Welcome to Fox’s Cunning! So today I’m here to announce a literal game changer: The First Errata for Pathfinder Second Edition! I know it’s Halloween, but don’t be afraid of the change! Check it out if you haven’t already, but don’t forget to come back as we highlight and clarify what this document means for our campaigns and what the errata means for us going forward! I’ll wait here until your done reading.
The Dreaded Errata!
Most of the changes are fairly clerical, bringing everything up to code and making sure the rules are adequately future-proofed. But I’ll try to highlight the major game play changes I caught in clumps.
Alignment Traits have been adjusted so everyone enjoy the occasional puppy kick! The Errata only lists “Good” and “Evil”, but it’s been confirmed that this also applies to “Law” and “Chaos”. Of course if you find yourself preparing every spell slot with Ghoulish Cravings, your GM is free to adjust both your alignment and ask you to stop bringing snacks. Heroic Recovery now reduces you to 0 HP, much to the relief of every Gorumite who can now wait unconscious for the Cleric rather than charge back into enemy range with 1 hit point crying “Anathema!” Whether your using a broken beer bottle or fisticuffs in your next bar fight, your Simple Weapon proficiency will now apply to both Unarmed Attacks and Improvised Weapons. It’s also been clarified how Fast Healing and Regeneration work and Animal Companions don’t require skill checks to command.
Everyone is going to love the reduced Bulk for adventurer’s packs, spellbooks, waterskins and mithril shields. Noisy Armor now just reduces your Stealth, rather than making you a human alarm spell. Holy Water finally does splash damage, and I don’t know how many celestial archon puppies Unholy Water had to kick, but it finally deals evil damage. Oh, and Staves now have all the lower level versions of any spell it can cast, and you can charge them with high level spell slots even if you drank the brown water and can’t cast from those slots right now!
Dwarves get to start with free clan daggers, tragically inferring any NPC Dwarf without one sold it to pay off their bar tab. Gnomes can now slice and dice with kukri. And Humans always get at least one bonus language, even if they didn’t pass Spanish.
The class that benefits from this errata the most is the Alchemist. Mutagenists can reuse one of their old mutagens as a free action. And alchemists the world over just canceled their gym membership as they no longer need as much Strength just so they can lug around their supplies! Formula Books are now L Bulk, Backpacks give you a free 2 Bulk, and Alchemist’s Tools are now only 1 Bulk, with the Alchemist’s Lab functioning as a Downtime base for Crafting that you can leave at home.
Druids got more than just an extra Cantrip each day. Magic Fang now gives the natural attack +1 striking. And Goodberry is now a 2 Action spell and any number of berries can be eaten at once (even if they don’t last 24 hours). Many Rangers will also appreciate that their Animal Companions now get the full +3 item bonus to AC from heavy barding. (Which almost makes up for Disrupt Prey being confirmed a Reaction.)
Barbarians no longer terrify allies with Terrifying Howl. Bards can no longer stack Untrained Improvisation with Eclectic Skill. Champions can now improve unarmed attacks. Fighter is going to find their Incredible Ricochet is substantially less incredible. Monks get to use Stance Savant as a Free Action. Rogues are going to love the new Poison rules, being able to apply them with two actions. Sorcerers finally got Resolve and Wizards lost their 1st level feat.
Multiclass Spellcasters now have spicy signature spells like any other bard, and Multiclass Sorcerers have taken some time to look inside themselves and discovered they had access to their bloodline cantrips all along.
There are miscellaneous Nerfs. Animals can no longer Activate an Item, whether they are Animal Companions or Familiars. Mutagens now counteract Polymorph effects with a -10. Battle Medicine no longer removes the wounded condition. Finally, the Minor Healing Potion market has been affected by recent tariffs and now cost 4 gp instead of 3gp!
And incase you haven’t seen it, Mark Seitfer has been diligent enough to point out that the errata has a tiny mistake regarding Bespell.
But What Now?
As stated clearly in the blog, this is not the first FAQ for Second Edition. Pathfinder First Edition had five, and it took us 1398 days to get the first one! It’s a big deal that the errata came out before the second printing, and the community is thrilled to know the developers can help us so quickly in such an official capacity. They know there are other issues, and I highly recommend to anyone who wants to see their problems resolved approach the developers by using concise language, showing your math and giving them a written out solution they can practically copy and paste. Paizo will listen if you approach them professionally, as I was fortunate enough to experience earlier this week when a certain handsome fox saw the Sanctioning Rules for Fall of Plaguestone.
There are some fundamental rules issues that can’t be so easily resolved. For example, whether or not you can Sustain a Spell multiple times in a round has left our local group’s Flame Sphere happy Sorcerer perplexed. The FAQ also adds some complications to emanations like Anti-Magic Field and makes the already suffering thrown weapon builds even worse than before. All of these issues will have to be adjusted on a player-by-player basis, and I’ve personally given all my players a wide berth when it comes to rebuilding as we work the kinks out together. And just remember when it comes to the Alchemist that it’s common for tabletop game companies to gradually buff weaker classes, since taking away what a player already has is always going to result in more negative play experience.
But for the most part this FAQ is a tremendous step forward not for the fixes themselves, but for how we can expect Pathfinder Second Edition material to be fixed as we move forward. Paizo has shown us this week that it is devoted to making sure it’s new system is well-polished and accessible. Rulings are no longer the domain of forum posts by developers and biennial printing updates, but are instead released within months, prioritizing our game play and rewarding the diligence of their loyal players!
Until next time, remember The Most Important Rule and Have Fun!