Finding my way: Starting with Pathfinder

I realise now and again I am a lucky man with excellent nerdy friends. On a recent visit my Canadian friends Emily and Andy bought be a very early birthday present: a shiny new Pathfinder core rules hardback.


Look at it, lovely isn’t it, complete with new book smell. Andy is a real evangelist for the system, his group have used it while gaming in the snowy north, using dice made out of walrus bones that you have to roll with hockey sticks (or however those colonials do it) and encouraged me to try it, in a ‘I’ll buy your first taste’ kind of way.

However the reaction from one of my regular groups was negative in the extreme, and most of their comments seem to be aimed at the system that spawned pathfinder, D&D 3.5. Now to an extent I agree with them, in my limited contract with it D&D was too maths heavy, encouraged min maxing and made certain really flavourful characters (I.e. not a wizard) massively disadvantageous.

And then the maths, oh god the maths. If you think they aren’t that bad compare this stat block from the 3.5 edition of the IK RPG:

ik 3.5

Oh god, my car of fun just wrecked out on the wall of maths. And i know its upside down, wordpress is playing up, and trust me, it’s no better right side up.

To compare here is a sample stat block from the new version:

IK RPG block

See, much cleaner. It’s very simple, especially if you know the Warmachine mechanics the system is based on.

However I’m not going to be dissuaded, as Andy says it is an improvement, so I will learn and run a game. As for the plot, looking at my retro gaming shelf I spotted this:


For those of you that don’t know, this was the first book with the advanced fighting fantasy rules, which was an expansion of the legendary fighting fantasy game books. It was the first RPG I bought from a second-hand book shop at the age of 8. It was all my holiday money and it was so very worth it. Just to trigger geek envy in a certain very small group of my readership, I also have all the other books too!

The book includes 2 adventures, so my plan is this: play the oldest adventure I own with the newest system I have.

I’ll post my progress on here, and aim to have the full adventures for people to use when I’m done.

Comments, as always are welcome, and what do you think of pathfinder?


2 responses to “Finding my way: Starting with Pathfinder

  1. Definitely sounds fun, think I have a few of the newer fighting fantasies around and if i recall a lot of the old adventure books can be found for free online now

  2. I found Pathfinder grew on me with time, especially considering how annoying I found D&D 4th edition. They did a better job balancing it than 3.5 edition; fighters, monks (if you take style feats) and barbarians are pretty tough customers now.

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