Pathfinder 2: Heir to The Throne of Golarion

by Kobold's Keep

     Ever since its release this August, Pathfinder 2 has rapidly been gaining ground. At first, many were worried the new edition was a wild gamble, an effort to distance themselves from a noble past as the successor to 3.5 - a past that was still overshadowed by industry giant, Wizards of the Coast. Apprehension was high, because the last time someone tried to leave such a legacy behind was the divisive release of 4th edition; an era of polarization, fan division, and struggle that is only now being forgotten thanks to the successful 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. People were right to be worried. If Pathfinder's sequel wasn't handled properly, releasing it would send the game into its death throes, and Golarion, the principle setting for it, would be lost to the mists of oblivion.

     The anticipated moment came, the system was played, and Pathfinder 2 was determined to be founded on a solid foundation, constructed from logical concepts and nuanced gameplay. Paizo looked at the core ideas role-players loved from games past, and brought them in line with modern sensibilities - the result is a cutting edge game with mechanics such as criticial hits being determined not by what you roll, but by how much better you do than what you were aiming for (with the vaunted 20 giving you a free bump if you manage to roll it while still making the bare minimum), and lengthy class charts being done away with thanks to most everything being tied to your level and class.

     Pathfinder 2, a mere month and a half after its release, is posting a 7.58 on Board Game Geek, trailing behind D&D 5th edition by a mere 0.50 - and Pathfinder 2 didn't sacrifice the depth of its parent system to do it. While D&D's current incarnation is an absolute champion of a system, simple and robust enough that -anyone- can see its appeal, one of the few complaints it hears is it doesn't quite go deep enough for the seasoned player. While there isn't a wealth of splatbooks available for Pathfinder 2 at the moment, what is there is compelling, and Paizo made certain Pathfinder staples like the Alchemist (and their beloved Goblins) were represented.

     We are privileged to see a new era dawn in tabletop gaming, and only time will tell if Paizo's new champion can truly contend against the cultural giant that is Dungeons and Dragons, but the odds look good. Do yourself a favor and check out Pathfinder 2 - you won't be disappointed!


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