A Favorable Companion

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

We're finishing up a whole bunch of great products this week, all of which will be available at Gen Con in a couple months. As most of you are probably keenly aware, we launch a whole new Adventure Path in August with the first 96-page chapter of Second Darkness. In addition, we provide the most comprehensive look at Golarion and the Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting with our expansive 256-page campaign setting hardcover. Not to be outdone, of course, is the Pathfinder RPG Beta release, a 400-page behemoth chock full of awesome.

Don't overlook, though, Paizo's release of the first of its new line of products that provide useful flavor and new rules for GMs and players alike: the 32-page Pathfinder Companion. Each Pathfinder Companion will cover some topic related to the campaign setting in great detail, presenting both flavorful information and new character options.

This first Pathfinder Companion fills the role of the Second Darkness player's guide, but goes so much further. In August's Companion, we introduce a structured and expansive traits section. We first introduced traits in the Curse of the Crimson Throne player's guide, but with this player's guide we set out more defined rules and a much greater variety of available traits. In each subsequent Pathfinder Companion, we'll introduce some more traits to give you an even greater selection to choose from.

In fact, to give you a little glimpse at what we've got coming your way, here's a short excerpt and a bit of art for you.

Character Trait Design Philosophy

At its core, a Character Trait is approximately equal in power to half a feat—in fact, at one point, we considered calling them "Half Feats" but abandoned that idea when we realized it implied a point-based system that didn't really exist (there's no such thing, for example, as a "Double Feat"). Yet a Character Trait isn't just another kind of power you can add on to your character—it's a way to quantify (and encourage) building a character background that fits into the world of Golarion. Think of Character Traits as "story seeds" for your background—after you pick your two traits, you'll have a point of inspiration to build your character's personality and history from. Alternately, if you've already got a background in your head or written down for your character, you can view picking his Traits as a way to quantify that background, just as picking race and class and ability scores quantifies his strengths and weaknesses.

One more thing—Character Traits are for PCs. If you want an NPC to have traits, that NPC will need to "buy" them with the Additional Traits feat. Player characters are special—they're the stars of the game, after all, and if they have an advantage over the NPCs of the world in this way, that kind of makes sense. The pregenerated characters presented in Pathfinder and the modules will not have bonus Traits selected for them—we're leaving those choices to you if you wish to use one of them as a PC.

Mike McArtor

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Character Traits Pathfinder Player Companion Portraits Second Darkness
Sign in to start a discussion.