Paths Not Taken: Introduction

In August 2009, Paizo Publishing released the first edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This was a refinement of Dungeons & Dragons third edition (it came out after 3.5, but the Open Game License details refer to the System Reference Document, not the Revised System Reference Document that underlay D&D 3.5), and actually supplanted D&D 3.x as ‘my favorite D&D‘.

However, in the ten years since its release, Pathfinder first edition has grown immensely and was overdue for pruning and reorganizing.

In August 2019, Paizo released Pathfinder second edition, and went somewhat beyond simply pruning and reorganizing things, and in fact gave it quite an overhaul.

Honestly, I think they did a good job of making a new game based on the previous one, but I will admit that some of the decisions are not to my taste.

Not wrong, not bad, just not to my taste.

In this project I aim to explore alternatives to the direction Paizo took with their second edition. There are aspects of Pathfinder 1e I’d like to retain. There are aspects of Pathfinder 2e I’d like to incorporate. I can see third-party content I’d like to incorporate, and concepts from other games entirely I think could be interesting alternatives.

Organizing Paths Not Taken

I expect most of the ‘work’ will be done in blog posts. I will try to keep each post to a single topic, but a particular topic may be discussed in multiple posts. The ‘current state’ of the work will be presented in the Paths Not Taken pages (see the sidebar menu), with links back to the relevant blog posts showing my work, and the blog posts will link to the pages they are relevant to.

Guidelines and Strategy

I will start with first edition as my base. I’m not as familiar with second edition, and first edition is closer to what I want anyway.

However, Pathfinder first edition is a very large game. The Core Rulebook alone is almost 600 pages, there are many thousands of pages more content available just from Paizo, and even more than that from third-party publishers. I have no intention at all of trying to fit in everything at first.

In fact, I’d like to see if I can keep the initial cut to under 100 pages. I know I won’t be able to fit everything that is in just the Core Rulebook into that page count, and my notes for further development will almost certainly be more than 100 pages by that time, but I’m pretty sure I can have a playable game in that page count.

Let’s see how this goes.

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