Kicking Off Pathfinder Online
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
You've probably heard that Paizo is working with Goblinworks to produce Pathfinder Online, a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game. Goblinworks has been giving you snippets of our plans in the biweekly blog posts on goblinworks.com, and we've been getting your feedback on the Pathfinder Online messageboards here on paizo.com. Well, we're now ready to kick off the next phase of Pathfinder Online.
Today we announced a Kickstarter project to help us build the Pathfinder Online Technology Demo. Go take a look at the press release or visit the Kickstarter project page to find out what this Kickstarter is all about, and then come back here so I can share some details you'll want to know. Don’t worry, I’ll wait right here...
...Did you read it? Pretty darn cool, huh?
Goblinworks.com has its own blog today talking about the Kickstarter, so head over there when you're done here for more details on that. What I want to talk about here is the Thornkeep book!
Since the Pathfinder Online Technology Demo itself isn’t something that we can offer to Kickstarter patrons, we had to go outside the box for our Kickstarter rewards, and the Thornkeep book seemed like the perfect answer.
Thornkeep has a Pathfinder Online logo on the cover, but make no mistake—Paizo is handling this book just like any of our other Pathfinder products. It's set in the very same world of Golarion as our other roleplaying products, and contains 100% official Pathfinder campaign setting material for use with the Pathfinder RPG.
The first half of the 64-page Thornkeep book is a Pathfinder RPG sourcebook covering the town of Thornkeep and its surrounding area. Thornkeep is part of the River Kingdoms area, which is the setting for Pathfinder Online. (You could also drop Thornkeep into almost any wooded area in your own campaign setting.) As we mentioned in one of our earliest Pathfinder Online blog posts, Thornkeep is one of three starting locations for PCs in the MMO—it's the chaotic frontier town that Ryan dubbed our "hive of scum and villainy" (think a fantasy version of Deadwood). (You even helped us name Thornkeep in our first online poll!)
We thought it would be cool to allow folks to explore Thornkeep's various dark corners in their Pathfinder RPG sessions before Pathfinder Online is released. We will be using this book as our guide when we're building its digital equivalent. We're even going to have a small dungeon in this book that will map directly to the one featured in the Technology Demo. So not only will you be getting a guide to one of the towns in Pathfinder Online, but you'll also be getting the first look at how content from the RPG transitions to Pathfinder Online, as well as how content from the MMO might find its way to your gaming table!
Rich Baker, author of Thornkeep!
When we were looking for somebody to write the sourcebook material for us, we went to our good friend Rich Baker. This is Rich's first time working on Pathfinder, but he has been involved with classic D&D campaign settings from the Forgotten Realms to Birthright, and we figured it would be fun to see how he would approach Thornkeep! I've seen his partial turnovers already, and they're awesome!
So what about the second half of the book? That's going to be a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Pathfinder Online, including excerpts from our internal design document, plus design sketches and early artwork for the MMO, as well as essays from Goblinworks and Paizo team members designed to give you insight into the making of the MMO. Consider this a backstage pass to all of the goings-on at Goblinworks!
Of course, we couldn’t have a cool product like this without a Wayne Reynolds cover. The cover image you see here is a mock-up—Wayne should have the real Thornkeep cover done by PaizoCon, and we plan to unveil it at our banquet!
Thornkeep isn't the only Kickstarter reward, though. There are lots of fun rewards for folks at all levels of pledge support! You could even come to Paizo for a day, play a Pathfinder game with your dream Paizo GM, and have a four-hour dinner with your GM, Goblinworks CEO Ryan Dancey, and myself. Check out all of the Kickstarter rewards and help us get to the next step in the development of Pathfinder Online. We wouldn’t be here without you!