When the Pathfinder 2e Playtest launched and later the Pathfinder 2e game launched, I tried PF 2e and my opinion at the time can be summarized as, “It is a good game but not the game for me. I prefer the game engine that I have been playing and working with for the past 15-ish years.” Like many of you, I’ve played many games during the pandemic but the majority of them were D&D 5e, mostly because it was easy to find players for online games. Then a little over a year ago, our group switched to Pathfinder 2e. I liked the game but I still felt more comfortable with 1e.
Then during the whole OGL fiasco, I had an unrelated conversation with one of my players. I was explaining a rule (5-foot step) when I realized that my explanation was just a guess based on 1e and I didn’t know the 2e rule. So I looked it up and realized that I was right.
[T]he designers took great pains to make sure that what you could do in the previous edition, you can do in the current and they still feel the same. If anything Pathfinder 2e is better executed.
That was when a revelation hit me: Pathfinder 1e and 2e are largely the same game. Sure the underlying math is wildly different, but the feel of the games, what you can do, the tactics of given characters remains largely unchanged. Or rather, the designers took great pains to make sure that what you could do in the previous edition, you can do in the current, and they still feel the same. If anything Pathfinder 2e is better executed. Pathfinder 2e has many more options for characters to pick from, allowing for a much easier time of trying to make the character that you want to play.
I’m going to date myself with this analogy but it is like the switch over from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X (or macOS, as it is called today). OS 9 was built on the original Mac OS engine while OS X was a Unix-based system. However, Apple programmers worked hard to make that the new version would work seamless for Mac fans instead of having them to learn a whole new system and possibly switch to a PC. For the record, I’m a PC guy, but I had quite a few Apple-enthusiast friends around that time that wouldn’t stop talking about it. You know who you are and I still love you.
Off of that bunny trail. I just want to give the designers of the game their props. They earned it. Pathfinder 2e is a worthy version of the game that I am happy to play, GM, and create content for. If you are still playing Pathfinder 1e, I recommend giving it another look.
No matter what you play, happy gaming.