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Goals of the Pathfinder RPG


Alpha Playtest Feedback General Discussion


Dear Folks,

I am planning a demo of the Pathfinder RPG later this summer at my FLGS. There are lots of folks there who don't know anything about it, surprising as that is to me. I am hoping the demo will encourage some DMs, espeically those that are sticking with 3.5, to convert to PFRPG. So, I want to realease a one page document to encourage folks to come to the demo. My thought would be to give out a list of the problems that the PFRPG team is trying to fix with 3.5 but not any of the current answers (mostly because I could never fit answers on something folks would read but also to encourage a sense of mystery and anticipation). Does this sound like a good strategy? And, if so, can you help me with my first draft of that list of goals (see below)? I am by no means confident I have summarized all of the design goals or even correctly summarized the goals I touch upon, so I come to the friendly Paizo boards for help.

Thanks in advance, Marnak.

Spoiler:

GOALS OF THE PATHFINDER RPG

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game seeks to correct some of the problems with 3.5e while maintaining backwards compatibility with existing 3.5e products. To quote lead designer Jason Buhlman, “The 3.5 rules set is excellent, but it has its flaws.” What are these flaws that Jason and his fellow designers have identified as needing improvement?

1. Weak Core Classes: The Paizo designers and publishers have stated that they seek to increase the powers of the core classes so that a player that chooses to forego prestige classes or multiclassing is not underpowered vis-à-vis those who do those things. While the powers of all of the core classes have been improved, special attention was given to those classes, like fighter and sorcerer, that seemed particularly troubled by the prestige and multiclassing problem.
2. Multi-classing: The Paizo team seeks to better balance character advancement so that a decision to “dip” into a class for a level or two is driven by the story of the character and not because advancing in the character’s ideal class was underpowered after a certain point. They also wanted to provide a reward for players that advanced their character in their race’s favored class. The 3.5e favored class rules favor multiclassing into or out of one’s favored class.
3. The Fifteen Minute Adventuring Day: Designers hope to curtail the problem of players having to retreat so often because they have run out of healing or their spellcasters have exhausted all of their spells.
4. Grapple and Related Maneuvers: The designers want to streamline these rules so that they are easier and quicker to play.
5. Skill Consolidation: Jason Buhlman said that not all skills were equal in 3.5e (Use Rope vs. Spot) and wanted to balance them a bit by consolidating a few (though not nearly as much as 4e). They also wanted to do away with the multiplication effect at first level with skills.
6. The first-level-is-my-last-level problem: Designers are hoping to make characters a bit more durable at first level without greatly impacting backwards compatibility.
7. The Core Races: The two problems addressed about the core races are: issues of balance between the core races and the need to strengthen slightly the core races a bit for better comparison with non-core races published in the splat books.
8. Feats: The designers wanted to increase the variety and power of things that could be selected as feats without resorting to a “powers” system as in fourth edition.
9. Broken Spells: The design team acknowledged that some spells such as Polymorph were broken and needed to be redesigned.
10. Encounter Design and Awarding Experience Points: The design team wanted to improve the ease of designing encounters and wanted to move away from an experience point system that was modulated both by level of the party and level of the opponents.
11. The Christmas Tree Effect: The Paizo team seeks to lessen the dependence of high level characters on magic items while not abandoning the goal of backwards compatibility.
12. NPC Generation: The designers hoped to ease the length of time it takes under 3.5e to design NPCs.

To find out Paizo's current answers to these problems, come to my information session on the Pathfinder RPG, visit Paizo.com, or buy the Pathfinder RPG Beta (available in August)!


Sounds ok, although of course it is not at all flashy and will only attract hard-core gamers.
You might want to add the download-link, or at least mention that the pdf is free for download.


Another point: making the game more playable across all levels (currently mid level plays much better than low and high levels).


The basic mission statement is to keep 3.5 playable for a long time after wizards' core rulebooks will have gone from the shelves, and to fix the problems 3.5 has without throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

That will mean that it will be backwards compatible with 3.5, so you can use 3.5 supplements with the Pathfinder core rulebooks.

At the same time, a lot of problems are being addressed. (Insert list of things here). Note that nothing is final yet, since the rules are in alpha phase right now (or, rather, in beta, but we don't get to see them for a couple of weeks yet)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

[moved to Pathfinder RPG forum]


Perhaps accentuate the positives in your pitch.

Example:
"Weak Core Classes: The Paizo designers and publishers have stated that they seek to increase the powers of the core classes so that a player that chooses to forego prestige classes or multiclassing is not underpowered vis-à-vis those who do those things. While the powers of all of the core classes have been improved, special attention was given to those classes, like fighter and sorcerer, that seemed particularly troubled by the prestige and multiclassing problem.
2"

change to (also edited with grammatical suggestions)

"STRENGTHEN CORE CLASSES: Paizo designers and publishers have stated they seek to increase powers of the core classes so a player who chooses to forego prestige classes or multiclassing is not at a relative disadvantage. While powers of all core classes have been improved, special attention was given to classes, like fighter and sorcerer, that seemed particularly overshadowed by the prestige and multiclassing problem.
"

Other than that it seems good, and I would argue Paizo should post a similar info-sheet on their front page and on the book to encourage people to understand just why this new system is such an improvement!


Light Dragon and Others,

Thanks for the feedback. I will certainly be making the changes you suggest.

Marnak

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Vic Wertz wrote:
[moved to Pathfinder RPG forum]

And again... except this time I actually hit the button after I did it.

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