GTM #231 - Pathfinder RPG Second Edition
by Paizo



It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game took the tabletop industry by storm, but it’s true. In the decade since, Pathfinder has sold over half a million copies, has been translated into 11 languages, and has been adapted into comic books, novels, a cooperative card game, and the popular Pathfinder: Kingmaker CRPG. But Pathfinder’s journey is far from over! In August of this year, Paizo will release the highly anticipated second edition of the game, providing players and Game Masters both old and new with all the tools they need to embark on their next great adventure. 

Pathfinder Second Edition is the culmination of years of system design, a year-long public playtest, and the feedback of over 125,000 gamers. The next evolution of fantasy roleplaying, Pathfinder Second Edition is designed with one guiding principle: give the players and Game Masters all the tools they need to tell their own epic stories without the complexities and limitations of existing systems. At all levels of play, Pathfinder gives your character something amazing to do, leaving your imagination as the only limit to your adventuring possibilities. 

At the heart of the Pathfinder Second Edition launch is the Core Rulebook, a massive 640-page tome serves as the foundation of the game, with all the information a player needs to make a character and a Game Master needs to run a game. The rules are designed for quickness of play and ease of learning while maintaining the deep level of character customization Pathfinder is known for. Six simple decisions during character creation (ancestry and heritage, background, class, and one major class decision like a druid’s order or a wizard’s school specialization) allow for over 40,000 unique character builds, and that’s before further customizing the character with feats, spells, and other options! 

Complementing the Core Rulebook is the 360-page Pathfinder Bestiary, featuring over 400 monsters designed to challenge players of all levels. From genre classics like dragons, orcs, and vampires to brand-new creations like the living-nightmare nilith and the three-headed mutoli, the creatures in this book bring every encounter to chilling life. More efficient stat presentation leaves more space for lore, each bit of which is sure to inspire countless new adventures. It’s not just for Game Masters, however, as player characters will find many monsters within to summon, turning the tide of battle in their favor. 

Both the Core Rulebook and Bestiary are designed to spark the players’ and GM’s creativity, inspiring new characters and plotlines so that each group can collaboratively craft exciting and memorable stories of their very own. Game Masters looking for a leg up on their campaigns need look no further than Second Edition’s debut adventure offerings, which come in two formats on the day of the new game’s launch. 

The first, a 64-page adventure called The Fall of Plaguestone, provides a standalone “origin story” for any band of canny adventurers, establishing how unlikely heroes meet and join forces to overcome their first challenge as a team. Hired as guards on a merchant’s caravan, the player characters must uncover the truth behind a murder mystery before the citizens of the town known pejoratively as Plaguestone lay the blame squarely at their feet. Designed by Pathfinder’s Director of Game Design, Jason Bulmahn, The Fall of Plaguestone is a great introduction to the new rules both for players upgrading from past editions or other game systems and for Game Masters looking to ease their way into more complex challenges as the story progresses. 

The double-sided Fall of Plaguestone Flip-Mat details the adventure’s most iconic location, the lair of an evil alchemist, in stunning, full-color glory, saving the Game Master time and effort and furthering the players’ immersion into the story. The map’s reusable surface is compatible with wet and dry-erase markers allowing for easy customization or use beyond the scope of The Fall of Plaguestone, making it the perfect accessory for any Game Master! 

Split into six self-contained chapters, released monthly in 96-page softcover volumes, the Age of Ashes Adventure Path takes player characters from their lowly beginnings as 1st-level neophytes to the heights of power as 20th-level heroes. Each volume also features location gazetteers, overviews of various cultures and organizations, monster ecologies, deep dives into the setting’s religions, and new creatures, all designed to give the GM everything they need to tell a compelling, immersive story. New character options appear throughout for Game Masters to provide as rewards for player characters, ensuring that the actions the heroes take during their adventures leave an indelible mark upon them, reflecting their experiences. 

In the first chapter of the Age of Ashes, Hellknight Hill, the PCs must explore an abandoned hellknight citadel and uncover the source of strange flames that have begun appearing atop the fortress’s highest parapets. What they discover will send them on a world-spanning journey and pit them against countless foes set on ushering in an apocalyptic age of flame and destruction, sure to leave the world nothing but burnt ash. 

Whether you’re a Game Master or player, running through a homebrewed scenario or a published adventure, no campaign is complete without a detailed world in which it takes place. The Lost Omens World Guide provides everything a player or GM needs to adventure in the Age of Lost Omens, providing historical and cultural context for the game’s myriad stories. Ten geographical and thematic regions spanning two continents are presented here, each with new character backgrounds and archetypes for players, and countless plot hooks to inspire players and GMs alike. 

As if nearly 1,300 pages of new game material weren’t enough to cement Pathfinder Second Edition as the most heavily supported RPG launch in history, four additional game accessories accompany the above-mentioned books, each designed to aid players and Game Masters at the table, speeding up play and furthering immersion into the world and story. The Pathfinder GM Screen, Pathfinder Combat Pad, and Pathfinder Condition Card Deck provide quick reference to the game’s rules, so they’re right at hand when you need them. Keep your focus out of the rulebooks and keep your head in the game with these Game Master accessories. 

Finally, players will love the Pathfinder Character Sheet Pack! Each of the game’s 12 classes gets a specially designed two-sided character sheet, and additional sheets track more universal rules like equipment and spells, making it quick and easy to find just the thing on your character sheet to solve any problem! The packet comes in a special folder with flaps to protect and organize character sheets, handouts, and more, so everything you need to run the game is right at hand. 

So, whether you’re a player or Game Master, Pathfinder has just the thing to get you started on your next exciting adventure. Whether it’s a new adventure to challenge your players or new rules to make that character you’ve been itching to play, August promises endless opportunities. What story are you going to tell?