Saturday, October 29, 2011

When Less is More - Where to Go From the Pathfinder Basic Box

As I make my way through the Pathfinder Basic Box, I find myself really excited about the potential this box holds.  Not just in bringing new blood into this hobby of ours (it should accomplish that fairly well) but in the presentation.

The Basic Box works as well as it does not just because it removes some of the more complicated rules from the Pathfinder Core Rules, but because of the way way it presents the rules it does use.  The rules are introduced gradually, with limited selection / choices / options and then gradually branching out.  Why couldn't this be done with a revision of the Core Rules?

The book is huge, and I'm sure it's a great value, but I think at this point, players would be best served by breaking it into it's component pieces.

A Tome of Heroes or such could be used to codify the rules most used by the players, with the first part  written and presented in the way of the PBB Hero's Handbook, introducing the rules, and later parts of the book building upon them.

The Gamemaster's Guide wold also build upon the presentation in the PBB, then move on to fuller options and more complications and some insights on how to leave out certain complications without collapsing the house of cards.  The Bestiary would be it's own book.

I've read the posts on the Paizo Boards that some fear that supporting the Pathfinder Basic Box will lead to a dumbing down of Pathfinder.  I'd love to play Pathfinder as written, if I had the time to learn the tomes of rules.  I no longer do.  Certainly not to the point that I could GM a game.

Presenting the Core Rules in a manner that rules are presented gradually, even modularly, would allow gamers like me to enjoy the Pathfinder Rules without be crushed under them.  Isn't the point of the Basic Box to get Pathfinder into the hands of more players?  Well, I humbly summit the above as a possible method to accomplish the goal of expanding the base.


  1. I haven't seen the boxed set yet. It looks really cool, but I've already invested in about eight of the regular books.
    I like your idea a lot.
    I think I could look at the core book and see how much I could leave out, making it a much more basic game.
    I really wish feats were not such a big part of it. I would take those out first if I figured out a way.

  2. @nemo235 - I've got way too many pathfinder books, and all the APs, because Paizo put out good shit. It's just that 3.5e was too complicated for me to enjoy, Pathfinder mores. It's the sheer amount you have thrown at you at one time that's the killer.

    Keep the same rules, present them in a modular fashion, in 2 separate books - one for the Player (who has no need to know everything) and one for the GM (who will need to know both books). When rules can be presented in a fashion where one piece builds on the next it is easier to learn. Throwing everything and the kitchen sink at me makes me put the book down.

    Pathfinder Basic Box for the win - I can't put it down, and I can't stop blogging about it.


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