A new blog post from Paizo confirms a new but not 3rd or 2.5 Pathfinder edition is on the way.
The Pathfinder Second Remaster Project will release four updated books. Two are due this year: the Pathfinder Player Core book and the Pathfinder GM Core. In 2024, we’ll get two more, with Pathfinder Monster Core in March and then Pathfinder Player 2 Core in July.
The “first second” edition of Pathfinder was announced in 2018, not long after announcing Starfinder. It was 10 years between Pathfinder 1e and 2e, and now five years between Pathfinder 2e and Pathfinder 2R.
2024 and late 2023 activity also pitches Pathfinder 2R head-to-head with the next edition of D&D, once known as One D&D, also due in 2024 and on D&D’s 50th anniversary.
Furthermore, Paizo’s new Pathfinder update moves away from the OGL (Open Game License), a battle that Hasbro fought and lost. In that battle, Paizo said they’d go to court to stop Hasbro and launched ORC as an alternative. ORC can be used by other publishers for their d20-style systems. The timing puts the core rules of Pathfinder 2R just ahead of (One) D&D and with big supplements coming out in 2024 to keep the spotlight on the OGL drama.
Notably, this is not a whole new edition of Pathfinder. Paizo say;
Is this a new edition of Pathfinder?
No. The Pathfinder Second Edition Remaster Project does not change the fundamental core system design of Pathfinder. Small improvements and cosmetic changes appear throughout, but outside of a few minor changes in terminology, the changes are not anywhere substantive enough to be considered a new edition. We like Pathfinder Second Edition. You like Pathfinder Second Edition. This is a remastered version of the original, not a new version altogether.
The rules are mainly largely unchanged, but the terminology will be changed in some cases. It also means Paizo will need to get cracking to bring its digital integrations up to speed.
In time, the Pathfinder Player Core, Pathfinder GM Core, Pathfinder Monster Core, and Pathfinder Player Core 2 will replace the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Gamemastery Guide, Bestiary, and Advanced Player’s Guide, which Paizo will not reprint once their current print runs expire. Existing Pathfinder players should be assured that the core rules system remains the same, and the overwhelming majority of the rules themselves will not change. Your existing books are still valid. The newly formatted books consolidate key information in a unified place—for example, Pathfinder Player Core will collect all the important rules for each of its featured classes in one volume rather than spreading out key information between the Core Rulebook and the Advanced Player’s Guide.
There will also be Special Editions for collectors and Pocket Editions for Pathfinder 2R as well, with will give Paizo more news, fans more options but also more for completist collectors to buy.
Does it mean that Starfinder is a whole edition and a revision behind? Yes, but Paizo uses “Not yet” to describe how the changes might impact Pathfinder’s sci-fi sibling.
One might imagine Wizards of the Coast will be both confident and yet not happy to have 50th birthday competition rooted in the OGL.
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