From the announcement:
Paizo Inc. today announced the worldwide open playtest of Pathfinder Second Edition, an evolution of one of the world’s most popular tabletop roleplaying games. The playtest begins August 2, 2018 when Paizo releases the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, Pathfinder Playtest Adventure, and Pathfinder Playtest Flip-Mat Multi-Pack, kicking off a massive multi-month free playtest.
Digital editions of all three Pathfinder playtest products will be available for free at paizo.com starting August 2. A limited number of print editions will be available at game stores and bookstores all over the world, as well as at Paizo’s booth at Gen Con in Indianapolis, Indiana, August 2–5. Players can preorder print editions of all three playtest products from local game stores now, or directly from paizo.com between March 20 and May 1. Paizo will not reprint the playtest rulebook or adventure, so players must preorder to assure they do not miss these items.
Paizo launched the roleplaying game industry’s first large-scale public playtest in 2008 to create the first edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Tens of thousands of gamers collaborated to improve its original concepts. “As Pathfinder has developed over the last ten years, we’ve continued to think about how to make the rules more fun, easier to learn, and better for telling our favorite fantasy stories,” said Erik Mona, Paizo’s Publisher and Chief Creative Officer. “It’s time to take another step forward in the evolution of the game.”
Jason Bulmahn, Paizo’s Director of Game Design, has been the lead designer of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game since its birth. “With the new edition, we have a chance to revisit some decisions we made with the first edition of Pathfinder. We’re updating the game’s engine while also adding a bunch of fun new ways to play,” said Bulmahn. “There is a lot to discover, but you will never be far from the game you love—the game you helped us make.”
“First and foremost, the game has to be true to itself. We’re very excited about the new edition, but it won’t be perfect until you’ve had a chance to try out the new rules and let us know what you think,” said Mona.
The 400-page Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook contains everything players need to create characters and run Pathfinder adventures from levels 1–20. The rulebook will be available in softcover, hardcover, and deluxe special editions in addition to the free PDF. The 96-page Pathfinder Playtest Adventure contains seven short multi-encounter scenarios designed specifically to playtest the game at different levels of play, corresponding with regular playtest surveys released through PathfinderPlaytest.com starting August 6. The Pathfinder Playtest Flip-Mat Multi-Pack includes 2 double-sided miniatures-scale maps for use with the playtest adventure.