Hey scrubs time to break a system apart.
Pathfinder 2nd edition aims to retain high level of fantasy character building detail and unique, emergent combat builds while simplifying the system. However, the publisher, Paizo, knows that they cannot grab 5e's niche without significant marketing, so they've launched a year-long playtest for the new system. The playtest material encompasses a whole rulebook, one multi-level playtest adventure in which each part highlights and tests a specific aspect of the new system, and a few one-shots for the playtest. Paizo will gather feedback on their forums (don't check them out, they're worse than firebot), but the primary way to influence the direction of the game is a set of Google surveys, scheduled thus:
These adventures will happen roughly once per week, on Roll20 and Discord. I will post the dates for games in this thread. Sign-ups, character creation and planning will happen on Discord.Doomsday Dawn, Part 1: The Lost Star 1st-level characters, playtest begins 8/2/18
The primary playtest goal of “The Lost Star” is to teach players and Game Masters alike how to play Pathfinder, whether this is your first time playing an RPG or whether you are transitioning from the previous edition of the game into the new rules. In “The Lost Star,” we aim to provide a classic fantasy RPG gaming experience—many of the rules might be new, but the feel of exploring a dungeon (in this case, the Ashen Ossuary) and facing the creatures and dangers lurking within should be familiar, fun, and exciting. Despite the mechanical changes, the world of Golarion remains unchanged, and the stories and adventures we all enjoy telling and playing, respectively, are the same. “The Lost Star” also gives the players the chance to build characters that will truly be their own. These characters will return as the central characters in “The Mirrored Moon” and “When the Stars Go Dark,” and they will play roles in the background of the other chapters. The playtest goals of “In Pale Mountain’s Shadow,” “Affair at Sombrefell Hall,” “The Heroes of Undarin,” and “Red Flags” have specific character needs, and the players will create more focused and specific characters for those chapters. In many ways, however, the ones they create for this chapter are destined to be the “stars” of Doomsday Dawn. As such, throughout the rest of the adventure, these player characters are often referred to as the primary characters, for it is their actions that will decide the plot’s eventual success or failure. You’ll want to let your players know this at the start, not only so they won’t be surprised or disappointed to learn that they won’t be playing these characters in every chapter, but also so they’ll be able to anticipate these characters’ return to the roles of protagonist during the adventure’s most critical moments.Doomsday Dawn, Part 2: In Pale Mountain's Shadow 4th-level characters, playtest begins 8/27/18CREATING CHARACTERS
The players should build 1st-level characters using the rules found in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook. The group should work together to build a balanced and diverse party using any of the character options found in the book (subject to the specific restrictions listed below), while creating characters they are eager to see gain power and fame and glory as eventual saviors of Golarion. Encourage your players to avoid choosing the same ancestry and class as other players, so you’ll be able to playtest as wide a range of character options as possible for the three chapters in which the primary characters star.
Each player must choose a background from those linked below this quote box; these backgrounds are designed not only to tie the primary characters to NPCs and themes found in “The Lost Star,” but to focus their strengths in specific areas of use for “The Lost Star,” “The Mirrored Moon,” and “When the Stars Go Dark.”
The PCs begin with 150 sp each. They can purchase any common gear found in Chapter 6 of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, along with any other options they gain access to from their class and feat selections.
In this chapter, the focus of the playtest is to increase the complexity of combat encounters and to test players with challenging terrain features, strange hazards, and deadly traps. Many of the encounters become more difficult due to the characters’ disadvantage from the terrain. Do your players find these challenges fun and interesting, or do such encounters become a slog? How long does it take to play out these types of challenges at the table? When the group gets into a battle in difficult terrain or with other environmental challenges, does it make that fight too difficult? By determining how best to handle encounters made more difficult than normal due to these conditions, you can help hone Pathfinder’s environmental and hazard rules to be more balanced and fun to play!
Also Exploration Mode.Doomsday Dawn, Part 3: Affair at Sombrefell Hall 7th-level characters, playtest begins 9/10/18LEVEL
Each PC should be 4th level.
Each player should choose a background from those listed on pages 38–39 of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook.
Inform the players that three languages— Auran, Gnoll, and Ancient Osiriani— might open up additional role-playing or investigatory opportunities in this chapter, and that they have access to those languages. However, knowledge of these languages isn’t required to complete “In Pale Mountain’s Shadow.”
Each character begins with one 3rd-level item, two 2nd-level items, one 1st-level item, and 300 sp to spend on additional items. They can purchase any common gear found in Chapter 6 of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, along with any other options they gain access to from their class and feat selections. The characters already know each other, so they can pool their money to buy items.
The ultimate playtest goal of “Affair at Sombrefell Hall” is to measure the healing resources of a party of healers against several successive waves of levelappropriate undead. For playtest purposes, you should record the rate at which PCs use healing resources: track the length of each encounter as well as how many healing spells and items the PCs use in each fight.Doomsday Dawn, Part 4: The Mirrored Moon 9th-level characters, playtest begins 9/24/18LEVEL
Each PC should be 7th level.
Each player should choose a background from those listed on pages 38–39 of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook. Each player should also come up with details on how their characters know each other and serve the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye.
At least two players should create clerics capable of channeling positive energy. All other characters should be of classes capable of healing to some extent, such as bard, druid, paladin, or a sorcerer that uses divine spells. Exploring
Each character begins with one 6th-level item, two 5th-level items, one 4th-level item, two 3rd-level items, and 125 gp to spend on any additional items. One character in the group also starts with one +2 magic armor of their choice. Allow characters who already know each other to pool their money to buy items.
In “The Mirrored Moon,” we’ll be playtesting how the game plays when the PCs have only one encounter per day. How do combats play out when the characters can expend all their resources and don’t have to worry about conserving supplies or options? What about encounters where the PCs have the advantage of observing the enemy and preparing themselves ahead of time? These types of encounters are the focus of this chapter.Doomsday Dawn, Part 5: The Heroes of Undarin 12th-level characters, playtest begins 10/8/18CREATING CHARACTERS
In this chapter, the players once again take on the roles of Doomsday Dawn’s primary characters, advanced to 9th level. The adventure assumes that in the interlude between “The Last Star” and “The Mirrored Moon” that these PCs have been on numerous adventures while simultaneously gaining prestige as agents of the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye.
The players can make any choices they wish when leveling up from 1st level to 9th level.
Each player retains the gear they earned and kept from “The Lost Star,” but also gains the following: one 8th-level item, two 7th-level items, one 6th-level item, two 5th-level items, and 250 gp to spend on additional items, or 260gp if their character didn't play in "The Lost Star" and thus earned no rewards from it. The PCs can pool their money to buy items.
For a roleplaying game to convey drama and a sense of urgency, the players have to feel that their characters are in danger, that death is waiting for their characters if they push too far—a final consequence to a serious mistake. To properly calibrate Pathfinder to convey this, we need to push a group of characters to their limit and beyond. Therefore this adventure has only one purpose: to test the durability and endurance capabilities of mid- to high-level characters.Doomsday Dawn, Part 6: Red Flags 14th-level characters, playtest begins 10/22/18CREATING CHARACTERS
The players should build 12th-level characters using the rules found in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook. These characters should all be crusaders who have signed on to fight demons in the Worldwound. The group should work together to build a balanced and diverse party using any of the available character options. Note that the characters should avoid doubling up on any one ancestry or class if possible. The PCs are hardy crusaders, accustomed to facing terrible foes in the Worldwound, and the characters should be ready to lay down their lives to defeat their foes.
Character backgrounds should be chosen from those in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook.
Each character starts play with 100 gp that they may use to purchase mundane goods. See the list below for magic items. Check out the magic items only after you have completely finished your character otherwise, including mundane equipment.
Each character receives three of the following, selecting a given option no more than once.: +3 suit of armor, +3 weapon or +3 handwraps of mighty fists, +2 weapon with one of the following runes: corrosive, flaming, frost, or shock, bracers of armor (6th), light or heavy adamantine sturdy shield, ring of energy resistance (one type).
Additionally, once the players have created their characters and have purchased their mundane gear, give the players the following list of items to divide up among themselves as they see fit before play begins: boots of elvenkind, cape of the mountebank, 10 cold iron arrows or bolts (party’s choice), +1 cold iron dagger, explosive ammunition (party chooses the variety), greater goggles of night, 3 greater healing potions, 2 major healing potions, holy rune that can be added to any weapon selected, staff of evocation (lesser), potion of quickness, 2 invisibility potions, ring of climbing, lesser ring of fire resistance, slippers of spider climbing, wand of heal (3rd level, 10 charges)
If there are 5 or 6 players, add the following items to those received by the group: armbands of athleticism, bravo’s brew, healer’s gloves, greater healing potion, and a potion of flying.
If there are 6 players, add the following items to those received by the group: barkskin potion, +1 cold iron shortsword, eyes of the eagle, major healing potion, and oil of keen edges.
The players may trade their items freely.
In previous chapters of Doomsday Dawn, the playtest has focused on the primary action of combat and exploration, both of which are key parts of Pathfinder. Yet there’s more to this game than fighting and discovery. In “Red Flags,” we seek to playtest the roleplaying part of the game. In addition, this chapter explores how high-level characters fare with skill use and investigation-themed adventures. While “Red Flags” does include some fights, the adventure favors cunning skill use and spellcasting, and we’re particularly interested in how long this chapter remains both playable and fun without having to roll for initiative.
basically paizo means noncombat subsystems with roleplaying jkDoomsday Dawn, Part 7: When Stars Go Dark 17th-level characters, playtest begins 11/5/18CREATING CHARACTERS
In this adventure, the player characters take the role of high-ranking members of the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye. The players should create a group of 14th-level characters with skill sets that favor infiltration, knowledge, and subtlety rather than aggressive combat prowess.
Each player should choose a background for their character from those listed on pages 38–39 of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook. Each player should also determine what their character’s role in the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye is: archivist, diplomat, historian, researcher, spy, or the like. Combat-themed roles should be avoided if possible.
Each character begins this chapter with one 13th-level item, two 12th-level items, one 11th-level item, two 10th-level items, and 1,500 gp to spend on any additional items. The characters already know each other, so they can pool their money to buy items. In addition, the group can choose one of the following items to distribute as they see fit: anklets of alacrity, belt of giant strength, belt of regeneration. In addition, the group can choose one of the following items to distribute as they see fit: circlet of persuasion, diadem of intellect, headband of inspired wisdom.
The primary playtest goals of “When the Stars Go Dark” are to learn whether the game still plays well at high level and to have fun! Do the rules for resolving combat get in the way of what should be an epic conclusion to the adventure? Are there so many options for player characters that fights get bogged down and become relentless slogs? Are the PCs too powerful against their foes, or are those foes impossible to defeat? With this edition of Pathfinder, we want to continue to make high-level play as enjoyable and as exciting as lower-level play—as it’s at the upper levels that campaigns come to a close and your memories of the finale of a long-running campaign should focus on the nail-biting final battles and confrontations against truly deadly foes.CREATING CHARACTERS
In Doomsday Dawn’s final chapter, the players take on the roles of the adventure’s primary characters one more time. At the chapter’s outset, these PCs should be advanced to 17th level.
The players can make any choices they wish when leveling up from 9th level to 17th level.
Players retain the gear they earned and kept from “The Mirrored Moon,” but they also each gain the following: one 16th level item, two 15th-level items, one 14th level item, two 13th-level items, and 5,000 gp to spend on additional items. The PCs can pool their money to buy items.
If a PC didn't participate in The Mirrored Moon and is written fresh instead, they additionally gain one 11th level item, two 8th level items and one 7th level item. As always, items may be swapped for lower level items.
The games will be text-only and utilize Roll20 tactical maps heavily.
Download the playtest material here (don't read the Doomsday Dawn pdf, as it will mess up with playtest data, nor do spoil anything from it to other players if you've been spoiled yourself).
Here is a thread about playtest feedback.
Here is the character sheet.
And here are the Backgrounds used for Doomsday Dawn part 1. 150 silver for starting money.
Open Feedback Survey
Doomsday Dawn Part 1: The Lost Star
Wed/Thu/Fri that is 8th/9th/10thAugust at 3pm EST/10pm GMT+3. One session will take 4-5h.
We will play on 2 out of 3 of those nights. If you make it to the first session but not to the second, then someone else will take your place.
Don't sign up for a day unless you are ready to free up your schedule for it and guarantee attendance.
Create your character beforehand. If you show up without a completely ready character you cannot play. Additionally, if you show up without a Roll20 account and experience in it (the Roll20 tutorial videos at bare minimum), you cannot play. The Roll20 link and character sheets will be provided on Wednesday. Using Roll20 character sheets is not mandatory if you are quick about your macros.
There will be 4 slots in the game. If more than 4 people sign up, a raffle will be held.
Sign-ups (open until 1am GMT+3 on Wednesday the 8th):
- Aura Guardian
- Former Hope
- Aura Guardian
- Former Hope
- Aura Guardian
- Former Hope
This thread will be edited later to give more info. Meanwhile, come join Discord and start creating your Pathfinder Playtest character!