Pathfinder Second Edition

From 1d4chan
Big Gay Purple d4.png This article is a skub. You can help 1d4chan by expanding it
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Second Edition
2E-Logo.png
RPG published by
Paizo
Authors Jason Buhlman
First Publication 2019

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Second Edition is, as you'd expect, the second version of the D&D clone that is Pathfinder. That said, however, there is a lot changed here from the original's framework, going for a significantly more feat-centric playstyle. Though this is still a d20 game at its core, the mechanics being a good deal less complicated, and focused on a different direction than what was originally accomplished - as if they were trying to make their own game that shed its old identity.

This has, of course, brought about all sorts of reasonable and eloquent discussion in regards to the identity of Pathfinder itself. Most glaringly, there is the obvious outcry from the loyalists who have now wasted about ten years of their life and several hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in books about a single system and are now bemoaning that now Paizo's cutting off all support for it. While this is all true, it's also true that nobody's forcing people to play this new edition (Though that hasn't stopped neck-beards from screeching before). The second was how much this new system was pretending to become a lot more "tactical" in a manner similar to 4E, the sort of thing Pathfinder was straying away from and even opposed. Similar to this is the claims this to be a competitor to 5E because they claim things are getting dumbed down. While it is true that the system's been simplified from the 3.5E-plus-a-few-addons of 1E, it's still nowhere near the pick-up-and-play/braindead simplicity of 5E.

Noted Changes from 1E to 2E (As Gleaned From the Playtest)[edit]

Because we have the final version, this section is unnecessary, but is preserved for posterity. And lulz.

The Second Edition Playtest took place between August and December 2018, wherein players had access to a free CRB, Bestiary, and several adventures to play them in (Split between five Pathfinder Society scenarios and Doomsday Dawn, a pseudo-Adventure Path that was more like a clip-show between several loosely-connected plots.) There's also the option to buy these books as physical merch, but doing so pretty much meant that your brain was nonexistent. All of the feedback was directed towards Paizo's surveys and forums, which could be a good centralizing point - if Paizo knew which comments to sift through in the avalanche of slush, salt, and general idiocy that comes with such a community. To their credit, they did at least release errata in a semi-regular fashion as well as some alternatives.

Needless to say that the playtest was quite contentious. Between a lot of features that people just outright hated, imbalance that took several months before addressing, if at all, and the simple need to adjust to a brand-new system, there was plenty to hate about this system. However, there was also some points that people respected, chiefly the streamlining of skills, the ease of making characters, and the improvements to healing outside of the cleric.

  • Races
    • Goblins are now a default race.
    • Half-Elves and Half-Orcs were briefly racial ancestry feats that humans can take at first level. This was dropped in later stage of the playtest.
      • The 10/24 errata decided to offer all the other races a selection of subraces that gave particular perks based on racial variants. For some, this restored at least one racial feature, but others gained a bit of an environmental theming. This also includes half-elves and half-orcs, whom are now under humans.
    • Each race now adds +2 to two stats, -2 to one stat, and a +2 to any stat you want so long as it wasn't mentioned before. Humans just grab two floating stat boosts.
    • HP is now added between a racial HP value and the Class HP value, which includes Con. Just like Starfinder, but without any stamina to buffer out.
    • Many of the key features of each race has been cut out and moved into ancestry feats that you gain at level 1 and every 4 thereafter. All that remains before factoring in subrace is just their types and whether or not they have darkvision.
  • Classes
    • Alchemists are a core class now. However their pseudo-casting is now replaced with the ability to learn and slap together whatever alchemical items they want by spending their Int-dependent Resonance special resources.
      • The 11/05 errata realized just how crippling using resonance for everything was and instead gave a whole separate pool made just so alchemists can make their things.
      • The 11/05 errata also finally divorces the bombs from the class' progression and gives a choice between four subclasses: bomber, poisoner, medic, and mutagenist. Each gains improvements as the class levels up, including the ability to infinitely produce certain low-level items.
    • Barbarians no longer have a pool of turns per day with which they can rage, but now they can spend it infinitely...for three turns before needing to cool off for a turn. It's...strange to adjust to, and it especially hurts animal totem barbs, who need to rage for their natural attacks.
      • The 11/05 errata made this even weirder by replacing the flat 3 turns with an ongoing save. See, every turn after the first, the barb has to roll an increasingly difficult save to continue raging or run out of fuel instead. This method is contested for the fact that it offers little better for the number of turns to rage (especially when 5E's barbarians could rage for an entire minute without any need to save) while now painting the funny image of all barbarians being asthmatic or running the risk of throwing out their backs with each turn.
        • Well actually it does make sense fluffwise. Barbarians are effectively redlining their bodies through their rage to pull off superhuman feats. As they grow stronger they can handle doing this for longer periods of time.
      • Totems (a popular addition to Barbarians due to adding new and fantastical abilities) are now a default feature, giving various features from hauling fuckoff-huge weapons to turning into an animal, as well as granting a special damage resistance while raging. They also force a taboo that strips any special rage powers if broken, with the exception of the Fury Totem (essentially the vanilla barbarian which instead gives a free extra class feat).
    • Bards get full spell progression.
      • The three main deals of bards (lots of utility in knowledge skills, performance to replace skills, and magical music) into three separate subclasses. The 11/05 errata gated some feats to certain subclasses and adds a feat to enable multi-subclassing.
    • Cleric domains don't grant spells anymore, only powers (which are just spells that require Spell Points to cast). Instead, clerics get extra spells determined by what god they worship (no word on how this'll work with original settings).
      • There are multiple forces that have managed to dethrone the cleric's undisputed rule as healmaster, from the Medicine skill actually being not-shit in healing, healing potions being rather cheap, Alchemists, and errata reducing the uses of channel energy.
    • Druids get subclasses based upon Orders: Canadian Leaf (Casters with Leshys for familiars), Storm (Blaster druids), Wild (Wildshape-focused), and Animal (Pets)
    • Paladins pretty much get three things guaranteed to them: a reaction (giving an ally protection from an attack and striking back), Lay on Hands, and the ability to infuse holy spirits to one thing (weapon, steed, and the newcomer shield). However, the issue with this is that due to how the action economy is, this means that shield-users are trapped every turn between blowing their reactions on their reaction power or using their shields. Forutnately, the 11/05 errata gave a few feats that grant bonus reactions explicitly for reaction powers and shield users (if you decided for some reason to use your divine bond on shields).
      • As of the 11/05 errata, Paladins are no longer forced into being Lawful Good. While the LG types retain the reactive strike power, the Neutral Good and Chaotic Good paladins gain new powers and different laws to enforce (NG can penalize the attack or weaken future ones that turn, CG allows for saves against grappling). Meanwhile, there's nothing known about how they'll do Antipaladins, if at all.
    • Rangers are pretty much gutted. All they really keep is the ability to hunt down targets (replacing the oft-loathed Favored Enemy with something more universal) and their ability to walk through terrain like nobody's business. The only fighting styles they have for them so far are dual-wielding, crossbows, and (as of the 10/26 errata) archery
      • The 11/05 errata enables rangers to do a few things to targeted foes: spam multi-attacks with reduced penalties (the original version), snipe for extra damage, screwing around.
    • Skill ranks have been done away with completely for proficiency ranks that ring more similar to games like Dark Heresy mixed with 5E: Untrained penalizes you for trying a skill, Trained lets you roll with the requisite stat with no penalties, and Expert, Master, and Legendary are bonuses to the roll in question. This proficiency system even spills over to your armor proficiencies, weapon proficiencies (so as to replace BAB), and saves.
      • In a bit of a turn from its sci-fi cousin, Level 3 doesn't automatically grant 1/2 character level to damage with every weapon group they're trained in, but now only certain characters can get a specialization boost that raises the proficiency rank for attacking with a single weapon group as well as gain access to crit effects with them. Casters can raise the proficiency ranks for spellcasting, but that's usually at level 10 on. Barbarians also lack this system, though level 3 gives them access to all special crits and then gain a rank up for weapons at a later level.
      • Because of how mandatory Perception was as a skills, every class now gets some sort of training in it. It's now also the default skill check needed to roll for Initiative. Funnily, Fighters and Rangers (Two of the classes considered most shat upon by 1E) are now ultra-badass at this skill.
      • Each class also has a selection of "Signature Skills", which permit the player to advance their training in a particular skill to even higher levels for bigger feats.
        • As of the 9/10 errata though, Paizo seemed to get the memo about how pigeonholing this was and just scrapped Signature Skills, letting any skill reach the top-level and gave every class a few default-trained skills as compensation.
    • The spell pool is now drastically shrunk down to 4 types: Arcane (Wizards), Divine (Clerics), Primal (Druids), and Occult (Bards, because Paizo really wants to redo Occult Adventures but doesn't want to make a new spell list just for the bard). Sorcerers are the only casters that are wild-cards, their bloodline feature dictating which spell list they can take.
      • As one can notice, Rangers, Alchemists, and Paladins aren't on the list. Rangers and Alchemists make do by making items (Traps for Rangers, Alchemical Items for Alchemists) while Paladins and Monks (and the other casting classes to a lesser degree) utilize a spell point pool and specific feats to gain new powers.
      • Spellcasters no longer get more spells per day by just getting a high casting stat.
      • Spells now have a rarity, which might be an attempt to limit the rarity of certain really powerful spells. On a similar note, some of the known campaign-ending spells (Wish, Time Stop) are now reserved for 10th-level spellcasting, which is available ONLY if you select a single feat at level 20 for the primary casting classes and you might still need to find them thanks to rarity. Expect this to work out like Paranoia's security clearances played straight.
      • Caster Level no longer affects spell strength. Instead, there are now multiple leveled versions of the same spell, meaning that they have to be "learned" at that level if you want to cast a spell at a "heightened" strength (making it sound like diet metamagic, but in reality just gimping spontaneous casters)
      • Spontaneous casters and Prepared Casters have the exact same spells per day progression (Sorcerers get extra bloodline spell slots, but Wizards get school spell slots, so there's no real difference except Sorcerers have a very finite spell repertoire).
  • Similar to SF, backgrounds are now a mandatory feature. Each gives a boost to two stats (one chosen from a set of two, the other to any stat so long as it's not the same stat as before), a skill feat, and training in a related Lore skill (the new name for Profession, though now only tied to Int rather than being multi-stat).
  • Feats are given practically every level now, split between class feats, general feats, ancestry feats (racial), and skill feats. Expect the feat bloat to explode even harder than fuck.
    • Multiclass feats make a return. In addition to the ones that grant features from established classes, there are some archetypes (Gray Maiden, Cavalier, Pirate for the playtest) for new perks. You need to sacrifice class feats to make use of this, and once you multiclass, you need to take at least two other feats from that class' list before you can multiclass elsewhere (with exception to one human ancestry feat).
    • Skill feats at least add some new uses for the skill, mostly because of how feats and actual abilities are built off the same format.
  • Perhaps the most controversial feature made in the playtest so far is Resonance: a pool based off Level+Charisma (except for Alchemists who use Int for this), this allows folks to make items and allows anyone to use any magical items, either triggering a power or just allowing you to use an item's passive perk. The contention is that you need to spend this crap every day, meaning that those loaded with magical items are stuck having to figure out what items they want to use every day and traps Alchemists who want to make stuff into focusing on a particular set of items/elixirs/mutagens.
    • Magic Weapons now add an extra die of damage per + instead of just adding +1, making them a lot more reliable. The properties are now included in runes, which every weapon has an allotted limit to fill.
    • Magic armor now adds their enhancement value to all saves.
      • Weapon and Armor properties are still tied to fixed slots, but now they don't threaten to absorb than one slot because of their power.
    • There was an alternative play test that tried another method to dealing with Resonance, but it only provided preset characters to work with, and this was generally as derided as the original concept.
    • (For those of you wondering what happened to it, see "investing" towards the bottom of Miscellaneous below)
  • Another controversial feature is the action economy: Rather than the typical Standard, Move, Swift action with Free actions sprinkled on, you now get three actions, and everything, from moving to casting, takes an action. In fact, multicomponent spells (Somatic, Verbal, Material, etc.) eat an action for every component the spell needs. Even Metamagic eats up an action to cast with it.
    • While not in itself an issue, some of the things tied to it are indeed stupid. Chief among them are shields, which you need to raise every turn to get their fucking AC bonus. You can then spend a reaction to have this shield block a single attack, likely damaging the shield - and shields break pretty easily if they absorb enough damage on top of only absorbing a limited amount of it before just being overwhelmed and landing on you.
Playtest Classes[edit]

Like with every class in the original except the disastrous Shifter, Pathfinder 2E has playtests for its new classes. The first set was the reintroduction of several 1E classes on November 2019, and due for release in the Advanced Player's Guide on July 30 2020. Note that the below was based on the playtest and changes to several classes (particularly the Oracle and Witch) have been teased, but not detailed.

  • Investigator
    • Gain a small bonus to investigate things
    • Subclasses split between the class' history as a not-Alchemist class, Empiricism (As in that one Archetype that made them Int-SAD, now nerfed into just making your investigations faster), and Forensic Medicine (Making you a medic/CSI)
    • Gain a Rogue-tier amount of Skill Feats, though a majority will be focused on Mental-based skills.
      • Also gain a bonus to untrained knowledge skills - not quite the same as Bard's singular Lore skill, but it's still decent.
    • One feat also allows you to pull things out of your Bat-Utility Belt. Like a boss.
  • Oracle
    • Curses are now inherently tied to mysteries. Likely so you don't cheese out the really obvious ones (Clouded Sight, Lame, Tongues, etc.)
      • Curses now only flare up when you use your mystery's spells and increase in severity the more you use them. Use it too much and you get knocked out. For a whole fucking day. The only way to drop the curse is to use the Refocus action (The one used for recovering Focus Points) out of combat.
    • The current mysteries available are Battle, Flames, and Life. Each mystery also has associated Cleric domains which you can jump into via feats. Heck, one of the domains is even given to you upon generation like the Cloistered Cleric.
  • Swashbuckler
    • Panache is now a condition gained through performing particular actions. You can move faster and you deal additional damage with certain weapons.
    • This Panache can be spent on making Finishing Moves (attacks with more pretentious naming) that deals extra damage.
    • Your subclasses are Braggart (Keying off Intimidation), Fencer (Keying off Deception), and Gymnast (Keying off Athletics)
  • Witch
    • Cackle is now mandatory. It now lets you sustain spells using only your voice.
    • Your familiar gets more abilities as it levels up, though it's slower going than the Familiar Thesis Wizards.
    • Your Patron and progression is now keyed through Lessons, each of which grants you a Hex (Read: Focus spell) and your familiar a normal spell. While none of these Lessons depend on each other, it also makes theming a patron rather difficult.
      • Your first lesson grants access to one of the Occult, Primal, or Arcane spell lists, in a similar pattern to the Sorcerer

General[edit]

  • The usual explanation of RPGs for newbies includes the usual advice of making sure everyone's comfortable and on the same page. This is expanded upon in the later chapter on GMing, which introduces things like x-cards and a default set of expectations for players (which GMs are told to tailor to their tables). The default expectations are in many ways incongruous with the slightly crapsack default setting. There's a prohibition on players owning slaves even though slavery being legal is the default for the setting, with only a handful of abolitionist nations (This could even prohibit players from having noble titles since serfdom is widely considered a form of slavery). Depictions of cruelty shouldn't be shown even though Zon-Kuthon is a core deity.
    • Overall, this is something anyone can assume considering the company's political outlook.
  • The general math of the system has been considerably simplified, chiefly by axing the sometimes silly list of bonuses you can slap onto a test.
  • The general setting of Golarion has been set at a point where all the 1E Adventure Paths have taken place and were successfully finished. This means that, among other things, the Worldwound in Sarkoris has been shut, the Whispering Tyrant is free to raise hell, and Cassandalee the android is now a full god with a divine portfolio.
  • The Gamemastery Guide re-introduced quite a lot of older variant systems from Stamina and Automatic Bonus Progression (with accompanying non-magical high-quality items) to Gestalt character and rejiggering the new stat-boost system to be in line with 1E's Point Buy system.

Ancestries[edit]

  • Among the typical RPG fare (Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Gnomes) are Goblins, Paizo's de-facto mascots for PF. As for the name? Well, the usual suspects claim that it's because calling them "Races" is problematic. Though it does also allow this part of the character to focus as much on biology as the culture the character was raised in.
    • Races and classes have static HP values instead of Hit Die (with the racial HP only applying for 1st level). Unlike Starfinder, there's no Stamina by default.
      • The Gamemastery Guide does include a quick-and dirty means to implement Stamina if you really want it: Just halve the default class Health and put the other half as stamina (+ Constitution). Of course, this will gunk up stuff like healing (since HP and Stamina are distinct pools), but you can recover this far quicker in exchange for a more limited means of recovery mid-battle.
    • Each race gives two fixed stat boosts and a fixed stat penalty as well as one stat bonus that can be assigned wherever you wish. Humans, being the snowflakes they are, just get two floating boosts.
      • Tengu and Orcs, added in the Advanced Player's Guide, are surprisingly closer to humans; both have one fixed stat boost (Dex and Strength, respectively) and one floating boost.
    • Each race is divvied up into multiple subraces or "heritages". Each of these grants one specific benefit and can be the pre-req for ancestry feats (like the always-amusing Bouncy Goblin feat and its siblings).
    • Racial Weapon Proficiency is now a feat for each race, as is the ability to improve your proficiency in them if you don't already do so.

Core Rulebook[edit]

  • Dwarves
    • 10 HP, Medium sized, +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, +2 free boost to any ability, -2 Charisma
      • Still everyone's favorite rock punching, medium-sized midgets, dwarf feats focus on crafting, resisting pansy-ass magic, your old ability to walk around in heavy armor like nobodies' business, and having your ancestors be angrier at pansy-ass magic than you are. Also of note is that all dwarves come by default with a Clan Dagger, a special weapon that they are always proficient in and treat like an icon of pride. Their heritages include:
        • Ancient-Blooded Dwarf: Your ancestors passed down their hatred of magic down to you. You gain +1 to saving throws.
        • Anvil Dwarf: Your parents beat forging into you harder than they did the clan daggers. Become trained in Crafting, gained a souped-up skill feat that gives you not one, but two classes of items that grant you +1, later +2 to crafting checks with them.
        • Death Warden Dwarf: You come from a long-lineage of gravekeepers, hell-bent on keeping the skeletons in their graves. You crit-success every time you succeed on a necromancy-based saving throw.
        • Elemental Heart Dwarf: Introduced in the Lost Omens Character Guide, you literally are exploding with elemental energy. You get a daily, 2-action attack that lets you explode with acid, cold, electric, or fire damage against every adjacent creature.
        • Forge Dwarf: Not to be confused with the Anvil Dwarf, you think being around an active volcano is cozy. You get fire resistance equal to half your level and heat-based environmental effect resistance.
        • Oathkeeper Dwarf: Introduced in the Lost Omens Character Guide, your parents or peers never told you snitches get stitches, or that you didn't believe anyone could give you any in the first place. Your inability to lie gives you +1 to Sense Motive checks and to your DC against being lied to, and +2 to Diplomacy whenever you have to convince someone you cannot lie. To rub in that fact, you suffer a -4 penalty to Lie checks and your DC in Deception whenever someone is trying to Sense Motive against you. It ain't easy being LG.
        • Rock Dwarf: Living in the mountains made you built like a brick-shit-house. You get +2 to saving throws against being knocked prone, shoved, or tripped, and you halve any push effect.
        • Strong-Blooded Dwarf: Now you are just too angry to be poisoned. You gain poison resistance equal to half your level, and you shake off poison faster any time you succeed on a saving throw against any toxin that managed to pierce through your dwarven hide.
  • Elves
    • 6 HP, Medium sized, +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, +2 free boost to any ability score, -2 Constitution
      • The rapid progress of Golarion in the Age of Lost Omens have done little to change elves in any real respect. Still nigh-immortal, still dexterous, still magical, still stuck-up. Much of their feats focus on one these aspects, whether its gaining new spells, improving DEX-based skills, becoming one with nature, being incredibly difficult to change their minds on anything --external influences included, and using their absurdly long lives to pick up the occasional hobby faster than anyone else. Your heritages includes:
        • Ancient Elves: Introduced in the Lost Omens Character Guide, you are only 200+ years young, and still have several centuries of adventuring left inside your old bones. Your "experience" lets you take a multiclass dedication feat other than their main class for free. Needless to say that this is quite powerful in freeing up feat space, as even humans needed to blow a racial feat at level 9 to pull that off.
        • Artic Elves: Frozen tundras that can barely support any kind of life are still forests, and someone needs to be smug and superior about them. Being a long-eared Eskimo have granted you cold damage resistance equal to half your level and you can guard against freezing environmental hazards down one step.
        • Cavern Elf: No one told you that the caves are for the dwarves. Your antithetical existence granted you darkvision.
        • Desert Elf: Introduced in the Lost Omens Character Guide, they are practically a reprint of Artic Elves. Cold damage resistance and wintery environmental effect resistance are replaced with fire damage resistance and heat-based environmental effect resistance.
        • Seer Elf: Born with an inherent connection to magic, you understand magic even more than other elves (as if you needed anything else to be superior about). You start with Detect Magic as an arcane innate cantrip, and gain a +1 circumstance bonus to Identity Magic and Decipher Writing, if it has something to do with magic.
        • Whisper Elves: Born with bigger, sharper, keener ears than most, no one's conversations are safe with you around. Whenever you use the Seek action to find undetected enemies, you can find one within a 60ft area instead of 30, and they gain a +2 circumstance bonus to finding them if they are within 30ft.
        • Woodland Elves: Jungle life has bred you to be expert tree-huggersclimbers. With a successful Climb check, you can traverse trees, vines, and other natural foliage half your run speed, your full speed if you crit-success it. You can also Take Cover in forest terrain, even if there is zero actual cover to use. We can only assume you either always bring a ghillie suit with you or you are merging with the forest itself.
  • Gnomes
    • 8 HP, Small sized, +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma, +2 free boost to any ability score, -2 Strength
      • Always fending of the lethal case of boredom known as The Bleaching, gnomes have realized several neat tricks over the course of the edition shift into the Age of Lost Omens. Whether its attuning into the fey-natures, mastering illusions, tinkering with their own weapons to make them even deadlier (literally giving them the Deadly trait) or even being able to speak with animals, their racial feats are... rather situational. Cool to behold, nonetheless! Rather fitting for them, all things considering. Your heritages include:
        • Chameleon Gnome: Latent magic within you lets you alter or change the colors of your entire body, much like a-- well, see the name. You start every day with some weird pattern or color scheme, and it takes an hour to change it to another. If your current color matches the color of the environment you are in, you can spend an action to gain +2 circumstance bonus to Stealth checks as long as you are in it or it stays that color!
        • Fey-Touched Gnome: Your family never let go of their fey origins, keeping them close to them for ages. This lets you gain the fey trait and one Primal cantrip to take as an innate spell. You can spend 10-minutes, once per day, to meditate, realigning all your fey chakras with the First World, to swap it out for another Primal cantrip.
        • Sensate Gnome: Everything about the world is just a tad bit brighter, sounds clearer, and smells way sicker to you. You can use your sense of smell to locate and hunt things in down like a bloodhound, within a 30ft area. You also have +2 to Perception checks if you are trying to find an undetected creature within your smelling range.
        • Umbral Gnome: Black may not be a color, but it is to you. You gain darkvision.
        • Vivacious Gnome: You are so much the life of the party, un-life phases you less. You gain negative damage resistance equal to half your level; and while you can't get rid of the Doomed condition easier, you do treat it as one stage less severe than others, meaning Doomed 1 means absolutely nothing to you. A little useful for the Oracle class.
        • Wellspring Gnome: Something other than primal fey magic has gripped your being. You can pick either the arcane, divine, or occult spell list as to what has altered your being, getting an innate cantrip from that spell list. Whenever you have you gain an ancestry feat that grants an innate primal cantrip, you instead alter the spell to be your chosen tradition.
  • Goblins
    • 6 HP, Small sized, +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, +2 free boost to any ability score, -2 Wisdom
      • Over the years, the goblins have become tired of being stereotyped as Always Chaotic Evil assholes that rape, pillage, and burn the common folk and/or cannon fodder. Taking up the adventuring mantle in the hopes of changing the outlooks of everyone, they have become somewhat more friendly to hang around with. They still are natural pyromaniacs and will eat any trash they find off the street, so they have quite the long way to go before they will be 100% welcomed in anyone's house. Their racial feats, paying homage to their violent pasts, focus a lot on crowd control, dealing extra damage, and being quite hard to punish in response. Your choices of heritages are:
        • Charhide Goblin: Your family has a long history of being on the receiving end of "Kill it with fire!". Fortunately for you, you aren't quite as flammable as your elders. You gain fire damage resistance equal to half your level, and it only takes DC10 flat check over a DC15 to put yourself out if you ever do catch fire.
        • Irongut Goblin: One man's trash is another goblin's five-star cuisine! You can always find a meal to eat, even in the poorest of villages, as long as garbage is easily available. You also can still eat and drink while you suffer the Sickened condition (VERY useful for Mutagenist Alchemist builds!). You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your saving throws, and even turn any successful Fortitude saving throw with this bonus into a crit-success, against getting afflictions, becoming Sickened, and even for removing the Sickened condition, as long as it from something you would have ate.
        • Razortooth Goblin: Your family always had very, uncomfortably sharp teeth. You gain a 1d6 piercing jaws unarmed attack.
        • Snow Goblin: Cool, chill, maybe even a little coldhearted, your blue fur is testament that you can weather any snowstorm with ease. You gain cold damage resistance equal to half your level and resist cold environments down one stage.
        • Tailed Goblin: Introduced in the Lost Omens Character Guide, you are descended from monkeys more directly than even the humans. You gain +2 to your Climb checks, gain a skill feat that lets you fight while climbing unabated, and can even use your tail to reduce the number of free hands you need to climb up with!
        • Treedweller Goblin: Introduced in the Lost Omens Character Guide. Taking a page out the elves' playbook, you become one with nature. As long as you are in a forest or jungle, you get +2 to your Stealth, Survival checks to find food, and your Survival DC to cover your tracks well.
        • Unbreakable Goblin: You were always called "thick-skulled" growing up, no one knew how literal you'd took it. You gain 10 base HP over 6, and you take half-damage from falls.
  • Halflings
    • 6 HP, Small-sized, +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, +2 free boost to any ability score, -2 Strength
      • Happy-go-lucky and struck with a case of permanent wanderlust, the not-Hobbits haven't changed much in the edition shift, outside of losing their ability to pass as human (and look like a child doing so. Though the Core Rulebook's description of them still refer them as "...some looking like shorter adult humans with slightly larger heads and others having proportions closer to those of a human child"). Much of their racial feats focus on their innate luck, being small and innocent, blending in their surroundings, or making sure no one can catch them when the first three fail them. Their heritages include:
        • Gutsy Halfling: Just because you are small, doesn't mean you lack big cajones. You turn any successful saving throw against a Mental effect into a crit-success.
        • Hillock Halfling: Being a rural hick has its perks. You can add your Level whenever you are regaining HP while resting overnight, and you can snack on something while someone is using Treat Wounds on you to add your Level to the amount of HP you would recover. The book is vague on what counts as a snack or even where you get it from, so speak with your DM about if you get an infinite stash of bananas or something.
        • Jinxed Halfling: Introduced in the Advanced Player's Guide, instead of being blessed with supernatural luck, you can curse others with bad luck! You are unable to take any feat relating to Halfling Luck, but you gain the Jinx action, which lets you, once a day, make them roll a Will saving throw to avoid becoming Clumsy. It isn't a great subrace, given how much you lose over what you gain, so you probably have to be jinxed to take it.
        • Nomadic Halfling: Your family's always been on the move, never been one to settle down, and it has been that way for generations. Your experience with all the cultures you've run into let you gain two additional languages. It also boosts the Multilingual feat, letting you take a grand total of three additional languages every time you gain it.
        • Observant Halfling: Introduced in the Lost Omens Character Guide, your awareness towers over your height. You gain +1 to all Perception DCs, not to your checks, however.
        • Twilight Halfling: The dark of night have always been a friend to your family, and you are no exception. You gain low-light vision.
        • Wildwood Halfling: Your big, hairy feet has never got in the way of running about in the forest. You ignore any difficult terrain regarding trees, foliage, and undergrowth.
  • Humans
    • 8 HP, Medium sized, +2 to any two ability scores of your choosing
      • They are humans. Not much to talk about. Still the most versatile and adaptable of any race, regardless of how much you believe in Humanity Fuck Yeah or not. Even their feats are more practical than they are flashy. Their heritages are more interesting than they are, being the receptacles of Half-Elves and Half-Orcs races, and possibly any other specifically half-human bloodline that will be printed. Humans can choose these as their subrace to gain access to their respective traits, low-light vision, and their respective full ancestry feat line, as well as feats specific for them.
        • Half-Elf feats lets them utilize their dual-lives to their advantage, whether its blending in with elves or humans, or being so supernaturally charming, no one will care about being a freak of nature.
        • Half-Orc feats (or the few that exists as of the time of this writing) lets you use your added brainpower to fool those that you are as dumb as you look or empathize with monsters. It's better to tap into Orc feats with, especially the many that were added when they became a player race as of the Advanced Player's Guide.
      • Your more human-specific heritages include:
        • Skilled Heritage: The human mind craves knowledge for meaningless tasks that may or may not gain meaning. You automatically become Trained in one skill of your choice, becoming an Expert in it at 5th Level.
        • Versatile Heritage: You believe in your adaptability more than you honestly should. You gain any general feat that you meet the prerequisites for.
        • Wintertouched Heritage: Introduced in the Lost Omens Character Guide, your burning passion for humanity keeps you warm in the coldest of climates. You gain cold damage resistance equal to half your level and resist environmental effects down one stage.

Lost Omens Character Guide[edit]

  • Hobgoblins
    • 8 HP, Medium sized, +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +2 free boost to any ability score, -2 Wisdom
      • Thanks to the events of the Ironfang Invasion Adventure Path, hobgoblins have been elevated into a full society within the mountains of the Nirmanthas region. The heroes of the Adventure Path canonically managed to talk down the invading warlord into ending her continental conquest. However, General Azaersi decided to maintain her claim over the region and establish the hobgoblin nation of Oprak. The residents of Nirmanthas and its neighbor, Nidal, are cautiously optimistic that their new hobgoblins neighbors would make great allies, though some believe they are just biding their time and strength, ready to begin Ironfang Invasion 2: Electric Boogaloo. In the meantime, hobgoblins continue to grow stronger, fiercer, and more militant under the general's rule. Hobgoblin feats are small in number at the time of this writing, focusing on supporting their allies or stacking debuffs on foes. They can be quite powerful, if you play your cards right. Your options for heritages include:
        • Elfbane Hobgoblin: Your lineage were bred to be weapons against the elves. You gain the Resist Elf Magic reaction, letting you gain a +1 bonus towards your saving throws against magical effects, +2 if it is an arcane spell.
        • Runtboss Hobgoblin: You are used to ordering around goblins. You automatically gained the ability to Coerce multiple creatures, and any successful attempt to Coerce goblins will crit-succeed. You also cannot crit-fail such a check.
        • Smokeworker Hobgoblin: Smoke and fire means little to you and your family. You gain fire damage resistance equal to half your level and you can always target creatures concealed behind smoke.
        • Warmarch Hobgoblin: Your family never knew the difference between civilian life and military life, always being on the move. You can always find some kind of food in the wilderness as long as you don't crit-fail your Subsist check, and you can Hustle twice as long without tiring.
        • Warrenbred Hobgoblin: Your family lived underground for generations, adapting for such a life. You can Seek undetected creatures in a 30ft area over a 15ft area using your ears, as long as you are underground. You also crit-succeed all successful Squeeze checks using your Acrobatics.
  • Leshies
    • 8 HP, Small sized +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, +2 free boost to any ability score, -2 Intelligence
      • Grown by a druid's love, care, and vehement rage against those that despoil nature, leshies are back in action! It appears that quite a few different types of leshies have followed suit with the vine leshies in gaining free will and independence. Their feat list, at the time of this writing, are as small as they are, being one of the few races to not get a full ancestry feat list. Still, they have some rather unique feats fitting for their plant-like bodies, such as increasing the range of all two-handed weapons by making their arms into vine-like whips, using their leaves to glide through the air, disguising themselves as ordinary houseplants, or performing photosynthesis to heal. Not every form of leshy is playable, given that they are still a borderline construct tasked with serving their druidic creators, but those with enough of a free will can choose to be:
        • Fungus Leshy: You are certainly a fun guy. Your mushroom-like senses grant you darkvision.
        • Gourd Leshy: You abide to that intelligence penalty and literally lack a brain. You have better uses for the space betwixt your ears (or lack thereof). You can store up to 1 Bulk worth of items within your head, making it more difficult to snatch from you. You can also draw and use an item in the same action, if it was the only thing inside your head.
        • Leaf Leshy: Born from leaves, your body is incredibly light. No matter how far you fall, your will never take any falling damage.
        • Vine Leshy: Your vines let you clamber up any surface with little challenge. You require no hands to Climb, and you always get a crit-success whenever you successfully pass an Athletics check to Climb.
  • Lizardfolk
    • 8 HP, Medium sized, +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, +2 free boost to any ability score, -2 Intelligence
      • The lizardfolk are still the highly traditional reptilians seen in first edition. Like leshies, their feat list is small and incomplete at the time of this writing. What they do get is plenty of feats that make use of their brutish strength and natural weapons, getting deadly claw, jaw, and tail strikes. They also gain a few feats that makes traversal like swimming and climbing easier. Their heritages include:
        • Cliffscale Lizardfolk: You have sticky pads on the soles of your feet that makes climbing up any surface easier. You can fight easier while climbing, and as long as you lack footwear, you can climb without using your hands. Anytime you successfully roll an Athletics check to Climb, you automatically crit-succeed.
        • Frilled Lizardfolk: You have spiny dorsal fins around your neck that you can flare up to intimidate anyone wondering how the hell you don't cut yourself with 'em. If your opponent can see you, you can Demoralize without speaking. You also gain a 2-action activity that lets you channel your inner JoJo villain and walk towards anyone menacingly, giving them Frightened 2 over Frightened 1.
        • Sandstrider Lizardfolk: You got thick scales that reflect the sun's oppressive rays, granting you fire damage resistance equal to half your level, hot environmental protection, and the ability to 10 times as long without food or drink. However, cold weather hurts you more, treating any cold environment as one level more extreme than normal.
        • Unseen Lizardfolk: You got chameleon skin. You can spend an action to blend in with an environment that matches your skin color, granting you +2 to Stealth checks. You can also spend an hour to completely change your skin color.
        • Wetlander Lizardfolk: You and your family always lived in places like swamps, marshes, rivers, and other bodies of waters. You gain a 15ft swim speed.

Extinction Curse[edit]

  • Shoonies
    • 6 HP, Small sized, +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, +2 free boost to any ability score, -2 Constitution
      • The first of the brand-new races to Pathfinder Second Edition, Shoonies were added to the game in the third book of the Extinction Curse Adventure Path. Pug-like dogfolk living within the Isle of Kortos, they are a pacifistic, kindhearted people that believe no one is beyond redemption or second chances (even if the low base HP and Constitution penalty makes them a little unsuited for PaladinChampion builds). This doesn't stop the few that suffer a personal offense or that threatens their people's peaceful life from becoming adventurers. Shoony feats are few in number and not all that powerful, focusing on traversal and navigating through and around opponents, but they are one of the few playable races of the time of this writing that are able to gain a burrowing speed with them! The heritage options they have are the following:
        • Bloodhound Shoony: Your family's stout snouts not only are able to block out foul stenches, but they can ascertain specific threats that their other senses cannot pick up. They gain the imprecise scent sense with a range of 30ft, and gain a +2 to any Survival check to Track those they have smelled before.
        • Fishseeker Shoony: Years of patient, calming fishing has honed your reflexes. Any time you successfully Grab An Edge, you crit-success the check. Any time you would crit-fail such a check, you only fail to, so you don't have to test if shoonies lack collarbones like real dogs. Also, anytime someone fails to Disarm you, you cause them to crit-fail their check!
        • Paddler Shoony: Your kin never found much issue living the swamp life. You ignore difficult terrain and greater difficult terrain regarding bogs, and you crit-succeed any successful Swim check.
        • Thickcoat Shoony: Despite most shoonies living in humid marshes and isles, your family was somehow living up north. You have a much thicker coat of fur that grants you cold damage resistance equal to half your level, you resist freezing environments down one stage, and you can always target creatures concealed only by snow. However, heat-based environments are one level more extreme to you than normal.

Advanced Player's Guide[edit]

  • Catfolk
    • 8 HP, Medium sized, +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, +2 free boost to any ability score, -2 Wisdom
      • The felines have returned to the play space, and the furries rejoiced. Lithe, wild, somewhat matriarchal, and always like to satiate their curiosity, the amurrans of Golarion are still out and about the place. Their feats focus heavily on improving their movement and manipulating rolls to avoid worst-case scenarios, including the ability to use their reaction to instantly revive a comrade from being knocked out at Level 13. Your pick of the heritage litter includes:
        • Clawed Catfolk: Your family always had deadly claws, capable of gouging out eyes and leaving nasty wounds. You gain a 1d6 claw strike.
        • Hunting Catfolk: You're a natural predator. Stalking your prey comes easy to you. You have a 30ft imprecise scent using your sense of smell. You also have +2 to any Survival check made to Track your prey that you've smelt before.
        • Jungle Catfolk: Your kin is closer to panthers and jaguars than just the regular, ol' pussy-cat. You ignore difficult undergrowth terrain, and treat greater difficult undergrowth terrain as just difficult terrain.
        • Nine Lives Catfolk: Great misfortune always seemed to evade or be mitigated with your family, being able to come back from any life-threatening disaster. Whenever you would be KO'd by a critical hit, you only go down to Dying 1, instead of Dying 2.
        • Winter Catfolk: A thick coat of fur guards you from the cold, granting you cold damage resistance equal to half your level, and you treat every cold environmental effect as one step less extreme than normal. Not too thick, else heat might be an issue for you...
  • Kobolds
    • 6 HP, Small sized, +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, +2 free boost to any ability score, -2 Constitution
      • Everyone's favorite scrappy, overconfident, dragon-loving cannon-fodder returns in the APG. While the intervening years between first and second edition hasn't altered them too much society-wise, they have changed quite a bit appearance-wise. They have wider, flatter heads, more pronounced horns, and a thicker frame, giving them a more reptilian appearance fitting for their dragon-descended claims. Feat-wise, they have a rather short list, but there are some quite useful effects focusing on their innate ability to breathe the elements like their dragon patron, excel in their trap-making abilities, or...to a take a page out of the 5E Kobold playbook and cry, whine, and cringe to negate critical damage or Feint... At least that last bit is optional and they don't have sun sensitivity, unlike their brethren from the coast. Their heritages are the following:
        • Cavern Kobold: Your family's home was as tight and compact as the egg you hatched from. You can move half your Speed whenever you successfully Climb rock walls and other stone terrain, and your full speed if you crit-succeed the check. You also crit-success all successful Squeeze checks.
        • Dragonscaled Kobold: While all kobolds have scale colors equal to their draconic exemplar, your scales are far closer to them in color and elemental protection. You gain resistance equal to half your level of your draconic exemplar's damage type, and you double the resistance against dragon's Breath Weapon strikes.
        • Spellscale Kobold: You can tap into your latent draconic magics. You gain an arcane cantrip.
        • Strongjaw Kobold: You have a vicious set of chompers, coming from your mother, father, or both! You gain a 1d6 jaw attack.
        • Venomtail Kobold: Your tail is tipped with a spur, filled with a deadly venom. You can, once a day, spend one action coat any piercing or slashing weapon with it to deal persistent poison damage equal to your level against your opponent, should you land your next blow.
  • Orcs
    • 10 HP, Medium sized, +2 Strength, +2 free boost to any ability score
      • The green-skinned boys are back in town! Ferocious, brutish, and undying, the orcs come swinging with a vicious, full-sized feat list. The APG sidesteps a lot of their more "violent" tendencies of pillaging and "conception" of half-orcs, preferring to focus on their glory-seeking, honesty and unbreakable loyalty to those they see as equals or treat them nicely. They are a society looking to surpass their shitty upbringings, wanting to move on from their long history of conflict.... by way of conflict. Their feat list focuses a lot on resisting magic, improving their deadly strength, or finding new and exciting ways to refuse to die. This also helps half-orcs tremendously, who started with a comparatively small list of feats they could take, in comparison to half-elves. One of the few niceties orcs have ever given to their illegitimate kin. Their list of heritages have:
        • Badlands Orc: Your homeland was as equally as harsh and inhospitable as you are. You can Hustle without tiring for twice as long than normal, and you gain environmental heat resistance, dropping it down one level.
        • Deep Orc: Your red eyes and calloused hands are proof that the cavernous depths have fostered your family. You gain two skill feats, one that grants +1 to Survival checks while you are underground, the other letting you fight while climbing easier.
        • Hold-Scarred Orc: Your family has a longstanding tradition of ritually scarring or tattooing themselves. You gain 12 base HP from your ancestry, not 10, and you gain a general feat that increases the Dying value threshold to 5, instead of 4.
        • Rainfall Orc: Growing up in the flooding rain forests have given you a literally sink-or-swim mentality. You have a +2 bonus to Athletics checks requiring you to Swim or Climb, and a +1 bonus to saving throws against diseases.
  • Ratfolk
    • 6 HP, Small sized, +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, +2 free boost to any ability score, -2 Strength
      • Diligent, communal, and insightful, the ratfolk return, continuing to fight against the stereotypes and discriminatory actions of the other natives of Golarion, hoping to break the not-Skaven or other monstrous outlooks most have of them. With their large families and discerning natures, they prefer to keep to themselves. As a nod to Starfinder, Paizo has officially retconned the ratfolk into Ysoki, even given them their ability to store small objects into their cheek pouches as a feat! Speaking of which, their racial feats aren't all that useful, mostly focusing on their hoarding tendencies, navigation, minor improvements to their crafting skills, or just improving their cheek pouch storage size. Their heritages are:
        • Deep Rat: Your family dug their homes deeper than any other rat you know. You gain darkvision.
        • Desert Rat: Arid lands and desert sandscapes meant nothing to your kin or you. You can scamper on all-fours, increasing your movement Speed to 30ft, as well as treating environmental hazards based on heat as one degree less severe. Though cold weather is one degree more...
        • Longsnout Rat: Your sniffer is longer and stronger than most other rats. You gain a 30ft radius to your sense of smell to find creatures, and a +2 circumstance bonus to any Seek check.
        • Sewer Rat: Surviving on garbage came natural to your family, giving you an iron stomach and hardy blood. You gain an immunity to the filth fever disease, as well as the ability to recover quicker from successful poison or disease saving throws, decreasing their Stage by 2 instead of 1 on a success, and 3 instead of 2 on a crit-success.
        • Shadow Rat: Your dark fur and dour attitude frightens the local fauna. You become Trained in Intimidation, and you can Coerce animals. You can also Demoralize any animal without a penalty for not sharing their language. However, all animals treat you with disrespect in kind, decreasing their default attitude towards you down one stage. This can be a little problematic for any nature-based campaign, as you piss off every species of wild beast within the immediate area into attacking you just by existing.
  • Tengu
    • 6 HP, Medium sized, +2 Dexterity, +2 free boost to any ability score
      • The tengu caw there way back into player hands, picking up a lot of new tricks, based around their youkai origins. While they still are scavengers of ill-repute like in first edition, some have became natural "jinx-eaters", able to absorb misfortune, perfect for guiding ships and other mercantile-based trades. Others follow their old, sword-based martial talents, a much easier feat to accomplish thanks to their much more practical stat line for such a calling. Sure, their ancestry feat list isn't too long, but it does have many practical abilities. Such as screwing over any fortune/misfortune effect, growing wings with a fly speed, or even assuming a human-based disguised form that can later evolve into a giant oni monstrosity with Enlarge and Fly as innate spells. The tengu are definitely one of the biggest winners of the edition shift so far! Their heritages include:
        • Jinxed Tengu: Curses mean nothing to your family at this point. Any curse or misfortune effect you succeed in turns into a crit-success. And whenever you would suffer the Doomed status, you can make a DC17 flat check to try to reduce the status value by 1.
        • Mountainkeeper Tengu: Your family has a keen link to the spirits of the realm, thanks to their generations of ascetism and spirituality. You gain the Disrupt Undead cantrip as an innate primal spell, and any other spell you would gain from your heritage or ancestry can be cast as either divine or primal.
        • Skyborn Tengu: Something about you has gifted you with a lighter frame or even entire (unusable) wings! You take no falling damage, no matter how far you fall.
        • Stormtossed Tengu: You have a hankering for storm-chasing, or storms had a hankering for you, ever since you were a chick. You gain electricity damage resistance equal to half your Level and you can target any creature concealed by rain or fog without a flat check.
        • Taloned Tengu: In addition to the tengu standard of their strong beaks, your family always had strong claws! You gain a 1d4 claw strike.


Versatile Heritages[edit]

No longer your half-_ will always be part human, now your can tack on any of the following to your OC by replacing their normal subrace. Technically, the half-elves and half-orcs fit here too. None of them really give you a lot beside access to their feats. In other words: You can now be a Dwarf Dhampir or Elf Tiefling, but you're only getting more feat options and a low-light vision upgrade, compared to other heritages' much more direct (if situational) bonuses.

  • Aasimar
    • Most of the tricks remain, though your some of your level 1 feats lock you into either having Angel, Archon or Azata origins. A later feat even lets you call upon one of your forebears as a ritual.
  • Changeling
    • Altered somewhat from their initial appearance, Changelings are still the offspring of Hags. Now they can be of any race and sex, instead of being humanoid and female-only. They still suffer from, women especially, what is known as "the Call", the psychic influence from their mothers that is pushing them to join their coven and turn into hags themselves (begs an interesting question about what happens to the men that end up following the Call...).
    • Their Level 1 subrace feat are split between Brine May, Callow May, Dream May, and Slag May origins, based off the type of hag their mothers are. Later feats provide bonuses like resistance to mental effects, dealing mental damage with your claw strikes, and eventually gaining access to some Hag Magic spells.
  • Dhampir
    • Vampires were never really restricted by the base creature, now neither are their hybrid offspring.
    • Compared to other versatile heritages, they're rather limited in their racial feat choices. Not a bad thing though, as you get all the important vampire stuff early on.
  • Duskwalker
    • Basically a psychopomp-based equivalent to Aasimar and Tieflings. Feat list is very limited, but it might be due to their very specific origin.
  • Tiefling
    • You get level 1 feats that lock your lineages to devil, daemon or demon as well as a later feat to call upon said forebear.
    • A good bit of your feats focus on your more distinct anatomy like a speed boost from hooves, natural weapons and tail trickery.

Classes[edit]

  • Alchemist is now a core class alongside the classic 3.X Roster (Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin Champion, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Wizard).
  • Like Starfinder, each class has a key ability score you focus on for class-related saves, and this DC improves in proficiency as you level up. Each also boosts this key stat at level 1.
  • Most classes have no out of combat utility. What does remain tends to be gated behind Skill Feats.
  • The idea of a "half-caster", as in a class that gains limited access to the lower level spells, is mostly done away with; instead, some classes get "Focus Points".
    • One could also fulfill their limited-casting fetish through multi-classing (Casting classes grant a limited access to spell traditions and casting powers through the right feats).
    • As of the Secrets of Magic playtest, something resembling a half-caster will exist, although it'll be more along the lines of "highly limited number of spells per day" (4, as of the playtest), rather than the "highly limited access to the spell list" method of PF1e or D&D.
  • As a side effect of the above, there are exactly four spell lists: Arcane (Wizard), Divine (Cleric), Primal (Druid) and Occult (Bard); no more, no less. All spellcasters are either assigned or "pick"[1] exactly one of the four as a baseline; subclass features, special feats and Focus Spells can allow access to a few spells outside the list, but usually at the cost of a feat.
  • Focus is a new-ish resource that lets you use spell-like abilities like Cleric Domain Powers, Ki Powers, and similar affairs. Playtesters might better recognize this as Spell Points. Fortunately, this recharges fairly quickly (10 minutes rest) and it's no longer tied to a stat.
    • Focus spells (almost) always[2] cost a class feat, and being able to cast more than one in combat also costs a class feat. In short: Focus Spells are a specialization, and you'll probably only use 1 per encounter, so make it count.
  • Multiclassing is purely a matter of feats. For more detail, see below under Miscellaneous.

As to the individual classes themselves:

Core Rulebook Classes[edit]

  • Alchemist
    • Replaced those spell-like infusions that were totally jank anyways with just gaining access to the big list of alchemical items without needing an extra feat. Some of these items you can even make for free without needing to spend much time or any cash on crafting. This is all managed by your daily resources, your Infused Reagents.
    • Has the ability to instantly make some free lower-level alchemical things using your Infused Reagents.
    • Split into subclasses known as Research Fields. Alongside some other improvements, you do get the means of producing infinite numbers of certain lower-level items for free. They are composed of the following:
      • Bomber (Core Rulebook) -- Lets them produce infinite bombs and target your splash damage against only your main target.
      • Chirurgeon (Core Rulebook) -- Lets the Alchemist craft elixirs of life as well as potions and antidotes. It also lets them use Crafting over Medicine for Untrained and Trained Medicine checks (still requiring you to have Medicine Trained in the first place...).
      • Mutagenist (Core Rulebook) -- Lets them use their Infused Reagents to craft mutagens, as well as (added in an errata) the ability to reactivate any mutagen they have consumed that day, regardless of materials, once per day.
      • Toxicologist (Advanced Player's Guide) -- They can craft infinite poisons, as well as only use one action to coat a weapon in poison over two. They also have an easier time inflicting said poison, using their Class DC over the poison's check, should it be higher.
  • Barbarian
    • Rather than the rounds/day nonsense of the past, now Rages last a full minute before needing a cooldown, just like in 5E. However, like last edition, going into a Rage does restrict what actions you can take and it initially needs a lengthy cooldown period that...just means you can't rage again. No penalties or anything.
    • "Instincts" are pretty much the replacements of Totems, granting a bonus effect to your rage, a bonus resistance to eventually develop while raging at Level 9, and an anathema that prevents you from raging for a full day should you break it, because everyone needs to fall. The Instincts are:
      • Animal Instinct (Core Rulebook) -- Grants the Barbarian while they are raging an animal's unarmed attacks, polymorphing their body to match those powers. Good, as using weapons while you are raging is anathema.
      • Dragon Instinct (Core Rulebook) -- Increases the damage they deal while Raging, as well as convert that damage to the element of their patron dragon. They also choose to revere or abhor the draconic patron, making it anathema to deny their orders for the former, being unable to slay them for the latter.
      • Fury Instinct (Core Rulebook) -- The simplest of them, it increases the damage they deal while raging as well as gives them an additional 1st-Level Barbarian feat. It has no anathema to break, but no additional abilities either.
      • Giant Instinct (Core Rulebook) -- Lets the Barbarian the ability to wield Large-sized weapons, as well as any weapon one-size larger than them should they be any size other than Small or Medium. They can make any weapon available at character generation large-sized too. Though its heavy weight and size gives them a status penalty while they wield it, it also increases their rage damage. Failing to face a personal challenge of strength is anathema.
      • Spirit Instinct (Core Rulebook) -- Increases the rage damage they deal, as well as give them the option to make it Positive or Negative damage instead of their normal damage. They also gain the Ghost Touch ability on all their weapons and unarmed attacks while raging, meaning they are so angry, they can punch ghosts and other specters. Disrespecting the dead and other corpses is anathema.
      • Superstitious Instinct (Advanced Player's Guide) -- Being angry about all forms of magic grants them +2 to all saves against magical effects as well as the ability to heal themselves equal to the amount of temporary hit points they would have regained while raging. Willingly accepting magical effects and spells onto yourself, including healing (potions are exempt from this), or travelling with someone that has no intentions of respecting your superstitions, is anathema.
  • Bard
    • Now full casters, with access to 10th level spells in their own rinky-dink spell list (called "Occult").
    • Much of the old bardic buffs and debuffs spells and abilities have became what are known as Composition Spells, special focus spells and cantrips that can only be cast one at a time, per turn.
    • Bards are also subdivided into subclasses through "Muses", each providing a 1st-Level feat and a free spell to their spell repertoire:
      • Enigma (Core Rulebook) -- Loves to hunt down mysteries and other forbidden knowledge. Grants them the Bardic Lore feat, letting them roll Recall Knowledge on any subject, no matter how niche or obscure. It also gives them True Strike as a spell.
      • Maestro (Core Rulebook) -- The classic music-playing bard. Gives the Lingering Composition feat and focus spell, giving them a chance to extend any composition spell from one round, up to four. They also gain Soothe as a spell.
      • Polymath (Core Rulebook) -- The traditional jack-of-all-trades bard. Gives them the Versatile Performance feat, letting them substitute Performance for Diplomacy, Deception, and Intimidation checks and for the purposes of Training Prerequisites. It also gives them Unseen Servant as a spell.
      • Warrior (Advanced Player's Guide) -- Closest thing to an occult-based Magus gish at the moment without the need for Archetypes, granting them sword-and-spell prowess. Gives them the Martial Performance feat, giving them proficiency in all martial weapons. It also gives them Fear as a spell.
  • Cleric
    • Domains now only give two spell-like powers. Nothing more, nothing less. This is also done over two feats.
      • As a measure of compensation for this, each deity has a small set of spells they automatically grant their clerics (naturally Nethys, the god of magic, gives more than most other deities).
    • Cure and Channel Energy are now one and the same. The effect you'd typically call Channel Energy is now an extended-casting version of the Heal/Harm spell.
    • Clerics are billed between different subtypes known as Doctrines, each providing specific bonuses and proficiency increases every 1st, 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th, 17th, and 19th Levels. They are:
      • Cloistered (Core Rulebook) -- The divine spell-focused caster Cleric. Grants them their first Domain feat and divine spell attack roll proficiencies.
      • Warpriest (Core Rulebook) -- Grants them training light and medium armor proficiency and Expert Fortitude proficiency, later gaining martial weapon proficiency at Trained level, and Expert in their Deity's Preferred Weapon.
  • Druid
    • They get access to the Primal spell list and Order Spells, special Focus Spells that are dependent on your Order.
    • Druids still abide to their traditional anathemas: you can't don metal armor or shields, carelessly ruin nature, or teach the Druidic language to non-druids. Else you lose your magical powers and Order benefits and must have the Atone ritual cast on you to rejoin them. Orders also provide additional anathemas, similar to Barbarians and Champions.
    • The Orders are:
      • Animal Order (Core Rulebook) -- Grants them Athletics training and an animal companion at Level 1. Being cruel to animals or committing wanton, extinction-class slaughter against them is anathema to the Animal Order.
      • Leaf Order (Core Rulebook) -- Grants the druid Diplomacy training and a Leshy familiar. Haplessly destroying plant-life is anathema.
      • Storm Order (Core Rulebook) -- Acrobatics training and no penalty to casting spells in or against targets concealed by weather comes naturally to the Storm Druid. Polluting the air or allowing vast, ecological climate shifts to happen to a threat you know of is anathema to you (So no smoking!).
      • Wild Order (Core Rulebook) -- The shape shifting-focused Order. Training in Intimidation and easy access to the Wild Shape focus spell, as well the Wild Morph focus spell. Letting yourself become "fully-domesticated to the temptations of civilization", read: owning a house there is anathema.
  • Fighter
    • Fighters possess an interrupting Opportunity Attack by default. For sake of gimping everyone else while uplifting the fighter, this is now an exclusive feature (though Champions, Barbarians, Swashbuckler and, presumably, similar future martial classes can grab it as a class feat at level 6 while other classes get similar-yet-different reactions - that and Attack of Opportunity being surprisingly rare among monsters and NPCs).
    • They took the Brawler's ability to take feats they don't have, though at a much slower rate.
    • They are also the only class that gets Legendary weapon proficiency, giving them much better accuracy, and in return a much higher chance to crit than any other martial class.
  • Monk
    • Start off with Flurry of Blows and aren't automatically bound to Ki powers or Wisdom at all.
    • By default, you're shit with weapons. You'll need to expend feats for proficiency with either melee weapons or bows (Yeah, APG gave us back the Zen Archer).
    • Your unarmored defense isn't locked to Wisdom and you still start with all good saves. Leveling up, however, means leaving one save at just "good" rather than "awesome".
    • Alongside the classic Monk powers and maneuvers, your starting Ki powers are either Ki Stride (Move twice in an action) and Ki Strike (Attack once, deal double damage of a certain type). Gaining one of these Ki powers is necessary to gain the later ki powers at the moment, such as the ability to go Super Saiyan ala Dragon Ball Z, including making your hair/fur/scales change color and glow.
    • Monks get innate access to Stance feats, martial stances that switch up their unarmed attacks. Some stances also require ki spells to gain.
  • PaladinChampion
    • See that thing up there? The rename? That's a big stride that, among other things, allows you to actually introduce Paladins that aren't Lawful Good without needing all the rehashing/archetyping/using another class. Again, a sacred cow is slaughtered, and again, much bile and salt spilled forth from it.
    • A Champion follows their Code of Conduct, composed of their Deity's rulings and their Tenet, which determines which Cause they can take, each giving them a special reaction they can preform. Later levels provide bonus features and effects to the Reactions. Each Tenet provides its own anathema, with additional ones tacked on depending on the Cause you take and the deity you follow. The Tenets and their respective Causes are of the following:
      • Tenets of Good (Core Rulebook) -- Each of the Causes here focus on defending the party and being an upstanding citizen. Each one provides the Lay on Hands focus spell, as well as a special Reaction to help your party members if they end up attacked. You cannot knowingly preform evil actions, harm innocents, or let innocents be harmed. Naturally, you require a Good alignment and follow a Good-aligned God to take this Tenet and its respective Causes.
        • Paladin -- Lawful Good -- The stereotypical Law-Poindexter. You must always act honorably and be a good role-model, as well as always obey and respect the local, legitimate laws. In turn, you gain access to Retributive Strike, a special reaction in which you grant resistance to all damage to an ally being attacked equal to 2 + the Champion's Level, as well as the chance to strike the attacking foe if they are in range of you.
        • Redeemer -- Neutral Good -- Believing that everyone deserves second, third, or even fourth chances grants you the Glimpse of Redemption reaction, the chance for a foe to stop its attack dead in its tracks should it damage an ally. If they choose to go through with the assault, your ally gains damage resistance equal to 2 + the Champion's Level, and the foe gains a status penalty for 2 turns. However, this means you must give your foes the chance to redeem themselves, only taking extreme measures should they continue to act out. You must also show compassion to everyone's care, no matter their authority or station.
        • Liberator -- Chaotic Good -- You believe that everyone deserves freedom and the ability to make their own decisions, regardless of station or circumstance. Your steadfast beliefs in self-determination grants you the Liberating Step reaction, the power to grant damage resistance equal to 2 + your Level to an ally that is under attack or the effects of an immobilizing ability. They can either attempt a new saving throw against the effect or Escape if they were being Grappled or Restrained, in addition to a free 5ft-Step away from the enemy. Being a Liberator, disrespecting people's choices, even if it threatens their own lives, forcing or threatening them to see your point of view, or participating in slavery or tyranny (rather redundant, given the de jure ban on owning slaves already) is anathema to your core values.
      • Tenets of Evil (Advanced Player's Guide) -- While the Tenets of Good focuses on defending allies and keeping them alive through copious usage of Lay on Hands, the Tenets of Evil are all about dealing heavy amounts of damage and penalizing anyone that dares touch you through their reactions. They all also gain the Touch of Corruption focus spell, essentially reverse Lay on Hands. You throw your weight around, making sure that you are a spiked wall, converting your defensive prowess into offensive might. This, however, makes playing the Champion as their intended sentinel-like roles harder, as the game lacks any particular Taunt-esque feats and Champions require spending their Level 6 feat to get their Attack of Opportunity. It does tie into their innately selfish natures, as willingly performing good acts, or putting others' lives and well-beings above your own or your deity's is anathema to you. Their Causes include:
        • Tyrant -- Lawful Evil -- Your steadfast beliefs in social Darwinism means you are obliged to keep those weaker than you are in line, as you and your god are the mightiest. You gain access to the Iron Command reaction, allowing you to channel your inner General Zod and force a foe that has dealt damage to you to either kneel prone or suffer mental damage. A feat can even enhance the damage to be persistent!
        • Desecrator -- Neutral Evil -- Evil feels good, and you make sure that everyone knows it. Kick puppies, steal to your hearts content, do whatever you want and let no one stop you. Living up to your hedonistic heart, spreading the good word of evil, grants you the Selfish Shield reaction, granting you damage resistance equal to 2 + your Level, as well as let you deal extra Evil or Negative damage against the triggering foe on every one of your strikes 'til the end of your turn. Being a Desecrator, you are obliged to corrupt, destroy, and subvert anything good in your way, obliging others to free themselves and join you in your objectivist paradise.
        • Antipaladin -- Chaotic Evil -- The old, devil-worshipping, incredibly destructive, diabolical blackguards are back and here to stay. Their need to destroy all that gets in their way grants them the Destructive Vengeance reaction, the ability to take an additional 1d6 damage on top of the damage you would have taken normally to deal 1d6 back to that enemy, as well as let you deal additional Evil or Negative damage against them. Probably the most confusing of the reactions, as Evil Champions lack the sustain of Lay on Hands or the Heal spell, and the damage you deal and take to yourself scales as you level up. Doesn't even fit the theme of the Antipaladin, as even their anathema explictly mentions that you don't have to take an action that would mean your own destruction. On that note, Antipaladins are obligated to lie, cheat, steal, never bind yourself to a law, rule, or code other than your own Tenet and deity, and always those that stand in your way.
    • A Champion's Code of Conduct is written as such to prevent any particular Lawful Stupid incidents that comes as a result of having contradicting or improbable to follow Tenets. All Tenets are ordered from most important to least, making sure that should a situation results where you must pick one Tenet to follow over the other, you abide to the most important one first and foremost.
    • Your dependence on Charisma is heavily reduced. Your few focus powers might only need it as a Saving Throw, and you can easily build around them. Hell, Lay on Hands doesn't even factor it in.
    • Interestingly enough, while you do lose your Focus Pool and any Divine Allies you have should you fall, as well as access to any feats requiring such, you do keep all other Champion abilities and feats, and you can keep leveling the class. It makes playing a Fallen Champion much more viable than in PF1E, though you still end up a worst Fighter at the end of the day.
  • Ranger
    • No longer casters. Good, because they sucked at it anyways...only to return via focus spells known as Warden Spells as of the APG. For the most part, they're really focused on support and work best with pets.
    • Favored X is heavily scaled back. Hunt Prey echoes this by making it easier to locate a certain enemy, but this is universal. You have feats that make certain things easier to hunt and another for certain terrain benefits though.
    • Though not an exclusive feature, rangers do have feats to make traps (here named "Snares") more conveniently, and these traps are established clearly, rather than the fuckstorm 1E gave us.
    • Rangers are subclassed by Hunter's Edge, an action they get while using Hunt Prey. An Edge grants you bonuses against your targeted prey, such as:
      • Flurry (Core Rulebook) -- You strike as fast as lightning, reducing your Multiple Attack Penalty down to -3 on your second strike, -6 on your third and additional ones. Agile weapons reduce it even further, down to -2 on your second, -4 on your subsequent ones.
      • Outwit (Core Rulebook) -- You gain a +2 bonus on your Deception, Intimidation, Stealth, and Recall Knowledge checks against your prey. You also gain +1 to your AC against any of your prey's strikes against you.
      • Precision (Core Rulebook) -- You strike with lethal accuracy, granting you an additional 1d8 Precision damage against your foe on your first strike against them. 11th Level increases the damage to 2d8, 19th, 3d8.
  • Rogue
    • Rogues are subdivided based around their Racket. Each Racket contains an Ability Score Boost the class can over their base increase. They include:
      • Eldritch Trickster (Advanced Player's Guide) -- Dabbling in magical studies for their heists grant the Rogue a free multiclass dedication feat for any spellcasting archetype with full magic progression (Basic, Expert, and Master Spellcasting Proficiency feats).
      • Mastermind (Advanced Player's Guide) -- Information brokering and creating convoluted plans to destroy their enemies comes easy to the Mastermind. They grant the Flat-footed condition against any enemy you successfully Recall Knowledge 'til the start of their next turn, for a full minute on a Critical Success. They also become Trained in Society and one additional magic-based skill.
      • Ruffian (Core Rulebook) -- Smash and grabs are second-nature to the Ruffian, with their ability to Sneak Attack with any simple weapon with a d8 damage die or lower, over just with agile or finesse weapons. They gain training in Intimidation and Medium Armor, the latter scaling with their levels.
      • Scoundrel (Core Rulebook) -- These slick spies are as fast with their hands as they are with their silver-tongues. Scoundrels can grant the Flat-footed condition against a target they successfully Feint 'til the end of their next turn, as long as it is a melee attack they deal. A Crit Success makes their target Flat-footed against all melee strikes made against them. Combined with their innate Deception and Diplomacy training, they make great supportive skill monkeys.
      • Thief (Core Rulebook) -- You don't need to teach an old dog new tricks, you just need to make their old ones more accessible. The Thief is the classic Dex-to-Damage option, able to gain it with no additional feats, options, or stipulations, as long as they make a melee strike with a finesse weapon (so far the only source of getting dex-to-damage). Naturally, they gain Thievery as their trained skill.
    • In a sort-of homage to Unchained's Signature Skills, Rogues get a couple more Skill Feats and Skill Increases than anyone else.
  • Sorcerer
    • Your bloodline now not only determines what bonus spells you possess, but also which of the four spell lists you can use. This is in addition to your bloodline spell-like powers, which are now the sole triggers for your arcana.
      • Unfortunately, this variety works against the Sorcerer, as there are several variations of the same feat for each spell list and thus limits your choices.
      • Crossblooded Sorcerers (i.e. I have two bloodlines at once like the mongrel I am) exist as feats, letting you poach spells off of one other spell list, but your limit is very small and the feats needed are very far apart.
    • Get 4 spells per day per level max to everyone else's max of 3[3].
  • Wizard
    • Bound items are now a constant that not even familiars can remove...though they can replace with the proper Thesis.
    • Besides schools (Which only grant one school spell and power and then another with a certain feat), you also have a subclass in Theses, which focus on one aspect: Familiars, Metamagic, Spell Blending (Giving you 5E's means to combine lower spell slots for bigger ones), Spell Substitution (Letting you swap spells during the day) and Staff Nexus (Build your own flexible staff)

Advanced Player's Guide Classes[edit]

These classes officially debuted in the Advanced Player's Guide, after a playtest release in November 2019. The playtest notes are above. The below should apply to the APG versions:

  • Investigator
    • Gain a small bonus to investigate things
    • Subclasses split between the class' history as a not-Alchemist class, Empiricism (As in that one Archetype that made them Int-SAD, now nerfed into just making your investigations faster), Forensic Medicine (Making you a medic/CSI) and Interrogation (Charmer)
    • During combat they can scan an enemy, allowing them to roll before declaring their attack. If they attack with their roll, they get to add their Int-modifier, instead of what they normally would use, if they're attacking with certain weapons (agile or finesse melee weapons or unarmed strikes, ranged weapons, or saps).
    • Gain a Rogue-tier amount of Skill Feats, though a majority will be focused on Mental-based skills.
      • Also gain a bonus to untrained knowledge skills - not quite the same as Bard's singular Lore skill, but it's still decent.
    • One feat also allows you to pull things out of your Bat-Utility Belt. Like a boss.
  • Oracle
    • Curses are now inherently tied to mysteries. Likely so you don't cheese out the really obvious ones (Clouded Sight, Lame, Tongues, etc.)
      • Curses now only flare up when you use your mystery's Revelations spells and increase in severity the more you use them. It goes from Minor, Moderate, and Major. Refocusing drops your curse down from where it was back to minor, only resting for a full 8 hours gets rid of the curse completely. Use them too much and you eventually become overwhelmed, preventing you from casting any of your mystery's Revelation spells for the rest of the day. They are still able to cast other, non-Oracle related Focus Spells, however.
    • The current mysteries available are Ancestors, Battle, Bones, Cosmos, Flames, Life, Lore, and Tempest. Each mystery also has associated Cleric domains which you can jump into via feats. Heck, one of the domains is even given to you upon generation like the Cloistered Cleric.
  • Swashbuckler
    • Panache is now a condition gained through performing particular actions. You can move faster and you deal additional damage with certain weapons.
      • This Panache can be spent on making Finishing Moves (attacks with more pretentious naming) that deals extra damage.
    • Charmed Life is no longer limited in use, but it's a feat that only adds +2 to a save roll and spends a reaction.
    • Your subclasses are Battledancer (Keying off Performance), Braggart (Keying off Intimidation), Fencer (Keying off Deception), Gymnast (Keying off Athletics) and Wit (Keying of Diplomacy). Each gives you an additional means to gain Panache mode[4].
  • Witch
    • Your Patron designates which spell list you can use and grants you a special cantrip and your familiar a normal spell, similar to the Sorcerer.
      • Most of your patron themes are of vague concepts, though not all - The Lost Omens Legends splat gives you access to Baba Yaga as a patron.
    • Lessons are special feats that provide bonus spells, allowing you to dip outside of your list.
    • Your familiar can potentially net six familiar abilities due to feats.

Secrets of Magic[edit]

Another playtest right after the last one finally bore fruit, this playtest sees some more famous classes return.

  • Magus
    • The most famous part of the magus - that is, casting spells through swords - has changed a bit. The action now counts as a metamagic action (thus meaning that it can't benefit from any others that don't directly affect this action), but it allows you to still hit things to cast. The class even gives you a boost to Strength or Dexterity at level 1 instead of Intelligence like you'd think
    • You start off with a focus spell that actually makes your weapon act as if it has a +1 bonus to it. You can spend a later feat to then add on special properties to it
    • You already start off proficient in medium armor. Great, that "armor proficiencies as you level up" part was a pile of shit anyways!
    • Your subclasses change a bit about how the whole casting thing works: Shooting Star lets you cast ranged spells via arrows/thrown weapons (though it can't do any touch spells and only has a requires a range of 30 feet and nothing else), Slide Casting lets you move while casting with weapons (though this movement can provoke opportunity attacks and forces you to use the classic one-handed weapon and open hand style) and Sustaining Steel lets you regain THP after casting a spell through a big two-hander sword.
  • Summoner
    • Your eidolon is now strictly set to a specific preset form and determines which spell list you take (angel for divine, beast for primal, phantom for occult, or dragon for arcane). Unlike most pets, these eat into your action economy (unless you use certain class-based focus spells and actions to act in tandem with them).
      • Each eidolon gains special abilities as they level up. They're also pretty clearly meant to be the frontliner as they get to level up their proficiencies (except saves) much faster than you do.
      • These Eidolons cannot be customized like 1E did. Instead, you need to blow feats in order to give them new features.
    • Remember Synthesist? That utterly cheese archetype that let you summon an eidolon as part of your body so you could become one OP piece of crap? Well, that got nerfed into you just becoming your eidolon. And it's a feat (Note: Misleading AF, 1E Summoners always had the ability to "Become their Eidolons" at higher levels while the Synthesist mechanic was slightly different).

Miscellaneous[edit]

Some side notes:

  • Companions are now effectively a chassis you add on by selecting a type of animal. Each has a special attack, each has a trained skill, and you can spend one action to give them two of their own.
    • The old archetypes (Before Ultimate Wilderness gave us all the gonzo things like robo-pets and dragon-pets) are now reclassed as Specialized Companions, which add a special capstone to pet progression feats.
  • Familiars have to select between two sets of powers: One grants it special properties (Which includes abilities the animal would normally have, like wings or speech), and the other has abilities made to support you.
  • Multiclassing (Labeled as 'Archetyping' for some asinine reasoning) is managed through feats, just like 4E. You have to take one entry feat instead of a class feat and then buy two associated feats before you can access another archetype.
    • This is also pulling double duty for Prestige Classes, as setting books let you access specific organizations like the Hellknights and Pathfinder Society, and some archetypes even branch off of other archetypes by circumventing the three-feat limit (See: Hellknight Armiger to Hellknight or Hellknight Signifier). The biggest game-changer introduced in the Advanced Player's Guide wasn't the four new classes, but actually the whopping 36 Archetypes the book introduced. Some specialising in particular fighting styles or skill sets, some being more mystical in nature, and others adapting some of 1e's Prestige Classes to the new ruleset.

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • FEATS. FEATS EVERYWHERE. Indeed, Paizo decided that the only way to customize things (including all skills not granted by class) is by making everything into a feat.
    • They are at least split across separate categories, earned at different rates (which are clearly marked on each class' progression chart) so you no longer have feats competing with every other feat in the bloody game this time around.
  • Opposed rolls are now almost non-existent in the system, now being rolled against a static DC based on a skill or save. It works out the same way as 5e's Passive Perception (so as though they rolled a 10 on the check).
  • Skills have been overhauled into a proficiency system akin to Dark Heresy, where being untrained gives no bonus but the various degrees of training lead to increasing bonuses. Similarly, there are also certain uses for each skill that can only be performed by someone trained in it.
    • The only ostensibly new skill is Lore, which covers knowledge of particular niches that wouldn't fit any other skill.
    • Combat Maneuvers have similarly been folded into skills rather than needing another number to figure out and are rolled against one of the target's Save DCs (the relevant save's modifier +10).
    • Everyone is now trained in Perception to some extent. Just as well, because this is now the default roll for Initiative (While some situations might let you use other skill) and everyone was already maxing out this skill to begin with.
    • DCs for all checks have four conditions: Success, Failure, Critical Success (Beating the DC by 10+, giving an extra benefit) and Critical Failure (Failing the DC by 10+, causing extra bad things to happen).
      • Natural 1s and 20s don't inherently do anything of their own, other than downgrade/upgrade your level of success by 1. So if your modifier alone is high enough to get a success no matter what you roll, a natural 1 will downgrade that into a failure.
      • While all rolls have these four states, not every roll has conditions for all four (ie; by default, a crit-failed attack roll is the same as a normal fail, but some reactions are triggered by being the target of a crit-failed attack).
  • Spells have been drastically reduced to being only four lists: Arcane (Wizards), Divine (Clerics), Primal (Druids), and Occult (Bards, because...we don't want another Arcane caster?), with Sorcerers gaining access to any one of these four, depending on their Bloodline.
    • No more will a maxed casting stat influence how much you cast per day.
    • Spells no longer have numerations, instead merely just having their effects scale by level. Prepared casters can heighten a spell just by preparing it in a higher-level slot at the start of the day, while spontaneous ones need to learn the spell at whatever levels they want to cast it at (though do have a class feature, Signature Spell, that lets them heighten some of their spells while only knowing them at one level).
    • 10th level spells now exist. This is generally restricted to the real game-breakers (Time Stop, Wish) and without a certain feat for the casters at level 20, you can only use one a day.
    • Cantrips use the same heightening, but still don't cost spell slots and automatically heighten. The wording is a bit finnicky at first, but it basically amounts to them being heightened to the same level as what a full caster's highest spell slot would be at that level (ie; when your wizard's highest level spell slot is 3rd, their cantrips are heightened to 3rd as well).
      • To clear up some confusion people have had - they are no longer "0-level spells", they are now "1st level cantrips".
  • The Combat System has been redone into a three-action system akin to the proposed system in Pathfinder Unchained. Everything has now been broken down into taking actions (Moves, Attacks, Spell Components/Metamagic), with Free Actions being a 'whenever' deal and one Reaction per turn (Unless you have certain feats to override this).
    • Similar to 4E, your actions now focus a lot on various keywords. However, the concise formatting clearly labeling what you roll to hit and how much damage an attack does is not present.
    • A step further from SF, Touch AC and CMD are no more. The latter was replaced by saving throws against combat maneuvers, while the former no longer had a use. Spells (which normally hit Touch) instead go for Spell Attack rolls like 5E. Flat-Footed, meanwhile, just inflicts a flat -2 to AC.
  • Weapons have crit effects like Starfinder, but these crits only work for those with weapon specialization (which is a class feature for martial classes).
    • Shields, for some idiotic reason, require spending an action to raise and confer their AC bonus. A certain feat also provides a degree of damage reduction before transferring the rest to the shield and, by extension, you.
    • Finesse Weapons let you use Dexterity to hit from the outset. No more feat tax on this front.
  • Magic Items involve investing into them, similar to how 5E has items work. However, your magic item limit is set at the more lenient 10.
    • Magic Weapons and Armor now have two base improvements. For weapons, these are the one for a bonus to hit, the other is to roll another die for damage. For armor, this is a bonus to AC and a bonus to saves.
    • The numerical bonus to the chief function also serves as a hard limit to how many properties you can add to a suit of armor. While it's good that now you don't need to worry about Vorpal hogging up an entire sword, the limit you have is exceedingly small.
  • Character generation and progression has been strengthened by a degree, even discounting the obscene feat overload. Between classes and backgrounds giving stat boosts, the general philosophy of adding +2 for everything, and each race offering a free floating stat boost, you'll find it considerably easier to put together at least a halfway competent character.
  • Easy to overlook but AC is now considered a kind of DC. Which means any status effect that says it reduces the target's DCs (ie; the Frightened Condition) also reduce their AC. So a sorcerer who's invested skill increases into Intimidate can use it to soften the enemy up either before their own attacks or make them an easier target for their allies.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. In quotation marks because these are chosen by the Player, but frequently not by the Character.
  2. The few exceptions are granted as a class or subclass feature, usually just to provide a base ability in focus spells.
  3. Besides 10th level spells, but 10th level is for the gamebreaker spells, and so everybody (including the Sorcerer) only gets 1 (or 2 with a level 20 feat) per day.
  4. Wit's method is particularly amusing: it involves insulting your opponent so hard they take a penalty against Perception and Will checks for a full minute, unless they come up with a sufficient retort.