Pathfinder Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Pathfinder RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Free RPG Day 2019 Guide: What to Get and Where to Get It https://www.gameskinny.com/hfd8o/free-rpg-day-2019-guide-what-to-get-and-where-to-get-it https://www.gameskinny.com/hfd8o/free-rpg-day-2019-guide-what-to-get-and-where-to-get-it Fri, 31 May 2019 14:00:02 -0400 Ty Arthur

Want to see what's new in the world of tabletop gaming without spend and arm and a leg on a bunch of hard cover books? Free RPG Day is coming soon, and it can serve as a springboard to radically expand your gaming group's normal lineup of systems.

While it won't affect the lineup for this year, there are changes coming to the annual gaming celebration as Free RPG Day was officially acquired by Gaming Days LLC recently.

While we wait on what news that acquisition brings, for now we can ooh and aah at all the free gaming goodies that have been announced for the 2019 iteration, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 15th at your local game shop.

Can't make it to a local store to pick these up, or not interested in the lineup included below? There are plenty of epic free modules for D&D, Pathfinder, and every other pen and paper RPG system out there available for download any day of the year. Check out our best roundups here:

Free RPG Day 2019 Publishers

Make sure you know what you want to grab ahead of time, as each store gets a limited number of copies of each product, so its best to have a plan of attack before you enter the doors!

All the other names you'd expect from previous years make an appearance here in 2019, sans Lamentations Of The Flame Princess, which some may find understandable.

Don't forget that while these products are free for you, each store has to pay for the Free RPG Day box, so make sure to show some support and consider picking up something else from your local game store!

Paizo

           

We'll start off with the big dog in the race. While Pathfinder 2nd edition has divided the fan base, its safe to say Paizo is still among the top tier of RPG publishers at this point.

Of course Paizo has another We Be Goblins entry this year, and if I'm going to be honest, its starting to feel like this series has run its course. Those first couple of modules were a breath of fresh air that allowed roleplaying groups to let loose and play insane singing goblins for one-off sessions, but it seems like the quality of the series has gone downhill with subsequent iterations and the joke has pretty well played out at this point. Maybe We Be Heroes will revive the franchise?

In addition to the adventure module, Paizo is dropping an 8 page storybook with goblin characters for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game this year. 

If you aren't keen on making yet another goblin song and getting messily devoured by anything bigger than you, there will also be a new Starfinder entry for Paizo's sci-fi spin off.

R. Talsorian Games

After Paizo, this is probably what RPG fans are most looking forward to checking out for Free RPG Day 2019 -- quick start rules for a Witcher RPG!

If you want to jump into the Interlock system used to power The Witcher in tabletop mode, this 24 page book gives you a simplified version of the rules to get start.

This is from the same company making the Cyberpunk Red tabletop RPG (and yes, its connected to the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 that will be released at some point between now and the year the earth plunges into the sun).

Green Ronin

If you haven't tried out the Adventure Game Engine (AGE) rules yet, Green Ronin is offering up a quick start guide for the Modern Age system, which as the name implies is the modern day offshoot of the fantasy version.

Since there aren't that  many publishers focusing on modern day games lately, this is a great one to pick up if you want to expand your gaming group's horizons past the typical fantasy, sci-fi, and horror.

Goodman Games

          

That Dungeon Crawl Classics cover on the left may look awfully familiar, and that's because this two-sided product contains the quick start rules from last year (although with an updated spell list) on the front.

If you flip it over, the opposite side is a brand new adventure for level 1 characters titled Geas of the Star-ChonsIf you've already got the quick start rules, that's really the only reason to grab this one, since the half the book will be nearly identical to what Goodman Games released in 2018.

Renegade Game Studios

                      

Following last year's look at the groundbreaking and non-traditional Overlight, for 2019 Renegade is radically shifting gears with two entries.

Want to roleplay in the grim future where the undead have overrun humanity? The quick start intro rules for survival horror game Outbreak Undead will help you decide if you want to pick up the full rule books.

On the total opposite end of the gaming spectrum, there's also a new free adventure for Kids On Bikes, which is exactly what it sounds like as kids from small towns go on big adventures.

Khepera Publishing

Not a fan of the normal D20-based systems? Khepera has a D6 rule set that serves as spiritual successor to those iconic West End Game titles from decades past. There will only be 5 of these quick start rule books sent to each store however, so grab it quick if you see one still out on the table!

Pelgrane Press

Pelgrane has a double product this year, but sadly there will only be 3 per box sent to stores, so its unlikely you'll be able to grab one unless you are the first person in the store.

The first half is a tale for the 13th Age fantasy system, while the second will appeal to the horror fans.

That half includes a story for the company's newer King In Yellow RPG based on the famous Robert Chambers mythos character (who hit the public consciousness pretty widely back in 2014 with that first season of True Detective). 

King In Yellow uses an updated version of the GUMSHOE rules, so if you played Trail Of Cthulhu, you already know the basics.

Seven Thebes

Prefer historical settings over high fantasy universes? Land Of Myth features only human characters in ancient Greece, and while it does include a host of gods and magic abilities, it tends to focus more on characters than fantasy powers. Best of all? It's meant to be fifth edition compatible, so your group can jump right in.

Slugfest Games

While I haven't kept up with the latest expansions, Red Dragon Inn remains one of my favorite board games, and its a hell of a good time even when drinking with a group of people who don't normally play RPGs.

Slugfest is offering up a new card to add to the pile this year, but unfortunately there will only be ONE of these cards sent per store, so don't expect to be able to grab it.

Q-Workshop

The ever-reliable Q-Workshop is including 15 sets of these black and silver Starfinder themed dice per store. I'd expect them to get snatched up quick, so you'll want to show up early if you plan on getting your own set!

Aside from what was covered above, there will of course also be the annual t-shirt and Chessex Free RPG Day branded dice, but the quantities are extremely limited and will probably be taken by the store owners (and hey, they earned 'em by buying the box).

What are you most excited about grabbing this year, and which products are you going to avoid? Sound off in the comments below, and see you at the game store on June 15th!

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Pathfinder: Kingmaker Review -- Boldly Rolling the Dice https://www.gameskinny.com/lhfsn/pathfinder-kingmaker-review-boldly-rolling-the-dice https://www.gameskinny.com/lhfsn/pathfinder-kingmaker-review-boldly-rolling-the-dice Tue, 02 Oct 2018 11:25:30 -0400 Nick Congleton

Ever since the Pathfinder RPG made its debut in 2009, it has won over fans of classic RPGs time and time again -- including Dungeons and Dragons, which Pathfinder owes its lineage to.

The Pathfinder tabletop game earned its popularity and devoted fan base by staying true to more traditional elements of Dungeons and Dragons. But does  Pathfinder: Kingmaker stay true to those same roots?

In a world where the RPG has been popularized and ultimately toned down by the likes of The Elder Scrolls and World of Warcraft, is there a place for the unforgiving nature of tabletop RPGs?

Spoiler alert: the answer just might be yes. 

Interface and Controls

For anyone who has played anything similar to a true roleplaying game in the last 15 years, Pathfinder: Kingmaker's user interface should automatically feel familiar. It features a small menu with different character management and game system options. The character screen offers a very familiar inventory and equipment management interface that centers around dragging pieces of gear around an animated model of your character.

On a more practical action based front, the camera controls are your standard WASD keys. Then the combat controls themselves come on a tried and true action bar.

That's really where the similarities end, though. Pathfinder: Kingmaker isn't the PC RPG (CRPG) that you're probably used to. Kingmaker is a tabletop RPG in digital form. It is your dungeon master, and you're playing much the same game you would if gathered around with a group of friends.

Such a relatively bold move presents a unique set of challenges when it comes to controls. Most gamers, even RPG fans, have never played a game that controls like a tabletop game. That means that the controls would need to be highly intuitive to your average gamer while still preserving the tabletop gameplay elements.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker mostly succeeds in its control design. There are elements of that pen and paper gameplay that translate very well into a PC game. However, there are others, like live action combat and formations, which feel sort of strange and out of place initially.

It never gets perfectly smooth, but it is possible to adapt to it and feel mostly comfortable down the line.

Gameplay

Diving deeper into its gameplay, you'll really feel how strange Pathfinder: Kingmaker seems at first. Your first instinct will probably be to dive in and start mashing the buttons on your action bar, much like you would in countless other RPGs. That's, of course, not the way Pathfinder works. It is a virtual tabletop RPG, and it plays like one. That includes automatic dice roll mechanics. Yes, it rolls virtual dice.

When you first engage in combat, time freezes and gives you a chance to plan out a strategy for your party. This part is well explained in the initial tutorial, and it works great. After you have your strategy in place, you unfreeze time and dive into the fight.

That's where things get a little weird.

After the live-action combat kicks off, it's not all that easy to manage your party anymore, and attempting to attack just feels clunky, especially with the dice rolling mechanic factoring into the combat as well.

That's why, in practice, Pathfinder: Kingmaker feels a bit like a cross between an RPG and a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game. That wouldn't really be the case if you were only controlling your one character, more like it's pen and paper origin, but it's also clear why that system wouldn't work all that well in the context of a PC game.

Altogether, the combat experience in Pathfinder is fun, but it definitely takes some getting used to, and there is a learning curve.

The game also features a fairly unique travel system that aims to replicate the experience of the tabletop game.

The map interface is nicely designed, and it cuts out a lot of what could be nonsense while retaining the adventuring feel present in a pen and paper RPG. Most of it is fast travel until you encounter a challenge on the road. At that point, you'll drop down to a ground-level view to fight.

Stopping also means setting up camp to rest and gathering rations. Rest resets your party's abilities and heals them up. You can also find interesting side content on the road that leads you down different narrative paths that build on the story and flesh out the world.

Art and Graphics

The art and graphical aesthetic of Pathfinder: Kingmaker are fantastic. The key here is not to go in expecting the same level of graphical polish that you'd find in a AAA title with a gargantuan budget. That's not what this game is, and it doesn't try to be.

Kingmaker's static artwork is essentially the same art that you'd associate with the Pathfinder or Dungeons and Dragons tabletop games. If you're not familiar, it's a painted style that takes advantage of a wide color pallet and a sense of motion. That same style is common in other media within the fantasy genre, especially with novels. It fits well with Pathfinder, and it really does help build the overall ambiance of the game.

The in-game environments are great as well. They expertly set the scene in the locations that you're playing through, and really do help with immersion, which is a huge deal in an RPG.

The game does a great deal with environment detail that helps to set the stage of the world, helping players understand bits about the plot and overall lore, without the need to play through any additional content.

There is one weak point with the in-game artwork, though: character models. They just aren't that detailed. In some cases, they even feel slightly out of place. The world itself seems more finely tuned graphically, while it's hard to shake the feeling that the character models feel dated.

Story

There isn't too much to say without revealing any spoilers, but Pathfinder: Kingmaker's story feels like a very well put together tabletop campaign.

It comes complete with a main quest line that brings your character along through a story complete with meaningful decisions and the ability to shape your own narrative. It even partners you with a bard character to chronicle your story, which is a nice touch. 

The story kicks off with your character attending a gathering of heroes and mercenaries, all of whom were brought together for a chance to claim a lordship of their own complete with land and titles.

Of course, there's a catch. The land is occupied by a somewhat mysterious warlord. Within a few minutes, things at the gathering go violently wrong, and your adventure kicks off prematurely and chaotically.

Customization, The World, and RPG Elements

No RPG is complete without real role-playing aspects. This is another area where Kingmaker really delivers. The first part of every RPG is character creation.

So, when you first start up your campaign, you're able to create your character. There are a handful of template characters that you can pick and get started with right way. Chances are, though, you're an RPG player, and you want to make your character from scratch.

Of course, that is an option, too.

The beginning of the character creation process is probably also the weakest. There aren't many playable character races to choose from. It would have been nice to see more options, especially in a landscape where RPG fans expect a broad range of options.

Once you do pick your character's race, you'll get to customize their appearance. Unfortunately, the available options are limited. It would have been nice to see more variation here, especially with how invested RPG fans tend to get in their characters.

Beyond that, the class customization options are great. Pathfinder: Kingmaker brings an impressive range of character classes and subclasses to the table. The classes do feel unique, and each variation changes the flavor of the class and changes the way you play.

Of course, you get to choose specific talents and abilities for your character and customize their stats. Stats are a huge part of creating characters in a pen and paper RPG, and they're still very present here.

The world itself feels very alive. There are secrets, items, and NPCs to interact with through the entire world. Some just give you interesting loot. Others provide additional side stories or enhance the main plot of the game.

A lot of the game is fully voice acted. While not all of it is great, there are some real stand out characters that help to bring the game to life and build investment in both the characters and the story.

The Verdict

Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a breath of fresh air in a fairly stale RPG landscape. It takes some seriously bold risks, and they pay off for the right audience. If you're a fan of tabletop RPG games, or you're looking for an unexpected challenge in the form of something truly different, you won't be disappointed.

It's important to note that the launch of the game was plagued with a really nasty bug causing saved games to fail to load. While there are some easy temporary fixes on Windows, Mac and Linux players are having a rougher time of it.

In reviewing this game on Linux, it was extremely frustrating having to start the entire game over every time the full party died because saved games couldn't load. That said, it's just a bug, and hopefully, it'll be fixed soon.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker set out to bring the look, feel, and gameplay experience of a classic tabletop RPG to the PC and, in that, is an absolute success. It's not without its flaws, but all of them could be corrected with additions and further content patches, which a game like this lends itself to very well.

You can pick up Pathfinder: Kingmaker on Steam for $39.99.

[Note: The developer provided the copy of Pathfinder: Kingmaker used in this review.]

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Pathfinder Adventures: Fun fantasy adventure made unplayable by game breaking bugs https://www.gameskinny.com/vadd5/pathfinder-adventures-fun-fantasy-adventure-made-unplayable-by-game-breaking-bugs https://www.gameskinny.com/vadd5/pathfinder-adventures-fun-fantasy-adventure-made-unplayable-by-game-breaking-bugs Fri, 29 Apr 2016 09:44:47 -0400 Ty Arthur

There's something that needs to be explained right away about that “4” rating: I fully expect and sincerely hope this review will be outdated and completely wrong in a month.

Much like with the lackluster Siege Of Dragonspear, it's actually sort of painful to write this review.

I love Paizo (I was championing those once-underdogs of gaming in local hobby stores before anyone knew who they were). I regularly enjoy pen and paper Pathfinder, and I still play the Pathfinder Adventures card game regularly with my gaming group. On top of it all, I adore Obsidian Entertainment.

Put 'em all together though, and you've got a hot mess that wasn't ready to come out of the oven yet. This mobile edition of the card game was delayed repeatedly, and now I can clearly see why. Honestly I wish it had been significantly delayed again.

For those willing to give it a try anyway, you can grab Obsidian's rendition of the Pathfinder Adventure card game right here.

The Good

For those already familiar with the rules of the Pathfinder Adventures card game, picking up the mobile version is incredibly easy, as the ruleset has essentially been lifted wholesale and plopped into an electronic format. It will will be confusing if you haven't played before, though, even with the tutorial.

Pathfinder fans won't be disappointed by the characters or dialog. I DMed our group's weekly roleplaying sessions for several years, including back in '07 when we ran through the original version of Rise Of The Runelords, so there's a whole lotta nostalgia here in seeing classic characters like Orik Vancaskerkin or the Sandpoint Devil appearing on my tablet screen.

Beloved characters both benign and monstrous return

Pathfinder Adventures is also completely free to download, which is a plus, but only two characters, the tutorial, and a first adventure are included. You'll have to take part in those dreaded in-app purchases to buy new cards and scenarios, although you can save up gold and eventually get them at no cost if you are persistent.

The Bad

Obsidian has a fantastic track record with large-scale RPGs -- Pillars Of Eternity was easily among the best games of 2015 -- but clearly mobile design is not the developer's forte, at least not yet.

Get ready for a slew of technical issues from the moment you first tap that goblin icon to the first (of many) times the app crashes.

The insane load times speak of a system that needs to be overhauled and doesn't feel optimized for mobile gaming. Two lines of dialog? Load screen. Battle a monster? Load screen. Move location? Load screen.

 Get ready to see a whole lot of this. 

Then there's the near-constant graphical glitches and crashing. The background of each location would constantly disappear for me, and everything slows to an absolute crawl when trying to drag a card or roll the dice. Get ready for crashes during battles, crashes during tutorials, crashes during dialog.

Unlike any other Android game I play, Pathfinder Adventures for some reason doesn't fully take over the screen. If you don't tap or swipe, your screen will go dim as though you were idling and then enter power saver mode, which I've never seen before with a game app. Since the game crashes at the drop of a hat, the end result is that you absolutely can't put this down, even for a moment, as it will absolutely crash when you swipe to bring the screen back up.

The crashes are bad enough, but the game is also incredibly unresponsive, and that's a death blow for a title that requires a touch screen. After the tutorial you finally get to put together your own party, and it took me 2-3 minutes to correctly drag the elf rogue Merisiel from the top bar to the character slot at the bottom (you have to drag just exactly to the side slightly, then straight down).

Good luck selecting your characters...

Even though there's clearly a second character slot open, it absolutely wouldn't let me drag the cleric Kyra down there. I tried, for a good 15 frustrating minutes of cursing and swiping every which way. This sort of makes the game impossible, since it's quite unlikely you'll beat a scenario with only one character. You need a diverse party with different skill sets – Merisiel for Acrobatics rolls, Kyra for Divine checks, and so on – to close all the different lotions on your hunt for the boss.

Issues With Mobile Gaming

One design choice that's sort of baffling is how they kept essentially all the rules intact, rather than simplifying anything for mobile purposes. There are so, so, so many elements on the screen at one time, making the layout very congested.

If you haven't played the tabletop card game, you will absolutely be baffled by all the numbers and symbols everywhere. The screen is overly cluttered on my 11 inch tablet, so I absolutely shudder to think of anyone trying to play this on their phone.

 Clutter, clutter, and more clutter...

The nature of the game is also lost a bit in the translation from tabletop pastime with friends to mobile game, as there isn't an online multiplayer option. If passing a single controller between players isn't multiplayer on a console, then its sure as heck not multiplayer on a tablet either, and the whole point of Pathfinder Adventures is to have a team taking out locations in tandem.

As far as I'm concerned, the “play 'n pass” option is just a fancy way of saying “single player only.” Online multiplayer is coming down the line, but I'm not holding my breath based on the technical issues in the base game.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately it seems like Pathfinder is just plain old cursed when it comes to electronic releases. A full single player PC or console game is unlikely due to the nature of the Open Game License, as the Pathfinder ruleset (derived from D&D 3.5) can't actually be used in a video game.

Despite TWO successful crowd funding campaigns, the MMO route was a nonstarter as Pathfinder Online crashed and burned before it even got off the ground (although word is a new developer will take over soon). Now here we are with Pathfinder Adventures, and the franchise is not off to a rousing start on the mobile front either.

While its essentially unplayable at the moment, my sincere hope is that Pathfinder Adventures will be an awesome experience on PC when the Steam release comes (and hopefully on Android/iPad when the kinks get worked out... someday).

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Bringing the essence of D&D to video games https://www.gameskinny.com/afl1w/bringing-the-essence-of-dd-to-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/afl1w/bringing-the-essence-of-dd-to-video-games Mon, 03 Aug 2015 19:11:11 -0400 Zach Long

I recently looked into a game called Sword Coast Legends. Let me tell you something, it looks amazing. I am a late bloomer in Tabletop RPGs, but I have enjoyed every second of them. I love being able to interact with my friends and play in a world of imagination where nothing holds a player back, save a DM bent on your destruction. With the tools available in the upcoming game, the joy of D&D can be brought to the virtual realm in an entirely new way.

The World

While most DMs use real-life images or fantasy art to depict the layout of the world, it's an entirely different thing if you can actually set the atmosphere, and play in a landscape that is fully rendered in 3D. There's a world map that the DM can place markers for locations the PCs can travel to. Outside locals can be populated by characters to interact with as well as monsters to slay. Instead of imagining the world somewhat differently between each person, it will look exactly the same to everyone so that nobody will get confused by longwinded explanations. 

The Player Characters

 While there isn't a lot of information out there, if you pay close attention, you can find some things out. For instance, there will be five races(elf, half-elf, human, dwarf, and halfling) and six classes(fighter, cleric, rogue, wizard, ranger, and paladin) which I found in an interview on Venture Beat. In some of the livestreams that they have done, which can be found on their YouTube page, you can see a glimpse of some of the character creation in one of their videos. From those brief moments you can see a little view of the abilities and character page.

From the looks of it and they way they tallk about character creation I have faith that it will feel similar to rolling up a character for the table. They have also stated several times that they plan on adding more characters post-release, which is always a good thing to hear.

Dungeon Masters


This, this is the coupe de grace, this is what will take up the majority of my time in the Sword Coast. It works the way you want it to, at least from what I know. You can set up the campaign so that people can play your campaign while you're at work, or school, or wherever and be a DM that way. But the other thing you can do, which is really exciting, is that you can live play as DM as well. Not only can you have the session fully ready ahead of time, but you can change things on the fly while other, real people, play through the story you've crafted. You can add more traps if the ones you have placed are too easy, you can add more monsters, take away monsters, lock or hide doors if they're speeding through the dungeon and don't want the adventure to end quite yet.

There are nearly endless possibilities. The feature that makes it is that you, as the DM, get a pool of Threat Points, which can be spent on all the above mentioned things, and you are rewarded same as the party. When they do well, you do well, so that you can make the encounters more engaging and entertaining. You can even go so far as to control creatures and fight them with all the abilities that NPC has.

This is definitely a game I will be keeping an eye on in the coming months, and very much look forward to playing when it is released for PC and Mac on September 8th, and PS4 and Xbox One later this year.

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Ryan Dancey Talks Pathfinder Online Community and Influences https://www.gameskinny.com/qgt7i/ryan-dancey-talks-pathfinder-online-community-and-influences https://www.gameskinny.com/qgt7i/ryan-dancey-talks-pathfinder-online-community-and-influences Fri, 23 May 2014 07:21:33 -0400 Danielle Marie

To complete a Kickstarter project is no easy task. However, Goblinworks has defeated the odds and successfully executed two separate campaigns for its sandbox MMO, Pathfinder Online.

Ryan Dancey, CEO of Goblinworks, was kind enough to talk with me about the state of the game, how it got started, and how important the Pathfinder Online community is to the game's fruition. 

How long have you been creating games? How long have you spent working on Pathfinder Online?

My first published game credit is Legend of the Five Rings Imperial Edition, the first set in the trading card game by the same name, which was released in 1995 as preview cards at GenCon.

I have been working on Pathfinder Online since early in 2011.

How has your gaming past influenced Pathfinder Online? Are you a big fan of MMOs?

The biggest influence on Pathfinder Online is the experiences that Mark Kalmes (our CTO) and I had while we were employees at CCP, who make the EVE Online science fiction sandbox MMO. Mark previously worked for Cryptic on City of Heroes. We have both played many hundreds of hours of MMOs.

I believe that virtual worlds are the mass entertainment medium of the 21st century, and will have the same scope of impact (or even more) that movies and television did in the 20th century.

What part of the game are you most proud of?

Our community. We have been able to create a really awesome community of people who share our vision and values and who are helping us to transform the way MMOs are made. Couldn't do it without them.


What do you think separates Pathfinder Online from other MMOs?

There are relatively few sandbox MMOs compared to Theme Park MMOs like World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls Online or WildStar. So that's our critical segmentation. Of the current sandbox MMOs, only EVE, which is a science fiction game, has scaled up over 100k players. We're hoping to replicate that in the fantasy genre.


While we're on the subject, can you explain the concept of a "sandbox MMO," and why the concept is so unique?

Sandbox MMOs are the promise that the concept of "MMO" offered from inception but have usually failed to deliver. In a sandbox game the primary interaction is between the players, not between the players and the environment. Sandbox MMOs have a lot of persistence. Players are able to modify the game world, not just through their characters becoming more powerful, or by crafting consumables, but by creating structures, engaging in territorial control, and by being part of an economy where virtually every item in the game is crafted by player characters.

Your website claims that your game is based on the Pathfinder tabletop game. Can you elaborate which features will be carried over and how it will transition into an MMO?

That's a very complex question.

For licensing reasons we cannot use the D20 game as expressed in the tabletop game. Tabletop game mechanics, which allow each player to take as much time as they want before making decisions, aren't well suited to realtime online games anyway. And the Pathfinder Online game will be a superset of the tabletop game. The tabletop game is focused on heroic adventurers, whereas the Online game will expand that focus to include all sorts of other potential roles: diplomats, spies, explorers, crafters, teamsters, soldiers, etc.

We are deeply integrating with the lore and backstory of Golarion, the Pathfinder homeworld. Pathfinder Online is set in the River Kingdoms, which was featured in the Kingmaker Adventure Path for the tabletop game. The gods, regions, nations, and factions of Golarion will be well represented in the online game.

The game mechanics themselves are designed to capture the flavor, rather than the mechanics, of the tabletop game. Players will find a lot of very familiar systems in the online game. Being familiar with how the tabletop game works will be a plus.


Pathfinder Online has had two successful Kickstarter campaigns, raising over $1 million; what do you think attributes most to your success?

I think that there's a lot of interest in a fantasy sandbox MMO. I think that Pathfinder is a wildly successful game. And I think that the community rallied around the Kickstarters and made sure they were successfully funded.

I often tell people that Kickstarter is not a place to form a community. It is a place to take a community that has already formed and give them a system to show their support.

I noticed that you update your Kickstarter backers often on your progress and developments. How important is interacting with your fans to you?

It is critically important.

Our community is at the center of everything we do. We funded our project with their help. We will develop the game with their help. Their actions, as they play the game, will define the game more than we will. Keeping our community informed as to our progress, plans, ideas, hopes and dreams is absolutely required if we are going to be successful.


If there was anything you could say to your backers and fans who want to get involved with Pathfinder Online, what would it be?

Tell your friends to get involved!

After we ended the Kickstarter in January of 2013, we had a long gap where there was no good mechanism for people to back the project if they missed the Kickstarter. We now have our on-line store ready to sell new memberships.

Early Enrollment will be starting later this year. Now is the time to buy a slot. The first month of Early Enrollment was sold to the Kickstarter backers and we're rapidly filling up Month 2.

If you're as excited about this project as I am, you can lend a helping hand at the Goblinworks website, here

Learn more about the current Pathfinder Online features and the exciting, new prospects on their way. You can also sign up for the game's alpha to experience Goblinworks' labors for yourself!

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Dragon Slayer Awards Nominee: Pathfinder Online https://www.gameskinny.com/wwb0z/dragon-slayer-awards-nominee-pathfinder-online https://www.gameskinny.com/wwb0z/dragon-slayer-awards-nominee-pathfinder-online Sun, 04 Aug 2013 15:56:14 -0400 Stephanie Tang

GameSkinny's sister site Guild Launch is a web hosting platform that makes social networking and site hosting easy, comparable to Facebook for growing your gaming guild and community. It is designed by gamers for gamers.

For the second year, Guild Launch is hosting the Dragon Slayer Awards, the only awards show that is decided by the gaming community for gaming community. These awards are voted on by you, the gaming public, not the usual round of industry experts or corporate sponsorships.

Voting is open until September 2, allowing DragonCon attendees to vote from the convention floor.

Most Notable Kickstarter

Among the nine Dragon Slayer categories, you have Most Notable Kickstarter of the Year. Ever since the explosive success of the Ouya Kickstarter, crowdfunding has been accepted into the gaming community norm and has only been gaining speed ever since. While it has spawned a new era of internet panhandling and online scams, Kickstarter has also helped to broaden the gaming landscape into one of incredibly diversity and barrier-breaking creativity. 

There are plenty of success stories since Kickstarter came into it's own, but only a few have managed to meet those goals... fewer still have managed to exceed them, and hold onto the burgeoning fan support that pushed them above the Kickstarter limits and beyond. 

Nominee: Pathfinder Online

Pathfinder Online is a fantasy sandbox MMO developed by Goblinworks based on the Pathfinder tabletop game and uses a unique process called "crowdforging" to determine what features are implemented in the game and in what order.

The game is an escape from the usual fantasy MMO tropes with a skill training system equivalent to EVE Online where skill training requires a time lapse that farming mobs or spamming abilities will not powerlevel you through. Incredibly customizable, the game gives you no set classes but lays it entirely up to you which skills you want to level (and, it promises that no matter what you choose to level in, you will be useful and have an important part to play in combat). It also puts it on the players to build the world so that you can build your own, house, town, even city.

The Kickstarter

With a superstar development team including Ed Greenwood the creator of Forgotten Realms, Paizo Publishing the original publisher of Pathfinder, and Frank Mentzer who designed some of the most memorable adventures in Dungeons & Dragons, the Kickstarter was almost from the start bound to be a success.

Opening November 27, 2012, the crowdfunding project hit its $1 million goal before the deadline, and it was merely a question of what stretch goals the community could back before the timer ticked down to 0. By the closing date on January 14, the project had made $1,091,194 with 8,732 backers, several who contributed $5,000 and up!

Filled with tons of bonus content and unique add-ons to stimulate backer support, it's self-evident that Goblinworks put a lot of thought and effort into its Kickstarter and the quality of game and rewards they were going to offer in return. No wonder that Pathfinder Online was nominated for the most Notable Kickstarter of the Year.

Click here to vote now!

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Gaming The Old School Way: Tabletop https://www.gameskinny.com/s3tkv/gaming-the-old-school-way-tabletop https://www.gameskinny.com/s3tkv/gaming-the-old-school-way-tabletop Fri, 21 Jun 2013 23:54:07 -0400 Mary Yeager

These days, when people think of social gaming, two things may come to mind. Facebook games or MMOs. Now they may be right, but I have a totally different idea of social gaming. I still love the sound of the dice hitting the table and it hitting those magical numbers. Yes, I am talking about tabletop gaming. Sitting around the table creating stories with friends is truly a social game if nothing else is. We still play several games.

Pathfinder

Pathfinder is a system built off Wizard of the Coast's Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition. This is what 4th edition should have been. The play has been smoothed over and lots of things Wizards missed has been added in. The world is massive and has an absolute great storyline to go with it. My favorite class is the cleric, and the rogue. It's a tie.

World of Darkness

While the new World of Darkness is neat, I am still a huge fan of the old edition. White Wolf was purchased by CCP Games a few years ago to get the rights to make WoD a MMO, but that game has yet to be finished (of which I am still waiting on). My favorite of the series is Vampire the Masquerade, to be closely followed by Vampire the Dark Ages. While these two games are close in play stats wise, how you play is considerably different to how different the world was at those two times. In Vampire the Masquerade, I love playing Toreadors, and in Dark Ages, I love the Cappadocians.

Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons is currently in its 4th edition. Its considered one of the worst editions Wizards of the Coasts has released in the tabletop circles I run with. It is one reason why we discovered the game of Pathfinder and switched to it. The game was simplified to a point where it is befitting an MMO instead of a round the table game.

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The Family That Games Together https://www.gameskinny.com/9yf4s/the-family-that-games-together https://www.gameskinny.com/9yf4s/the-family-that-games-together Fri, 14 Jun 2013 13:40:44 -0400 Raven Hathcock

I recently went home to good 'ole Mississippi last week. My brother was getting married and as a bridesmaid I had to get all dolled up for the event. But whenever the family gets together, one thing is always certain...there will be gaming.

Every time my family gets together we end up having a family game night. I'm not talking about Candyland or Yahtzee.

The Family History

Gaming, from video games to tabletop, has always been something dear to my family. My father has always been a fan of miniatures, painting and playing, so that was one of my first exposures to gaming. I'd watch him and his friends play some Warhammer here and there. I'd see him stay up and paint his miniatures. When I was of age, which was probably seven or eight, it was my turn. I started with some casual video games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mortal Combat, and my parents started to include me in their D&D games. I think my parents knew that they were molding little gamers out of myself and my two older brothers. They knew what they were getting themselves into.

And it begins.

Tthis particular week in Mississippi, we played games of all shapes and sizes, new and old. We started with a bit of Magic TCG where I played my first game of EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander). My brothers coached me, and since I didn't have my own EDH I got to play one of theirs. I played with the minx Oona, featured to the right, and won. They may have let me win because I can get a little competitive but who knows. I can still gloat.

After that one of my brothers, Alex, mentioned a possible game of Pathfinder over the break. Oh no. Alex, our resident Dungeon Master, has been known to be a very spontaneous DM. Just picture, your character is walking through a field and all of a sudden she randomly explodes ending your game of Dungeons and Dragons. Yeah, that spontaneous. Lets just say I was a little apprehensive to play. I pushed the idea to the back of my mind and continued to play Magic.

Stupid Dice.

The next game we played was one called Quarriors! Dice Building Game. Basically, you're a fierce warrior called a quarrior, and you have the ability to use dragons and wizards to defeat other players with dice. You use your dice to buy the monsters and/or attack with the monsters. It's a pretty simple game. 

It was after this that we decided to play a "friendly" game of Risk. Everyone knows what Risk is and everyone knows the game isn't too friendly. Our Risk games could be a separate article all together, so I will shorten it: bloodbath. I will just reiterate that I suck with rolling dice and therefore attacked as little as possible and stayed where I belonged - over in Western Australia hording the purples. In the future I'll talk about how brutal our games can be, but for now lets just say that there was a little bit of screaming and some rage quits.

A Gnome Riding a Shield.

Alex's idea to play Pathfinder would just not die. He had gotten the party all ready. We had a half-orc barbarian, a human rogue, we even had the wizard. Oh and a gnome ranger with a giant owl and blue hair. Whose character was that? Well, if I play Pathfinder, I'm playing it with the character I want! I got a couple margaritas in me and was ready to start my first D&D experience in I can't tell you how long. All in all...it wasn't so bad. No spontaneous combustions. Mostly me, the gnome, riding on my father's shield. He was a half-orc barbarian.Yeah it's pretty cute, not going to lie. I was just pretty disappointed that my gnome couldn't ride the owl I was bonded to. In future - must play as a halfling.

One great thing about playing Pathfinder with my family is that they know what they are doing. Rolling for initiative, getting all the bonuses, very simple when the people you're playing with have been doing this for a little less than 20 years.

We didn't reach the final encounter in our game session. I guess when your party knows how to play properly... you end up interrogating goblins most of the game. We're planning to Skype the rest of the adventure since we live pretty far away from each other.

If you're interested in hearing about more gaming adventures with my family please let me know. I've started playing World of Warcraft with my father. Father's Day is right around the corner and it makes him happy. My aunt also plays, so between the three of us I know we'll have some stories brewing!

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Converting D&D 4e to Pathfinder https://www.gameskinny.com/qbxpi/converting-dd-4e-to-pathfinder https://www.gameskinny.com/qbxpi/converting-dd-4e-to-pathfinder Sat, 04 May 2013 22:22:17 -0400 Ferrel

The Return

When I had the itch to start running a new RPG campaign I went with what I knew: Dungeons & Dragons. I picked up a few of the latest edition books and immediately set to writing a new version of my classic Vallhyn campaign. I was quickly surprised at how much D&D 4e was like an MMORPG and less like... well, D&D.

I don't mean that in a negative light. It was just a very different experience and the classes truly were like the classes you'd find in an MMO. There were powers that a player could "click often" (at will) and powers on longer cooldowns (encounter and daily). The large amount of skills from previous editions had also been distilled down into only a few major categories.

The Issues

The Vallhyn campaign and, honestly, any campaign I run is very story and roleplay driven. Combat occurs but it isn't the centerpiece of the story. D&D 4e excels at combat and makes it the focus. It also has a ton of rules about experience and monetary progression. Characters are just constantly thrown items that by older edition standards seem very powerful. This all seemed to run counter to some of the basic tenants of my campaign. I see D&D 4e like this:

  • Magic items are no longer super special
  • If you're good in a few skills you can do everything
  • Combat is king
  • It is basically an MMORPG in pen-and-paper format
  • The traditional way spells are handled has been uprooted

The Winds of Change

I knew pretty early on that I'd want to eventually change back to the 3.5 edition of D&D but I was worried my players wouldn't be able to have the characters they currently had. It would be somewhat of a struggle so I just continued to soldier on as things were. When something didn't make sense I just ignored it. 

I also found myself creating far more combat encounters than I normally would. D&D is all about running your players out of their resources to make fights challenging. I just didn't enjoy that and it slowed down the game. It also made for a lot of throw away fights. I knew I had to finally change our system.

Converting

In all truth, converting wasn't that difficult. The rules at the basic level are very similar. One character had to pick a new race and we're just "pretending" he's the same to keep the story consistent. Two others had to pick different classes that are close to the 4e class but not perfect. Thankfully nothing seemed to be outright broken by the conversion.  We haven't really started playing yet though! Hopefully all will go well.

At the end of the day you should consider what is best for your setting when selecting a ruleset. If something isn't working out try making a change. You can always go back.

 

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