Role for Initiative – Pathfinder

In 2008 when Wizards of the Coast released Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition many players were left without support from the publisher and upset with the little time 3.5 had been out. Looking back at the history of D&D, each previous edition of the game had over a decade of support, and now that there are enough editions to see a statistical trend, new editions of the game are being released with greater frequency.

At that time many players continued to play in previous editions of the game, which had campaigns that supported the format and a strategy that was lacking in 4th edition. Players felt that it was far too easy to be a jack of all trades and less effective to specialise in a specific type of combat. Out of this, Pathfinder was born.

paizoPaizo, who published D&D related material for Wizards of the Coast and Dungeons and Dragons magazine, developed Pathfinder as an alternate to D&D. After Wizards released Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition the community was split between it and Pathfinder.

Pathfinder is effectively the same as Dungeons and Dragons 3.5. This meant that players would have continued support for new campaigns and little would change in the mechanics of the game. Changes had to be made to D&D 3.5, all of which made it easier for players to multi-class, keeping them invested in the same character for 20 levels. Some aspects of D&D 3.5 remain the same, such as the use of a square grid, which helps the players to visualize the area being explored and adds to the strategic nature of the game. Additions have also been made over the years, introducing new classes and enemies to keep players interested. All of this serves to benefit the players.

PathfinderRPGLogo_180Pathfinder is more strategic, encourages a player to maintain the same character for 20 levels, and Paizo is aware that pushing too many revisions of the game is ultimately detrimental to the playing community.  Currently, there are so many different versions of D&D being played, it can be difficult to join new playgroups. That is not to say D&D is a bad game, nor are Wizards of the Coast bad for trying to update their game in the hopes of attracting new players. Dungeons and Dragons is an RPG with different priorities to Pathfinder.

If you are interested in playing Pathfinder however, Paizo provides resources for players through their website, There you will find digital versions of all their rulebooks, pre-generated characters at varying levels, Pathfinder card games, and a variety of support products for the game. Paizo also has message boards with news and a community willing to lend its support to aid new players understand the game, and resources for keeping track of your character’s progress through the game.

PathfinderSocietyLogo_180More support for Pathfinder can be found through the Pathfinder societies that operate in practically every major city. I’ve attended several games run by the Pathfinder Society Melbourne and have had a great time meeting new people and playing the game. The Pathfinder societies organise games through Warhorn is a website that allows groups to organise game days for a number of RPGs. Organisers can advertise which module or adventure they are planning to run, the location it is to be held and the time that the game is going to be run. Players can read about the game from the description and register to attend. Pathfinder societies also use Facebook to keep in contact with their players, announce new games and the community is always willing to help new players get started and answer any questions.

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