Review: Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook


by Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)

Have you ever just opened up a package of goodness?  I recently received a new copy of the Pathfinder RPG (role playing game) Core Rulebook from Paizo and was immediately swept up into a blissful reverie of the infinite possibilities for various player character types, and story lines.  Should I play an Elf Rogue, a Dwarf Barbarian, or a Half-Elf Paladin? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook is 575 pages of pure awesome.  By now you’re probably familiar with my olfactory love affair with books of the gaming persuasion, and this book does not disappoint.  However, it’s not the smells that are the goldmine of this massive tome.  Throughout the full color goodness we have page upon page of the best gaming book produced in a decade.  The rules are clear and concise, especially for those who are familiar with D&D 3.5.  But you don’t have to be a gaming aficionado to get into Pathfinder.

Everything that you’d expect is here.  You are guided, step-by-step, through creating a character by generating ability scores, choosing a race, a class, skills, and special abilities called “feats.”  Next, there are tons of options for equipment, armor, weapons, and spells.  Great Cthulu’s ghost, there’re a lot of spells!  And when you’ve created your character, you’re ready to throw some dice.

After all the stuff you’d expect in a player’s guide come the other bits.  The Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook is much more than just a player’s guide.  The second half of the book is a pretty thorough guide on the art of gamemastering.  Don’t worry if you’ve never run a game before; Paizo’s writing staff has lots of good advice, tips, and tricks about how to run a session, an adventure, and then turn those into a full-fledged campaign.  Within you’ll find tips on how to create a setting, how to award experience points, and a plethora of treasure and magic items to award your players with.

So, that’s what you get in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook.  The design is well thought out and easy to use.  The reference tables are convenient and plentiful.  There is an extensive, and very helpful, index.  There are also multiple appendices which you will want to familiarize yourself with because they will come in handy.  All of this is interspersed with some of the best artwork in the gaming industry.

Do yourself a favor and get a copy of this book and take your first step into the wonderful world of interactive storytelling.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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