most ancestries get three ability boosts, two of which have to go into specific scores. The remaining free ability boost can go into any score except the two set ones. Most ancestries also get a flaw, which decreases a designated score by 2. You can put your free ability boost in the same score as your flaw if you want to get back to 10."

[aname="classes"]Classes[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • Classes -- 12 core classes, including all the 1E classes and the Alchemist.
  • Prestige classes -- You will see a concept which may have once been a prestige class in the core rulebook. (Bonner)
    • Worth noting that Bonner and Mona gave each other a look when that was asked which makes it look like there's a LOT they're not saying on that subject right now.
  • Class selection -- why these 11 core classes? People would freak out without them. Taking things away from people is never a good idea. Eg gnome being removed from 4E D&D core. (Mona)
    • Why alchemist rather than gunslinger or psychic magic? Guns a little far outside conception of fantasy and gunslinger character are pretty rare compared to alchemists. (Bonner)
    • A lot of people prefer guns be an option rather than core. (Mona)
    • Alchemy has high extendibility to other characters. (Bonner)
    • Gunslingers need a more focused playtest. (Mona)
    • Witch is a very popular class. Almost made it in. Definitely won't have to wait 3-4 years for it. (Mona)
    • Every other level grants a class feat. Simulating hybrid classes can be done with class feats to an fair amount; depends on the individual class. Could do a pretty good warpriest. Investigator more of a challenge. (Bonner).
  • Time to look at the fighter! Jason Bulmahn presents a blog entry giving us our first look at the 2nd edition version of this class. Here's the quick version:
    • Attacks of opportunity -- you can use your reaction to hit a creature with a -2 penalty if it tries to move away, make a ranged attack, or use an object. While other classes and monsters get this, only the fighter starts with it. Also, feats make it better.
    • Weapon mastery -- at 3rd level, a weapon group increases in proficiency rank to master. At 13th level it goes to legendary; at 19th level it includes all simple and martial weapons.
    • Battlefield surveyor -- one of various buffs, Perception proficiency rank goes to master, and an additional +1 to initiative.
    • Largest feat selection --
      • Sudden Charge (1st level) -- move twice speed and attack.
      • Power Attack -- two actions for extra damage die.
      • Quick Reversal (4th level) -- when flanked, turn a miss into an attack against the other flanker.
      • Shield Warden (6th level) -- block damage taken by adjacent ally.
      • Debilitating Shot -- slows target.
      • Double Shot -- shoot two nearest foes.
      • Whirlwind Strike -- all enemies within reach.
      • Double Slice (1st level) -- a dual-wielding feat mentioned by Mark Seifter in comments.
      • Intimidating Strike -- spend two actions to hit your foe and render it frightened and flat-footed.
  • Mark Seifter weighs in on the fighter --
    • Weapon proficiency -- "Fighters' proficiency in weapons is earlier than most characters gain mastery in anything else. Fighters are just that awesome, and it also allows other martial classes to gain expertise while the fighter is ahead."
    • Power Attack -- "Power Attack gives you one (and actually, eventually two without taking another feat to improve it!) extra damage die and does not penalize you on accuracy; and you don't want a penalty on accuracy. For a d12 two-handed weapon that might have gotten +3 damage (+3 more every 4 BAB) in PF1, that's 6.5 damage on average, going up to 13. It wasn't until BAB 16 that you would do more damage than that in PF1, and that was at a cost of -5 accuracy."
    • On Power Attack's power level -- "It's quite powerful, but it does use more actions, so your +1 greataxe character might be moving in and swinging once for a mighty 3d12+bonuses while my build might be several quick attacks for 3d6+bonuses that work out to more potential damage if I get very lucky and a little less vulnerable to bad luck. They wind up feeling more different too. Basically, it helps build different niches that make the various weapon styles wind up feeling a lot more different to use for me, whereas in PF1 I enjoyed different weapon styles, but ultimately they came down to a similar routine of full attacking whenever I could."
    • Comparing PF1's Power Attack to PF2's -- "PF1 Power Attack is worse in all but extreme edge cases where you can barely hit at all or where you hit by a mile... If you run those numbers, you will find that PF1-style -1/+3 Power Attack nets you roughly 1 expected damage over an entire round compared to not even doing anything special, and PF2-style Power Attack dramatically increases your damage."
    • Mark Seifter talks the evolution of Power Attack -- "First we tried an accuracy penalty, and that didn't work. Then we tried the extra action for a flat add on damage (I believe it was something like +4 that eventually doubled to +8), but that just meant that tiny little daggers got the most out of Power Attack, which didn't fit the fantasy of Power Attack. Then we moved to the extra die (doubling to two dice), and suddenly it all worked out!"
    • Feat chains -- "As mentioned in I think one of the interviews, you should expect prerequisites to be based on things that your ability actually builds off, not other unrelated feats. So you wouldn't have a giant chain like that to take Whirlwind Attack."
    • Variety of builds -- "One of my favorite moments of the playtest in that regard was when Starfinder Developer Jason, Keeley, Software Test Engineer Erik Keith, and I all built 9th-10th level fighters who used sword and board and wanted to deal damage, but we all built in different ways. Erik built a character who used abilities like Power Attack to get in one big hit. I built a character who used agile weapons to get in a series of hits with a more favorable multiple attack penalty. Jason Keeley built a TWF sword and shield using Double Slice. And they all worked and played differently (my build was pretty powerful against some enemies but just didn't work like theirs did against high resistance foes)."
    • Handling unusual challenges [flight, underwater, extra planar locations, invisibility, damage immunity to weapons] -- "There are several class-specific options that could help with each of these (except underwater is covered well enough by skill feats that the fighter doesn't really focus class feats on the matter)."
    • Ripostes -- "As I mentioned in another thread, there is a PC ability somewhere to strike back at an enemy as a reaction if they critically fail to attack you. Sounds kind of like a riposte, eh?"
    • Spells usually trigger attacks of opportunity -- "So, the blog might not have made it clear, but most spells require the kind of fine manipulation that triggers an AoO (somatic gestures, material components)."
    • Jason Bulmahn on the fighter's focus on weapons -- "He does still have armor proficiency, and it does improve a bit for him, but for the fighter, we decided that weapons were his prime focus. This leaves a focus on armor for another class..."
    • Reactive Shield -- "It occurs to me that I forgot to include a mention of Reactive Shield in this blog, which is a bit of an oversight. The preview version we ran all weekend had this ability, which allows you to spend your reaction to raise your shield. You can't block with it if you use this ability (since you've already spent your reaction), unless you get the extra reaction to block. I may try and get an edit in there to add a note about this." (Bulmahn)
    • Determination -- "Determination... Your fighter training just lets you shrug off a spell or condition entirely." (Seifter)
    • Mark Seifter on Sudden Charge during a chase -- "We had a crazy chase/fight up a spiral staircase in my Shattered Star playtest game where the Sudden Charging fighter was chasing a rat-form wererat, kicking off the walls and over her ratty-form to block her off while the wererat would squeeze through the fighter and continue upward (the rat was faster but was slowed down by not always succeeding to squeeze through the fighter). They eventually dropped her low enough to cry mercy just at the top of the stairs. The fighter mentioned that it was one of the craziest and coolest action scenes he had seen in a long time, and I was thinking it seems like the kind of fight scene they would choreograph in a kung fu movie."
    • Fighter vs. flying foes -- "This particular aerial combo [jump up and smash flying oppo to the ground] is an ability available exclusively to fighters, and it is available in the level range of master (pre-legendary), but that doesn't mean you can have the whole thing going at a particular level. You'll at least get some anti-aerial options around the time the wizard is first able to fly." (Seifter)
    • How many skills does the fighter start with? "That hasn't been revealed yet. It will definitely be more than 2 trained skills at 1st level for pretty much any fighter you build, potentially quite a few more, and we have fewer overall skills (with Athletics covering Climb, Swim, Jumping, combat maneuvers, and more, for example) so that's worth even more than it seems." (Seifter)
    • Agile or powerful fighter? "You can make a character with lots of smaller but fairly accurate attacks (agile based), or a character with fewer enormous attacks (Power Attack), or something in between. I really like my agile build especially whenever I can get some haste, but I mostly just think it's cool that we can finally have something different but also cool for the lighter weapons to do that works out to good damage in a different way than the heavy ones do." (Seifter)
  • Alchemist -- a popular class, and in the core book they can look at what alchemy means in the game right from the get-go. Baking alchemical items, crafting into the system from the core. (Bonner).
    • Alchemist is uniquely Pathfinder. They don't want to make another D&D, but the best version of Pathfinder. (Mona)
    • Incorporating the goblin, a creature associated with their brand. (Mona)
    • Quick Bomber feat lets alchemist throw two fire bombs as one action.
    • Quick Alchemy - Alchemist can restore/create elixirs, bombs, minor alchemical items.
    • Alchemists Fire is a touch attack, with daily replenished uses.
    • Alchemists have daily replenished bombs.
  • Alchemist Class Preview --
    • Alchemist and oracle are the most popular character classes.
    • Alchemist features --
      • Alchemical Crafter (it's Crafting skill feat, but the alchemist gets it for free)
      • Four bonus formula (plus the four from the Alchemical Crafter feat) + 2 each level.
      • Quick alchemy action.
      • Spend resonance to create alchemical objects on the fly.
      • Empower Bomb (3rd level) -- multiples bomb damage. Multiplier increases with level to 6x at 19th level.
      • Mutagens (5th level).
      • Craft free poisons each day; can also heal and disable traps.
    • Class Feats --
      • Efficient Alchemy (4th level) -- create more items during downtime.
      • Enduring Alchemy (4th level) -- improves Quick Alchemy by making items last longer.
      • Calculated Splash (4th level) -- Int mod smash damage rather than 1 splash damage.
      • Powerful Alchemy (6th level) -- increase effect DC of items.
      • Precise Bomb (6th level) -- hit enemies only with splash damage.
      • Debilitating Bomb (6th level) -- inflict conditions; has greater versions a 10th and 14th level.
      • Feral Mutagen (8th level) -- gives teeth and claws, boosting Intimidate checks.
      • Stalker Mutagen (10th level) -- enhances stealth, allow movement at full speed.
      • Improbable Elixirs (18th level) -- create potions.
      • Perfect Mutagen (18th level) -- ignore mutagen drawbacks.
    • Revamped Alchemy --
      • Bombs -- the baselines for bombs are alchemist's fire, liquid ice, and bottled lightning; the bomb list also includes thunder stones and tanglefoot bags. These can be infused with level-based extra power using he alchemist's Advanced Alchemy class feature (e.g. by 11th level a bottled lightning bomb goes from 1d6 to 4d6 damage). Bombs remain useable for 24 hours.
      • Elixirs -- different to potions, in that they are non-magical. Bravo's Brew gives a bonus to WIL saves (and more so against fear). The most powerful elixirs are mutagens which transform characters dramatically, but with a drawback. The example is a lesser bestiall mutagen which gives you strength in exchange for clumsiness.
      • Poisons -- the draw sleep poison is featured. There's an action called Operate Activation, which you use to apply poisons to weapons (three actions are required), and the poison is delivered on a critical hit. Each poison has multiple stages.
      • Tools -- these include sunrods, smokesticks, and so on.
  • Paladin -- lay on hands has a point cost based on Charisma for uses per day. Included with spells.
    • Lay on Hands heals 1d4 + spell casting modifier, Cha times per day.
    • Hospice Knight feat trains paladin in Medicine skill and increases lay on hands to d6s, increasing dice size at higher levels.
  • Cleric -- Channel Energy gives number of uses of Heal spell each day.
    • "At 2nd and 3rd levels, the cleric gets the following: (2) Cleric feat, skill feat; (3) 2nd-level spells, general feat, skill increase." (source)
    • Cleric Class Preview --
    • +2 Wisdom boost at 1st level.
    • Spell DC is 10 + level + Wis modifier.
    • Class features --
      • Deity and Domain (favoured weapon, domain access, domain powers - special spells which use Spell Points, which are equal to the cleric's Wisdom).
      • Anathema (acts against the deity's will).
      • Channel Energy (see below).
      • Divine Spellcasting (see below).
      • Proficiency rank with divine spells goes to expert at 13th level, master at 16th, legendary at 19th.
    • Divine Spellcasting --
      • 2 x 1st level spells at 1st level.
      • +1 spell per even level.
      • +1 spell level per odd level.
    • Channel Energy --
      • 3 + Cha modifier uses of heal or harm per day, heightened to your highest available spell level
      • Deity choice determiners whether you can heal, harm, or get a choice.
    • Class Feats --
      • Communal Healing (1st level) -- gain HP when you heal others.
      • Turn Undead (1st level) -- undead who critically fail saves against your heal must flee.
      • Expanded Domain (1st level) -- gain initial power from a second domain; can select this again for a third.
      • Advanced Domain (4th level) -- gain advanced power from your domain.
      • Channeled Succor (8th level) -- instead of heal, you can also remove curse, remove disease, remove paralysis, or restoration.
    • Metamagic Feats --
      • Reach Spell (1st level) -- add Somatic Casting action to add 30' range.
      • Command Undead (4th level) -- change harm effects to undead control effects.
      • Heroic Recovery (8th level) -- add an action to heal to also give attack and speed bonuses.
      • Metamagic Channeler (20th level) -- apply metamagic to harm and heal without adding an action.
  • Rogue -- Sneak attack doubles on crit.
    • What do we know from this latest blog entry? Here's some class features:
      • Sneak Attack (1st level) -- Rogues get Sneak Attack as their first class feature. Extra d6s of damage vs. flat-footed foes (such as flanked enemies, or those who fall victim to the Surprise Attack feature).
      • Surprise Attack (1st level) -- "during the first round of combat, the rogue treats any creature that has not taken its turn yet as if it were flat-footed."
      • Debilitating Strike (9th level) -- entangle or enfeeble targets in addition to damage. Higher levels add more conditions.
      • Master Strike (19th level) -- ... culminating in Master Strike, which is an insta-kill at 19th level.
      • More skill ranks, proficiencies, and skill feats than any other class. One skill feat per level rather than every other level.
      And here's some class feats a rogue can take:
      • Nimble Dodge -- +2 AC at a whim.
      • Mobility (2nd level) -- move half speed and ignore reactions like attacks of opportunity.
      • Reactive Pursuit (4th level) -- a sticky ability which allows the rogue to chase after foes who try to disengage.
      • Dead Striker (4th level) -- treat frightened creatures as flat-footed.
      • Gang Up (6th level) -- treat enemies within melee range of of your an ally as flat-footed.
      • Twist the Knife (6th level) -- if you do sneak attack damage, do ongoing bleeding damage equal to half your sneak attack dice.
      • Instant Opening (14th level) -- make a creature within 30' flat-footed until the end of your next turn.
      • Cognitive Loophole -- ignore a mental effect for a round before it takes hold.
      • Blank Slate (16th level) -- immune to detection, revelation, and scrying effects.
  • Barbarian -- the game mode article mentions a new barbarian class feat called Raging Courage, shaking off the afraid condition with an action.
  • Fighters vs. wizards -- "A PF1 level 20 wizard who chooses to attack those threats with just a normal dagger is probably in for a boring and lengthy combat, but the wizard is strongly expected to win, just because those opponents only hit the wizard on a natural 20 and the wizard has more than enough HP to soak a few unlucky 20s. In PF2, a level 20 wizard low-Strength wizard using a non-magic dagger against a low-level fighter might have an additional problem to contend with: The fighter's shield. If the fighter makes two attacks and then moves back, the wizard moves up and makes two attacks, one of which the fighter can entirely block. Now, the fighter still needs a 20, just like in PF1, so the wizard will eventually win on the 2nd attacks. But if the fighter attacks once and moves back twice (assuming this wizard doesn't have enhanced mobility options because this is a weird example where the wizard is just not using magic for some reason), the wizard is in trouble."

[aname="skills"]Skills & Proficiencies[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • Skills -- a critical skill check is one which beats the DC by 10; a fumble is one which misses by 10. A fumble might give you a condition, such as Hampered (-5' speed). (Glass Cannon Podcast, as are all the below items). This critical mechanism (+/-10) applies to attacks too.
  • Skills are untrained, trained, or expert.
    • Acrobatics & Athletics both skills.
    • Medicine skill can treat dying/close to death creatures. Higher level can unlock actual healing.
    • Society replaces Knowledge (Local) and Knowledge (Nobility). "This skill covers knowledge about towns, people, their customs, and their history."
    • "Seek" (an action), could use Perception or Arcana skill.
    • Perception is no longer a skill.
    • Most of the maneuvers—grabbing, disarming, tumbling, and tripping—are now associated with the Acrobatics or Athletics skills.
    • The Survival skill can be used to navigate in the wild, make a shelter, and find food. In this case, instead of making shelter, the skill was used to simply find a good, defensible place to camp.
    • "Skills are consolidated somewhat (Spellcraft and Knowledge Arcana seem to be a single skill now, for example)" (source)
    • From a play tester -- "Skills were indeed condensed, and I did not see a spellcraft skill. There was a lore (arcana) that Eaten had, but he also had a skill called occultism (or something like that; not a lore). When I asked about the relationship between these two skills, Jason was kind of elusive. I personally hope that occultism, spellcraft, and lore (arcana) all get condensed I to a single spell. Valeros had lore (warfare) and lore (farming) among several other skills."
    • "Thievery is a skill, a fumble caused the characters lock pick kit to be "dented",which gives an unspecified penalty." (source)
    • "Occultism is a skill, having to due with "strange runes or symbols" (source)
    • Knowledge (Religion) is still its own skill (not sure if that had been confirmed yet). (source)
    • It appears that knowledge skills are now called lore instead. (source)
    • Lore skills can be done untrained, it is up to the GM to decide if someone with out training would know a specific piece of lore/knowledge with no training. (source)
    • Nature skills feats -- allow you to heal people, or train an animal.
    • Seifter describes Intimidation in his latest playtest game -- "Oh man, I just got home from my PF2 playtest game. In our third fight, Luis's fighter Randyll, a master of Intimidation, intimidated a pukwudgie with his battle cry, two-hand smacked the pukwudgie then shifted his bastard sword so he could smack and grab the thing (eating the spine damage and critically succeeding against the poison), and on his next turn, he grabbed it by the neck and started shaking it and critically succeeded on his Intimidation check, thus ending the fight with his social skills, as the pukwudgie ordered its undead to back off and let the party explore unimpeded. Luis also had an ability such that the pukwudgie will never inform his dullahan boss because he's too terrified of Randyll."
  • If monsters roll against players, they PCs have their own Difficulty Class (DC) now. Using Acrobatics to move through an enemy space is vs. their reflex DC. "That Acrobatics use isn't trained only." (Seifter)
  • Knowledge checks take an action.
  • To get a bonus, spend more actions on a skill check.
  • Unlocks. Skills have "unlocks" at higher levels. Medicine skill unlock allows you to heal HP.
  • Skills -- on Perception no longer being a skill -- "It's everyone's "favorite" (at the very least most powerful) skill. That's a big part of why we give it to you for free (the other part is that it interacts with the game world a bit unlike any other skill). That way you can spend all your skill rank increases on other things that are more of a choice."
    • Your class gives you an initial proficiency in Perception and might possibly increase it over time.
  • Seifter indicates that -1 is not necessarily the penalty for using an untrained skill -- "Stat - 1 is certainly what the total bonus worked out to for the playtest podcast, with those characters. That doesn't mean it's always true."
  • Skill degrees of success -- Seifter was asked if there was more than just pass/fail. He replied "My crystal ball says you are going to be very happy!"
  • Auto-success at mundane tasks -- "There is a skill feat that, depending on your current rank, lets you just succeed at tasks with your skill when they are below a certain threshold without even rolling. This is particularly useful if you are under stress, debuffed, or in bad circumstances, as you can just succeed at those tasks despite your penalties. It's not an especially giant threshold; it's mainly to help you auto-succeed at tasks that have become mundane for you by now, like you said."
  • You don't have to max any skill you want to be useful -- "This is one of several nice benefits. You can put in as much as you want and get something useful if what you want to put in is "not much" or something awesome if what you want is "all in." For instance, in one of our 14th level playtest games, my alchemist was trained in Thievery because it was really easy for him to do with all that Intelligence, and that let me pick locks and disable some types of traps if necessary. The rogue was still way better than I was, but I was a competent if not stellar replacement when we were forced to split up our efforts in different areas and wasn't just useless like someone with 1 rank would be at 14th level in PF1."
  • On playing weaker characters -- "We're also increasing the accessibility to play, for instance, deaf characters. But as with Starfinder, this is a choice you (and possibly your group/GM) make for RP reasons."
  • Logan Bonner in response to a post about replacing feats like skill focus with skill unlocks -- "You're in luck!"
  • On skill stagnation -- "If you want to mimic the idea that your skill you raised at 2nd level and never used again stagnates with disuse, we have the tools for that too! Using the retraining rules, you can not only return yourself to untrained to represent that stagnation, you'll even get to pick a new skill that you actually want to keep up to date too!"
  • Number of skill ranks --
    • Total possible skill ranks -- "I believe that a character who was hellbent on increasing their skills as many times as possible and sunk all possible resources into it could increase their skills a hypothetical ~50 times (aside from the fact that you might run out of useful skills to raise with some of the options before then, so more realistically more like 40 times). That is a lot of times." (Seifter)
    • On getting fewer skill ranks than PF1 -- "That's true; a PF1 rogue with the hypothetical 10 skill ranks per level gets 200 ranks over 20 levels, but each of those individual ranks is going to be far less meaningful to your character in terms of maxing out your skill and gaining special benefits than each rank is in PF2 (stay tuned for Friday's blog)." (Seifter)
    • On skill spreads of +/-20 between characters -- " seems like people are thinking that the system is so tightly designed that you can never get into such a skill spread. In fact, by level 20, it's possible for two characters designed to diverge dramatically to have a difference of somewhere around 17, before accounting for buff effects or circumstantial benefits like "+2 circumstance bonus to Intimidate giants," so you definitely can get into that 20 spread situation and we're not limiting the math in a way that everyone has to be close. But in that case, not only is the character that's ahead a paragon of that skill, the character who's behind is being really inattentive to that skill. By comparison, in PF1, it was pretty easy to have a +20 advantage, or even more, against your fellow PC who was actively trying to be good at that skill, maxing their ranks, etc." (Seifter)
    • How many skill ranks will a level 20 rogue have? "Oh, you can get 40-50 increases on the right rogue hellbent on getting skill rank increases instead of other skill options, not counting your starting trained skill picks. The range represents how increasingly unlikely you would be to put that many resources into it for diminishing returns on the sorts of skills you can pick. A more realistic rogue will be in the 30s at level 20 counting starting trained skill picks." (Seifter)
  • On different types of group skill check -- "We did the math there and suggested some rough guidelines for situations like (in roughly descending order of difficulty): "Everybody can keep rolling until it works with nothing bad on a failure"; "Everybody can roll once, only one person needs to succeed, and trying and failing doesn't do anything bad"; "Only the best person will roll this, possibly with assistance"; "Everyone has to roll and something bad happens to the people who fail"; "Everyone has to roll and if anyone fails, the whole thing fails" ... There's no reason we can't give advice for all of those situations. They all come up in adventures after all!"
  • On not scaling DCs according to the level of the characters -- "...we give examples of what tasks might be by level and elsewhere some suggested DCs for tasks of those levels (with several gradations within each level, to help GMs decide), but we go a step farther and have a significant discussion about the fact that you shouldn't scale things by level arbitrarily; a simple oak tree is a simple oak tree."
  • On auto-successes -- "I'm going to make a minor correction to this because I've been seeing it spread, so I'll repeat what I said about it before with a small clarification as to how this differs: There is an option you can choose (actually before Expert) that gives you the ability to auto-succeed at some checks depending on what your rank is. It is not Taking 10; it scales with proficiency rank and not with your bonus (so the level 7 Master is much better at using it than the level 20 Trained character, even though the level 20 Trained character would potentially have a higher result with 10+modifier)."
  • Legendary high level rogue vs. non-legendary high level guard -- "So a legendary rogue, maybe level 15? Pretty high level. I'm going to actually spot this random guard at least trained proficiency in Perception because a level 15 guard is an incredibly powerful figure on the worlds stage and is weirdly terrible at being a guard if he hasn't trained in Perception. We'll also assume that we've decided to build this guard out full PC style, since the numbers work out similarly anyway. The guard's Wisdom is not his primary attribute, but the rogue's Dexterity is. We'll say the guard has 16 Wisdom? It could be maybe 18 at the most or potentially much lower. If I recall correctly, this guard is going to be under the DC a legendary rogue can just not roll and auto-succeed with the right skill feat. Supposing the rogue didn't bother with that skill feat but does have some kind of magic cloak , we're looking at a situation where the rogue's bonus of ~+28 is going to roughly equal or surpass the guard's DC of 28 (we don't have opposed rolls) leading to near certitude of success. Even if the level 15 trained guard somehow had 18 Wisdom and some kind of magic goggles boosting him to a DC of 31, the equal level legendary rogue is still looking at a 90% chance of success. If the guard was actually untrained? It's even easier, though that just doesn't seem plausible for a level 15 guard."
  • What happens when his untrained fighter friend tries the same thing? -- "But the difference is that in PF2, the untrained 14 Dex 15th level fighter is at +15 (or worse from armor, perhaps +14) instead of +2 (or worse from armor, perhaps +1), so while he is still more likely to fail than succeed against DC 28, he at least has a reasonable shot at trying, rather than no chance at all (opposed roll +1 Stealth vs +20 Perception)."
  • Proficiencies -- single unified proficiency system replaces saving throws, attack bonuses, skills. Skill proficiencies are not like in 5E. "Not at all. You get to pick how you gain the levels of proficiency with your skills. It's your choice." - Jason Bulmahn
    • The new Paizo blog (by Mark Seifter) takes a dive into the proficiency rules found in Pathfinder 2nd Edition! You start with a number of proficiencies decided by your class, and increase them based on class and feat choices. Your proficiency modifier to a weapon, skill, or save, is your level plus a bonus based on your proficiency rank. Proficiency comes in five ranks, with a 5-point difference between the top and bottom:
      • Untrained (-2)
      • Trained (+0)
      • Expert (+1)
      • Master (+2)
      • Legendary (+3)
    • Seifter compares Pathfinder 1, D&D 5E, and Pathfinder 2 --
      • "OK, I think I see where you're drawing the parallels here, but I feel like by that metric, you could also claim that D&D 3.0/3.5, PF1, and D&D 4e are in the same boat, even D&D 2e and earlier to an extent even though some of the THAC0 math is backwards. Ultimately, many game systems with ability scores and levels have some sort of scaled level-based component and some ability-score based component as parts of their math. The question is, how do those apply and scale, and how do other components factor in. And in those regards, all the systems mentioned differ from each other."
      • "Each of the different systems works a little bit differently, sure. But to take your attack bonus examples, looking at the level-based component only. On one side we have PF1's BAB, where say a cleric goes from +0 to +15 for the level based-component and a fighter goes from +1 to +20. On the other side, we have 5e, where maybe the cleric stays put at +0 and the fighter goes from +1 to +6. If the new game comes in with the cleric going from something like +1 to +20 and the fighter going from something like +2 to +23, that seems an awful lot closer to PF1, were we to try to draw parallels. They're all different though!"
    • Mark Seifter on proficiencies --
      • Other modifiers to your check -- "...proficiency modifier is only one modifier you apply to your check. Ability modifier, anything you get from your item, bonuses from your spells, circumstance bonuses, etc are still going to add on."
      • On the difference between being trained and having a high level-based modifier -- "Your tomb raider actually wouldn't be able to practically sail at all, though you might know basic facts like the names of different ships that you read about somewhere. An actual sailor trained in the skill would be able to practice sailing. Now if your tomb raider became trained in it, that's a different story."
        • Again on that difference -- "Disabling traps, performing the profession of a lawyer, and constructing and building a complex building would all be trained uses of the skill, so the untrained barbarian can't do any of those. The level 15 barbarian who actually trained at being a lawyer throughout those 15 levels (reminds me of the monk/rogue lawyer PC in one of my 3.5 games) would have a higher bonus than a 5th-level NPC expert lawyer would have (probably 4 or 5 higher assuming the lawyer had better Intelligence), though the expert lawyer might have some skill feats (to make some up off the top of my head, perhaps a skill feat to help read potential jurors and select a more sympathetic jury, to coax extra info out of a witness, etc). Then again, at that point the barbarian decided that being a lawyer is a significant enough part of her superhuman 15th level character that she spent resources to make it so." .... "The untrained barbarian is more likely to know that Justice Ironbriar is the harshest judge in Magnimar than the law school student, but she still can't actually practice law effectively at all, let alone superhumanly well." ... "This is really hard overall because there is a separate skills blog, so I'm trying to keep this as tied to proficiency as possible. However, essentially, the skill you'd use to be a lawyer, working like Profession did in PF1, has a list of uses, and practicing law (Practice a Trade) would be listed in the trained only uses."
        • And again on that difference -- "As I've said in another thread, not counting any sort of temporary buff effects or circumstance bonuses or penalties, it is possible to build two level 20 characters in PF2 with an all-day gap between their bonuses in the same skill of around 17-18. Proficiency is one piece of that split, with a potential gap up to 5 (and 5 is a really big advantage; all other modifiers being equal, which is almost certainly an overestimate of the untrained character, and rolling the same number on a d20, half of the untrained character's successes are critical successes for the legendary character, and half of the untrained character's failures are successes for the legendary character)."
        • And yet again on that difference -- "I have no doubt that Cosmo's goblin bard in one of our 17th-level playtest games had almost as high of an Acrobatics bonus as my Strength-based monk in the 12th-level playtest did; maybe even equal or a point higher. But the bard was not able to use Acrobatics to balance in mid-air in order to navigate reverse gravity and deal with flying enemies with ease."
        • And again! -- "The level 20 near-demigod character who is trained in baking can make all the kinds of baked goods you'd expect in a basic cookbook, with what is probably a higher bonus than the level 10 master after spending 100 years baking cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and more in her timeless demiplane. But the level 10 master might be able to invent a brand new food that nobody else has ever heard of before, something the level 20 character just doesn't have enough of a frame of reference to do, even if she's exceptional at following the basic recipes she knows."
        • And... again ... "This is another good example. The 8th level swim-focused master in Athletics might just flat-out have a swim Speed, for instance, and not even be rolling while moving let's say 30 feet per action, while the 20th level untrained Athletics character does have a really high bonus to Athletics, so will usually critically succeed at the DC to Swim in running water and move, say, 15 feet (using the PF1 success by 5 or more on Swim checks to go half speed here as an example for a critical success)."
        • Same difference for a level 7 character -- "I happen to have some numbers handy for level 7, so let's see: It's looking like a skill gap up to about 11 at that point."
        • Comparing that to D&D 5E -- "I've heard the 5e gap is smaller from other forum posters and took their word for it, but my knowledge of 5e isn't very thorough, so I'll take your word for it as well. It's certainly been a better feel for me so far to be able to have a wide spread like that but only between a character who's exceptionally bad at the skill and one who is amazing than it is to have a situation where two people sit down at the table and both think they are playing a specialist in a given skill, but one of the two of them is +20 or more better than the other is so the other one is actually vestigial, which can happen easily in PF1 (it's happened to me a lot; I'm usually the one with the PC who is better, and it's very awkward as a player and I'm sure frustrating to the other player)."
        • On how the system opens up more options for players -- "Broad competence is also a hallmark of many fantasy stories (and actually many stories in a lot of genres). At some point, all the PCs are going to want to try to do something together involving untrained skill uses, like disguising as actors to infiltrate the Lord Mayor's mansion and its sharp-eyed guards who are certain to be on the lookout for charlatans. In PF1, you had a few choices: you could just never try to do that, you could try it straight out and pretty much fail automatically because Amiri has no ranks in Disguise, you could maybe find some spellcaster-only option that granted an enormous bonus that essentially erased the other characters' investments anyway so it's fine that Amiri didn't invest, or you could have the GM decide not to use the skill system because the idea was so cool and to handwave that Amiri doesn't have to make a Disguise check. In PF2, it's still going to be dicey and the group might want to come up with some ways to help Amiri (like thflame's idea of shifting the best gear onto her to help out) because she's still the most likely to land them all in hot water from a critical failure, but the plan also might succeed."
        • Could there be ranks above Legendary? -- "This is similar to one of the "where would mythic go" (and also "what about reskinning for superpowered stuff at low levels like in mythic") conversations we had a while back. In theory, mythic could be a new rank above legendary that gives +4 and unlocks better benefits for all the rank-based abilities, plus even more ridiculously awesome new mythic-only abilities, and then if you wanted low level mythic (or legendary) play, you just do as you say and give some mythic (or legendary) ranks way earlier than normal. It's much easier to make this change than it would be in PF1. So many exciting possibilities for tweaks and modifications and further customization for players and GMs with some of the new rules; I'm pretty excited about how cool of a book we can make with those kinds of topics!"
  • The design goals for the new proficiency system -- "We knew that this one was going to raise some eyebrows. Fundamentally, this system is trying to replace a fundamental part of 1st edition that caused us HUGE problems at the high levels of play, which distorted character choice and severely hampered design. A huge disparity is statistics between characters/adversaries of equal level really warps the play space and it led to stability problems with the entire game engine. The goal here to find a middle ground that still allows characters to excel in the places that they want, but not in such a way as to dominate the game. To allow monsters to be an appropriate challenge for their level without having an ability that practically auto-cripples some characters." (Bulmahn)

[aname="feats"]Feats[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • Feat types -- classes have their own feats, as do ancestry and skills. "You still select feats, but these now come from a greater variety of sources, such as your ancestry, your class, and your skills.... Beyond skills, every class now has its own list of feats to choose from, making them all pretty different from one another and allowing for a lot of flexibility in how you play."
    • Roughly every other level, each class gets a class feat.
    • Quick Bomber feat lets alchemist throw two fire bombs as one action.
    • Heritage feats (Mark Seifter) -- "There is actually something called a "heritage feat" among ancestry feats that you pick up at 1st level. You'll have to wait for more info on those until we blog about races!"
  • All feats, including General, are listed in the class chart. "General feats are also listed in the class advancement chart for your ease of reference just so you don't have to flip back and forth between two places."... "I meant they, in addition to class feats, are in the class chart. Not that they are in the class chart in addition to somewhere else. Ah ambiguities of language! (Seifter)
  • How feats are sorted -- "We have some ideas about how to order things. My absolute favorite for ease of building was Jason's idea to put the class feats by level instead of alphabetically (with a sidebar giving them all alphabetically). That way you can directly compare the newest feats at your new level (not that you can't go back and take a lower-level one if you like) and that single change more than tripled the speed at which I can choose my class feats." (Seifter)
  • "Anti-aerial feats"? -- "We actually have two feats that work together like you suggest explicitly in the rules (some of the anti-aerial feats), and we don't charge you extra for it!"
  • Magical Crafter -- "The Magical Crafter skill feat is the feat to make magic items. It is the feat for spellcasters. It is the feat for fighters." (Seifter)
  • See the Classes section for a bunch of fighter class feats.

[aname="advancement"]Advancement[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • The official Paizo blog entitled Levelling Up! discusses how levels work in Pathfinder 2nd Edition.
    • It's 1,000 XP per level, every level.
    • Each level increases proficiencies, hit points, and things from the class advancement table.
    • Even if you multiclass you'll still only use one advancement table.
    • You get feats at every level, alternating class feats and skill feats.
    • Ability scores increase every 5 levels.
    • Retraining abilities is now in core.
  • Logan Bonner on slow/medium/fast progressions -- "There's only one progression in the Playtest Rulebook so people who playtest outside the adventure (which doesn't use XP due to its structure) have a stable baseline for when they give us feedback."
    • He goes on to say "It takes 1,000 XP to level, so you can just require 1,200 XP, 1,500 XP or whatever if you want it to be slower."
    • He notes that rather than "I have 12,500 CP, I'm halfway to level 13", its more "Okay, so I have 500 XP, so I'm halfway to level 13."
    • Mark Seifter comments "The best part for GMs like you is that you can much more easily give out XP for non-combat milestones without having to delve through math, and we give advice for how to do that in the playtest CRB. For instance, you could decide to give the PCs 100 XP each for a momentous RP social event and know that you've advanced them 1/10 of the way to the next level. This allows for rule-of-thumb numbers you can memorize, without need for a chart even."
    • Why is a simple XP chart better than just story-based levelling? "Imagine a product that was basically a mega Kingmaker-style hex map full of cool secrets to find, enemies to fight, allies to make, resources to acquire, and more. Basically a giant sandbox. Suppose the sandbox had a few high level threats (the slumbering red wyrm under the mountain, etc) but was mostly in the mid-level range except for some lower level stuff around where the PCs start off, and the product even advises the GM what XP rate to use to match the content (you could also assume it was a GM homebrewing the sandbox campaign I describe instead). This allows the PCs freedom to explore at their pace in the order they choose while generally being at a good level to do so, while also providing something measurable for the PCs to use to gauge progress, since sandboxes can be much trickier to do story-based milestones than a more linear story game (to give one example of this, imagine you said "When the PCs discover the lich's castle, that's the milestone to hit level 10," and then they somehow stumble into it almost right away)." (Seifter)
  • On capstone abilities -- "The best part of that kind of capstone is that you get to choose your capstone! Not everyone was always well-served by the capstones in PF1 (for instance, omnikinesis, the ability to use any wild talent in the game, is a very powerful capstone, but it doesn't necessarily fit a fully focused kineticist, even though the class lets you build a fully effective single-element kineticist up to that point)." (Seifter)

[aname="actions"]Actions & Combat[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • See All About Actions (7 March 2018)
  • On the new action economy -- "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." - Erik Mona.
  • 3 actions & a reaction. Characters have 3 actions (plus one reaction) per round and may spend them in any combination (three moves, a move and two attacks, etc.)
  • Most actions take a standard action. Re. drawing a potion and drinking it, Logan Bonner said "In fact, all those things use the same basic action, though the potion would be 1 to draw and 1 to drink (unless, of course, you have special actions to make any of these more efficient, like the alchemist on the Glass Cannon episode drawing multiple items with 1 action)."
    • Actions include: Move, Step, Lift, Seek, Leap.
    • Reactions include: Shield Block, Attack of Opportunity
    • "Step" is an action which doesn't provide reactions.
    • Talking or dropping a weapon takes no action.
    • Logan Bonner notes that haste will fit into the new action economy "Quite easily!"
  • You can attack multiple times, but the second and third are at -5/-10. Agile weapons are only -2/-4.
  • Sudden Charge Feat. "Without that feat, you can double-move and attack in one turn. With the feat, you can do that *and* take another action. Like attack again, or move away, or drop your weapon and draw a different one, or... lots of different options." - Vic Wertz.
  • Reactions -- "Reactions always come with a trigger that must occur before the reaction can be taken. Let's say you're playing a paladin with a shield and you have spent an action to defend yourself with that shield. Not only does this boost your Armor Class; it also allows you to take a special reaction if you are hit by an attack. This shield block reduces the damage taken by an amount up to the shield's hardness!"
  • Shields -- new way of working. Raise shield as one of your 3 actions to absorb damage of a hit up to hardness of the shield.
    • You don't get a bonus from a shield unless you use an action to defend with it; you then also gain the special Shield Block reaction.
    • Two shields is a viable build... (Mona)
    • Attach shield boss or shield spikes to attack. (Bonner)
    • Haven't looked at bucklers yet. (Bonner)
    • Shield Block Reaction. "It does both, increasing AC while raised and letting you take a shield block reaction."
    • Shields take the damage you would have taken (but their hardness applies). (Glass Cannon Podcast). Wood shield is hardness 9.
    • "The Shield Block reaction is very powerful, preventing damage by forcing the foe to beat its way through your protection. It does mean that warriors tend to go through shields with some frequency."
  • Denting. The item (shield) damage system has a name -- it's called "dented".
  • Monster reactions -- "Finally, some monsters have reactions they can take as well. While some have simple reactions that allow them to attack those who drop their guard while adjacent to them, others have wildly different abilities. An earth elemental, for example, can spend its reaction after being hit to crumble into a pile of rocks, burrowing down into the ground for safety.”
    • "It's not a rule, just an option. Many monsters don't have any reaction beyond the basic ones, ones with combat training might have Attack of Opportunity or a similar reaction, and others have ones particular to them." - Logan Bonner.
  • Fighter reactions -- the fighter has three reactions to use at 1st level. Example is attack of opportunity. (Glass Cannon Podcast).
  • Rogue reactions -- rogue has the Nimble Dodge reaction which gives you +2 AC against a melee attack.
  • Actions -- combat is more mobile. (Bonner)
    • Effectively spring attack at first level using the three actions.
    • The penalties for shooting through allies is smaller.
  • Critical Hits -- a critical hit is one which beats the DC by 10; a fumble is one which misses by 10. (Glass Cannon Podcast)
    • Logan Bonner also comments on the implications of the new critical hit rule (a crit occurs when you roll 10 above your target number) -- "It certainly does have some major implications, and the scale and frequency of bonuses had to be adjusted accordingly. Even a +1 is really significant when you’re making three attacks per round, each of which has both an improved chance to hit and one or more have an improved chance to crit!
    • Designer Mark Seifter on criticals; seems there's more to it than we know! -- "I mean, we haven't said what happens on a 20 or a 1 yet. Details like those are probably best saved for a comprehensive blog on successes and failures."
    • He also notes that "a critical failure by default is the same as a failure on an attack roll. You don't drop the weapon or cut yourself or anything. You just miss either way."
    • Frequency of fumbles -- "Well hopefully you're not "regularly" critically failing, no. But if you're fighting a bunch of weaker foes, they don't have as good of a bonus, so they're more likely to do so. Conversely, you're more likely to see a critical failure against a nasty boss monster than anywhere else."
    • Critically failed attacks don't have fumble effects -- "There is normally no worse effect of critically failing with your weapon attack roll; you just miss, same as failing. It's not just attack rolls: when it didn't make sense or caused problems, there isn't always a separate critical failure effect (and not everything has a separate critical success effect if a success already gets you what you want from the action)." (Seifter)
    • Abilities based on fumbles -- "Basically your character might have an ability that allows you to capitalize on an enemy's critical failure in some way. You might also have an ability that gives partial effects on a failure (or when the enemy succeeds a save) and no effects at all on a critical failure (or an enemy critical success), in which case you also do care about failure vs critical failure but not because something laughable and bad happens to you." (Seifter)
    • Weapon qualities -- "There are weapon qualities(not official name I'm just calling them that) that add dice to crits. Crits seem to be generally X2 but you don't have to roll to confirm. Natural 20 or exceed the dc by 10"
    • 20s and 1s are still auto successes/failures -- "If your nat 20 isn't a critical success, it is still a success, and if your nat 1 isn't a critical failure, it is still a failure." (Seifter)
    • Mooks are affected by crits more often now it's "hit/miss by 10" -- "This is one of a lengthy list of benefits from the initial design proposal for this system. Incidentally, it also means you can do some really nasty things against mooky enemies!" (Seifter)
    • On how the new save effects compare to PF1 and D&D 4E -- "If you're coming from PF1, I don't think you have much to worry about in terms of the non-damage critical failure effects causing TPKs more than you're used to, in that even regular failures in PF1 are often just as TPKtastic. If you're coming from a game more like 4e, which solved the problem of save or out of the fight by removing many of those effects and allowing a probable recovery from negative effects every round (4e's saving throws), it might indeed be more dangerous." (Seifter)
    • It's not "damage on a miss!" -- "It's not a miss. It's a failure on the attack roll, but it's still a glancing blow, and you only miss on a critical failure for a Certain Strike." (Seifter)
    • On the severity of losing an action -- "Losing one of your actions might not sound like much, but it's often a big problem for monsters and PCs alike. Admittedly, dominate is on the lower end of success effects in part because the fail and critical fail effects are so dire, but even then, slow 1 is preeetty good... I didn't fully grasp it until I played enough games of it, but in addition to the situations mentioned in the blog (and that spellcaster situation is really quite terrifying; it's even worse if you needed to cast a three action spell), it really screws over monsters who have an action routine that either uses all three actions or uses two actions but needs to move first. Grappling monsters that do after grappling you come to mind." (Seifter)
  • Critical Hits! A new Paizo blog details Critical Hits and Critical Failures!
    • We know from previous scoops that a critical success or failure means beating or failing the target number by 10.
    • Saves have critical successes, and critical failure. The example fireball does the normal half damage on a success, but on a critical success it does no damage, and on a critical failure it does double damage.
    • If you have improved evasion, and legendary proficiency in Reflex saves, your Reflex save critical failures are just normal failures.
    • If you have evasion, your Reflex save successes are critical successes.
    • Not all things have critical successes and failures; if they do, then it is listed.
    • A normal critical hit on an attack does double damage. There's normally no critical miss, but there are some exceptions:
      • Certain Strike -- the fighter has an ability where you do minimum damage on a failure, and miss only on a critical failure.
      • Twin Riposte - a fighter can parry with a weapon and attack with another when an enemy critically fails an attack roll.
  • Critical Effects -- Mark Seifter shares some examples of critical successes and failures:
    • The creature is banished and can't return to your home plane by any means for 1 week.
    • The creature takes the full collapse damage and falls into a fissure.
    • The target believes the fact for an unlimited duration.
    • The target's intellect is permanently reduced below that of an animal, and it treats its Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom modifiers as –5. It loses all class abilities that require mental faculties, including all spellcasting. If the target is a PC, she becomes an NPC under the GM's control.
    • The creature is pushed 30 feet in the direction of the wind, is knocked prone, and takes 2d6 bludgeoning damage.
    • You grant a +4 circumstance bonus.
    • Per a failure, except the target believes that everyone it sees is a mortal enemy. It uses its reactions and free actions against these enemies regardless of whether they were previously its allies, as determined by the GM. It otherwise acts as rationally as normal and will likely prefer to attack enemies that are actively attacking or hindering it.
    • The target must succeed at a Fortitude save or die. Even on a successful save, the target is frightened 2 and must flee for 1 round.
    • Your target regains Hit Points equal to 2d10 + your Wisdom modifier.
    • Per a success, but even afterward, the target is too scared of you to retaliate against you.
  • Flanking -- "Flanking does not grant you a +2 bonus to hit. Instead, it now makes the target flat-footed to your attacks, causing it to take a –2 penalty to its AC. It's the same result, but the distinction is relevant."
  • Dual-wielding -- "When not using my shield, I often dual-wielded. The main advantage from this (that I could see; and without having a special feat for it) was that I could take my primary attack with my longsword, then take my second and third attacks with dagger or shortsword at -4 and -8. If I had continued just using my longsword, those penalties would have been -5 and -10. Weapons that can be used at these reduced penalties are called 'agile.'"
  • Why attack penalties matter even if hitting is still likely -- "Even if you only need a 2 on the d20 to hit on your first attack, you do not want to take a -5 penalty in PF2. Because it eliminates over half of your criticals hits, it's a reduction of over 1/3 of your expected damage (and you also don't get to do the fun things that only happen on a critical)."
  • Attacks of Opportunity are more commonly triggered -- "In my playtests, I've found that both monsters and PCs trigger way more AoOs than before because they get down to the cost/benefit analysis of the action they really want to cast and sometimes decide "Well it might not have an AoO" or "Well it might miss me and I'll get my spell." In PF1, PCs always had AoOs, and martial PCs eventually pretty much always hit with them because they weren't at an iterative penalty, so you would cast on the defensive and auto-succeed (or nearly auto-succeed) at that check because it didn't scale quickly enough and there would be no AoO." (Seifter)

[aname="magic"]Magic[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • All About Spells -- an official blog post taking a look at the new magic system!
  • 4 spell lists, 10 spell levels.
    • Spells go 1-10. No 0-level spells. Cantrips still exist. (Bonner)
    • Cantrips can be cast as often as you like. Shield is a cantrip.
    • There's still prepared casting and spontaneous casting.
    • Casting type hasn't changed for casters. Some may have a little more or less.
    • Vancian system still there. Specific prepared recipes as aways.
  • Scaling -- caster level scaling of spells is gone. To do more damage with a fireball, prepare it as a 5th, 6th, 7th level spell. Spontaneous caster is not left behind because it's generous how often you can swap out your spell you know as you level up. (Bonner)
    • How is that not like D&D 5E? A lot of 5E comparisons are off base but in this case it is similar. It is coincidental though, as Mark Seifter hadn't read 5E when he designed that bit. (Bonner)
    • Spell scaling (Mark Seifter) -- "Here's an interesting thought exercise to think about. Suppose I was running a home game of PF1 and decided that blasting spells weren't doing enough damage, so I made a new rule that fireball started at 10d6 damage at 5th level and cone of cold started at 15d6 at 9th level. The spells are now non-scaling, but I've also buffed those spells. Now I'm not saying we did exactly that (in fact, we did something similar for the new math, but it doesn't work out to exactly the old cast cap, but the spell damage of a fireball is still usually looking at ~1.5x a martial attack to a big area). Not only that, there's actually one thing that does scale in the new game but not in the original, and I think maybe the interview gave the wrong idea by saying spells don't scale at all: spell DC! Having a low DC spell that the enemy is super likely to succeed (or critically succeed in the new game) is really really bad. It's potentially worse than having fewer damage dice, depending on the starting dice and the save bonus (for example say you're 13th level and have cone of cold; doing 10d6 that the enemy needs a 13 to save for no damage is actually better than 13d6 that the enemy needs an 11 to save, due to not only the increased fail chance but also the chance to critically fail and take double damage). So spells have a fixed effect that is appropriate for their level, and their DC scales to be equal to your highest level spell."
    • Sefiter also reiterates that "Logan and Erik were correct that the spell system's genesis came without reading 5e. This is because we actually had that part in place before 5e came out (we've really been working on this a long time!)"
    • On how having non-scaling spells makes low level control spells better than damage spells -- "I mean, that would be true if we just made all the control spells the same as each other, yes. Admittedly, in PF1, there were "you have lost the fight already if you fail" spells as low as 1st-level on some of the lists, so I do see why you might get that impression. But I don't think you're going to find charm as useful as dominate, or color spray as useful as scintillating pattern in the new game. You'll just have a legitimate chance to use any of those choices without wasting your turn. It is true that my personal tactics shift a bit with the new system, which is something of a feature: since blasting spells can devastate a fight against numbers at your highest level slots if used appropriately, I'm more likely to pack them in those top levels, and since utility spells are just doing what they're doing, I like to prepare those at my lower levels."
    • Magic missile -- "Magic Missile does 1d4+1 for every action you use to cast it. For every two levels you enhance the spell, it gets twice as many missiles (not specified whether this uses "regular multiplication" to go 3-6-12 or "Pathfinder multiplication" to go 3-6-9.)"
  • Spellcasting modifier: level + ability score mod. (Glass Cannon Podcast).
  • Actions -- From the Glass Cannon Podcast demo, spells cost 1 action per component (verbal, somatic, material).
  • Spells cost 1-3 actions. "For spells, MOST spells cost 2 actions. You've already heard ones that take a variable number of actions on Glass Cannon, like the heal spell. A spell might cost 3 if it's really going to change up the battlefield (a certain spell cast by a glabrezu in a recent playtest I ran comes to mind). And there are some spells you largely use out of combat that take a minute or longer to cast." - Logan Bonner.
    • 3-action spells are rare. Generally a spell caster's turn will likely be a spell and one other action. (Bonner)
    • This approach (variable action costs) done judiciously, not everywhere. Small number of iconic spells to make extra special. (Bonner)
    • That other action could be a one-action spell like shield. Acid splash 2 actions, shield 1 action in the same round. (Mona)
    • Summoning is 3 actions. Some revisions ongoing but looks like it appears right away, acts right away with 2 actions on its turn. (Bonner)
    • Featherfall is a reaction. (Bonner)
    • Acid splash is 2 actions, somatic and verbal.
    • Magic Missile -- one missile per action you spend.
    • Illusory creature -- "phantom foes are created using a new spell called illusory creature. Created by a hidden wizard, these orcs are bit more difficult to hit than ordinary foes, basing their statistics on the caster. The fact that they are a spell also explains why they have only two actions each turn and hit for so little damage (all of which is halved once the illusion is revealed)."
    • "Cantrip called "Forbidding Ward" that selects 1 enemy and 1 ally, giving the ally +1 to AC and "improved your saving throws against the target enemies attack spells and effects" (source)
    • Shield -- a cantrip. 1 action (verbal component). "This counts as using the raise a shield action to give you a +1 bonus to AC. While the spell is in effect you can use the shield block reaction (hardness 4). After the shield is destroyed, you cannot cast it for 10 minutes. You can use the shield block action against magic missiles.”
  • Metamagic? Yes. (Bonner)
  • Heal Spell -- heal target by touch for 1 action, 2 target 30 feet away for 2 actions, all within 30 feet for 3 actions. Does damage to undead. Pick heal or damage, but for 3 actions it can do both. Otherwise, you have to pick “heal or damage”. (Glass Cannon Podcast).
    • The three-action casting of heal does indeed target everyone in the group, but it heals only an amount equal to the caster's spellcasting ability modifier at this level.
  • If you fumble (Nat 1) a save, a spell does double damage. (Glass Cannon Podcast).
  • On balance -- "We just want to avoid situations where the wizard is massively better than the rogue at bluffing or disguising himself because of one spell due to the scale of the spell's bonus and that sort of thing." - Logan Bonner.
  • Illusions can fool detect magic of a lower level. (Glass Cannon Podcast).
  • Simplification of schools of magic. Changing way magic is categorised. (Mona)
    • Solving "why is this conjuration instead of evocation?" (Bonner)
    • Acid splash is evocation now. (Mona)
    • Healing spells are now in the Necromancy school (I approve!) (source)
  • Save or suck (Seifter) -- "Figuring out a way to handle save or lose effects that was more fun to play with than "Your monster/PC either wastes the turn or instantly wins" is what initially led me to formulate the design doc for the four degrees of success in the first place. That way, you can do something that's still somewhat useful even if they make the save (though not if they critically succeed) and then something powerful but not instawin if they fail and something more extreme on a critical fail. This also has the added benefit of dealing double damage from spells like fireball when the enemies get a critical failure!"
  • There's a new Counterspell -- "Yeah, counterspelling is weird in PF1. As you say, it's incredibly situational and overly complicated. On top of that, it feels really unexciting to do it too. But if you actually do it against an encounter where most of the challenge rests in a caster boss? You can wreck that encounter even without any feats or abilities taken to make counterspelling better, particularly if you have a caster level boost (karma prayer bead on my oracle, I'm looking at you; I accidentally turned one of the most notorious PFS scenarios into a cakewalk readying dispel over and over again). So it was the worst of several worlds: super situational, complicated, felt weak, and was actually too strong when its situation came up but in a boring way. Anyway, I can't wait until you guys can check out PF2's counterspell!" (Seifter)
  • Logan Bonner on spell durations and modes -- "Durations still go by time, but exploration allows that time between encounters isn’t precise, and that if you’re going into exploration, you recognize that you’re no longer in the keyed-up, precise time scale of rounds. We also call out that a pell durations are abstractions. You can’t set your watch by resist energy... The durations are constructed with their typical length in mind. Part of that comes from not having them all increase with caster level. If a spell lasts a minute, it’s pretty dang hard, but not impossible, to make it last past 1 encounter. Takes some serious planning! We did reduce the likelihood of having a spell that lasts just long enough that rushing becomes strategically sound a lot of the time."

[aname="items"]Magic Items[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • Magic Items -- rebalanced so you don't have to have specific items to gain necessary stat bonuses. Characters find and make cool magical items. "You no longer need to collect a specific set of magic items to be a balanced character, relying on specific magical statistic bonuses. Instead, you get all of the bonuses you need from your regular armor and weapons, allowing the rest of your items to be truly wondrous." ... "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.”
    • Re. item quality: poor, common, expert (+1), master (+2), legend (+3). (Glass Cannon Podcast). Applies to attack rolls or skill checks.
    • Some "signature gear" can level up with your character. (source)
  • Magic items -- Brand new magic items. Not just converting same old items. Many operate with new elements of the rules system. For those who have seen six editions of marvellous pigments, there's lots to love. (Mona)
    • +1 swords are so much more exciting. And particularly +4 swords.(Mona)
    • Getting rid of items needed just to Keep Up With The Joneses. Not the same approach to cloaks of deflection and rings of protection. Required quest to get all those little +1s is almost gone. (Mona)
    • Those items are minimized a lot. 3 core items. (Bonner)
    • No body slot system. Aimed at a small number of cool items than a whole bunch of clutter. (Bonner)
    • Specific challenges might make you focus on 3-4 of your 8 items over others. A lot more interesting decision making. (Mona)
    • Do I want to use this wand or save my resources for something else? (Bonner)
    • "There *are* wands of heal, there are just diminishing returns on buying the cheapest one possible and spamming it." - Logan Bonner.
    • Activated magic items use points from a daily pool to activate. This includes wands.
    • "The party was given a crystal vial labeled "Health" that healed 1d8 (no additional modifiers). That is similar to the healing serums of Starfinder" (source)
  • Resonance! -- from Partizanski's summary of the Glass Cannon Podcast above, this appears to be the way things like Wands of Cure Light Wound spamming are curbed:
    • "There is a concept called "Resonance Score", it is Level + CHA. Whenever you activate magic items or drink potions, you use up your resonance. Once it at 0, you have to start making checks to use items/drink potions. If you fail the check causing the use of the magic item to fail, and if you fumble it, you are cut of from magic items for the rest of the day. Potions no longer do anything. When you start the day, you do whats called "Investing", where you put on your magic items, and invest your resonance so they are good all day. Even if you are cut off, you keep your bonuses (I believe). If you find a magic items that have active effects, each use of that appears to use a resonance as well (example given was a sword that can shoot a ray of fire, each ray would cost one point of resonance). .The check after you resonance is done appears to be a "flat check", which means its a d20 with no modifiers. Starts at 10, goes up by one each time your "overspend". Again if you fumble you are cut off, which means you would need to roll a 1 on your second one to be cut off for the day."
    • Logan Bonner on Resonance -- "The way Resonance works came partially from the occultist because he defines the in-world concept of putting a piece of yourself into items to power them. As we do in many places, we’re expanding a PF1 concept by exploring its broader implications in our world. If we keep this system, the occultist would have new and more versatile ways to use his Resonance, just like a certain other class in the book!"
    • Mark Seifter on Resonance caps -- "Except for a particular time when my playtesters explicitly tried to see if they could get away with saving money on CLW wand spam despite being high level adventurers who could afford a better wand, and a few extreme stress test situations where I told them "This is the only fight today. Nova your heart out," my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma."
    • Jason Bulmahn weighed in on the heated discussion -- "Hey there all! Let's all just take a breath here before things get too heated. Resonance is a system that we knew was going to come with some controversy. It's really hard to give you a full sense of what the system allows us to do with the design space without going on a deep dive on magic items. This is a topic we are going to hit soon, so hang in there. I will say this before I go to run more demos at GAMA. Players have rarely run out of resonance in our games, and there is a lot more healing to go around than you might think."
    • Class features don't use Resonance -- "We avoided making class features that use Resonance Points unless they're directly tied to items. Resonance is a resource for items thematically and specifically. If you have abilities from a bloodline, you'll have to pay for those some other way..." (Bonner)
    • "...we've had some delightful occultist-based thought experiments based on some of these ideas as the "kings of resonance."(Seifter)
    • Bulmahn commented -- "Hmm... I keep seeing posts that tracking one pool of points is too fiddly. It's odd, considering that it's meant to replace a system where everything had its own personal system of usage with times per day, total charges, and time based limits. Of course, I have plenty of reservations about this particular mechanic. We're definitely pushing the envelope here, but fiddly is not the complaint I expected to see so frequently."
    • Wondering how Resonance will work out in play? "thflame" to the rescue! -- "Being a nerd, I decided to write a program that would run 1 million simulations of characters making Resonance Checks to see how many uses of magic items you can reasonably be expected to get after you run out of Resonance. My result was approximately 2.3 uses."
    • Item slots (which are going away) -- "Worn items that would conflict with others have a listing and you can't wear two of the same type. So if you had two worn footwear items, they'd list that, but rings wouldn't list ring because you have plenty of places to wear those." (Bonner)
    • Whose resonance is used when a potion is used on an unconscious character? "The drinker. For items you drink, the person drinking it has to activate, and there's a special rule for this happening while you're unconscious." (Bonner)
    • But it's the user when it's a wand -- "The person who activates the item spends the resonance. So if you're using the wand on someone (by being able to cast heal or by having a UMD equivalent), you're spending it." (Bonner)
    • Running out of resonance? " all honestly, it is very difficult for a low level character to run out of resonance (which is by design). Mass playtesting might show us otherwise, and we are looking forward to that feedback." (Bulmahn)

[aname="monsters"]Monsters[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • There will be monsters! Erik Mona confirms that there will be monsters available for use when the play test land in August -- "There will be a big monster download for free on August 2nd. The actual monster book for Second Edition (no matter how large) will presumably come out with the Core Rulebook in August 2019."
  • Monsters -- new streamlined design based on a role and level (sounds similar to D&D 4E). "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!"
  • Monster reactions. "Finally, some monsters have reactions they can take as well. While some have simple reactions that allow them to attack those who drop their guard while adjacent to them, others have wildly different abilities. An earth elemental, for example, can spend its reaction after being hit to crumble into a pile of rocks, burrowing down into the ground for safety.”
    • Enemies with reactions against bad attack rolls -- "I'm not aware of any enemies who have that reaction right now other than NPCs (since the one I'm thinking of is a PC reaction, and NPCs use PC abilities of their class)."
  • Weakness -- if a monster has weakness (damage type) x it takes extra x extra damage from that damage type. eg. Skeletons have weaknesss (positive energy) 2. (Glass Cannon Podcast).
  • Skeletons -- Skeletons also have resistance 5 against fire damage.
    • The skeletons here are not very powerful undead, but in large numbers like this, they can be deadly. Most problematic, they have resistance 5 to weapon damage, but they still have a weakness to bludgeoning, which can cancel out that protection.
    • Claws are agile weapons, which is why the skeletons use them as their second attack, reducing the penalty on the attack roll to –4.
  • Monsters -- monster stats with benchmarks and you give it abilities you want rather than a process like character design. Though you can still do NPCs like characters if you want. (Bonner)
    • Taking the tedium, but not the fun, out of designing an adventure. (Mona)
    • Game rules as physics can make design tedious; experimenting with ways to make it quicker and generate things that do what you need it to do for that encounter. (Mona)
    • No assumption that every NPCs has gone through the same path as a PC. The PC rules are just one path. (Bonner)
    • Seifter talks about using PC rules to create NPCs -- "You can use PC rules for bad guys too, and it works just fine if you want to put the time into it. But even then, your PCs probably don't often beat up a bunch of random no-combat-threat bookbinders, and if they do, they can use the monster rules for a really weak leveled foe."

[aname="lore"]Lore[/aname] ([jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto])
  • Setting -- Golarion remains, and is "infused" into the core rulebook.
  • James Jacobs stiil creative director. "And in fact, I'm already the creative director for Pathfinder 2nd edition, and have been since we first started working on it."
  • Timeline -- "Since the setting's earliest days, we have been advancing the in-game year with each real-world year. This isn't changing, so at the 2019 launch of Second Edition, the in-world year will be 4719 Absalom Reckoning."
  • On expanding Golarion -- "We'll do minor check-ins now and again as APs and other initiatives dictate, but for now there are still a few highly appealing nations in the Inner Sea Region that have not gotten their due, and they presently take priority. We'll get to that other stuff, though. I can see a very clear path in that direction that I'm not sure I could a year or two ago." (Erik Mona)
  • No world-sweeping changes. "Just as we didn't do any world-sweeping changes when we shifted from 3.5 to Pathfinder 10 years ago, we won't be doing any when we switch from 1st edition to 2nd edition. We will be advancing the world's timeline up to 4719 AR, and will be setting the events of the 1st edition adventure paths and their resolutions into the timeline (just as we did the same for the 3.5 adventure paths when we did the Inner Sea World Guide for Pathfinder), and that means that there will be some changes between the setting—but those changes will be the natural results of over a decade's of adventure paths, not sudden changes out of the blue."
  • Pantheon core remains the same. "I've not yet totally abandoned the plans for chaotic neutral Nocticula as a goddess of Midnight, Artists, and Exiless. The core pantheon of the game remains the same, but that doesn't mean the expanded pantheon won't change." - James Jacobs.
  • Worldwound is closed. "My preference is that all of the 1st edition Adventure Paths will have happened and that their resolutions were all/mostly PC victories, which means that yes, the Worldwound is closed, but that only means that rather than demons coming and going in that post-apocalyptic fiend-scarred wasteland, the demons are STUCK in that post-apocalyptic fiend-scarred wasteland." - James Jacobs.
  • On dark-skinned demon worshipping Bekyar. "One of the things we're hoping to do is address things like that. Not so much by removing the Bekyar and their demon worshiping (there should be evil among all regions, after all, so that heroes have things to fight against), but downplaying them and skewing it more as an exception among some of them and not "all of them are demon worshipers," while simultaneously giving good guy groups more play. Can't go into much more details yet (other than to point out that one of the most powerful nations of all time, the Shory, is a nation of good-aligned Mwangi Expanse folk who we hope to do MUCH more with), but that's a great example of a choice we made 10 years ago that we'd like to change and adjust....Sargava is hopefully going to skew away from the colonial aspect and the racial tensions and focus more on being a more healthy integrated society as far as culture goes that's wrestling with a shady past while having to work together to protect themselves from aggression beyond their borders (such as via monsters or Cheliax)." - James Jacobs.
  • Osiriani countdown clocks -- In response to the question "Some believe that the ancient Osiriani countdown clocks point to a date early in 4718 AR, which these scholars claim is the date a massive Dominion invasion force will arrive on Golarion", James Jacobs replied that "The plot of the playtest adventure, Doomsday Dawn, is all about this exact thing."

[jumpto="top"]Back to the Top[/jumpto]

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Well, that was fun
Staff member


Well, that was fun
Staff member
Today's update about Pathfinder 2nd Edition! A ton of small updates covering a whole variety of topics -- critical hits, skills, spell scaling, underlying math, proficiencies and attack bonuses, and more! Dive in! All this has also been integrated into the Pathfinder 2 Compiled Information Page (which underwent some major reorganisation yesterday, as the sheer volume of information was starting to mount up!)!


First Post
Hey Morrus, great job compiling all this information. I want to know if I can translate your post to a blog originally designed for Pathfinder material here in Brazil. Because English is not one of our languages, this could help some Pathfinder fans to understand what is actually happening.

(I tried to send an MP, but I still can not)
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First Post
Pathfinder 2e being a tactical roleplaying game seems good to me. It's a style I love, although the other players around here, not so much. I may be able to convince them ^^


Golden Procrastinator
Under the Alchemist heading, golems are mentioned as iconic. In one the the threads Erik Mona clarified that probably they said goblin and it had been misheard.


Well, that was fun
Staff member
There's a fair amount to unpack in today's Pathfinder 2nd Edition news roundup! The big thing, I think, is where we find out what Resonance is and how it limits magic item use (and CLW wand-spamming); there's a ton more playtest demo media for you to watch or listen to, and some discussion from Paizo's Mark Seifter on Pathfinder 2nd Edition's differences to D&D 5E. All updated above or see this post for today's specific updates:


Well, that was fun
Staff member
Also known as "Mark Seifter's daily math lecture", here's today's Pathfinder 2nd Edition news roundup! Today involves a lot of discussion about Resonance and the Death/Dying rules. Plus math. Resonance is a controversial subject - this is the third day in a row it has dominated these new updates. In other news, GAMA trade show has now ended, so Paizo staff will be returning home.!

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