Pathfinder
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:09 pm 
 

So folks, can someone give me the lowdown on Pathfinder?

It actually has shelf space at Barnes & Noble.
And it seems to have one core rule book.
That, IMHO, is a good thing.

My taste runs toward the rules-light RPGs,
but i can go OCD as easily as the next guy
if it's a good enough product.

Thanks,
Keith


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:11 pm 
 

Pathfinder is like version 3.5 updated; sort of like version 3.6.  It is very rules heavy and will get even more so with the Update coming at Gencon :)


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:21 pm 
 

Blackmoor wrote:Pathfinder is like version 3.5 updated; sort of like version 3.6.  It is very rules heavy and will get even more so with the Update coming at Gencon :)


Well, that part is not appealing, then.
But is there something about it that makes
it stand out from 4E?
Something unique, I mean.

Thanks!


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:32 pm 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:
Well, that part is not appealing, then.
But is there something about it that makes
it stand out from 4E?
Something unique, I mean.

Thanks!


Yes there is!!  4th ed is crap (to put it bluntly :lol: )  

Pathfinder is well thought out and great to play, lots of options, lots of material to explore etc etc...

It may be complicated but it sure works well :)


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:39 pm 
 

Mainly need only the one book and any Bestiary if the GM.  The Game Mastery Guide is helpful with tables and suggestions, but not needed.  The Advanced Players Guide is more classes/etc - like a PHB2 type book, but again not needed.  The vast majority of Pathfinder is adventures and secondly their world setting material.  I would say their approach is sort of like Mystara's products - gazetteers, some race books and many modules.

I'd recommend Paizo's Pathfinder to anyone not close minded to the 3.x rule set.

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Post Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:42 pm 
 

The rule book is gigantenormous.

Do they include a full campaign setting or something?

I only had a minute to flip through it,
but I saw no monsters.

And to paraphrase Bugs, interesting games
need interesting monsters.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:46 pm 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:The rule book is gigantenormous.

Do they include a full campaign setting or something?

I only had a minute to flip through it,
but I saw no monsters.

And to paraphrase Bugs, interesting games
need interesting monsters.


Bestiary is the Monster Manual, and they shall have a Bestiary 2 out later in the year.  Pathfinder Campaign Setting: World Guide—The Inner Sea is the setting book again later in the year (as it gets updated to the Pathfinder rules) though they do have the Campaign Setting for 3.5 out of course.

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:20 am 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:So folks, can someone give me the lowdown on Pathfinder?

It actually has shelf space at Barnes & Noble.
And it seems to have one core rule book.
That, IMHO, is a good thing.

My taste runs toward the rules-light RPGs,
but i can go OCD as easily as the next guy
if it's a good enough product.

Thanks,
Keith


I played Pathfinder for the first time at PaizoCon, in June.

I own a copy because I had a Barnes and Noble gift card and for one precious moment Barnes and Noble posted an insanely low price.  I hit it.  Otherwise, I would have had to wait lots longer for beat-up copies to appear on sale.

Pathfinder essentially is D&D 3.5.  Paizo company people, and others who play it, joke that it is D&D 3.7

Some of the rules are different in small ways...like one small example I found in the way "attacks of opportunity" work.

Where the rules vary from D&D 3.5 is much like rules variants in some of the TSR published campaign settings.  For instance, sorcerers are given an unnecessary layer of complexity that might please some gamers but that I find unwieldly.

Pathfinder has cooler art than D&D 3.5.  It also has a solid company that is gung ho to support it and an equally enthusiastic fan base...left in Paizo's hands when Wizards of the Coast killed DRAGON and DUNGEON magazines.

(Paizo was left with a mailing list of all the established gaming groups, who all had store credit that was rolled into Pathfinder module series subscriptions.  WOTC left Paizo with links to basically every active D20 era DM...and all of them were pissed off about the magazines being canceled and about 4th Edition in general.  It was possibly the most astoundingly wooden-headed game company business blunder since Gygax was ousted from TSR.  This mistake has meant that the revenant of D20 is going to hang around and haunt WOTC for a long time to come...and it has inflicted wounds on 4th Edition that could yet prove mortal.)

The Pathfinder RPG has the great feature of including the Player's Handbook and the Dungeon Master's Guide in one book.  (Which should factor into calculations of its relative game value versus its cost.) Aside from cost, this eliminates the cumbersome reality of other versions of D&D, where crucial rules are split up and tossed willy nilly into various books.

The Bestiary is the Pathfinder monster manual.

What you have in Pathfinder is the answer to the musical question, "What if 3rd Edition D&D had been done correctly right from the start?"

Pathfinder is somewhat tied to the Paizo game world campaign setting.  Player characters are members of the Pathfinder Guild...with its own chapter houses in various cities.  Sounds weak.  It works.

Paizo is pumping out modules for the game...lots and lots.  

I have not read them all.  The ones I am familiar with are good to brilliant.  The Skinsaw Murders, which was the second Pathfinder Adventure Path module published, is the single best module I have read...both for its use of genuine horror themes in D&D and for the technical mastery of the writers.

It would be nice if Pathfinder stayed a compact and accessible RPG.  The reality is that Paizo must publish and sell or perish.  There is already a rules expansion hardback out and more are on the way.  The gamers at PaizoCon were buying everything in sight.  Like the expansions to other versions of D&D, you don't need them to play...but...you know this tune.

On the upside, the Paizo people remain accessible and enthusiastic gamers who take an active interest in their products.  At PaizoCon I spent an hour or so quietly seated amongst the company honchos in the hotel lounge.  There was no pretense...just a group of gamers like any other.  No ego.  I played in Erik Mona's game on the first night at PaizoCon.  His adventure was fun and he was a polite and down-to-earth person.  I watched Jason Buhlman do an impersonation of Donkey Kong...partly influenced by alcohol.  Pretty cool, actually.  TSR was probably like that at one point.  WOTC was too.

I would have no hestitation in recommending Pathfinder to anyone.  It is a nice streamlining of the 3.5 rules for veteran players, and a good entry point to the best parts of the D20 phenomenon for anyone new to that version of the game.  It is all likely to be collectible and much of it will increase in value with time.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:13 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:


"What if 3rd Edition D&D had been done correctly right from the start?"



They would have reprinted 1st edition AD&D.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:28 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
They would have reprinted 1st edition AD&D.


:D

3.5 is AD&D with all the arguments settled in extreme detail.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:42 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:
:D

3.5 is AD&D with all the arguments settled in extreme detail.


Agreed :)


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:57 am 
 

I can see why they moved to the 4E model. They have a better RPG, but they realised GW had built a hugely successful business based on the tabletop wargames model, and they figured it was where kids were going and spending their money.

Kids need all the little bits to lay on the table. Without lots of figures, cards for this, cards for that, it's not a game to them. It needs to bright and shiney because they live in a sparkly bright and shiney world (phones, TV, Video games). The creative imaginitive play side of their brains have developed differently from the ways ours did. They need more stimulus and their attention span and ability to focus is more muted.

WoTC can do little wrong in a market they have market dominance over. Like Intel/Microsoft PCs, or Apple phones and iPods.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:58 am 
 

You can pick up a copy of ebay for an average of $32.50 plus shipping.  

I think Form Critic summed it up nicely.  The rulebook is a beautiful product and if you're interested in D20 (3.X) then you will most likely find things that you love about the system.  I agree that the writing and art is fantastic in the Paizo products, I don't think there's been anyone else (on this kind of scale) producing at this level for a long time.  They are quick to say that they are gamers and they seem to truly enjoy what they're doing.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:21 am 
 

The official nickname for Pathfinder is D&D 3.75   :D

I agree with much of what FormCritic says above. However I don't care for the art much. It's like Planescape (which I like) meets Animae (which I don't care for... well at least not in my fantasy art anyways...).

My appeal for Pathfinder (other than I love D&D 3.5), is also for the guys running the company. 15 and 20 years ago, I was playing Living City with Erik Mona and Jason Buhlman. So it's great to see guys that you gamed with move up and eventually start their own company.

I'm playing a Pathfinder "adventure path" (i.e. connected module series) called Kingmaker. You start out as low level characters and explore unclaimed lands on behalf of your lords, and eventually start up your own kingdom. The other cool part of the Kingmaker series, is that you actually build a castle and supporting buildings, and develop an economy to support your kingdom.

I also have a 9th level cleric of Sarenrae (Goddess of the Sun) in the Pathfinder Society Campaign setting, and having a blast with it.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:21 am 
 

I also endorse Pathfinder as being top-quality in all aspects. The physical quality I expected; Paizo had been publishing for a while, they've got talent, and they're not stupid. It's the quality of the design I found unexpectedly good.

It is indeed designed to keep the 3.5-style market after the sheep moved on to 4.0 because WotC said so.

Tho I'm old-school by preference, I think 3.5 will very prolly become historically noted as one of the best incarnations of D&D.

As a marketing point, Paizo was a pioneer in free rules; I have 3 different earlier rules sets on my hard drive, free downloads. That alone was appealing enough to attract a lot of people.

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:49 am 
 

FormCritic said a lot a agree with. Here's a few other comments.

Pathfinder is somewhat tied to the Paizo game world campaign setting.
That's because the adventures need to be set somewhere! But they do like fluff, too.

Player characters are members of the Pathfinder Guild...with its own chapter houses in various cities.  Sounds weak.  It works.
Only in the Pathfinder Society (ie. for the organised games).

Regarding rules expansions, the Advanced Player's Guide is due out August 5th, but they have said that there will be no more than 3 or 4 hardbacks a year. There won't necessarily be much crunch in some of those. Ie. the Pathfinderised campaign setting hardback is due out later this year, and the Oriental hardback is due out next year. I guess that there will be one Bestiary per year. The Ultimate Magic is due out next Spring, but as far as I know there will not be a ton of splat books put out each year.

Keith The Thief: Please post on the Paizo messageboards to ask questions, or look through the threads; plenty of people ask about PFRPG all the time. It really is the spiritual successor to 3.x.

The iCV2 trade magazine says that PF RPG is the second biggest-selling RPG.

Good luck and have fun!

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:04 am 
 

And much of their rules including the ones appearing in the Pathfinder modules are under the open gaming license.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:13 pm 
 

astenon wrote:
Keith The Thief: Please post on the Paizo messageboards to ask questions, or look through the threads; plenty of people ask about PFRPG all the time. It really is the spiritual successor to 3.x.

The iCV2 trade magazine says that PF RPG is the second biggest-selling RPG.

Good luck and have fun!


Quite honestly, I'm gun-shy of most forums.
The Acaeum is unique in that you can ask a
question (even a dumb one) and get a reasonable
and thoughtful reply.

Anyway, my curiosity has now been piqued.
I'm enough of a collector to enjoy reading rules systems
even if they are not exactly what I prefer.

This is a good thread

Thanks for all the info.
Keith


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:48 pm 
 

ExTSR wrote:I also endorse Pathfinder as being top-quality in all aspects. The physical quality I expected; Paizo had been publishing for a while, they've got talent, and they're not stupid. It's the quality of the design I found unexpectedly good.

I'm a big fan of the Pathfinder line - core, Bestiary and now the new Gamemastery Guide. All good stuff. All refinements of a tried and true system. But the art... I just don't dig it. Somewhat western-anime-ish if that makes any sense. Lines too pointy. Colors too dirty. But it's familiar as it follows the later Dragon mags (for obvious reasons).

It is indeed designed to keep the 3.5-style market after the sheep moved on to 4.0 because WotC said so.

4e is actually a brilliant product - streamlined and highly consistent. It's not my cup of tea, but I've no problem with it from a design standpoint.

As a marketing point, Paizo was a pioneer in free rules; I have 3 different earlier rules sets on my hard drive, free downloads. That alone was appealing enough to attract a lot of people.

In all fairness, the Indie community has been doing this longer than Paizo. In fact, Paizo has learned quite a bit from them. I had hoped they would follow the Indie community trend of tacking on the PDF for free (or a penny as seems to be norm now) but they are doing it better than WotC IMO (who ditched digital distribution). The early beta PDFs for Pathfinder are also the reason that the first major errata that showed up for the first printing had three (yes, 3) items on it. Look at the bulky errata for 4e (admittedly, the Pathfinder errata has grown, but not very much).

Anyway - I heartily endorse Pathfinder. It's so good, I bought two copies ... why have 600 pages of fun when you can have 1200 for twice the price?!


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:37 pm 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:So folks, can someone give me the lowdown on Pathfinder?

Pathfinder is D&D 3.75.  For 3.5 players and 4E naysayers, Pathfinder is the game of choice.  Game store staff always confirms this.
It actually has shelf space at Barnes & Noble.
And it seems to have one core rule book.
That, IMHO, is a good thing.

As far as rulebooks go, Pathfinder has a single core rules book.  It has one bestiary book, one campaign setting book, and a GM book.  It also has numerous supplements, including a GM screen.  However, only the single core book is needed for play.

I am waiting for Pathfinder to start the rules bloat like 2E and 3.x/d20 did.  :(

  
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