It’s only the playtest version. Don’t get too riled up.
Please note I've played 1st edition for years, played D&D starting with the 1st edition, and actually played the playtest.
There's plenty of things with this version I don't like so far. Just to name a few, it's limited. First edition Pathfinder benefits from years of expansions allowing you to make any type of character you want. The playtest has about less than 5% with the number of options (feats, classes, items, what have you), so you're limited to making very basic and stereotype characters. When first edition came out it was building upon the already well-established D&D 3.5 system so fans didn't feel it was so limited and had a vast array of choices. This version is not compatible with the prior edition making it seem so basic and cutting you off from using anything outside of their small palette.
How basic? Just a few examples, rangers don't get those oh-so great feats that allow them to be a deadly archer. Only fighters can get them. The only real archery feats rangers can get are those ones that let you run, shoot, then run. For whatever odd reason they gave a lame feat to rangers that allows them to use a wisdom bonus but only for crossbows and no other range weapon. Most players think of rangers being the class to pick for archers so why they did this I don't know.
For the fans where first edition is now second nature time will be needed to change old habits. Fans will complain about this breaking-in period and will only think it's worth it if the game develops into something better which hasn't happened yet.
Now that I've gotten those rants out of the way here are some very new and good things.
The new combat mechanics seem promising. Some new rules are innovative such as being able to use your shield to deflect and absorb a hit (that can damage the shield), shooting an enemy with an arrow and being able to pin the enemy to a wall on a critical hit, everyone being able to do multiple attacks per round, and heavy armor giving touch-AC bonus. It has a very impressive, role-play encouraging new method of developing character ability scores without rolling dice based completely on the character's race and history encouraging you to make a story. A lot of needless math is taken out of combat making it more simplistic, but in a good way where pace is improved and choices aren't cut down. They've been able to get rid of some of the "rules-lawyering" mechanics that would force the players and GMs into a lengthy and boring debate. The book itself is well-organized, has a chapter guide with a code-bar on the side of the page so you can easily tell what chapter you're in simply by looking at the side of the closed book.
So looking at this book as a playtest, it has rough-edges, you've lost a lot of choices, but that's what a playtest book is with a new system that's not compatible with the prior material. Don't blow up in anger now and start pointing fingers at the authors for selling the fans out. It's too early to say. If you want to save the money download the free version and use that before you let yourself get mad. If you're mad give constructive (non-trolling) feedback to Paizo. I will say that unless the first post-playtest rulebook comes out with many more options I can't see many being able to lovingly embrace this new edition for at least some time (years?) until Paizo builds it up with later expansions or gaming groups break some of the second edition rules that will allow for some use of first edition material (that will be tough cause the two systems aren't compatible). There's potential here but it still needs work.
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Let's Play Games Pty Ltd (2 August 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1640780858
- ISBN-13: 978-1640780859
- Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 2.5 x 27.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1.2 Kg
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)