The publisher behind the Pathfinder and Starfinder RPGs has announced that it is developing a board game called Pathfinder: Elemental Stones due out in October 2023. Fast-paced tile-placement mixes with hidden objectives in a title meant to support an upcoming tabletop sourcebook.
Pathfinder: Elemental Stones doesn’t look like the kind of release most players would expect from the publisher responsible for arguably the second largest tabletop RPG behind Dungeons & Dragons. The company has been actively supporting the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game since 2013, but a collaborative CCG more akin to Arkham Horror is a bit different to the “first board game designed by Paizo staff in more than a decade,” according to their official website.
The product page on Paizo’s website describes Elemental Stones as a competitive tile-placing board game where two to four players take turns creating specific patterns out of hexagonal pieces. Several dozen pattern cards aim to keep replayability high, and interchangeable objectives create “a game state that's constantly in flux”.
As Wargamer mentioned in its original reveal, this sounds quite similar to a member of the Azul family or any of the few dozen other designs that have happily fed the resulting mosaic hunger. Sessions reportedly play out in half an hour and accompany simple rules and a pain-free set up. What’s unclear is how strong of a connection Elemental Stones will have to the upcoming Rage of Elements rules resource currently planned to drop in July of this year.
If true, Elemental Stones might represent an in-universe game played within the elemental planes similar to Gwent from the Witcher or Final Fantasy’s Triple Triad. More is likely to be revealed as we get closer to the board game’s October 2023 street date. Those confident in Paizo’s board game design bona fides can already pre-order their copy for $39.99 from the publisher’s website.