Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Quick Overview of Pathfinder Core Classes

Last time, I talked about the basic races for Pathfinder. Now, I’ve gone a bit further in the book and am ready to give a brief overview of the classes. First, this is where I first start noticing some basic editing errors. Some are merely preferences, some are just basic rules of grammar and punctuation. It’s okay, though, because I still know what the writer is trying to say. The classes do finally seem a bit more levels out. At the same time, I am seeing no dead levels, which is important. I like seeing bonuses come up over time, even if it is only a little bit at a time.

I had this discussion with someone earlier about the small percentage increases for adding a +1 to a skill in D&D 3e really were small when you took the time to think about it. However, I am okay with that, because I have trained myself to think of it kind of like a bubble filling up in a video game or MMO (which I do not play that often….anymore). I am okay with the little bonuses, because little bonuses add up.

Once again, the team did an excellent job with the artwork for this chapter, balancing healthy, athletic male and female counterparts in realistic armor and clothing. I do not see anything immediately insulating or challenging to anyone’s sensibilities. I also like how everything in the art seems functional. Then, you have a warrior standing there, blades damaged from many fine battles.

Meanwhile, I am not going to go through each and every one of these classes. To do that, it’d probably be a post for each class, maybe more. Overall, they remind me of slightly more bad ass versions of DnD 3x base classes. They stayed with the ex-class rules, which I’m not sure I enjoy completely, but that’s kind of been a staple for some time now, so we’ll go with it.

I do like that domain explanations are given right along with the cleric class. This is a logical decision as it makes sense to find information on this here rather than digging back through later parts of the book. It certainly will help speed up creation a bit. I also like how the breakdown and expand upon the animal companion rules for the druid. They made the fighter useful and able to stand on their own without relying on the spell-like abilities of 4th edition, which is cool. The monk was always meant to be a bad ass. #rd edition watered it down in the text. Here, in Pathfinder, the monk regains their martial prowess and seems more like the ancient warrior I expect them to be rather than the scholar warriors of 3rd edition. There is a difference and I certainly like this one much better.

For the ranger, mostly unchanged. I sure don’t remember favored terrain from earlier version, but I like it. I’m not sure why the ranger cannot use their abilities in heavy armor, as there are several reasons the realistically could, but I suppose it’s just a choice for flavor and balance. I do like the addition of rogue talents. These help to specialize what could otherwise be a generalized character.  The lack of skills for the sorcerer is a bit disappointing, but acceptable, especially with the sorcerous bloodlines. These really seem to help level the playing field and give some pretty nifty ideas for characters. I move on to the wizard and see their skills are limited as well. My problem here is that I think back to the sorcerers and wizards in epic fantasy—the type of game I am hoping to play—and they all seem well experienced and skilled. And here we have added a familiar. I always thought the familiar as a tertiary piece of window dressing. Here, with the Pathfinder Wizard, it seems to be a key class feature. I am not that keen on it and would have preferred seeing something else in place here. I could see that leading to a totally different class, but that’s just my personal opinion.