28 Jan 2017

gridlore: A Roman 20 sided die, made from green stone (Gaming - Roman d20)
Today I'm boxing up all my Pathfinder RPG material for sale at Half Price Books. Because the game has become unplayable.

The problem is inflation. To keep sales up Pazio kept pushing out new books that had more races, classes, and - Gods help us - endless Feats. For those of you not up on the game, a Feat is a an ability that boosts a character in some way. Many are combat related. For example, Cleave, a fairly common low-level Feat for fighters, allows you to strike an additional foe with the same attack roll. Other magical feats allow spellcasters to customize their spell effects.

On the surface, this is a good system. It allows customizing characters to be good at their class abilities in different ways. One fighter might be a whirling dervish, slicing enemies down left and right; while his companion is a master archer, firing arrows with stunning speed and accuracy.

Where it falls apart is in the expansion books which kept adding Feats. The full list of Feats in mind-boggling. Each of these listed Feats changes the dynamics of the game, and will result in multiple dives into the rules to determine the effects, more so when the enemy is using Feats as well. This bogs down play no end.

Add in new character classes, new races, and so on, and you have a set of rules that result in more bickering around the table than actual play. So out it goes.

What Pazio forgot was that TSR's success with the D&D/AD&D line came from adventures and settings. The World of Greyhawk, Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Krynn, Hollow Earth, Mystara . . . all of these became fully realized worlds supported by well-written adventures. Each had a different flavor, so players could find the best fit for their group.

D&D5 has a much better mechanic in their branching paths for character classes. Much easier to control while still allowing for customizing characters. If Wizards of the Coast are smart, they'll produce more settings to go along with the Forgotten Realms.

I'd love to write one, actually.


gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

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