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Pathfinder RPG releasing new core rulebooks without the OGL

Paizo is releasing four new books, remastered versions of its core rules, now under its own ORC licence and not tied to DnD through the OGL.

Pathfinder Core Rulebook - artwork of a load of pathfinder characters around a table

Paizo is releasing remastered versions of the core Pathfinder rulebooks under its new ORC licence, with four Pathfinder books that provide a “fresh entry point” for new players. Two of these titles, Pathfinder Player Core and Pathfinder GM Core, will be launched in November 2023, while Pathfinder Monster Core releases in March of next year, with Player Core 2 following in July.

A press release assures that this is not Pathfinder 3e, and all your old books will still be just as valid as they were in 2019. Instead, these are repackaged presentations of Pathfinder 2e’s core rules, complete with errata, rules updates, and later-book additions from the last four years. However, they are intended to replace the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Gamemastery Guide, Bestiary, and Advanced Player’s Guide, which won’t be reprinted after the current run is over.

The books (see mock-ups ab0ve) also mark the transition away from Wizard of the Coast’s Open Gaming Licence to Paizo’s own ORC, which is being created with “input of hundreds of independent RPG publishers”. Paizo’s press release states the ORC is more “stable and reliable” than the DnD OGL.

This will mean a few changes to Pathfinder to scrap OGL content, including the removal of alignment, and a “small number of nostalgic creatures, spells, and magic items.” Again, you can still use these features, they just won’t appear in official Pathfinder books going forward.

“This year saw a huge explosion in the number of new Pathfinder players,” says Paizo Publisher Erik Mona. Adding that the remastered books will “make the game easier to learn and more fun to play.”

If you’re one of those new players, just starting down the Pathfinder path, you might need our Pathfinder races and Pathfinder classes guides.