PF2 Playtest rules vs. Core rules : What changed? And is there anyone who still prefers the Playtest rules?

Eilathen

Explorer
I am kind of interested in the changes that were made between the official 2E playtest book and the final corebook. Is there an official list somewhere?

Did any of you play intensively with both? I am wondering if there are folks who like the playtest version better than the final one. And if so, why?

Why this interests me is two-fold: 1) a general interest in such things, especially on the mechanics side AND 2) I have an opportunity to get the playtest printed book for a pretty low amount of $$ and i am wondering if it is worth it (the final core-rule book is too expensive for my taste).

So please, tell me about your experiences with both and/or your opinion on this subject matter.

TIA!
 

kenada

Explorer
The playtest book isn’t worth the money. The playtest itself changed a lot over its duration, so the printed version isn’t even representative of what the playtest version became. The final version is very different from that. This list is not exhaustive, just what comes to mind (and what I could find quickly searching reddit):
  • Ancestry feats with the heritage trait were turned into heritages, which every ancestry now has.
  • All classes got new options in the final version that were not in the playtest. A few are very different.
  • Paladin was replaced with Champion, which has options for LG, NG, and CG characters. Paladin is now just one of the options.
  • Proficiency bonuses were changed.
  • Item damage works differently (items have HP rather than take dents).
  • Spells got buffed, and many require a basic saving throw (instead of specifying degrees of success).
  • Resonance is gone.
  • The final version uses a different approach for setting DCs (generally, setting a simple DC instead of picking a level of difficulty).
  • The dying rules underwent significant revision from iteration to iteration during the playtest.
If the issue is cost, the rules are available online for free at Archive of Nethys. The PDF version is also very cheap and will be updated with errata when the books are reprinted. The print version is currently $39.30 on Amazon.
 
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zztong

Explorer
I think @kenada describes it pretty well. I wouldn't buy the Playtest book.

Did any of you play intensively with both? I am wondering if there are folks who like the playtest version better than the final one. And if so, why?
One of my regular games played the entire Playtest and then the Final Release for a few months. If I had to pick between the final version and the playtest version, I would pick the Final Version because it got more polish down in the depths of things like Feat descriptions and Spell descriptions.
 

Eilathen

Explorer
Thank you for your replies, I appreciate it.

And yeah, I should have been more specific in the title, I guess. I am specifically talking about the playtest rules as presented in the printed Playtest Book that was sold by Paizo. Not the "living" playtest as a whole.

I was wondering if it makes a viable game in itself and if there might be people who prefer that iteration to the now published 2E core-rules.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
In my opinion, the only real choice is between

1) the final iteration of the playtest rules. These can be found in a wonderfully indexed, hyperlinked and annotated version online (much better than the official Paizo offering!). The date of this would be approx January 2019

2) the published core rules of August 2019

Paying actual money for the initial un-updated playtest book (of August 2018?) is, in the words of Admiral Ackbar, a trap. I can't imagine anyone preferring it. (Though I should say I remember this question having been asked before, possibly even here on this very forum...)

On topic, the comprehensive answer you seek - the differences between the initial playtest document and the final iteration - can be had in 1).
 

Philip Benz

Explorer
The biggest difference is the resonance rules, which I really hated. Too many limits on magic item use.

You'd be much better off with the PF2 rules, and houseruling anything you really don't like. Personally, there are only a very few details that I would even consider houseruling (like Battle Medicine requiring no hands and no tools) so the final PF2 rules are really where it's at.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
In the final analysis, if you purchased the playtest book in fall last year, and then used it to, well, playtest the emerging edition, that's when you can say you got value for money.

Now? You would waste your money. I don't see anyone wanting to invest in an utterly obsolete ruleset; learning rules that remind you of the official game that yet differ in a thousand little (and in a few cases not so little) ways.

Playing an old game such as original D&D? Fine. at least once it was an established game. But in this case, the playtest rules iteration that was printed on the book only effectively existed for a month or two. It would be a waste of your brain power to learn that version of PF2, when you could choose either the final playtest version or the actual official rules.

Ideally, all the copies of the printed initial playtest book would be returned to sender and pulped. I feel sorry for that earlier guy who apparently didn't look closely enough and ended up paying money for a copy.
 
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Eilathen

Explorer
Thank you all, for your insights! I'm kind of glad that this seems pretty clear cut ^^

@CapnZapp - I hear you about the old games. As i have not played PF 2E or the Playtest, I was just looking for opinions on both rulesets. I mean it was not impossible that there are folks who think Playtest is better...and that was what I am curious about. I mean don't get me wrong, it's still possible...but no one spoke up ;) And as the 2e Corebook is out of my price-range but the Playtest is not, I had to ask (I could have had the Playtest deluxe book for like 13$).
 

dave2008

Legend
And as the 2e Corebook is out of my price-range but the Playtest is not, I had to ask (I could have had the Playtest deluxe book for like 13$).
The pdf is fairly inexpensive and the SRD is free, just follow the link: here or another version here
I wouldn't be surprised if they are some holiday sales coming up soon too.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
I mean it was not impossible that there are folks who think Playtest is better...and that was what I am curious about. I mean don't get me wrong, it's still possible...but no one spoke up ;)
Oh, it's likely there are people who feel the playtest is better than the official published rules.

But that would be the final version of the playtest, after six (?) iterations, and you asked about the initial un-updated (published) playtest.
 

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