Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Strategy Guide (OGL)

4.20/5 (based on 13 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Strategy Guide (OGL)
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Master the Game!

Unlock the secrets of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game! Whether you’re a new player eager to jump into the action or an experienced roleplayer looking for insights and a convenient teaching tool, this 160-page guide is your new advisor at the gaming table. Unsure which feat to choose or spell to prepare? Detailed walkthroughs of all 11 core classes help you create and customize exactly the characters you want to play, and continue to offer advice as you take your adventurers all the way to the heights of power. At the same time, this book provides a quick and easy introduction to combat and advanced rules options, tips for battlefield domination and better roleplaying, and more!

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Strategy Guide is an indispensable introduction to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and companion to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 15 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Strategy Guide includes:

  • Illustrated, step-by-step guides to creating, advancing, and playing characters of all 11 core classes, with specific tips and tactics for 26 different classic character themes, such as the archer, the trickster, the crusader, the conjurer, and more!
  • A clear and user-friendly introduction to the basics of combat and narrative play, with easy-to- understand explanations of Pathfinder RPG terminology, systems, and core concepts.
  • Advice for getting the most out of game sessions, collaborating with other players, and succeeding both on and off the battlefield.
  • An overview of how to get started in the Pathfinder Society organized play program.
  • AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!

Written by Wolfgang Baur, Jason Bulmahn, John Compton, Jessica Price, Sean K Reynolds, and Russ Taylor.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-626-3

Note: This product is not part of any subscription, but Pathfinder Roleplaying Game subscribers who preorder this set will receive a free PDF edition of this product when the print edition ships. (Note that you will need to have an active Pathfinder RPG subscription at the time this product ships in order to receive the PDF for free.)

Note: This product was originally solicited for a June 2014 release. In order to ensure that it is the best book it can possibly be, we've decided to move the book to a February 2015 release. We appreciate your patience.

Note: Due to circumstances outside of our control, this product has been moved to the March 2015 product schedule. We appreciate your patience.

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Strategy Guide (OGL)

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Perfect for new players

5/5

I tend to run a lot of games to introduce players who are new to RPGs to Pathfinder, a lot pick it up quickly but for some it can take longer, there is no better book for all of them than the Strategy Guide. I'm frankly amazed how well it's written, it's basically the Core Rulebook for new players in a far, faaaar more easily digestible format.

Every new player I've sat down with this book has come out of it with not only a solid character that actually fits the idea they had, but a much better grasp of the rules than those who don't, it's my go-to now for any new players.


Should have been the basis for an updated Core Rulebook

4/5

Page 5 'What this book isn't' tells you what you need to know about this book. To paraphrase, there are 2 main points:

1) This is not an optimisation guide for advanced (or even intermediate) players.

2) This book doesn't replace the core rules : it's a player's guide to them.

Fundamentally, the book brings the Pathfinder Beginner Box style of presentation & organisation to the full (core rulebook only) Pathfinder RPG.

The Pathfinder Beginner Box showed how much more concise and readable the same basic game could be made & showed up how wordy & non-visual the Core Rulebook is.

Unfortunately, Paizo haven't quite had the courage of their conviction to use this as the basis of a new Core Rules but instead have hedged their bets and made it basically a Player's Guide to the Core Rules - That's right a Player's Guide to the actual Player's guide !

Nevertheless - it's a really well presented guide to the 'Core 11' classes for a beginner. It's also very useful for experienced players stepping into a new type of class or a DM making NPCs for a class they don't normally play.


Great for New Players, Great for New to a Class

5/5

I picked this up out of curiosity, and as I'm bring in new players they are finding this a good resource for coming up with ideas for characters while understanding the change from 3.5 to Pathfinder. It's not just "I've never RPed" it's a good reference for "Oh, that changed to these names" type of resources.
I've pulled it up on occasion after being in a group that players had specific preferences for classes when I was branching out to new classes and wanted to get a good feel for ideal builds. I may not have stayed with all their choices but it's a good framework for ideas.


2/5


Great resource for new players!

5/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

The Strategy Guide is a great resource for introducing players to the full Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, whether they are coming from the Beginner Box, have played a few times before but are still confused about elements of the rules, or are jumping straight into the game with no prior experience. While you will still need the Core Rulebook to play the game, this book is far less intimidating than that heftier tome, and succeeds at explaining the game far, far better. It's a book I'm proud to have on my shelf and I will be eagerly lending it out to new players who join my games in the future.


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Paizo Employee

Jessica Price wrote:
It's off to the printer.

Yay! So we're set for November, then?

Cheers!
Landon


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jessica Price wrote:
It's off to the printer.

What logo does it have on the cover?

;-)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
James0235 wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
It's off to the printer.

What logo does it have on the cover?

;-)

I vote flip-mats.

Paizo Employee CEO

19 people marked this as a favorite.

You guys are mean. Mean, mean, mean. :)

-Lisa

Spoiler:
I am kinda hoping for GameMastery myself. Haven't used that logo in a long time and it would be cool if it came out of retirement. Oooh, or maybe Paizo Comics! :)

Silver Crusade

Jessica Price wrote:
It's off to the printer.

Hooray! I'm quite excited to see this one.

:-)


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jessica Price wrote:
It's off to the printer.

So I guess I lose my bet about it being released at Gencon 2015 then?

Anyway -- hurray!

Dark Archive

Lisa Stevens wrote:

You guys are mean. Mean, mean, mean. :)

-Lisa

** spoiler omitted **

I think the GameMastery would fit right in on the Strategy Guide.


James0235 wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
It's off to the printer.

What logo does it have on the cover?

;-)

I don't get it - don't they all have the pathfinder logo on them?


It's a reference to this.


Oops! :-)


Jessica Price wrote:
It's off to the printer.

I'm not sure if it needs 4 months to come back, but if it is still lined up for a December 2014 release, you might want to update the note at the bottom of the product description, which is currently claiming that:

Quote:
Note: This product was originally solicited for a June 2014 release. In order to ensure that it is the best book it can possibly be, we've decided to move the book to an October 2014 release. We appreciate your patience.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I have been playing Pathfinder for almost 1 year now and, although I love the game, I still can't level my character competently. So, although I appreciate this book and am looking forward to it, I am a bit perplexed. The book seems a bit like putting lipstick on a pig (where the pig is the players handbook). Don't get me wrong. I love my players handbook warts and all. But if we are recognizing that there is a design flaw in the layout and flow of the book that is confusing enough to frustrate experienced players and keep new players from accessing the game with relative ease, then why not just fix the book? Redesign and reprint? I would rather have to buy a new players handbook that is more functional and easier to read then have to buy a completely separate book that does what the first book should have and then have to lug around two books!


Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

There's a player's handbook for Pathfinder? Other than this Strategy Guide, I mean?


I assumed englishteacherdrew was referring to the Hero's Handbook from the Beginner Box. Although the Strategy Guide isnt going to help understand that book very much, as I understand it - it's targetted at users of the Core Rulebook (which is the other book englishteacherdrew was probably referring to).

There isn't a player's handbook (to finally get around to answering your question).


Isn't it just the Pathfinder Core Rulebook that's being referred to??

At least, that's what I understood, particularly since that's the book that the Strategy Guide' supposed to help players with...

<shrug>

I do see englishteacherdrew's point, though... (<.<)=b

--C.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
englishteacherdrew wrote:
But if we are recognizing that there is a design flaw in the layout and flow of the book that is confusing enough to frustrate experienced players and keep new players from accessing the game with relative ease, then why not just fix the book?

Asked and answered many times in the thread. We are *not* recognizing that there is any design flaw in the layout and flow of the Core Rulebook.

The existence and usefulness of a Cliff's Notes Hamlet doesn't mean Hamlet should be rewritten to be simpler and easier to read. There's nothing wrong with the original product. The complexity is a feature, not a bug.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Samy wrote:
englishteacherdrew wrote:
But if we are recognizing that there is a design flaw in the layout and flow of the book that is confusing enough to frustrate experienced players and keep new players from accessing the game with relative ease, then why not just fix the book?

Asked and answered many times in the thread. We are *not* recognizing that there is any design flaw in the layout and flow of the Core Rulebook.

The existence and usefulness of a Cliff's Notes Hamlet doesn't mean Hamlet should be rewritten to be simpler and easier to read. There's nothing wrong with the original product. The complexity is a feature, not a bug.

I can't believe you just compared Hamlet to the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. (Which is what I was referring to above. My apologies for calling it the "Players Handbook".)

Hamlet is a play with a plot that is meant to tell a story. It is fiction. And classical fiction at that. The Core Rulebook is a manual, plain and simple. It is an informational text about how to play a complex RPG and, as such, it should be easy to access for beginners and experienced players alike. That doesn't mean you have to dumb down the complexity of the game or of the content within the book. But, if the book does not flow, is not laid out well, is not functional, then it has failed in its design. I am assuming here that Paizo wants people to play their game and wants to bring new players into the fold as well, so that these new players can experience all that is amazing and wonderful about Pathfinder. As such, it behooves Paizo to make their book a bit more accessible to people in general. Even experienced players have trouble finding the information they need in that book. And you can forget a relatively new player being able to build or level up their own character with relative ease. The devs here have even said it. They want this new book to clear up some confusions and difficulties with the Core Rulebook. My point is, simply, why do we need a whole other book? Just fix what is wrong (layout and design wise), with the old one. I said it before and I will say it again, I don't want to have to show up to the table with two books to do the job that one should have done to begin with. I should be able to show up to the table with just one book that does what it is supposed to do.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Samy wrote:
englishteacherdrew wrote:
But if we are recognizing that there is a design flaw in the layout and flow of the book that is confusing enough to frustrate experienced players and keep new players from accessing the game with relative ease, then why not just fix the book?

Asked and answered many times in the thread. We are *not* recognizing that there is any design flaw in the layout and flow of the Core Rulebook.

The existence and usefulness of a Cliff's Notes Hamlet doesn't mean Hamlet should be rewritten to be simpler and easier to read. There's nothing wrong with the original product. The complexity is a feature, not a bug.

Also, you are incorrect. It HAS been recognized that there is a design flaw and layout and flow of the book.

This is a quote from one of the devs on page 1 of this thread:

"The main reason for this product is that I believe the Core Rulebook presents a number of barriers to entry into the game for many people, among them...

It's a big, heavy book filled with a bazillion words, tables, and lists that appear daunting to newcomers.
Really important rules, like how you level up your character, are split into multiple places, and much of it is easy to miss.
It tells you how to make a character, but it doesn't help you figure out which of the many choices you can make are the ones you want to make.
Options for *your* character class, like feats and spells, have to be extracted from dense chapters that also cover options that your character can't actually use.
This book is intended to solve those problems, and I believe that it will bring many more players to the table."

If the Core Rulebook "...presents a number of barriers to entry into the game..." then I would say that there is a pretty significant design flaw. If you are a company trying to sell a product (particularly a complex product), then the last thing you want that product to do is be so convoluted that new, introductory, customers to it can't understand it without guidance from someone else.


The big point is that the strategy guide is referencing the Core Rulebook not trying to replicate it or the information in it. Even structured differently the Core Rulebook would still have the same problems simply because it has a lot of information but nothing on actual practical tips. If those were put into the core rulebook you'd wind up with a 'Player's Handbook' and 'Dungeonmaster's Guide' that are as big as the current Core Rulebook.

Now in a lot of respects that would probably be desirable. The Core Rulebook is huge and thus falls apart at the drop of a hat, and it might help with the learning curve problem. But its probably not going to happen because of the nature of how other books refer to the book by page number. Pretty much no eratta or changes are going to happen that increases page count or puts information on different page numbers. You can say that this is a bad way to go but the truth of the matter is that Pathfinder as a whole can have problems like that which can even originate from D&D 3.5 because its entire existence is somewhat dependent on 'change=bad'. But the game grows and evolves anyways so what they are doing is putting in patches (eratta), adding optional ways to play (archetypes and Pathfinder Unchained), or clarifying what already exists (Strategy Guide).

Contributor

Not to break up the personal attacks against equally valid Paizo posters, but Wayne Reynolds posted a picture of this book's final cover image. It is pretty fantastic.

You can see the artwork on his Facebook page, here.

Liberty's Edge

englishteacherdrew wrote:
If the Core Rulebook "...presents a number of barriers to entry into the game..." then I would say that there is a pretty significant design flaw.

That's not a design flaw. Just like Hamlet has some pretty significant barriers to entry, it's a feature, not a bug.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Malwing wrote:

The big point is that the strategy guide is referencing the Core Rulebook not trying to replicate it or the information in it. Even structured differently the Core Rulebook would still have the same problems simply because it has a lot of information but nothing on actual practical tips. If those were put into the core rulebook you'd wind up with a 'Player's Handbook' and 'Dungeonmaster's Guide' that are as big as the current Core Rulebook.

Now in a lot of respects that would probably be desirable. The Core Rulebook is huge and thus falls apart at the drop of a hat, and it might help with the learning curve problem. But its probably not going to happen because of the nature of how other books refer to the book by page number. Pretty much no eratta or changes are going to happen that increases page count or puts information on different page numbers. You can say that this is a bad way to go but the truth of the matter is that Pathfinder as a whole can have problems like that which can even originate from D&D 3.5 because its entire existence is somewhat dependent on 'change=bad'. But the game grows and evolves anyways so what they are doing is putting in patches (eratta), adding optional ways to play (archetypes and Pathfinder Unchained), or clarifying what already exists (Strategy Guide).

I wish fans would stop making excuses for the Core Rulebook. Regardless of how big the book may be, there is no reason for it to be convoluted and hard to figure out. Nothing in the book is clear, from how to play to how to level up. As I have said before, don't get me wrong, I love my core rulebook, but the #1 complaint against Pathfinder that I have heard from both experienced players and people who would like to enter into the game alike is that the rulebook is just too hard to follow. There is no reason for that. A simple adjustment in layout and design would fix all of that. Then if Paizo wanted to come out with a strategy guide they could. But "strategy guide" is not the primary purpose of this publication, it is the secondary. Paizo knows this. They have been very honest (to their credit), that this is the primary purpose for the new Strategy Guide.

The bottom line is - whether die hard fans want to be honest and admit it or not - that the Pathfinder Core Rulebook is a mess. It is a mess for experienced players and it is a mess for players new to the game and it is an obstacle to new people getting into the game. The solution is easy. Fix the Core Rulebook. Don't come out with a "patch" in the form of a strategy guide.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Samy wrote:
englishteacherdrew wrote:
If the Core Rulebook "...presents a number of barriers to entry into the game..." then I would say that there is a pretty significant design flaw.
That's not a design flaw. Just like Hamlet has some pretty significant barriers to entry, it's a feature, not a bug.

Paizo dev: "This book is intended to solve those problems, and I believe that it will bring many more players to the table."

They key word there is "problems". Enough said. The Core Rulebook is problematic. My hats off to Paizo for acknowledging this (many companies would not.)

You have a fallacious argument when you continue to compare the Core Rulebook to Hamlet as each was clearly written for a different purpose. And - if you are correct - and the multi-million dollar company Paizo wants for there to be "significant barriers to entry" (Paizo's own words, not mine, mind you!) as a (as you put it) "feature" to their Core Rulebook then I don't know whether to laugh hysterically or feel sorry for them as a company. My gods! Can you imagine?! A company that make a product and then intentionally goes out of their way to make that product as convoluted and confusing to new customers as possible and then has the audacity to suggest that it is a "feature"?!

I bow to you and your intellect of reason. You, of course, must be correct.


Well, Hamlet is a work of fiction - the complexity is part of the story line, and you can't really have one without the other.

The core rule book is really more of an instruction manual for how to play a game. Generally speaking you want an instruction manual to be as user-friendly and uncomplicated as possible without omitting relevant information. If the rookie user has to wade through pages and pages or constantly flip back and forth between chapters to find what he wants, he's much more likely to grow frustrated or give up. Working a year in customer support taught me that one right quick.

This book is highly relevant to my interests as I've been introducing a player completely new to RPGs to Pathfinder in the last two days and truth be told, I didn't give him the Core Rule Book. I knew it would be overwhelming and discouraging.

Instead I gave him links to the PFSRD website's instructions for how to make a character, as well as two different RPG blogs that both take the player through the process step by step, and some time to read over whatever caught his attention. The next day we went through the steps together, using PFSRD's organisation to make the process easier. It's really nice to have all the class names or archetypes on one page, for example. We used the character background generator from UCamp to give him traits and some ideas on what his backstory is, and mostly glossed over feats and spells - along with spells, the sheer range of feats are really overwhelming.

When we finished the character (he made a dawnflower dervish bard of all things) I brought in another (more experienced) player and the three of us played through black fang's cavern. I really like the beginner box adventure. It starts off nice and easy with basic dice rolls and simple combats, then gradually introduces more complicated mechanics like skill checks, combat maneuvers, traps, and so on.

We have our first session on Thursday and I'm really excited to see how it'll go. :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Kudaku wrote:

Well, Hamlet is a work of fiction - the complexity is part of the story line, and you can't really have one without the other.

The core rule book is really more of an instruction manual for how to play a game. Generally speaking you want an instruction manual to be as user-friendly and uncomplicated as possible without omitting relevant information. If the rookie user has to wade through pages and pages or constantly flip back and forth between chapters to find what he wants, he's much more likely to grow frustrated or give up. Working a year in customer support taught me that one right quick.

This book is highly relevant to my interests as I've been introducing a player completely new to RPGs to Pathfinder in the last two days and truth be told, I didn't give him the Core Rule Book. I knew it would be overwhelming and discouraging.

Instead I gave him links to the PFSRD website's instructions for how to make a character, as well as two different RPG blogs that both take the player through the process step by step, and some time to read over whatever caught his attention. The next day we went through the steps together, using PFSRD's organisation to make the process easier. It's really nice to have all the class names or archetypes on one page, for example. We used the character background generator from UCamp to give him traits and some ideas on what his backstory is, and mostly glossed over feats and spells - along with spells, the sheer range of feats are really overwhelming.

When we finished the character (he made a dawnflower dervish bard of all things) I brought in another (more experienced) player and the three of us played through black fang's cavern. I really like the beginner box adventure. It starts off nice and easy with basic dice rolls and simple combats, then gradually introduces more complicated mechanics like skill checks, combat maneuvers, traps, and so on.

We have our first session on Thursday and I'm really excited to see how it'll go. :)

This is entirely my point exactly! We shouldn't have to "hide" the Core Rulebook from people who are interested in jumping into the game. Nor should Paizo want us to. The Core Rulebook should be an invitation to play and to fall in love with the game, not an obstacle to it.

Your scaffolding of the game for your friend, however, sounds like a good idea. I think I will try something like this in the future. That is, unless Paizo ever updates and cleans-up the Core Rulebook to make it more user-friendly.


Jeez. I agree with you englishteacherdrew, but do you have to call those who don't dishonest? Sometimes people disagree.

If you want to lobby for a revised CRB, this product page is not the place. The horse has clearly bolted on this one.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:

Jeez. I agree with you englishteacherdrew, but do you have to call those who don't dishonest? Sometimes people disagree.

If you want to lobby for a revised CRB, this product page is not the place. The horse has clearly bolted on this one.

My apologies, but can you please show me where I called someone "dishonest". Question the logic of others' reasonings and the quality of their arguments, perhaps, but I have re-read my posts just to be sure and I do not see where I called someone dishonest. Clarification would be appreciated.

Thank you.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:

Jeez. I agree with you englishteacherdrew, but do you have to call those who don't dishonest? Sometimes people disagree.

If you want to lobby for a revised CRB, this product page is not the place. The horse has clearly bolted on this one.

Also, I disagree. This is precisely the place to make the case for a new CRB. The devs actively read these posts (again, much to their credit) and keep an active relationship going with their community. Since the argument has not been made elsewhere (at least not to my knowledge) then the Strategy Guide makes a particularly good forum with which to implore Paizo.


englishteacherdrew wrote:


I wish fans would stop making excuses for the Core Rulebook. Regardless of how big the book may be, there is no reason for it to be convoluted and hard to figure out. Nothing in the book is clear, from how to play to how to level up. As I have said before, don't get me wrong, I love my core rulebook, but the #1 complaint against Pathfinder that I have heard from both experienced players and people who would like to enter into the game alike is that the rulebook is just too hard to follow. There is no reason for that. A simple adjustment in layout and design would fix all of that. Then if Paizo wanted to come out with a strategy guide they could. But "strategy guide" is not the primary purpose of this publication, it is the secondary. Paizo knows this. They have been very honest (to their credit), that this is the primary purpose for the new Strategy Guide.

The bottom line is - whether die hard fans want to be honest and admit it or not - that the Pathfinder Core Rulebook is a mess. It is a mess for experienced players and it is a mess for players new to the game and it is an obstacle to new people getting into the game. The solution is easy. Fix the Core Rulebook. Don't come out with a "patch" in the form of a strategy guide.

I'm not making excuses for the Core Rulebook I'm just described why they don't just make a new Core Rulebook and why they probably won't in the future. The gist of the post was "Well they're not going to change the Core rulebook so the Strategy Guide is the patch that they're doing.". Things like the Core Rulebook having unfindable rules, information on opposite sides of the book, class overhauls, and clearer wordings are never going to be fixed beyond a patch or FAQ unless Paizo releases Pathfinder 1.5 so we got the Strategy Guide instead.

Now if this book turns out to be more like a re-Core Rulebook I'm buying three more because the Core Rulebook IS a mess and I can hand them to my players to reference more easily. Its not as ideal as making the Core Rulebook more useable in the first place but if its useful then its useful.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Malwing wrote:
englishteacherdrew wrote:


I wish fans would stop making excuses for the Core Rulebook. Regardless of how big the book may be, there is no reason for it to be convoluted and hard to figure out. Nothing in the book is clear, from how to play to how to level up. As I have said before, don't get me wrong, I love my core rulebook, but the #1 complaint against Pathfinder that I have heard from both experienced players and people who would like to enter into the game alike is that the rulebook is just too hard to follow. There is no reason for that. A simple adjustment in layout and design would fix all of that. Then if Paizo wanted to come out with a strategy guide they could. But "strategy guide" is not the primary purpose of this publication, it is the secondary. Paizo knows this. They have been very honest (to their credit), that this is the primary purpose for the new Strategy Guide.

The bottom line is - whether die hard fans want to be honest and admit it or not - that the Pathfinder Core Rulebook is a mess. It is a mess for experienced players and it is a mess for players new to the game and it is an obstacle to new people getting into the game. The solution is easy. Fix the Core Rulebook. Don't come out with a "patch" in the form of a strategy guide.

I'm not making excuses for the Core Rulebook I'm just described why they don't just make a new Core Rulebook and why they probably won't in the future. The gist of the post was "Well they're not going to change the Core rulebook so the Strategy Guide is the patch that they're doing.". Things like the Core Rulebook having unfindable rules, information on opposite sides of the book, class overhauls, and clearer wordings are never going to be fixed beyond a patch or FAQ unless Paizo releases Pathfinder 1.5 so we got the Strategy Guide instead.

Now if this book turns out to be more like a re-Core Rulebook I'm buying three more because the Core Rulebook IS a mess and I can hand them to my players to reference more easily. Its not as...

I certainly agree with your last comment. It is not ideal, but certainly better than nothing. I will take it in the hopes that Paizo will fix the CRB in the future.


Also wanted to add that when my first Core Rulebook fell apart and I had to rebind it, I took the opportunity to move some stuff around and slit it into three books. One for player information, one for information the players don't need to make characters and one for spells and magic (which is actually a huge chunk of the book.). This has made things a lot easier so I know firsthand the merits of changing the Core Rulebook, I just know it's not going to happen.


englishteacherdrew wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Jeez. I agree with you englishteacherdrew, but do you have to call those who don't dishonest? Sometimes people disagree.

If you want to lobby for a revised CRB, this product page is not the place. The horse has clearly bolted on this one.

Also, I disagree. This is precisely the place to make the case for a new CRB. The devs actively read these posts (again, much to their credit) and keep an active relationship going with their community. Since the argument has not been made elsewhere (at least not to my knowledge) then the Strategy Guide makes a particularly good forum with which to implore Paizo.

Product threads are also heavily moderated to ensure things remain on topic, and that prospective customers don't get lost in side discussions. While I don't disagree with you, you really are better off making a thread on the Paizo Products subforum, or a related forum. Because, odds are most of these posts are going to get deleted.


englishteacherdrew wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Jeez. I agree with you englishteacherdrew, but do you have to call those who don't dishonest? Sometimes people disagree.

If you want to lobby for a revised CRB, this product page is not the place. The horse has clearly bolted on this one.

My apologies, but can you please show me where I called someone "dishonest". Question the logic of others' reasonings and the quality of their arguments, perhaps, but I have re-read my posts just to be sure and I do not see where I called someone dishonest. Clarification would be appreciated.

Thank you.

"The bottom line is - whether die hard fans want to be honest and admit it or not - that the Pathfinder Core Rulebook is a mess."


englishteacherdrew wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Jeez. I agree with you englishteacherdrew, but do you have to call those who don't dishonest? Sometimes people disagree.

If you want to lobby for a revised CRB, this product page is not the place. The horse has clearly bolted on this one.

Also, I disagree. This is precisely the place to make the case for a new CRB. The devs actively read these posts (again, much to their credit) and keep an active relationship going with their community. Since the argument has not been made elsewhere (at least not to my knowledge) then the Strategy Guide makes a particularly good forum with which to implore Paizo.

This thread is for discussing the strategy guide and your suggestions/comments arent really about that (or only tangentially, anyhow). The ideas you raise have been discussed many times before and there's a fair bit of support for them (plus a fair bit of disagreement). I'd suggest the Paizo Publishing General Discussion, Paizo Products or the Pathfinder RPG General Discussion forums.


By the way, have you seen the beginner box? I think it's one of the best products paizo have ever done and is actually geared towards introducing new players to pathfinder (in contrast to the strategy guide). The care they took producing that product really shines through, in my opinion.

I figure the "intended" progression will be: start with the beginner box, use the included transitions document to move up to the CRB when the group is ready and then have the strategy guide on standby to help really explore the ins and outs of developing your character.

Liberty's Edge

englishteacherdrew wrote:
Samy wrote:
That's not a design flaw. Just like Hamlet has some pretty significant barriers to entry, it's a feature, not a bug.

Paizo dev: "This book is intended to solve those problems, and I believe that it will bring many more players to the table."

They key word there is "problems". Enough said.

No it's not. Hamlet has problems as well. That doesn't mean it should be rewritten to be unproblematic.

In mathematics, a problem is a *good* thing. It's meant to encourage you to think, to find a solution, and learn. The same holds true for Hamlet's complexity. It's meant to grow you as a reader. And the absolute same holds true for the Core Rulebook. The complexity is a problem that you are meant to surmount and grow as a player. You're meant to learn the language and learn the techniques, just as with Hamlet or with mathematics.

The definition of the word "problem" is not unambiguously negative. Merriam-Webster defines it as:

1a : a question raised for inquiry, consideration, or solution
1b : a proposition in mathematics or physics stating something to be done
2a : an intricate unsettled question
2b : a source of perplexity, distress, or vexation
2c : difficulty in understanding or accepting <I have a problem with your saying that>

I will agree that 2bc at the very least are negative in the sense that you propose, and perhaps the entirety of 2. But you're ignoring the entire category of 1, where the word is not negative, but neutral. The word "problem" has the non-negative sense of something to be processed.

Just because something is problematic, or complex, does not mean it automatically needs to be dumbed down.


Steve Geddes wrote:

By the way, have you seen the beginner box? I think it's one of the best products paizo have ever done and is actually geared towards introducing new players to pathfinder (in contrast to the strategy guide). The care they took producing that product really shines through, in my opinion.

I figure the "intended" progression will be: start with the beginner box, use the included transitions document to move up to the CRB when the group is ready and then have the strategy guide on standby to help really explore the ins and outs of developing your character.

I think the beginner box is brilliant! It's everything I want the strategy guide to be - clear, concise, loaded with cool art, very rookie-friendly and it is extremely good at avoiding dense rules sections.

The only nitpick I have is that I wish it gradually introduced the full set of rules rather than skipping some of them and leaving them for later - introducing Attacks of Opportunity when the players are used to being able to move freely can be jarring. I'd also really like it if it gradually introduced combat maneuvers and how monsters interact with them - grab in particular.


Speaking of the Beginner Box, y'know what I wish for? I wish the Beginner Box was increased to go to level 10, changed a bit and re-released as PF-Lite. Pathfinder itself is a high powered crazy-town with a ton of rules that gets complicated fast but I wouldn't mind playing or DMing entire Beginner Box campaigns with simplified rules and approachable mechanics. I wish I had more beginners just to play it.

Who wants to start a fuss over at the products board to make the Beginner Box into PF-Lite so we can have our high power monstrosity AND rules-lite classic adventure under the same banner instead of having to bounce between Pathfinder and D&D 5e? Because I'd be totally down for that.


Kudaku wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

By the way, have you seen the beginner box? I think it's one of the best products paizo have ever done and is actually geared towards introducing new players to pathfinder (in contrast to the strategy guide). The care they took producing that product really shines through, in my opinion.

I figure the "intended" progression will be: start with the beginner box, use the included transitions document to move up to the CRB when the group is ready and then have the strategy guide on standby to help really explore the ins and outs of developing your character.

I think the beginner box is brilliant! It's everything I want the strategy guide to be - clear, concise, loaded with cool art, very rookie-friendly and it is extremely good at avoiding dense rules sections.

The only nitpick I have is that I wish it gradually introduced the full set of rules rather than skipping some of them and leaving them for later - introducing Attacks of Opportunity when the players are used to being able to move freely can be jarring. I'd also really like it if it gradually introduced combat maneuvers and how monsters interact with them - grab in particular.

Have you seen the transitions document? It's a free download and included in the new printing of the Beginner Box.

I think that's an excellent 'facilitator' between the Beginner Box and the CRB for gradually introducing things. Granted it's always going to be a bit of a shock, but I think it's an excellent resource.


I have a question. Is this for the beginners box? The style that is showed in the catalog seems to hint at it. What relationship will it have with the Core and the Box? Halfway-point or is this just a friendly version of the Core?

Liberty's Edge

This will be for people who want to graduate from the Beginner Box to the Core Rulebook, but are intimidated by the size of the Core Rulebook. So this is something that will hold your hand as you enter the Core Rulebook.


Steve Geddes wrote:

Have you seen the transitions document? It's a free download and included in the new printing of the Beginner Box.

I think that's an excellent 'facilitator' between the Beginner Box and the CRB for gradually introducing things. Granted it's always going to be a bit of a shock, but I think it's an excellent resource.

I was aware of it, but I never actually read it till now. I think it does a good job of explaining things, but it crams a lot of material into 11 pages.

I find it interesting that they break down the Master of the Fallen Fortress adventure at the end - they've done a really good job, but I wonder if they might have been better served by placing the explanations in the actual module the way they did with the beginner box adventure.

Spoiler:
The scaleback spider encounter could expand on the previous poison rules by explaining how ability score damage and conditions (entangled) work.
The Young troglodytes could have a sidebar explaining how templates work.
The bat swarm could do with a sidebar explaining the (terrifying) swarm rules.
The giant frog could have a sidebar on grappling.
You could replace one of the trog fights with a creature that uses invisibility or enchantment (charm) spells.

I think it's awesome that the module includes both a bard and a druid NPC - especially the druid is really shown off as one of the "new" concepts for players that are becoming familiar with the four classes introduced in the beginner's box and wants to stretch their wings a bit.

Dark Archive

Maybe my brain just works weird after growing up on the formulas of Villains & Vigilantes (carrying capacity, IIRC, was 1/10 Str cubed + 1/10 End x a number that is equal to half your weight in pounds) and the thrice-damned Energy Allocation forms of Star Fleet Battles (oy, I usually lost it by the time I got to ECM/ECCM and figuring out what was left for Reserve Warp), but I always found the Core rulebook to be a snap, with a nice order-of-operations layout.

I know that's a left-handed defense, at best, to say it's not as hard as a very hard thing. :)

Some of the criticisms seem to be 'It doesn't work the way I would have done it.' I feel that that way myself sometimes (and there seem to be times the developers themselves have wildly different ideas about core assumptions, like whether or not negative energy is evil). And yet the answer is the same as it is when I'm out in the world dealing with other people, who almost universally seem to do things in the way that made sense to them, and not the way that makes sense to me. Welcome to planet Earth, I guess. Hot dogs do not taste the way they would taste if I made them, as well.

That being said, some of the stuff in the Bestiary didn't feel as intuitive, for layout, on the other hand. The format of 'everything you need to know is buried in the back of the book, with the stuff you need to read the entries hidden after the built-your-own-monster-guidelines...' Stuff like the celestial / fiendish creatures no longer understanding celestial/fiendish, and therefore being uncontrollable, except via the non-class skill of Handle Animal (maybe), and the spell write up indicating that the writer of the Core book had no idea that was the case, since it describes being able to give the summoned creatures instructions, makes me wonder if the Bestiary writer was aware of what those templates had been invented to do in the first place.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
englishteacherdrew wrote:
Also, you are incorrect. It HAS been recognized that there is a design flaw and layout and flow of the book.

Keep in mind that when the CRB was first developed, bringing new players to the game wasn't its main focus (or even it's secondary focus). In fact, it was marketed to those of us that played D&D3.5, and preferred that version, as a way of keeping the rules in print, cleaning them up, and adding some new content, but keeping the overall organization similar to the two books they replaced (the 3.5e PHB and DMG). Having all the rules for a game you're already 90% familiar with in one book was an advantage. No one predicted how the game would take off or that new players would flock to it, because we (fans) were considered stubborn holdouts. The book was well-designed for its intended purpose at the time.

-Skeld

Liberty's Edge

While it is possible that there may be a better way to lay out the book, I do not believe there exists a way to lay out a book with a much complexity as Pathfinder, in a way that is not intimidating to a large number of people who do not understand it already.

And yes the complexity of Pathfinder is a feature. If you eliminate the complexity it is no longer Pathfinder.

Liberty's Edge

Indeed, what graywulfe said. The complexity of the CRB isn't something you can "design away". Whether you accept it or not, it *is* a feature, not a bug. It's 500 pages of rules. Five hundred fricking pages of rules. You can't redesign that into twenty pages without making it a different game entirely. The problem is that it *is* 500 pages. That's not a design flaw, that's the intent. It's a complex, rules-heavy game system. And you can't make that problem go away with any amount of design, but you can lower the barrier of entry by having a product that hand-holds you as you get familiar with it.


KazMx wrote:
I have a question. Is this for the beginners box? The style that is showed in the catalog seems to hint at it. What relationship will it have with the Core and the Box? Halfway-point or is this just a friendly version of the Core?

I'm thinking of it as a "how to use the CRB" book. Aimed at people moving from the BB to the full game or just people playing the full game who are intimidated/confused/frustrated by the CRB's density. It's definitely not a standalone product (so not a friendly version of core) but rather one to use alongside the PF core.

I haven't actually seen it yet, of course. Nonetheless, that's my impression from what vic and others have said.


Samy wrote:
Indeed, what graywulfe said. The complexity of the CRB isn't something you can "design away". Whether you accept it or not, it *is* a feature, not a bug. It's 500 pages of rules. Five hundred fricking pages of rules. You can't redesign that into twenty pages without making it a different game entirely. The problem is that it *is* 500 pages. That's not a design flaw, that's the intent. It's a complex, rules-heavy game system. And you can't make that problem go away with any amount of design, but you can lower the barrier of entry by having a product that hand-holds you as you get familiar with it.

I'd argue here that the Beginner Box shows it is possible to reduce the complexity. Whether that makes it a different game is a matter of opinion - for me it's the same game as long as the character stats are the same and the main rule is a d20 check. Everything else is just pages upon pages of options.

Lets break those 576 pages down a little.

10 pages of races - you can still learn to play the game as a human.
56 pages of classes. The fighter takes two of those.
150 pages of spells.
62 pages of GM-centric info
90 pages of magic items.

So, pull those out and you've got something that's closer to a player's handbook - something that gives you the base rules you need to play the game and a simple class for a beginning player, and assumes you are pulling any other class info from another source.

That brings the page count down to about 211. A bit of judicious editing of feats and you could fit that into an industry-standard 192 pages. That's a *much* better number for a reference book every player can have a copy of in front of them while playing. Yes, it's not the same thing as having a full core rulebook, and many players (myself included) would still want that product to exist to provide the complete experience, but I also feel that a smaller "player's reference" would be useful. I'd happily buy both, just to have a more condensed, portable volume when I'm sure the GM will have a CRB handy if I need to refer to it (or I could simply print off my extra race, class and spell info from the PRD.)

Liberty's Edge

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I think there's a reason why Paizo chose to go with a very thick Core Rulebook, instead of having a 200-300 page Player's Handbook like D&D. I suspect a lot of thought went into that decision and it probably wasn't made lightly.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The original target audience of the Core Rulebook was existing players of D&D 3.5, who would have had no need for a book like the Strategy Guide (and thus Paizo excluded it from the core subscription). But anyone getting into Pathfinder without that background would probably find a more basic guide useful.

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