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On Thursday I conducted a dinner meeting with the design staff and Brandon Hodge, with the topic being Occult Adventures. We discussed the book's overall theme, its general contents, and an overview of the six new classes that will be included in it.
It was one of the most exciting, productive design meetings that I've ever had during my time at Paizo (which started on Day 1).
I learned the following things:
1) Jason Bulmahn, Logan Bonner, and Stephen Radney-MacFarland are fantastic game designers filled with tons of amazing and innovative ideas about where to take the Pathfinder rules system.
2) Mark Seifter is a FANTASTIC addition to the team. He has a fundamental understanding of the Pathfinder rules that makes him invaluable, and his extensive "real world" experience as a 5-star Pathfinder Society judge and frequent player gives him a practical expertise that I think will really aid the design team in general. We are lucky to have him.
3) Brandon Hodge is a 33rd degree occult badass. (I actually already knew this.)
4) So am I. (I knew this, too.)
5) Bulmahn is willing to let me go off on digressive riffs about the seven principles of mankind, Theosophy, reincarnation, the Astral and Ethereal Plane, and auras for about 7 minutes, but after that he starts to make fun of me.
6) Occult Adventures is going to be hugely popular, even among folks who might not think it is their cup of tea at the moment. People are going to love this book.
7) Not only will this book be a fantastic resource for ALL Pathfinder players, but it will show how much "design space" is still left in the Pathfinder rules engine. Some of the mechanical discussions under discussion are tremendously exciting.
I love the Advanced Class Guide, and I'm looking forward to Pathfinder Unchained, but the design of both of those books is predicated on existing character classes. There's a ton of innovative stuff in those books, but it's all predicated on stuff that already exists. This book is going to be full of fresh,...
Well, i had hoped for psychic magig not being vancian, but let´s see what you make out of it. There is enough room left in that system that it could be good.
Occult Adventures sounds very promising. I hope for a strong Cthulluh vibe and a rules mechanism, that finally restricts metagaming and brings a lot more respect and horror to the heroes. This could also be in Pathfinder Unchained though. Yes it would restrict player freedom, but on the other hand it could/would create a better gaming experience very often i guess. Because all that metagaming and attacking everything and cheesepowerplay can get very unatmospherical while it is extremely hard to resist. Oh and if you do something like that, please take care so it can become PFS legal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!