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A Rant on Pathfinder

While preparing for my latest session of Pathfinder I’ve come to know that Pathfinder 2E is imminent.  Scratch that, it’s here.  It’s kind of a bitter moment for me, as it is an indication that an era of D&D/PF that I’ve enjoyed for over almost 20 years is coming to an end.  That era I mention is the epic 3rd edition D&D ruleset that has survived the test of time.  With WotC finally un-crapifying D&D with the 5E launch, and PF releasing 2E, I fully expect the number of gaming communities actively playing the 3rd Edition ruleset (for those who don’t know, Pathfinder is a slightly modified version of 3.5) to start dwindling and be non-existent within the next 5 years.

We live in a world of technology.  I remember Baldur’s Gate as the first true D&D game that showed how computers can eliminate all of the behind the scenes mechanics and keep it fun.  Yes, I admit this is a very positive move for the genre at large.  But I enjoy the slower and simpler portion of the game after I’ve been on technology all day.  Computers can help make the mundane rules gathering a lot faster and smoother, but I believe it should be a supplement not the engine for the entire campaign.  Relying on computers for the sake of expediency sacrifices the creative freedoms that comes from playing an open-ended world with diverse parties and possibilities.

This weekend I spend 40 hours preparing for a seven hour session that saw only one encounter.  I could have completed two or three chapters of Icewind Dale in that timeframe.  But I still prefer this setup.  Because, in Icewind Dale for example, I wouldn’t have seen a rogue hide under cart and not attack his opponent despite excellent opportunities, just to try and resolve it diplomatically.  It’s simply because with computer games you eventually figure out the parameters and ad-hocing tends to get your character killed.

Anyway, that was a little rant regarding Pathfinder.  For anyone who hasn’t played I highly recommend it.  The key is to find a good group and a DM who can guide a compelling story that is interesting to the group.

I’ve also decided to add a category for tabetop gaming to this website.  I am spending more time these days with non-computer entertainment and in the spirit of intentions for this site I will start including these as off-topic conversations.  After all, WoN started as a tabletop game on a risk board.

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