Monday, April 27, 2015

Pathfinder Musings: What I'd Like to See in Pathfinder 2nd Edition

With the release of Pathfinder Unchained, I've been contemplating what the eventual 2nd Edition of Pathfinder might look like and what I'd like to see included. Now, I know to some Pathfinder fans that talking about a new edition of the game is utter blasphemy. They claim Pathfinder will never need a new edition, that Paizo would never burn their fans like Wizards of the Coast did, and they will argue to the death with anyone who states otherwise.

However, I feel these people are coming at this from an unnecessarily negative point of view. They're still angry about Wizards retiring 3rd Edition in favor of 4th Edition, fearing that Paizo might do the same thing. However, I feel like Paizo would go the route of Chaosium and how they handle new editions to Call of Cthulhu: keep the base mechanics of the game the same, but fix elements that cause to many problems and add some of the supplementary rules they've added into other books into the core of the game. 

Keeping that in mind, I thought it would be fun to talk about what I'd like to see in this hypothetical Pathfinder 2.0. This is solely based upon my own personal opinions, not some objective facts that you must take as the ultimate truth. Just things that I'd like to see. 

The first, and most obvious thing I'd like to see is some major revisions to the different classes. I'd love to see the "unchained" version of the Monk & Rogue become the official versions of the game, with some major changes to the fighter to make it a lot better at its niche. I'd also love to see the wizard knocked down a few pegs, given limitations that prevent it from being as powerful as it currently is. 

I'd also love to see archetypes integrated into the classes instead of being something separate. For example, the Fighter could have several archetypes that represent specific fighting styles, like Archery or Two Handed Weapons. They could then publish more archetypes later, allowing them to represent cool ideas without having to resort to new classes. 

I could also seem them consolidating the skill list a little more. I personally really dig the shortened version depicted within Pathfinder Unchained, Make fewer, broader skills that can cover much more ground. I also wouldn't mind having certain skills, like Craft or Profession, being turn into Background skills that were separate from the main skill list, allowing you to select them without preventing you from selecting much needed skills like Perception. Basically, take the systems depicted in Pathfinder Unchained and go one step further with them. 

Finally, I'd love for them to simplify and clarify the game a little bit more, making it easier to teach and run at the table. They could use the Beginner Box version of the game as a blueprint, including some of the simplified rules they introduced in Pathfinder Unchained (like the new action economy, simplified spellcasting, & iterative attacks) to make something that still looks like the d20 system, but isn't as rules heavy. Maybe find that nice balance between easy to understand rules and modular elements. 

Like I said, these are things I'd like to see within a theoretical Pathfinder 2e. I'm sure you all have different ideas as well. I'd love to hear about them, so go ahead and post them into the comments below.