A decade after the launch of the Pathfinder tabletop game, publishing company Paizo has announced that an open playtest for the second edition of Pathfinder will kick off internationally from August 2.
In an announcement through YouTube and the official site, Paizo indicated that the upcoming edition would introduce 10th level spells, streamline proficiencies and actions, introduce goblins as playable characters, rebalance magic items, add a new form of initiative, and changes to feats and races.
On a practical level, the changes to actions are probably one of the biggest changes. In a FAQ, Paizo explained that the current action types had been replaced with the option for three actions and a single reaction each round:
Beyond the narrative, there are many things that have changed, but mostly in the details of how the game works. You still pick a race, even though it is now called your ancestry. You still decide on your class—the rulebook includes all of the core classes from the First Edition Core Rulebook, plus the alchemist. You still select feats, but these now come from a greater variety of sources, such as your ancestry, your class, and your skills.
Where the changes really shine through is in how the game is played. Gone are the confusing action types like move, standard, swift, and immediate, instead replaced with a simple system of three actions and one reaction each round. All of the varied systems and formulas for determining your character's bonuses and statistics, like saving throws, attack bonuses, and skills, have been unified in a single, easy-to-use proficiency system based on your choices and your character's level.
The playtest rulebook will come with a "cheat sheet" to help players understand some of the differences from the first to second editions, but post-release Paizo confirmed they would "provide guidance for using material from First Edition".
Furthermore, the playtest 400-page rulebook, 24" x 30" flip-mat multi-pack and the Doomsday Dawn test adventure would be released for free online on August 2. Physical editions will be available for pre-order later this month, although availability may vary. Softcover versions of the player handbook are priced at $US29.99, with a $US44.99 RRP for hardcover editions.