Changes in Pathfinder 2.0

Now that the Pathfinder 2.0 Playtest SRD is online, we can finally start analyzing the proposed changes.

I must admit that when I first heard that Pathfinder 2.0 was going to be a thing, my reaction was not positive. I am a huge fan of 3.0/3.5/PF. I did not, and do not, look forward to the player base being further fractured.

Still, some things should be fixed. Multi-classing is completely broken, for example.

I am just starting to dig into the new rules, but I think it may be a good idea to have a thread (not hosted by Paizo) for us all to discuss the upcoming changes.

What do you think? What have you found in the new rules? Which changes do you like and why? Which changes do you think should be rejected and why?


  • "Race" is now "Ancestry". OK, that seems like just Paizo's usual habit of prostrating itself before the demons of political correctness. "Race" was never the correct term anyway. "Species" would be better. "Ancestry" sounds like those annoying systems where humans from different regions have different ability score bonuses and penalties -- just more unnecessary paperwork.

    But it's not just a renaming. They added in Ancestry Feats. OK, maybe what the game needed was even more feats. Um... probably not.

    This may, however, eventually open up more balanced ways of playing "monstrous characters", which has never been supported well by the rules.
  • It looks like Hero Points got moved from the APG to Core Rulebook.

    I can't think of a mechanic of which I am less enamored. 1) Storytelling should not be replaced by mechanics. 2) Hero Points break verisimilitude.

    However, this really isn't a new thing with Pathfinder 2.0. This predates Pathfinder. I'd be willing to best that most GMs will just continue to ignore Hero Points.

  • The skills list got shaved down again.

    Appraise, Fly, Linguistics, Perception, Profession, Ride, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device are gone. (PF has been so dependent upon Perception that this is going to require some serious rework. This may be a fix for the "Clerics are better at finding traps than Rogues" problem.) (How do NPCs get Professions now?)

    Bluff is now Deception. (OK...)

    Climb and Swim are now part of Athletics. (Good call!)

    Disable Device and Sleight of Hand are now part of Thievery. (Welcome back to AD&D v2!)

    Escape Artist is now part of Acrobatics. (Umm... perhaps a better name would be good here?)

    Handle Animal is now part of Nature. (Seems good.)

    Heal is now Medicine. (OK...)

    Knowledge is now part of Society. (That one seems a bit of a stretch...)

    These (particularly the missing ones) are probably explained somewhere.
  • "Skill Feats" are new. This adds something players have always hated, feat trees, to the skills system.

    This feels like unnecessary complexity to me. I don't think that I'm going too far out on a limb here to say that this is absolutely not what the game needs. We're losing players to OSRIC and 5e, largely due to pushback against complexity.
  • And... as there are now fewer skills... but the same number of skill points to spend... this will lead to skill inflation. That will hopefully be fixed during the beta test.
  • The new Backgrounds system feels more like 5e than it does the PF Trait system. I'm not fond of either, as (once again) mechanics should not replace story telling.

    These system seem targeted towards younger players who may be unable to develop their characters without mechanical assistance. As that's the target market now, Paizo marketing probably doesn't care what us older players prefer.
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