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The first of Pathfinder’s remastered RPG books are now available, sans D&D influence

New paths for new players.

Pathfinder’s remaster initiative has produced the first two sourcebooks for the popular fantasy RPG. Both the Player Core and GM core books released on November 15th, showing players a revised edition free from association with Dungeons & Dragons’ now-dead Open Gaming Licence.

Publisher Paizo first announced the Pathfinder Remastered Core project in early 2023, not long after D&D maker Wizards of the Coast publicly bungled the rollout of a new OGL. The critical whiplash caused two critical events: tabletop RPG players tore through the existing stock of physical Pathfinder sourcebooks, and Paizo decided to distance themselves from the OGL by initiating a comprehensive editing pass.

The pulled content, which included a significant overhaul to the subterranean elves formerly known as Drow, was accompanied by a round of errata and compatibility changes documented on the publisher’s website. Paizo stresses that existing copies of the book aren’t suddenly unusable or out of date. Instead, those classes highly affected by fundamental shifts, such as the Cleric and Champion being highly dependent on the now-defunct alignment system, can use the compatibility guidelines until their respective core books launch in 2024.

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Replaced concepts are as simple as renaming “ability modifiers” to “attribute modifier” to unify nomenclature, but also cut deep into the worldbuilding fundament of Golarian - planes of existence have been granted their own proper nouns to separate them from D&D’s extensive planar network, and many creatures, languages and locations have been altered, as well. A full list of changes is collected in a preview PDF of the publisher's website.

Among the additions to Pathfinder that ride the slipstream created by the Remastered project are several new heritages and feats, a fairly beefy pass at spellcasting and new rules. Most evident is the removal of ability scores from characters, freeing up quite a bit of real estate on sheets but also shifting the mechanical load over to attribute modifiers, which are now the primary way of expressing your character’s innate attributes.

The first two remastered books, Player Core and GM Core, are now available as standard, special edition and hobby shop-exclusive Sketch Cover hardcover tomes. A digital version is also available on Paizo’s website. Pathfinder Monster Core and Pathfinder Player Core 2 are currently scheduled to launch sometime in 2024.

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Chase Carter

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Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.
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