Paizo are stepping up their plans to unshackle Pathfinder from its Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 origins with the announcement that Pathfinder Unchained will release in April 2015.
The official product page for the book has been put up on Paizo. Here’s the blurb:
The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game contains numerous rules considered sacred by players and GMs alike. Since the system itself was based upon RPG “technology” already more than 20 years old, “backwards compatibility” often meant sticking with the familiar, even if tradition was filled with cobwebs and decades-old assumptions.
Pathfinder Unchained dares to take a fresh look at the system itself, altering some of the fundamentals of the game and giving fresh optional takes on classic rules. Inside this collection of alternate rules and options you’ll find completely redesigned versions of the barbarian, monk, rogue, and summoner classes. Delve into a new system for resolving player actions designed to speed play and dispel confusion.
Many of the new systems (such as the revised classes) work seamlessly with the existing Pathfinder rules. Even the most staunchly traditionalist player will appreciate the book’s math-lite system for on-the-fly monster creation and the new system for generating dynamic magic items that go far beyond a simple +1 to add lore and interest to the campaign. Players will love the book’s new resource pool for martial characters, allowing for exciting new tactical options, as well as the robust new system that allows spellcasters to modify their spells with powerful spell components.
This 256 page hardcover addition to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is designed to be used by GMs and players that want to change the way their game is played. You can pick and choose the systems you want to change or you can adopt a number of them for a truly new play experience. With Pathfinder Unchained, you can have the game you want to play!
Unchained announcement at Paizocon
According to Paizo’s Jason Bulmahn the Unchained version will tweak the rogue, monk, barbarian and summoner. Bulmahn later agreed with a reader’s assertion likening it to “the Unearthed Arcana of Pathfinder”, which is an interesting comparison — Unearthed Arcana was one of the more mechanically interesting D&D 3.5 books, with heaps of variant rules and options for players (and DMs!) who liked to get their hands dirty.
Paizo forum member Drogon, who attended the Paizocon announcement, wrote in their writeup that “It is described as the book that the developers got to write without being chained down by something like backwards compatibility.”
“So, a more powerful rogue, a monk with full BAB, a summoner that isn’t broken beyond belief. These are the kinds of optional rules they plan to introduce, allowing GMs to swap out pieces of existing rules that they don’t like. Sounds interesting.”
Swap out existing classes for Unchained versions
Detail on Pathfinder Unchained is light, but speculation is currently that it is more of a revision of the original rules rather than a full-on “Pathfinder 2.0”. It’s believed that the “Unchained” versions of the classes are optional, so you’ll be able to swap them in and out as you like.
Stay tuned for more information!
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