Friday, September 11, 2009

Converting to the Pathfinder RPG

It's been a long month!

Some time after the release of 3rd edition D&D, "Dungeon" and "Dragon" magazine were spun out to the newly formed Paizo Publishing from Wizards of the Coast, and published under license. When Wizards announced 4th edition D&D, they terminated Paizo's license, ended the the 29-year print history of "Dragon" and folded the magazines into an online feature of their Web site. With the rug pulled out from under them, Paizo launched the Pathfinder adventures subscription to replace their flagship product and support their customers. As 4th edition D&D was promoted, and the 3rd edition rule books went out of print, Paizo found that it was difficult to get distributors to stock game materials that supported an out-of-print rulesystem. Consequently, the company announced the Pathfinder RPG to bring the 3.5e rules back into print, which offered a chance to refine some of the rules after nearly a decade of play.

Now that the hardcover Pathfinder RPG book is out, it's time to begin planning to convert characters. The company's
Welcome to Paizo post is a good introduction to support for the game, although and Pathfinder Wiki are also good references.

Paizo offers the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Conversion Guide PDF which covers conversion from 3.5e characters to Pathfinder characters. In the leadup to the release of the game at GenCon this year, Paizo previewed each of the character classes by looking at the game's iconic characters.

The series highlighted the harcover's table of contents and races and the fighter, sorcerer, ranger, cleric, paladin, bard, druid, monk, barbarian, rogue, wizard, and eldritch knight, as well as the game's most important rule.

The previews also highlight some of the other rules tweaks. The rogue preview discusses how poisons are handled; the druid preview notes some changes to wildshape/polymorph, animal companions, and the Fly skill; and the cleric preview describes domains, channel energy, and concentration checks. Check out what a 14th-level fighter can do with a single swing.