As we all know, I teach history classes. One of the first elements of history I teach are the 5 C’s of History. One of those C’s is known as Change over Time, in which change is inevitable over time. This is obviously true in the world of gaming since we have multiple editions of practically every RPG out there. Even video games have massive change taking place all the time as they seek to stay relevant to their audiences. For Tabletop RPGs, we see Pathfinder 2e, D&D 5e, multiple editions of Warhammer, a fifth edition of The Dark Eye, and so on. Change is always happening in our Tabletop RPGs as errata comes out along with suggested rule changes or variants. Sometimes change is forced on the industry for other nefarious reasons which brings me to the subject of this post.

Yesterday, Paizo made the second biggest announcement of the year which was a direct result of their biggest announcement of the year. Back in January, Wizards of the Coast leaked information that they were going to eliminate the OGL which threw the gaming industry into major turmoil. The fallout of that leak is still reverberating as yesterday’s news showed us. Paizo refused to cave in to WotC’s obvious attempt to screw over everybody else in a desperate cash grab. Instead, Paizo announced that they, along with other gaming companies, would be creating a new gaming license which would be known as Open RPG Creative (ORC). The rough draft of ORC has been released and is in the final stages of drafting (link takes you to the blog post with the first draft).

Paizo’s announcement yesterday was a huge surprise to me and practically everyone that wasn’t a Paizo employee. They have changed their publication schedule for this year and next and are going to release four new rulebooks which are essentially “remastered books like Pathfinder Player Core and Pathfinder GM Core which will improve upon the presentation of our popular Pathfinder Second Edition rules, remixing four years of updates and refinements to make the game easier to learn and more fun to play (Paizo Blog, 4/26/23).” Please note the book cover images are mockups and not what they actually will be. The Player Core and GM Core books will be released in November of 2023. The Monster Core and Player Core 2 books will be released in March and July 2024.

Now, I want to stress a few things here to alleviate some concerns. First of all, this is definitely not a new edition. It is not even Pathfinder 2.5. The main thing behind this move is to take Pathfinder away from any possible litigation involving the use of the OGL and to put the game firmly behind the ORC license. That has been stated repeatedly on multiple Twitch and YouTube channels and in print by Paizo’s reps. So, please keep in mind that this remastering is primarily being driven by legal issues caused by Wizards of the Coast and their decisions regarding the OGL. Yes, I know that WotC did the Creative Commons thing, but there are still some legal problems with that. I am not a lawyer, so I will not go into any details about that. Let the lawyers handle it. All I know is what the Paizo folks said about it and that their lawyers gave them legal advice which they chose to follow. As we saw with WotC using Pinkertons to illegally seize MTG cards from someone recently, along with using Pinkertons to prevent efforts by their employees to unionize, you cannot trust WotC at all.

The second reason for Paizo’s move to release remastered rules is a good one. We’ve had almost four years of errata. We’ve had almost four years of unofficial rules changes and some official rules variants. We’ve had four years to address problematic rules. We’ve seen where game balance is negatively affected and needs to be adjusted. Class feats, spells, monsters (Barbazu, I’m looking at you!), and other things need to be adjusted a bit here and there. We’ve seen some errata implemented via new book printing such as with the CRB, but there are a lot more out there to be released officially. According to Erik Mona, Chief Creative Officer of Paizo, they always had an unofficial idea to do a remastering of the rules about five years into 2e’s lifespan, but the OGL mess pushed them to move faster and deeper.

Maybe not this version of alignment?

So, what is really going to change? Well, good riddance to alignment. It’s going away. There will be some changes to that via edicts and anathema, but what we are used to is dead in the water and gone, gone, gone! While they’re at it, spell level is now going to be spell ranks. Also, no more ability scores like 12, 13, 18, etc. They will now just be ability modifiers like +1, +2. No loss there. Most of us are thinking with ability modifiers now anyway. Dragons are being heavily revised in many ways, but will still be dragons, just different to get them away from the OGL.

The important thing for all of us is that the rulebooks we have right now are still going to be relevant. There will be some errata changes, but that happens normally with a new printing of each rulebook anyway. Not only that, but everything in the new books will be on Archives of Nethys. So, if any changes are needed, you will have access to those changes without spending a dime. As a Venture-Captain for Pathfinder Society, I am pretty sure that the first books will also be treated as “Always Available,” just like the current CRB, Bestiary 1, and Lost Omens: World Guide are right now.

I don’t want to go over each book’s content in this post. I’ll make some more posts on those in the future. But, I just want to reiterate, this is not a new edition. Your current rulebooks will be just as valid as they are now. I’ve listened to Erik Mona, CCO, and Jason Bulmahn, Director of Game Design, Logan Bonner, Pathfinder Lead Designer, along with Mark Seifter, former game designer at Paizo and the guy who wrote more than half of the the 2e CRB and created the main elements of 2e on various channels. They are adamant about this not being a new edition. Based on what they’re saying, I agree with them. All of my 2e content is still going to be usable and relevant. As somebody who has well in excess of a thousand dollars of 2e content on one book shelf alone, I was apprehensive at first, but am now not concerned.

Want some more good news? All of the new books coming out from Rage of Elements onward are going to be under the ORC license. Yes, that’s right! The kineticist class is literally the first class of the remastered ones. This book will be on sale at Gen Con in Indianapolis on August 3, 2023. Yours Truly and six other wonderful GMs from the League of Aroden will be there running tables of Pathfinder 2e!

Okay, that’s enough. Or is it? On Roll for Combat’s YouTube stream yesterday, Erik Mona (CCO) was asked what this means for Starfinder. He was very evasive about that and said we’ll have to wait for next year…

Have a great day and I’ll see you at a gaming table soon!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s