The Pathfinder NEXUS Character Tools Alpha Is Here - Invites Incoming!
I’m happy to share that the Closed Alpha for the Pathfinder NEXUS Character Builder and Digital Character Sheet is underway. This marks a vital milestone for our team in the development lifecycle, an essential starting point that we will use to forge ahead to finalize what we intend to be an indispensable tool for your Pathfinder games. We wouldn’t be able to accomplish that goal without your feedback and support, so thank you in advance for participating in the alpha!
Accessing the Closed Alpha
First off, this phase is locked to invited accounts only. As we have shared in Dev Update streams and email messages, if you are a Demiplane Member or if you have purchased any content on Pathfinder NEXUS up to this point, you are guaranteed a spot in the Closed Alpha. Invites will go out in waves, so if you haven’t received your invite yet, rest assured you will receive it in the next few weeks. If you made purchases in the last couple of days (or after this post goes live), you will end up getting invited in later waves (so please be patient).
If you aren’t a Demiplane Member or haven’t purchased Pathfinder NEXUS content yet, you can sign up for the alpha and potentially get an invite in later waves as well.
Once you get your invite, you can get started in your My Characters page.
Pardon the Mess - Spontaneous Explosions Possible
Next, I want to be sure it is abundantly clear that this is an early look at in-progress development for the Character Builder and Digital Character Sheet. It is in no way finished or as polished as we will deliver for the final product (or even more specifically, the public Open Beta as the next major phase). The initial build is not optimized (or really even working) on mobile yet, and the speed and performance of the app will not be anywhere close to acceptable. You will be greeted with the following message the first time you access the Closed Alpha, but I’m going to repost here for emphasis and for everyone to see:
First impressions are important. Here at Demiplane, we take developing a high-quality, polished experience for fans seriously. If you’re seeking that in this closed alpha, I’ll transparently share you might want to wait until we get closer to the open beta before jumping in to check it out.
At this stage, we are looking for initial impressions on overall flow, feel, and interface to ensure we’re headed in the right direction. A successful first impression for us today would be “This isn’t there yet, but it has the potential to be great.” We will continue to work to finalize the tools and prepare for the public beta with new additions and iterations throughout the alpha, so feel free to check back often and keep an eye on our social accounts and Dev Update streams to stay in the loop.
We appreciate all your support during Early Access, and thank you for helping us make the Character Builder and Digital Character Sheet all it will be!
Destiny -er Feedback Is All!
We are eager to hear your impressions and directional feedback to help us calibrate everything as we move forward to the Open Beta. On that topic, right here in the Forums is the preferred place to share your feedback. We have created the Character Tools Feedback subforum (where this post lives) where you and your fellow testers can post about your reactions, first impressions, performance issues/bugs, and features that you would like to see added. We will still monitor the other places where the community posts, but the forums provide a great place to keep track of and consolidate things on our end.
The Starting Point and What’s Ahead
Today’s release is the beginning of the beginning for the Character Builder and Digital Sheet. We are targeted regular updates now through the next couple of weeks before our offices are closed for the holiday break, and we’ll pick back up with the regular release cadence when we return in the new year.
Both features and game content will be incomplete at the start. You will sometimes be able to click on something to open a sidebar that will present an “under construction” message, but over the course of the Closed Alpha, you will see those placeholders replaced with the intended functionality. If you own the Core Rulebook you’ll have access to the ancestries, backgrounds, and classes within it. If you do not own the Core Rulebook, you’ll have access to the ancestries, backgrounds, and classes within the free Primer content. New content and features will be added on a regular basis as testing proceeds.
Lastly for now, here is a quick rundown of what to expect at the start of the Closed Alpha:
Alpha Launch Status - December 8, 2022
Game Content Available in Character Toolset
We intend to convert rulebooks first, followed by the Lost Omens line, and then move into Adventures (Standalone, Paths, and Organized Play Scenarios).
- Pathfinder 2E Primer (No Cost)
- Pathfinder 2E Core Rulebook
- Pathfinder 2E Advanced Player’s Guide
- Pathfinder 2E Gamemastery Guide
Game Mechanics: State & Status
Our focus for Alpha is to ensure we have enough Game Content and Mechanics available for users to have fun in building and playing their characters, while also being able to provide feedback early about character creation and gameplay. Below is a broad snapshot of where we are regarding the many exciting Pathfinder 2e Game Mechanics!
- Ancestries & Backgrounds: Ancestry and Background fundamentals are near complete. Support for particular unique or special Ancestry or Background abilities are not yet implemented. Examples include the Kobold’s “Draconic Exemplar” and the Scholar’s option of skills which then grant Assurance in that skill.
- Classes: Classes from active sources are all available for selection. Several classes will have limited engagement due to core capabilities not yet being implemented. Examples include spellcasters (we’ll be adding alpha spellcasting capabilities next week) and classes with a heavy companion or familiar involvement (such as the Witch or Summoner).
- Skills: All but one set of Skills and Skill Actions are in and available for training and gameplay. The Lore skill is the most dynamic skill when it comes to Character Management - we are spending more time on that skill specifically to ensure we get it right.
- Feats: Feats from the above sources are available for selection. We will be spending time and attention on ensuring feats that grant additional Character choices (“Adopted Ancestry”, for example) are up to snuff over the next few weeks. Currently, those feats are selectable but do not necessarily grant their benefits as written.
- Saving Throws, Hit Points, Resistances, and More: Saving Throws are in and ready to roll. The alpha version of our Hit Point tracking is ready to use with a few quality-of-life updates still needing to be made. The fundamentals are Resistances, Immunities, and Weaknesses are in.
- Conditions: We have more work to do for Conditions, which should currently be considered a placeholder.
- Equipment: Rudimentary Equipment Management is active and in. Players can equip weapons, armor, and items from throughout Golarion! We have many plans to build upon the equipment experience following collecting alpha feedback. Tell us what you think!
- Note - there is a known issue where freshly equipped armor is not taking effect unless the sheet is refreshed.
- Spells: Spells are not in today, but will be coming in a rudimentary way next week. Similar to equipment, we have many plans to build upon for Spells and are eager to collect feedback on the core structure and flow.
- Formulas: Support for Formulas is not currently supported as of today’s launch, but will prior to Open Beta.
- Crafting & Treasure: We have taken many passes to ensure that magic items are working. We are certain there are some that are not working as planned and will be actively working through the many magical items that make your character unique! Investing is not yet wired up, but support is en route.
- Variant Rule Support: Variant Rule Support will absolutely be supported following the the collection of valuable pre-launch feedback.
- Pathfinder Society Support: We are eager to support the many adventures of Pathfinder Society members. If you foresee pain points based on your initial passthrough of the alpha, please let us know. PFS support will be built upon the foundation of the Character Sheet and Builder.
- Rarities & Traits: We are working to surface rarities and traits better.
- Companions & Familiars: Companion and familiar support is planned prior to our Open Beta, so keep an eye out for updates.
There is already so much to absorb, so we’ll come back and highlight some of the up-and-coming platform capabilities next week and beyond. Until then, here are a few of the team’s favorite things Demiplane is bringing to the table:
- Flexible Builder Flow: Whether you pick your Ancestry first or last, Demiplane’s character builder highlights where your next choice awaits.
- Contextual Insights: Can’t remember how Darkvision works? What does it mean to have a climb speed? We have already started building contextual information about Pathfinder throughout the Demiplane character sheet.
- We will be regularly passing descriptions for items, feats, class features, spells, and more into drawers as the week continues.
- Multiple Damage & Attack Options: While still in its early stages, we’re starting with support of multiple attacks and damage types for weapons at the start.
- User and System Notes: Does your feat grant you a +2 circumstance bonus to having a great day, but only on Wednesday morning? We’ve got you covered. Demiplane leaves helpful notes in key areas based on the choices your character makes. Have something special that you want to remember for next time? Users can leave their own notes so they never forget their high-fantasy garage door code.
- Homebrew: We would be amiss to not mention our Homebrew plans, which will be implemented following this initial pass of feedback gathering. Users will be able to modify their characters, items, spells, and more within the Demiplane sheet, as well as create entirely new game elements through our upcoming Homebrew system.
All the Gratitude
Congratulations if you read all the way to the end here! We are truly excited to get things started with NEXUS Character Tools, and we could not get where we need to be without all the Pathfinder fans out there providing your feedback and support.
Thanks so much for your participation in the Closed Alpha - upward and onward!