Friday, November 15, 2013

The Advanced Class Guide's Playtest Begins Next Week!

Back in August, Paizo announced the Advanced Class Guide, 256-page rulebook that is due out next summer. The book will contain 10 new classes, each a hybrid of two existing classes (similar to the Magus from Ultimate Magic). Like many of their previous books, Paizo also announced they would be holding a public playtest that would begin "this fall."

Thankfully, Paizo sent out a e-mail to members of its forum last night announcing when the playtest would start and what the 8th class will be. Here is the message I received:

"Dear Cody,
As many of you are aware, we have a playtest coming up for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Class Guide, an exciting new rulebook due out next August. This book contains 10 all new classes that we like to call "hybrids". Each one takes rules elements from two existing classes and blends them together to create a new concept. To date, we have announced 7 of the 10 new classes, but since you are some of our most dedicated fans, I thought it only fitting that Pathfinder Society members get the scoop on the 8th class.
Before I get into the new class, I want to tell you a bit about the upcoming playtest. Starting on Tuesday, November 19th, you will be able to download the Advanced Class Guide Playtest PDF from paizo.com. This document will contain rules for all 10 of the classes slated to appear in the Advanced Class Guide. We want you to read over the classes and use them in your game. We want your feedback on how they perform at the table, what works and what needs work. Your thoughts and feedback will help shape these classes before they take their final form. You will be able to contribute through a number of special playtest messageboards.
Best of all, these classes are available for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play immediately upon the release of the playtest document! You'll need to have a print or PDF copy of the playtest document with your character, and you'll need to incorporate any changes established by the design team or campaign staff during the playtest as well as once the final versions of the class are released in August 2014. the Additional Resources list will have specific details about what is allowed in the campaign and should be referenced when creating a character that uses any of these classes.
Now that you know when to expect the playtest, on to the new class. Up to this point, we have talked about 7 of the 10 classes: the Arcanist (a mix of sorcerer and wizard), the Bloodrager (a mix of barbarian and sorcerer), the Hunter (a mix of druid and ranger), the Shaman (a combination of oracle and witch), the Slayer (a blending of ranger and rogue), the Swashbuckler (a mix of gunslinger and fighter), and the Warpriest (mixing the cleric and fighter). The 8th class is...
The Investigator. This class blends together elements of the alchemist and the rogue to make for the ultimate sleuth. Using extracts, sneak attack, and a new mechanic called inspiration, the investigator is skilled at putting together clues, finding hidden foes, and striking enemies with precision. Think of him as part Sherlock Holmes, part Doctor Jekyll. Using inspiration, the investigator can add a bonus to certain skill checks, saving throws, and even attack rolls.
The design team here at Paizo is looking forward to getting this playtest started and we can't wait to see your feedback. We know that you are some of our most diehard players and we want to hear what you have to say.
Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer"  
This announcement has me both excited and nervous at the same time. I'm excited to know the playtest will be starting soon and I'll be able to try out the 10 new classes. I can already guarantee one of my players will want to re-create their character (from a Cleric of Gorum to a Warpriest of Gorum).

However, I have mixed emotions about the Arcanist and Investigator classes. The Arcanist feels like its trying to feel a role that doesn't really exist and the Investigator is already a role that can be accomplished with a few archetypes. However, these are just initial worries based on my perceptions of the classes and I'm perfectly willing to change my opinions if the playtest makes me feel like the two classes are necessary additions to the game.

Also, for those of you who are curious what the last two classes will be, keep your eyes on EN World today. They will be posting an interview with Jason Bulmahn where he will announce the remaining classes. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that one of these classes will be a Rogue/Wizard hybrid that focuses on Enchantment and Illusion spells (Hopefully called the Mountebank).

Update: The interview has been posted over at EN World and the final two classes have been announced. They are the Brawler (a Fighter/Monk hybrid) and the Skald (a Barbarian/Bard hybrid).