Big news for tabletop roleplaying fans rolled out this past week, as the folks over at Paizo Publishing announced an upcoming testing phase for the Second Edition of their hit RPG, Pathfinder.
In the above video, Paizo’s Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn lay out all of the details pertaining to the upcoming open playtest for Pathfinder: Second Edition. As you likely noticed, I said “open playtest,” which means anyone and everyone who wants to help shape the final version of the game is invited to do so. The Pathfinder Playtest book will be available on Aug. 2, with folks able to play the game to their heart’s content and then report back to the team at Paizo with their findings.
If you don’t like the way a rule works, notice confusing explanations or contradicting guidelines, this testing phase will be the time to make your concerns heard. The plan is to take all of that player feedback and finalize the core rulebook, which Paizo aims to have ready to roll for the series’ tenth anniversary in 2019. This is actually a pretty common practice for big RPGs like this, which Paizo actually utilized back in 2009 for the first edition of the game.
If you haven’t heard about Pathfinder yet, you’re likely new to tabletop RPGs. That’s not a knock against anyone, just a comment on how popular the game has become over the years. Go to any tabletop store and you will likely find a massive shelf full of Pathfinder books.
While Dungeons & Dragons has enjoyed a resurgence in success following the launch of Fifth Edition, things weren’t always so sunny for the granddaddy of RPGs. You see, fans loved the game’s Third Edition, as well as the updated version, 3.5. When Fourth Edition came out, though, a lot of folks felt the game had strayed too far from what made it so fun to play in the first place.
That’s actually where Paizo comes in. They took those 3.5 rules and reshaped them into their own system, which eventually became Pathfinder. But while many fans have grown to love the streamlined, player-friendly version of Dungeons & Dragons’ Fifth Edition. Many still prefer the crunchier, more rules-heavy version of adventuring offered by Pathfinder. Still, every system could use some refining, which is where the upcoming Second Edition comes in. The game has been out for 10 years, more than enough time to find out what works, what people like and what areas could use some TLC.
Since Paizo Publishing launched Starfinder last year — a sci-fi take on Pathfinder featuring refined rules and systems — we figure this new version of Pathfinder will make a lot of those same adjustments. It’ll be exciting to see how the community receives those changes and, following the open testing, how that same community will help shape the final game.