The Indecision of a New Edition (Guest Editorial)

By Darran Caldemeyer

The longer you are invested in this hobby of tabletop roleplaying games the more likely you are to endure the cycle of new editions. A new iteration of the game conjures many different emotions, and for some gamers who enjoy the previous edition of the game can be on the fence whether to start over with the new edition or stay with the edition they cherish. With the onset of Pathfinder Second Edition approaching in the next few months I would like to encourage those gamers who love Pathfinder First Edition to consider taking the plunge into Second Edition.

“There’s not a word yet, for old friends who’ve just met” –Jim Henson

Adventures Never Die!!

If you’ve been there since the beginning of Pathfinder First Edition then you have most likely developed a certain level of system mastery. This knowledge can be put to use through the conversion of Pathfinder Second Edition material which will continue to provide you with bountiful gaming adventures for the enjoyment of you and your gaming group. I have seen gamers convert Reign of Winter to D&D Fourth Edition, or Tomb of Horrors in Golarion, and this speaks to the fact that if an adventure is written well it can be shifted over into any system while maintaining the integrity of the story. Friend of the network Andrew Marlowe has written about this very topic titled Burst of Insight-Golarion without Pathfinder which can be found here. Paizo publishes over 2000+ pages of adventure material each year through their Adventure Paths, Pathfinder Society Scenarios, and Module line products combined which should be plenty of content to try your hand at putting your system mastery to good use!!

Lessons Learned

My high school art teacher taught me many things with one of those lessons being that art is never finished but merely abandoned. I believe that game design/adventure design is a testament to this lesson as well. The Pathfinder team has had 10 years to improve upon their adventure design and the lessons of conveying the necessary information to fit any gaming group picking up their product and playing it at their game table. Pathfinder Second Edition will be a demonstration of these lessons learned and could provide a better insight into finding better ways of conveying important information at your table and in your stories. Throughout the span of Pathfinder we have seen this display of information change slowly over time (see Dragons Demand by Mike Shel for example) and I imagine this will equally be true for Pathfinder Second Edition. I am personally excited to see the changes in the layout of their products and how information is conveyed across the entirety of this new edition.

Gaming Lifeline

Roleplaying games are intensely social as they connect us to one another yet I find it to be a rare privilege when a group of gamers play consistently over the span of years. For many gamers their only opportunity to play is through their local organized play programs. For those who are on the fence about the new edition of Pathfinder, yet rely on the organized play program for your gaming outlet, we must answer the question of whether to play a game we are unsure about or to possibly move on. This is not an easy question to answer but it may not be as difficult as it seems. Starting on the ground floor of Second Edition in Pathfinder Society allows us to play on an even level with everyone learning at the same time from the initial releases available at launch. It is no surprise that playing/running a PFS game in season 10 is challenging with over a dozen of hardcover books released, over 30 classes, and multitudes of soft cover books to be aware of should they arise in the game. Playing Pathfinder Society at launch allows you to still play with your local friends while also helping you to solidify your thoughts on the new edition.

Feels Like Home

Fans of any popular campaign setting will at some point come to terms with the fact that their beloved setting will transcend through multiple editions of a roleplaying game. Golarion is no exception, and much like Faerun or Legend of the Five Rings its defining characteristics will allow it to thrive through any edition. Golarion is an amazing immersive world that holds an incredible amount of potential for both canon material as well as home brew adventures. Paizo has stated that they plan to move beyond the Inner Sea region and into some of the other continents on Golarion in Pathfinder Second Edition. This grants us more opportunities to explore the campaign setting we love and cherish no matter what edition this information is printed under. Even if the new edition is not of interest to you I would encourage any fan of the Golarion Campaign Setting to purchase the books that will fall under Paizo’s Pathfinder World Guide subscription. These are set to be roughly quarterly releases which should help to keep costs down if you desire to not fully invest in the new edition but in only the world content of Golarion.

Being confronted with the announcement of a new edition can be a difficult decision to encounter and will need to be addressed in many different ways depending on the individual. There are friends of mine who still play older editions of D&D to this day, and if First Edition Pathfinder is that system for you then that is wonderful. Still I hope your love of an older system doesn’t close you off to experiences that come with a new iteration of the game. May this articles perspective present you with a different outlook and help you make your choice to give Pathfinder Second Edition a try. I will see you all at the gaming table my friends. Take care and Game On!!!

Guest Author