Every week, Recall Knowledge recaps the Know Direction content of the past week, a preview of the Know Direction content of the week to come, and the director of operations, Ryan Costello, thoughts on the state of the network.
Hey, it’s been 2021 for four days!
New years is old news now, let’s focus on the future. On December 17, 2020 (this is about the future, I promise), Paizo announced a new Pathfinder 2e playtest coming January 5th 2021, and running until February 5th. January 5th being tomorrow, that leaves us with today for rampant speculation about what the two (2!) new Pathfinder 2e base classes might be.
But first, a technicality. While I and other members of the Know Direction Network write for Paizo, either as freelancers or full time employees, and some staff has insight into what these two classes and the book in which they will be published are, I do not. My guesses are totally blind, and I won’t know what those classes are until they are announced tomorrow.
Heretofore, every Pathfinder 2e class shares a name and core concept with a Pathfinder 1e class. While I believe at least one of the two classes we’ll be playtesting will be another updated first edition class, I strongly believe one of the classes will be new to 2e. Before I speculate on what niche a new class could cover that an updated 1e class couldn’t, here’s a list of the 1e classes we haven’t seen in 2e as a base class, subclass, or archetype (keeping in mind the magus and summoner will be coming out in August’s Secrets of Magic), and their odds of being one of tomorrow’s playtest classes.
- Arcanist: This class is more mechanically than conceptually distinct, and those mechanics are largely covered by the 2e wizard. Plus, we’re getting a Secrets of Magic hardcover, so its doubtful that one of the next two classes will be so heavily focused on spellcasting.
ODDS: The odds of this class being one of the playtest classes are so low I considered cutting it from the list.
- Bloodrager: A popular class among my friends, but an easy niche to recreate in 2e, even with just the Core Rulebook.
- Brawler: One of my favourite 1e classes, and a class I think should have been included in the 2e Core Rulebook instead of the monk. Speaking of which, one design oddity of the monk is that it’s not the most proficient class in unarmed strikes at 1st level. Monks are trained in unarmed strikes, whereas fighters are experts. Could that have been forward thinking to allow the brawler to be better at throwing punches, whereas the monk throws more specialized punches?
That said, when Paizo announced Secrets of Magic, they emphasized that this didn’t mean the next book would be Secrets of Combat. Taking that at face value, I think whatever combat book we get will include a 2e brawler, but that book won’t be coming in 2021.
- Gunslinger: This class is not for me, and never made it to one of my local tables other than for playtesting purposes. That said, I know the concept is popular, and the niche can’t be filled until firearm rules are released. A Secrets of Technology book is an option, and would cover the Gunslinger, firearms, and the rules required for Numeria adventures (which we’ve already seen mentioned in multiple 2e products), as well as a source of support for the alchemist, which could use it.
- Hunter: Like the arcanist, the hunter is barely its own class. It’s another take on the ranger, a 2e class that already suffers for lack of unique place in the system.
- Inquisitor: This is the only class that I often forget is not in 2e yet. It’s a cool concept, and a popular class from what I’ve seen. Mechanically its niche can be filled with existing 2e mechanics, but like the magus, that niche can also be served with original mechanics. However, what sourcebook would the inquisitor fit best in? Secrets of Religion? Secrets of The Streets? And yes, I know that Secrets Of _______ is not necessarily the new Ultimate _________.
- Kineticist: Although Legendary Games already brought a version of the kineticist to 2e with their Legendary Kineticist (written by the Know Direction Network’s own Vanessa Hoskins), that wouldn’t prevent Paizo from releasing a first party version of the class. It’s a popular enough class, with a broadly applicable theme, to warrant it. Possibly in a Secrets of Nature or Secrets of the Elements.
- Medium: We complained that the six Occult Adventures classes could have been three distinct classes. If we see the medium again, it’s likely as an occultist subclass, or an archetype, in Secrets of the Occult.
- Mesmerist: I like the 1e mesmerist, but the class could have been a bard archetype or alternate class. In 2e, the mesmerist could be a new bard muse.
- Ninja: Speaking of alternate classes, the concept barely saw any use in 1e. With the 2e rogue already so versatile, and with backgrounds able to explore a character’s culture mechanically, there’s no need for ninja to be its own class.
- Occultist: The catch-alliest of the three psychic spellcasters, this is the class I expect to get namechecked when Occult Adventures content gets carried over. Which I don’t think will be immediately after Secrets of Magic.
- Psychic: See Medium.
- Samurai: See ninja.
- Shaman: I can’t decide if the shaman deserves to be a class. It could be a druid or witch subclass, or an archetype that picks from druid and witch class features. Maybe if the class was more popular, but I suspect it was in the bottom half of the hybrid classes in terms of how often one showed up at a table.
- Shifter: 1e’s last base class. It approached the finish with fanfare, but flopped when it crossed the line. Those adamant fans who wanted the concept delivered in 1e (Perram counting himself among them) rejected the 1e shifter quicker than most. There’s a built-in fanbase waiting for the class to finally deliver on the concept’s promise. The 1e shifter never got playtested. It would be nice for a 2e shifter to make up for that. Plus, Secrets of the Wilds is a valid guess for the next hardcover.
- Skald: A rare hybrid class that I think would make a more interesting base class than a subclass or archetype. It would fit in a Secrets of the Wild book, and could come out soon after Secrets of Magic without feeling redundant.
- Slayer: Like the arcanist/hunter (note to self, new class could be an arcanists hunter), the slayer is more like a Pathfinder 1.5 version of a Core Rulebook class than a fully developed concept.
- Spiritualist: See medium.
What about a new class? Well, of the above guesses, the book I am either most confident in or maybe just the one that interests me the most is Secrets of Technology. I think Pathfinder dabbles in enough technology to warrant some kind of technologist class. Medieval Iron Man. Weapons Engineer. Steampunk – The Class. It fits the setting, opens up fun design space, and is a niche that no 1e class covers.
We’ll announce on the Know Direction Discord server and Facebook page tomorrow when the classes are announced, and we already have a KD Plays planned to test the next classes, whatever they may be.
Speaking of Know Direction Network content, here’s a recap of what you might have missed last week from the Know Direction Network:
Recap of December 26th to January 1st
What happened last week on knowdirectionpodcast.com and twitch.tv/knowdirection?
Not much, to be honest. It was our second week of the end of year holiday hiatus. All the more reason to let you know what we did release!
Saturday, December 26th
Come to hear the publication journey of Underdog Games’ Trekking the National Parks, stay for how designer Charlie Bink accidentally ended up on an Amazon documentary.
Tuesday, December 29th
John and Ron talk about the highs of 2020, a year that wasn’t all bad. I mean, John got a new kidney!
Wednesday, December 30th
A slew of network guests joined Perram and I to talk about 2020, and where we’re heading in 2021.
Thursday, December 31st
If this episode could have been 10 times longer, I would have been 10 times happier. After going a year without a gaming con and hardly talking to some of the staff other than through text, this episode was just a joy.
Friday, January 1st
John and the cast of Intrepid Heroes have their own holiday celebration. Even if it’s the third podcast of the week in which John talks about me and his kidney, all three have different context and energy and I think are all worth listening to.
Preview of January 4th to January 8th
This is back to Block 1 of our 2-block schedule.
Monday, January 4th
The long awaited 14th episode of Stellar!
Disclaimer: If any amount of my guesses turn out to be true, no one else on the network helped. I’m not sharing credit with anyone for my psychic powers!
Tuesday, January 5th
After the Holiday special, Perram and I got into a long conversation about how Christmas meals and traditions vary on our respective sides of the border.
I’ve talked a lot about how complicated the 2e druid is lately, so you know I am excited to hear Luis and Loren dissect this class.
Wednesday, January 6th
We had so much fun last week, members of the Know Direction Network will be sitting down and geeking out again this Wednesday.
John talks with Paizo’s Alex Speidel.
Fox’s Cunning is still regularly scheduled for Tuesdays, but this week Dustin will be breaking down the new playtest classes, and needs the extra day to get his thoughts out there.
Thursday, January 7th
Friday, January 8th
Now you know,