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Pathfinder Alpha 3 is going to be out soon, so maybe it’s a bit late to be talking about Alpha 2. But screw that. Our vanilla 3.5 game converted over to it, we had our first Pathfinder session last week, and here’s what I think, based on the conversion process and familiarity with a couple of the classes introduced with this revision.

My general opinion of Pathfinder persists: I think they’re hamstrung from fixing a lot of issues big and small due to their insistence on (and arguably necessary) backwards compatibility. They still have spell preparation and memorization, though I’ll get to some of the new stuff for casters in a moment. Level loss still exists. Presumably, ability damage and the attendant stat adjustment math persists. You could just summarize this as “Matthew’s not a huge fan of 3.5.” If you’re OK with that stuff, then Pathfinder’s no worse and possibly a bit better in some places.

The new classes in Alpha 2 include: sorcerers, barbarians, and paladins. I’m only going to talk about two, as they’re the ones I’ve most closely observed in actual play.

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It came out semi-recently, and among other things, it has the Paladin, Barbarian, and Sorcerer. You can check it out here. (You’ll need an acct but it won’t cost you any money.)

So, what’s new? Read the rest of this entry »