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Probably already asked....


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion

Grand Lodge

... but what's your opinion of Pathfinder so far? I've skimmed the boards some and it seems that most like it, but I wanted to know what other's really think. You know, the good, the bad, the munchkin. I am considering a subscription because I enjoyed reading the Adventure Paths (I'm running STAP now) and have high hopes for Pathfinder, but I can't afford to throw my money away on a sub-par product (see the last days of 2nd Edition for example). Let me know what you think.


I've read the first two and it certainly isn't sub par. It has originality, flavor, plot, good pictures (although the art is the most controversial part judging from the boards), the maps are awesome, and it's well written.

The only thing is I haven't played it yet and probably won't until all six come out and I can get a feel of what happens from beginning to end.

Dude, you're not going to get better material anywhere else, although you can wait and see what the others say on this claim.


It is ok; dont have any strong feelings about it, but am enjoying the art in the two publications, very well done; well, except for the pic on think on pg 69 (maybe) of the guy holding the four pointed throwing thing; it is just not grounded in his hand; just an artist flub that really stands out; the rest is great though. Like the expanded maps too.

Like every pre created adventure; it will take a good gm to make it come alive, but is a nice foundation for peeps who don't have either the time, inclination, or experience to build their own.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've got the first issue and the pdf of the first two, and, though I haven't had chance to sit down and really digest them, I like the look of what I've skimmed.

The draw for me is the tone of the setting. The denizens of Sandpoint have secrets, passions and rivalries, and there are definite shades of grey in interpreting their alignments (which I would say, has been THE most contentious topic so far, moreso than the art), and they contain some black humour, along with some gory elements.

This is not surprising, considering previous work by Paizo. Their Adventure Paths have so far focussed on fallen celestials, demodands, gods made of worms, and demon princes, often with the understanding that the PCs have to hold their noses and work with some extremely distasteful allies against a greater evil.

Whether you enjoy the series will probably depend on your taste and tolerance for the above. They can 'get away' with this far better as an independent publisher, than WOTC can, who will tend to be wary of the fact that they are the public face of the hobby. I can see someone choosing not to run this series if they host a youth group, dependent on renting space from a local pro-life, anti-gay church, and I would respect the decision to run something else. But many of the so-called 'contentious' issues have been part of most home-brew campaigns I have participated in, and have been included or implied in many of Paizo's products in the past, so why some folks are choosing now as the time to develop a rod up their ass, and declare themselves 'outraged' is beyond me.

I'm with Paizo, as long as they keep on creating adventures with skullduggery and believable characters!


I absolutely loved the first adventure, and though I'm only about halfway through issue 2, I am loving it as well. Very well put together, very interesting setting and story, and interesting characters and villians as well.

I've ran Shackled City and Age of Worms, and I am Soooo looking forward to running this, as I think it will be the best game that my group has ever played.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Pathfinder is the highest quality RPG supplement that I have seen in at least ten years. I am a seventeen year veteran of the game but for the last ten years I have been disinterested in the lack of maturity and complexity in most published products. Initially, I was highly sceptical of Pathfinder when the Dungeon and Dragon license changes were announced, but after two issues, I have been convinced that this product is something special.

The previous adventure paths just did not do it for me. Too many of the themes were programmatic and most of the plot twists were unsurprising. They were quality products too, but they did not have anything special that made me think, "Yeah, this would be better than a personalized campaign that I can produce."

The themes of the adventures of Pathfinder are filled with familiar topics, but they are used in ways that make everything exciting again. The new world of Golarion features "everything in its place" so that running the Pathfinder game feels familiar but every concept has been re-examined so that it makes sense in the new world - playing it is like re-discovering the game anew. In the end, it is the details that make this such a high quality product. Every NPC is interesting (and thus relevant). Every site is unique (and thus worth exploring).

I am a converted sceptic, and I can't wait to see what is coming next.


It's all right. I wish I could say I totally loved it and it's the best thing I've ever read just to boost the egos a bit of the people who worked so hard on it, but...eh. I mean it's not terrible, and probably better then the alternatives at the moment. Most of Paizo adventure stuff lately has been too much violence, drugs, and sex for my age range needs. Mind you, they have the market cornered for mature adventure entertainment; it’s just not my forte. Mostly I keep up as a Charter Subscriber because Paizo supports OGL (mostly by necessity, somewhat by choice), something I believe in strongly and am willing to back with cash.

Dark Archive

mwbeeler wrote:
I wish I could say I totally loved it and it's the best thing I've ever read just to boost the egos a bit of the people who worked so hard on it...

That's cool; I'll do it for you. :)

In my opinion, Pathfinder is just the next step up of each adventure path in terms of improvement of the storlyine, character of the NPCs, and general playability. In each adventure path, Paizo has learned from its collective mistakes, and each one becomes better than the last.

In addition, Pathfinder presents an amazingly cool world in Golarion, one that has all the touchstone aspects of the D&D cosmology, each presented in an individualistic, personal way. Goblins in Golarion are similar enough to hold the nostalgic connections from their first incarnation in 1st edition, yet new and different in an exciting and bold fashion. And the best part is that each of the icons of D&D has this new, fresh feeling to it in Golarion.

Finally, Paizo does address several adult-themed topics in its adventures, but they do so in a way that allows those not interested to remove those aspects of the adventure and still have a great product in their hands, and those players that choose to keep these adult topics in have them addressed in professional, introspective, and novel ways, rather than the programmed and cliched work that I have recently seen with WotC's adventure products.

Keep it up, Paizo. Your work is spot-on, and you have produced a first-rate product that will stand the test of time. Congrats, and keep it coming.


I agree completely; I'm just saying I "like" my villains one dimensional.


Hate to say it but I'm not really feeling it.

I don't like the world, don't want to start a new campaign there and don't like the look of things much, the new weapons and the goblins and goblin creatures etc all look a little cartoony for me... The faux-japanese names for the elves is something that I find difficult to like.

The art for the heroes is nice though -I'll use that. I'm hoping it will grow on me and they'll be things I can use or may want to use in the future games I run or my groups other DM will run -but for now I'm simply buying it because there's nothing better to spend my cash on since Dragon and Dungeon went t$~$ up.
Plus I feel a weird loyalty to Paizo and wish to support them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

I've been reading Dungeon since the single digits. Heck, I played through the adventures in Dragon before Dungeon. I've read a lot of adventures, more than I could ever play. So far, I can only comment on Pathfinder #1. In short, it is quite above average. The writing is excellent. They're are plenty of areas where people can go "off the map" and into they're own adventures. There are suggestions for bringing them back if you're not ready for that. Good characterizations. I didn't get as much of the "railroading" sense that I did in some of the later parts of the last AP.

My biggest praise and my only two criticisms are with the production. Production value-wise, this is the most attractive adventure book that I have ever scene. I am in awe. The criticisms, small type and small maps (and I'm not yet old enough to need bifocals). Obviously the small type allowed more info per page count and its hard to complain about that. Makes me wonder if smaller stat blocks will be possible in 4e. The maps are beautiful and qualify as art just as much as the pictures, I'd just love it if they were bigger. I've heard that eventually they hope to have web enhancements, including maps without labels, so I expect that will take care of that concern for me.

Bottom line, this product is a generation ahead of anything else out there. Pick up at least one issue yourself to decide.


I am personally loving Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords, and Golarion in general so far. Granted this is just the beginning of the ride for all of us, but it looks like this will be a great one.

The level of detail that I have seen put into the interaction and point of connection between the NPCs of the setting and the AP is incredible. They have done a great deal towards not making things one-dimensional, and I know that is your issue Mweebler, but that is a boon for me.

I enjoy more mature roleplaying, and Pathfinder looks like it is going to deliver that for me in spades, but they, as we all know do not lack for humor. Just look at the 'Ten Fun Facts about Goblins', that right there was enough to tell me that Burnt Offerings was worth buying and reading. I have not been disappointed. I have been very impressed.

At first, I didn't think Golarion would be for me. The things I'd heard were good, but I have been a diehard Greyhawker for 17 years (started when I was 10, been DMing for 13 years now). I wasn't ready to make a change, I still love Greyhawk. But I have been dragged away screaming by chittering and singing goblins because "I be food!"

And what a feast it is going to be.

Btw, I am in no way affiliated with Paizo, nor recieving any kickbacks, free subscriptions or anything of the sort. Though, if you are giving them out guys....


One final post before I end my ranting.

I'll be the first to say that Golarion might not be the setting for everyone. None of them are. You have to check it out and see if it fits with the feel you want to create for your campaigns. Mine, it fits. Last word.


Personally I love the world and the campaign so far. I was impressed by Sandpoint and I think it has a lot of possibilities for a lot of fun stuff. In my opinion Pathfinder is a very high quality product. Keep up the good work.
I only have two complaints; one is that I would have liked to have a map for the battles in Sandpoint.
Two, I really I don't like most of the art. I especially dislike the guy who does most of the NPC portraits in the Sandpoint article and the one who illustrated things like warchief ripnugget. IMHO that art sucks. Other than that, kudos.

mwbeeler wrote:
It's all right. I wish I could say I totally loved it and it's the best thing I've ever read just to boost the egos a bit of the people who worked so hard on it, but...eh. I mean it's not terrible, and probably better then the alternatives at the moment. Most of Paizo adventure stuff lately has been too much violence, drugs, and sex for my age range needs. Mind you, they have the market cornered for mature adventure entertainment; it’s just not my forte. Mostly I keep up as a Charter Subscriber because Paizo supports OGL (mostly by necessity, somewhat by choice), something I believe in strongly and am willing to back with cash.

I have't read the other modules, only Burnt Offerings, and yes there are such elements but for the most part it seems like they can be avoided and replaced with minor (if any) detriment to the story.

Dark Archive Contributor

R-type wrote:
The faux-japanese names for the elves is something that I find difficult to like.

Huh? That was not our intent. We were aiming for (and in some cases outright stole) angelic names for elves.

What names in particular do you not like?


Mike McArtor wrote:
R-type wrote:
The faux-japanese names for the elves is something that I find difficult to like.

Huh? That was not our intent. We were aiming for (and in some cases outright stole) angelic names for elves.

What names in particular do you not like?

He might have mistaken Tsuto for a elven name.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Pathfinder and related Gamemaster products are the most amazing setting/adventures I've seen since my first exposure to the Realms umpteen-score years ago.

Unfortunately, I believe my gang is pretty dead set to play through Savage Tide next so it may be a while before I get to pathfinder proper. Might try to shoe-horn it into Golarion so the guys will subliminally become familiar with names and such.


I absolutely love the Pathfinder and GameMastery adventures. I'm looking forward to playing or DMing Pathfinder, and my group's having a blast with me DMing Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale. However, they didn't seem too thrilled at having to learn about the gods and such of the new setting and so the mute half-orc fighter/rogue/cleric insisted on worshipping Gruumsh and I had to change the shrine in Fort Thorn to a shrine of Pelor. Alas... I really like the new setting but my players just aren't keen on learning new stuff that wasn't created by one of us.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
Evil Genius wrote:
I absolutely love the Pathfinder and GameMastery adventures. I'm looking forward to playing or DMing Pathfinder, and my group's having a blast with me DMing Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale. However, they didn't seem too thrilled at having to learn about the gods and such of the new setting and so the mute half-orc fighter/rogue/cleric insisted on worshipping Gruumsh and I had to change the shrine in Fort Thorn to a shrine of Pelor. Alas... I really like the new setting but my players just aren't keen on learning new stuff that wasn't created by one of us.

Actually, I find the dieties list one of the best things about the setting. It's refreshing to see a list of dieties that have a range of favored weapons and domains.

Forgotten realms has a decent mix of domains, but they just copy the same three or four favored weapons over and over. Greyhawk has a wide variety of favored weapons, but their dieties seem like carbon copies when it comes to domains (and aside from Kelanen, have small favored weapons selections for those few dieties with the war domain).


Dax Thura wrote:
... but what's your opinion of Pathfinder so far? I've skimmed the boards some and it seems that most like it, but I wanted to know what other's really think. You know, the good, the bad, the munchkin. I am considering a subscription because I enjoyed reading the Adventure Paths (I'm running STAP now) and have high hopes for Pathfinder,

Great adventures, but they're not the Dungeon APs that you know. Pathfinder is has a great number of references to this "Golarion" world of theirs, and there is a bit more work in adapting it to one's own campaign as you stumble through pages of their myriad of history lessons, ancient empires, world stuff, etc (and yes, for those of us whose time is valuable, the incremental amount of adaptation work above and beyond Dungeon does make a difference). If utility per page and a cost/benefit analysis is important to you (and really, it should be for everyone, says this professional accountant), then you need to take the above into account. Also note that the other criticisms in this thread are very much valid, so if you don't like some of the things mentioned above, take heed.

However, if you don't care about what campaign world your APs are in, then you will no doubt find Pathfinder to your liking - the quality is there in spades and is a worthy successor to Dungeon (barring my criticisms, above).

Finally, there is definitely some nice 'backdrop' material here when it comes to settlements (Sandpoint, Magnimar) and even a bit of the countryside (in which, we can thank our lucky stars, had a very small scale. Whew!) which are fairly easy to adapt to one's campaign (even to the well-detailed Forgotten Realms, for example). That's appreciated.

(Just dial back the history lessons and large-scale [macro] Golarion nonsense, and it'd be really incredible - for me at least.)


The pathfinder AP is looking to be awesome. Well written adventures that offer something a little more than the standard. Who else has the lowly goblins causing so much trouble.

The art work is great, the campaign setting seems to be well fleshed out. The quality of the binding and printing is excellent.

I am not getting the "mature" side of it. I guess I am used to watching sex, drugs and death on the 6pm news and prime time soaps so to me a mature topic is a little more debauched than a bisexual or a brief romantic interlude with an npc. I am thinking more along the lines of something Malchantet would do...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I like it and if I could DM it I certainly wood. I'm hoping to see more stuff made for the PLAYER and casual non-gaming fan (like fiction) so when I can't play in Pathfidner.. due to the group playing Realms (for example) I'm not left wanting. ;)


Sandpoint is Amazing perhaps can summarize the whole essence of detractors to Pathfinder, die hard supporters, and those in the middle.

I, too, would describe myself as a complete convert. The only ongoing beef I have is that the Paizo staff dislike psionics and have mentioned that it won't be supported unless the demand persuades them otherwise. Since psionics has been the only element that has maintained my interest with D&D, it does burn in my craw since I doubt psionics will ever gather favor with the masses. With that in mind, I just choose to ignore it and simply put in psionics myself when and where I can. Pathfinder is simply too amazing for me to make an issue over it.

As for sex and violence, I find this ironic since that's the primary crux for people to start roleplaying. In most roleplaying games, you're not creating schoolteachers and chartered accountants, you're creating fighters and rogues and wizards with an impressive arsenal of lethality. In my situation with the first two Pathfinders, this has been the first game where the story has been compelling and "real" enough that great pains have been taken at the expense of an almost TPK to spare the lives of goblins and of Tsuto. They feel for the suffering of Iesha, and they desperately want to be the great local heroes that Sandpoint has claimed them to be. They made a deal with Orik when he surrendered. These are all NPC's that are not 2-dimensional. Their background compels the PC's to sympathize and have only used lethal force when absolutely need to. When going through the haunted place of Foxglove Manor, my PC's refuse to take a damn thing because they feel that there are other living Foxglove relatives that have a right to the manor and all contents within. If this was the same ol' same ol',the PC's would kill, steal, loot, have sex with whatever walks, and ask names later (if they bothered).

The only other minor element was that in the beginning, all characters were natives of Sandpoint, but since they didn't have Knowledge local, (I houseruled it later), they weren't privy to the local gossip and could have dealt with certain situations much differently. The only thing I gave them was that they were aware of Naulia who I figured was so famous that they "had" to know "something" about her. Only when scanning the threads was I aware that natives of Sandpoint automatically knew all rumors. Another was that Chelaxian is now common. Updates and errata like these can pose a challenge for those that can't find the time or have internet access to keep up to date with the latest changes. I do find, though, that this does add to the charm since the world is also, therefore, fluid. The Paizo staff are very keen on customer input and influence, and will hone in on interesting and popular ideas. The world feels new, fresh, and dynamic, and I adore how elements have been twisted through the Paizo mold.

What Paizo is doing now is what it feels like WotC are trying to imitate. What I noticed with 3.5 was that fluff seemed to be superceded by crunch. Ecologies disappeared. Were beasties nocturnal or not? How did they reproduce? How did they interact with other creatures sharing the same habitat? Paizo has impressed me with their goblins alone, returning the importance of "flavor" to those that are interested to know more than just the crunch. If it's just crunch, than players become acutely aware that goblins are just the fodder, stock 1st level monsters and that they will vanish as soon as they raise a level to face the next level of stock CR-appropriate fodder. Hack, slash, hack, slash, ho hum. Paizo took great pains not only to flesh out the nature of goblins in general but to differentiate the goblin tribes from each other. Facing the Thistletop Goblins will be different than facing any of the other tribes. I expect the same with all of the other sentient monsters to come. I adore the history behind the lamia matriarch.

Edit:
Also, I do agree with the recent review that the rooms are on the small side (but that does make sense in the top levels of Thistletop, which should be goblin-sized anyway). Two people can walk side-by-side in a 5' space, but not as figurines. If I had time, I plan on adjusting the size of the maps when appropriate.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Oh, I definitely have plans for how psionics fits in. We just need to make sure we have the baseline covered reliably before we wanter into Psionics/Oriental Adventures territory, but we will get there.

The almost certain prospect that psionics will be changing with 4e is also a factor.

But don't lose hope!

--Erik


DarkArt wrote:
As for sex and violence, I find this ironic since that's the primary crux for people to start roleplaying. In most roleplaying games, you're not creating schoolteachers and chartered accountants, you're creating fighters and rogues and wizards with an impressive arsenal of lethality. In my situation with the first two Pathfinders, this has been the first game where the story has been compelling and "real" enough that great pains have been taken at the expense of an almost TPK to spare the lives of goblins and of Tsuto. They feel for the suffering of Iesha, and they desperately want to be the great local heroes that Sandpoint has claimed them to be. They made a deal with Orik when he surrendered. These are all NPC's that are not 2-dimensional. Their background compels the PC's to sympathize and have only used lethal force when absolutely need to. When going through the haunted place of Foxglove Manor, my PC's refuse to take a damn thing because they feel that there are other living Foxglove relatives that have a right to the manor and all contents within. If this was the same ol' same ol',the PC's would kill, steal, loot, have sex with whatever walks, and ask names later (if they bothered).

I agree with DarkArt here. Sandpoint / Burnt Offerings is strengthened by the moral choices... and struggling to deal with moral choices and decisions have captivated my players than the actual combat or treasure acquisition. When they did the Glassworks, they returned the gold and silver dust to Ameiko, because it was her property now (she let them have it as a reward for saving her life). My rogue got seduced by Shayless, but after being run off by Vinder, he cared that he wasn't going to do some domestic violence on her, and then proceeded to have the good party Cleric intercede so that he could court her properly. They captured Gresgrut, and tempted him with food for information. Gresgrut was hanged for what he did to the Barret family, but they let him have the bread and water they he traded for information. When Tsuto was captured, they struggled with the choice of torture, but then decided they couldn't do it regardless of the threat to the town.

The moral choices are what they the players, and you the GM, make of them.

Also, YOU can put a positive spin on the moral challenges. In a recent chat, James Jacobs said he thought Shayless was a skank in comparison to Ameiko. Privately I might agree, but if my player gets role-playing fun out of pursuing a relationship with Shayless.. what James Jacobs thinks, or what I think, doesn't really matter. It's what's best for the game and the enjoyment of the people playing.

I hope opportunities for role-playing like the ones that have been provided don't disappear from the campaign.


Erik Mona wrote:

Oh, I definitely have plans for how psionics fits in. We just need to make sure we have the baseline covered reliably before we wanter into Psionics/Oriental Adventures territory, but we will get there.

The almost certain prospect that psionics will be changing with 4e is also a factor.

But don't lose hope!

--Erik

Wow!! Erik, I'd believe you if you said the earth was flat. That's awesome news. I feel giddy.

Edit: I think if Watcher's PC's are likewise keen on interacting in the adventure path with a sincere investment in ethical behavior, I would think my unanswered question would prove relevant: In Pathfinder #2 it mentions keeping a tally of PC's who act along the lines of specfic sins, but what if they behave in the opposite way -- behaving under certain "virtues" instead? Will there be an equivalent tally, or does nothing special ever happen to bother?


Dax Thura wrote:
... but what's your opinion of Pathfinder so far? I've skimmed the boards some and it seems that most like it, but I wanted to know what other's really think. You know, the good, the bad, the munchkin. I am considering a subscription because I enjoyed reading the Adventure Paths (I'm running STAP now) and have high hopes for Pathfinder, but I can't afford to throw my money away on a sub-par product (see the last days of 2nd Edition for example). Let me know what you think.

I think Pathfinder is on par with Ptolus. Definitely worth the money.

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