When proposed changes to the Dungeons & DragonsOpen Gaming License leaked in January, Paizo chief creative officer and publisher Erik Mona said the news drove a stake through the heart of the company’s release schedule for all of 2023. Paizo had already been moving away from its dependency on the OGL through the release of Pathfinder Second Edition, but Wizards of the Coast had shaken the bedrock assumptions that had driven Paizo’s business model for more than a decade. Avoiding future legal conflict was going to require more than just some errata documents.
“We decided we really need to take another crack at republishing the core rules, which we started pretty much right away,” Mona told Polygon in a recent interview. “Within a couple weeks of the OGL crisis happening, we started two projects. One was the Pathfinder Remaster project which would align the rules away from OGL derivatives and the other was a new open gaming framework.”
On Nov. 15, Paizo released the first books based on that work: the remastered Pathfinder Player Coreand Pathfinder GM Core. While the bedrock of Pathfinder 2E remains intact, developers pored over all the rules to remove the chance of future licensing conflicts with Wizards.
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That meant changing names of everything from mechanics (like swapping 3.5 edition D&D’s flat-footed condition to off-guard) to changing the name of D&D-specific fictional languages (like the fire elemental’s native tongue, known as Ignan, which Pathfinder now calls Pyric). Even character ancestries, like tiefling and celestial, had to be rolled into a new bucket called nephilim, a catch-all for characters touched by other planes.
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