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Review: Pathfinder 2.0

Pathfinder was a spin-off of Dungeon and Dragon’s 3.5 Edition rules. They have made the ‘d20 System’ called and opened it up for other content creators. And those creators ran with it.

I played perhaps a handful of D&D Third Edition and 3.5, I found them overly complex. Not that I didn’t enjoy and use the complexities added to D&D Second Edition, but that is the key point – they were added, not required components to the rule system.

I say this because where I thought of 3.5 as overly complex with extensive min/max effects – I find Pathfinder doubly so. It’s a game so completely unbalanced that the DM just has to trust that the players know their characters. Don’t get me wrong, there are great things about Pathfinder – Paizo [https://paizo.com/] produces a really great product and have a though out marketing and sales system. More so then Wizards of the Coast with D&D5e (Who doesn’t have digital content, but vendors creating and selling it).

So it’s no surprise that Pathfinder 2.0 isn’t built on similar concepts as D&D 5th Edition, but what’s different. Well, Pathfinder is a players game – extensive selections of things players can choose from to build out their characters, and they are bringing those concepts into their second edition, but with the slimmed down rules of 5th edition.

An example of this is with the races. At level 1, and every 4 levels after (5,9,13,17), the player picks a Ancestry Feat specific to their race. 5e Adventures in Middle-Earth also did this in their Players Guide, where instead of Player Races, you have Playable Cultures, and you start with a Cultural Feat they call Virtues. You can then pick a Cultural Feat (Virtue) instead of an ability score increase or other feat at levels 4,8, 12,16,19th level. Middle-Earth did it first in November of 2016. Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Racial Feats (p.73) came a year later in November of 2017.

This follows over into Classes in the Pathfinder Playtest material. It’s like having all the features of each sub-class in D&D5e separated into packages you can take as being part of that class. The feats are organized by their level restrictions, so their is still a level requirement for the more powerful class feats\specializations.

However, it is quite a bit more complicated as it has many different changes such as the reaction system. Expanding the rules to include being able to attack someone who’s distracted within range (getting something out of their bag, casting a spell, etc.), plus a number of key words that you’re expected to know the rules to understand.

It is all playtest material released August 2018, the the final version is expected August 2019 and I know a few people looking forward to it. I’ll be sticking with a slightly modified version of D&D5e [VAD’s House Rules].

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