April 4, 2013
A Look At The Crunch Of The Pathfinder RPG
When Wizards of the Coast created the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, many players were left wanting. This is nothing new among tabletop players. Whenever a new edition of a game emerges on the market, there are always those who prefer the previous one. However, with Dungeons & Dragons, this “edition war” was much further spread and a great deal more vocal among the gaming community. To many, Fourth Edition was too far removed from the older editions and simply was not to their taste. Normally, this would leave those players to the previous edition of the game – Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 – meaning that no additional material would be produced and they would simply have to use what they already had. Fortunately, this was not the case.
Often referred to as “Dungeons & Dragons 3.75,” Paizo released the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game as an answer to those players who preferred D&D 3.5. More than just a continuation, Pathfinder was a revision of the rules, balancing out some game-play issues and simplifying the more overly complex ones – gone are the days of the much-feared grapple. All of the core races and classes are there, and each of them have been given something special. All of the races have been made a little stronger and more flexible in what they can and cannot do, a races favored class is not dependent on the choice of the player rather than being predetermined, and the classes have all been given an upgrade in ability so as not to be overshadowed by prestige classes. No longer is the “best wizard” someone who multi-classes out of wizard into something like archmage. No. If you want to be the “best wizard,” remaining a wizard for the entirety of your character’s career is a much more viable option.
Mechanically, Pathfinder still uses the standard d20 system. In terms of play, nothing has really changed between the two systems – or at least nothing that cannot be picked up on very quickly. What changes were made have been to the improvement of the game. Beyond the Core Rulebook, Paizo has been releasing a steady supply of supplements that, for the most part, have all been top quality. Advanced Players Guide and Advanced Race Guide have been especially useful reference tools and game aids, adding in a few additional classes, giving a plethora of additional character options, as have Ultimate Magic and Ultimate Combat. I recently picked up the NPC Codex and I look forward to seeing how well it adds to the game.
There isn’t much more I can say on the Crunch of Pathfinder. I have introduced the game to a number of players, including those who approved of Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition, and we have had a lot of fun running it. It is a classic game with a fresh coat of paint. I highly recommend giving it a try. Now, if you will excuse me, I have a bard, a sorceress, a cleric, and a barbarian that need a few monsters thrown at them.
Image Credit: Photos.com