GTM #291 - Pathfinder Player Core 2
by Paizo



 Pathfinder Player Core 2 by Paizo

Expand Your Horizons of Play with Pathfinder Player Core 2!

This book completes the core rulebook collection for Pathfinder, newly remastered and published under the ORC License.

Early last year, the Pathfinder Design Team set out to remaster Pathfinder’s core rules – removing legacy OGL content, designing new Pathfinder lore, mechanics, and creatures, and incorporating years of errata and feedback from both internal playtests and the Pathfinder player base. This project, known as the Pathfinder Remaster Project, set a release schedule of four new core Pathfinder rulebooks: Pathfinder Player Core, Pathfinder GM Core, Pathfinder Monster Core, and Pathfinder Player Core 2. With Pathfinder Player Core 2’s upcoming release this August, the set of remastered rules will be complete!


Ancestries and Backgrounds

A collection of playable ancestries including orcs, elves, goblins, leshies, and more was already included in Pathfinder Player Core, but Player Core 2 expands the list, remastering eight new ancestries for player characters. Included in this list are catfolk, kholos, tengu, and more!

Tengu image by Paizo

A Glimpse at Tengu

Tengu are a bird-like ancestry, resembling corvids or other birds, but lacking the full wings of their bird lookalikes. While they originate in Tian Xia, many tengu have migrated and settled around the world of Golarion – splitting tengu society into people “in the roost” (in their region of origin) and “migrating” (elsewhere in Golarion). Tengu hail from a deep, rich cultural ancestry and care deeply for the knowledge and preservation of traditions – but they are also eager to learn new things and understand more of the world.

With each of these new ancestries also comes a collection of heritages – such as the “Jinxed Tengu” heritage. Tengu from a Jinxed Tengu heritage have had uncountable curses affect their family over the generations, and thus they have extra protections from it – like turning regular successes into critical successes when making saving throws against curses and omens.

Dragonkind by Paizo

Versatile Heritages

In addition to core ancestries and heritages specific to those ancestries, Pathfinder Player Core 2 also introduces a few more versatile heritages. Versatile heritages, as introduces in Pathfinder Player Core, are heritages that can modify any ancestry. Player Core 2 expands this selection by adding three new versatile heritages: Dhampir, Dragonblood, and Duskwalker.

Dhampirs are people influenced by vampiric heritage – whether via occult ritual, vampiric parents, or other means. They walk the line between life and undeath, and navigate the social implications of that razor thin edge. Dragonbloods are people whose bloodline has been influenced by a dragon – usually through magical means. They take on the characteristics of the dragon who exerted this influence – drawing features from Pathfinder Monster Core’s new dragon designs tied to the traditions of magic: occult, divine, primal, and arcane. Finally, duskwalkers are reincarnated souls born of a bargain between two powerful psychopomps of Pharasma. A finite number of duskwalkers can be present at any given time, and when one passes away, another one is born from a newly-lost, deserving soul.

With versatile heritages, Pathfinder players can customize their characters even further, blending ancestries to create their ideal fantasy hero.

 Laying on hands healing art by Paizo

Remastered Classes

Player Core 2 also brings eight more classes into the remastered Pathfinder Second Edition Roleplaying Game: alchemist, barbarian, champion, investigator, monk, oracle, swashbuckler, and sorcerer. Several of these classes have undergone substantial reworking within the Pathfinder Remaster Project – such as the barbarian and sorcerer, both of whom have options linked to draconic influence, now utilizing Pathfinder Monster Core’s dragons rather than OGL chromatic dragons.

Champion First Look

Another class to get a strong overhaul for the Pathfinder Remaster Project is the champion – Pathfinder’s holy (or unholy) warrior class. With the removal of the alignment system from Pathfinder, champions had to shift from being defined by their alignment to defined by new parameters: the edicts and anathemas introduced in Player Core, and sanctification as “holy”, “unholy”, or “none” – determined by the sanctification rules of a champion’s deity.

Champion causes are also categorized into these groups. Causes such as redemption and grandeur are holy, desecration and iniquity are unholy, and some fall into neutral ground with no sanctification, like justice and obedience.

 Archteypes art by Paizo


Finally, to really kick character customization up a notch, Pathfinder Player Core 2 introduces a host of archetypes to the game. These include multiclass dedication feats for the eight classes in Player Core 2, as well as general archetypes that can applied to a variety of classes and character builds – provided a character meets the listed prerequisites.

Archetypes unlock a collection of new feats for players to choose when they level up – usually, but not always, taking the place of a class feat. Some archetypes also introduce feats that any player can take – regardless of if they’ve taken that archetype – to add flavor from those character builds to their play. New rules are also included in the archetype section – including rules for snares in the snarecrafter archetype that can be referenced by rangers.

In addition to the multiclass archetypes, Pathfinder Player Core 2 includes 35 general archetypes, with remastered versions of old favorites like beastmaster, poisoner, and vigilante, as well as new archetypes. While you can only ever have one class archetype, some of these archetypes fall under a special category, offering skill feats rather than class feats. These feats can be taken in place of skill feats when leveling up, and do not count against class feats for your character.

 Player Core 2 standard edition by Paizo

Level Up Your Play!

Pathfinder Player Core 2 drops August 1st at your friendly local game store, and at Gen Con Indianapolis. This hardcover rulebook will be available with three covers: a standard cover with full-color art by Wayne Reynolds, a special edition faux leatherette cover with debossed foil details, and a hobby-retailer exclusive sketch cover, featuring Wayne Reynold’s pencil sketch of the cover design.


About the Author:

Rue Dickey (they/he/xe) is Paizo’s Marketing and Media Specialist. They’ve been playing TTRPGs since 2010, and have done work for Paizo as a freelancer on a variety of Pathfinder products. At Paizo, Rue is responsible for internal marketing project management, promotional coordination, advertising, and media relations.