Pathfinder and Starfinder RPG maker Paizo recently announced the lineup of tabletop releases it plans to showcase at this year’s Gen Con, including a playtest for the upcoming Starfinder 2nd Edition and a core rulebook for Pathfinder aimed at advanced player character options.
Gen Con’s annual celebration of tabletop RPGs and board games has become a popular location for publishers to outline the big releases for the coming year. The public can meet directly with designers and often play fresh material far in advance of its street date. Paizo plans to take full advantage and will have some treats for fans of both their staple franchises on August 1st.
Pathfinder Second Edition has been slowly releasing a suite of remastered core rulebooks that scrub much of Dungeons & Dragons’ baggage from the mechanics, worldbuilding and fundamentals of play while also taking advantage of errata and reformatting. Pathfinder Player Core 2, the fourth such book in this project, will include eight remastered classes, 40 archetypes, expanded ancestries and plenty of other options to choose during character creation and leveling up.
At 320 pages, this hardcover tome is a serious edition to the high fantasy RPG that has leaned in a slightly more crunchy and combat-focused direction compared to D&D’s “do everything” approach. All of the books will be published under Paizo’s Open RPG Creative (ORC) License that rose out of the dust and blood of the OGL fiasco in early 2023. It’ll be compatible with all previous Pathfinder 2E books, so there’s no need to replace the ones you might already own.
Starfinder’s upcoming second edition switches the existing rule set for the same engine powering Pathfinder 2E’s gameplay. A playtest available at Gen Con will include six classes, 10 ancestries, equipment, feats and skills that Paizo wants players to put through the roleplay ringer. The publisher will reportedly come equipped with a 264-page rulebook and a playtest adventure titled “A Cosmic Birthday” that fans can enjoy across several planned sessions during the convention’s weekend run.
Titled “A Cosmic Birthday”, the playtest adventure sends 1st-level characters against a cult that’s attempting to birth a colossal cosmic entity using the power of a pocket dimension. Players will need to scale the Ghost Levels of Absolom Station, encountering both classic creatures and newly designed foes that evoke the existential dread of the cosmic horror genre.
Gen Con 2024 will run from August 1st through August 3rd in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can download a digital version of the Starfinder 2E playtest material on Paizo’s website right now, and preorder links for the adventure mentioned above - along with a couple of Pathfinder adventures - from the publisher’s website.