Category Archives: Pathfinder

There’s more to the OGL than d20 (Paizo Edition)

Recently I wrote about the various games that have been released under the OGL and for which a system reference document is available. A few days ago, Paizo released its new Pathfinder RPG, which a lot of gamers consider the true successor to D&D 3.5 Edition.

Pathfinder RPG Logo

The SRD to the Pathfinder RPG is now available in HTML format which the Paizo people call “Pathfinder Game Reference Document”. So, what’s the big deal with the Pathfinder RPG anyway? Here’s what the official site tells us:

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is an evolution of the 3.5 rules set of the world’s oldest fantasy roleplaying game, designed using the feedback of tens of thousands of gamers just like you. Players need only the single 576-page Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook to play, while the Game Master who controls the action will also want the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary, a massive tome containing more than 350 fantastic foes for you adventurers to face. The Pathfinder RPG is a fully supported roleplaying game, with regularly released adventure modules, world sourcebooks, and complete campaigns in the form of Pathfinder Adventure Paths like Council of Thieves and Kingmaker.

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game has been designed with compatibility with previous editions in mind, so you’ll be able to use your existing library of 3.5 products with only a minimal amount of confusion. In fact, the Pathfinder RPG is designed to smooth over a number of the rough spots in the 3.5 rules set, making several existing books even easier to use. On the other hand, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game contains numerous additional options and exciting new takes on classic character classes and races, infusing the game with a level of excitement that will carry it years into the future.

Ok, this posts title is perhaps a bit misleading because Pathfinder is of course another game based on the d20 System. But I believe it’s one of the few d20-based games that might be strong enough to stand on its own two feet. A Pathfinder SRD is a step in the right direction, since it will allow other publishers to jump onto the bandwagon and produce adventures and supplements themselves. And the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License is much less restrictive than the GSL.

Some thoughts on Paizo’s new licenses

Only a few days after Wizards of the Coast has released the updated GSL, Paizo announced a  Compatibility License for Pathfinder and a Community Use Policy. From what I’ve seen so far (and please bear with me, I am no lawyer) Paizo’s licenses are much, much more fair than the dreaded GSL. 

The compatibility license can be compared with the late d20 System License since it allows people to print “Compatible with Pathfinder” onto their books. And since Pathfinder will probably become the replacement for the out-of-print D&D 3.5 Players Handbook quite a few companies that still produce 3.5 material could jump onto the bandwagon.

The Community Use Policy is also very nice indeed. You just have to add a short legal text to your site and then you are allowed to use certain pieces of artwork that Paizo provides (including the iconic characters from the Pathfinder RPG), use texts from their blog, et cetera as long as the Pathfinder stuff is for free. I think it’s a clever move by Pathfinder to allow others to claim compatibility to their stuff. If this works out like Paizo hopes, time will tell, but I applaud to that decision.  

I am still undecided on the Pathfinder RPG itself. It looks like it’s going to be a winner, but I don’t think I will need an updated D&D 3.5 rulebook when I already own a whole lot of them. But from what I’ve seen they’ve made some pretty nice changes and the book just looks beautiful. And it’s a great thing they put it all into one big book instead of forcing you a whole bunch of them. But I appreciate the way they treat their fans and their business partners. If I only could say that about WotC that repeatedly failed to fulfill their promises.

And while you are at it check out the posts by my fellow RPG bloggers: