With the Pathfinder Playtest officially launched, we tracked down Erik Mona at Gen Con to talk about what it meant for the future of Pathfinder, Starfinder, and beyond.
Odds are good that, if you’re reading these very words, well arguably these aren’t even words, but a bunch of electrons that your brain is translating into–you know what, let’s not get too into it, the editors have told me I’m allowed one tangent per article, and I was planning to go off about how Pathfinder’s change over the last decade can be seen in the independent music scene later on, and we can’t really waste time on ontological reality here so yeah let’s just go with words.
The point is, if you’re reading this, you probably know that Pathfinder is running a playtest, updating the game to a new edition for the first time in a decade. They’ve made some pretty major changes to their rules system, you can see these reflected in the playtest document, but at the end of the day, the game still feels very much like the Pathfinder we all know and love.We caught up with Erik Mona at Gen Con to talk about what exactly the Playtest means for them:
The big takeaway is that they’re interested to see what the community thinks works and what needs to change. Some people love the increased granularity and grittiness/customizability of Pathfinder, others love the high-fantasy shenanigans that come from the world of Golarion–all of that’s still here in the 2.0 playtest documents. But the rules themselves might change based on how the game actually plays. Kind of like the indie music scene in 2008…
…and I’ve just been informed that my little aside at the top counts as a tangent, so I guess the rest of this article is strictly relevant to Pathfinder, and how the game actually plays.
That’s one of the biggest things Mona emphasized, the need for actual play to help shape the future iterations of Pathfinder 2.0 That’s why you’ll find frequent updates for the next few months (until early 2019), over at Paizo’s site. As they release the Adventure that takes you from one edition to the next, with cataclysmic changes, it’s your groups’ feedback they’ll be looking for.
Then of course, there’s Starfinder as well. They’re getting some new books, including an Alien Archive 2, for more monsters, aliens, and alien monsters. They have some of the most expansive player options, having a little more freedom because they’ve broken free of the Pathfinder mold. So in Starfinder you’ll see experiments, including the upcoming Adventure Paths, which are being broken into two 3-episode adventure paths, instead of one 6-episode long installment.
The cut and thrust of this experiment is, that, like the Pathfinder Playtest, Paizo wants player feedback to help shape how they move forward with their published campaigns.
So at the end of the day, the secret ingredient in Paizo’s success was you all along.