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Pathfinder Core Rulebook (P2) Hardcover – Illustrated, August 1, 2019
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- Publisher : Paizo Inc.; Illustrated edition (August 1, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 640 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1640781684
- ISBN-13 : 978-1640781689
- Reading age : 16 years and up
- Item Weight : 4.31 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.7 x 1.3 x 10.9 inches
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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If you want your character to breathe, better make sure they have the feat for that. Want to take an Attack of Opportunity? Need the feat. Want to use a shield? Need the feat. So many actions now require feats. I never met a player who said "You know, Paizo, I just wish my character could do less without taking feats".
You want to play a paladin but not a sword-and-board style (as you could do in 1E)? Too bad, you gotta take a shield feat anyway. Want to be devoted to good but not a deity (as you could do in 1E)? Too bad, gotta serve a deity. Want to use a spear with grace instead of brute force (as you could do in 1E)? Too bad, it's not an option anymore. Want to take an AoO as a paladin (as you could do in 1E)? Too bad, that's only for fighters now.
Want to take a 1 level dip into fighter (as you could do in 1E)? Too bad, multiclassing is insanely complicated now and will take a feat tax, a feat and wait until 4th level to get that basic option back.
Don't buy it. Demand more 1E material instead.
Paizo has gone to great lengths to try and bring everyone to the table, they also include it in their world and strive to make everyone different and fleshed out because when everyone is able to play to their strengths the game is more fun.
The rules are thought out well, they took risks while exploring what has made other games successful and created their own brand that will be around just as long as 1E was.
Character Customization is still the strength and spotlight, yet the game feels balanced. The three action system is brilliant, leading to many more options in combat and strategy. The Proficiency system, levels of success and archtypes are all great , clean and simple additions, yet they had depth and room for expansion.
The book is also beautifully layed out with many many great pieces of art.
Many adventures await with this new system.
Too structured. Too PC culture. The book isn’t the best quality, either. Feats? Gimme a break. Safe spaces? OMG kill me now. Now Twitter’s influence has snuck into my basement, cleverly disguised as a book for a game system about role playing and killing monsters. Seriously, how have I managed to game with mixed culture and gender groups for the last 35 years without a book telling me to be nice to people?! I’m done with these guys. The 1E stuff was just fine, and there is plenty of it.
Top reviews from other countries
Fifth Edition D&D is relatively easy to get your head around as a new player, and the rules are streamlined and intuitive for the Game Master. The artwork is atmospheric and well-judged, and there are some great rules mechanics, like the Advantage/Disadvantage system, that keep the game from getting weighed down by endless modifiers. It's fun and it's fast, but this comes at the expense of a degree of realism (which may or may not be important to you in a fantasy RPG); for example, you take an eight hour nap and all your near-fatal wounds have miraculously healed!
Pathfinder Second Edition, by contrast, is a behemoth. The Core Rulebook has twice the page count of the 5E Player's Handbook (although admittedly it contains some information, like magic items and some GM advice, that 5E puts in the Dungeon Master's Guide). P2 also has some cool mechanics, like the three-action economy for encounters, but the artwork (which I believe is important in an RPG for setting the tone) doesn't quite reach 5E's very high bar.
P2 does blow 5E out of the water as a simulation. The rules are excellent and, whilst they're well written and well set out, would be pretty mind-boggling for a new Game Master or player. It's certainly an improvement on the original game, too, but it does suffer from its own admirable dedication to realism. There is a rule for everything, which could potentially leave the Game Master endlessly flicking through pages and players sat scratching their heads instead of getting on with play.
Where P2 really shines compared to 5E is character creation. It's so flexible that it really facilitates your building literally any kind of character you can think of, especially when you combine the Core Rulebook with the Advanced Player's Guide. Another thing to keep in mind is that as a GM you'd only really require the Bestiary as a minimum, whereas to run a game of 5E you'd need the DMG and the Monster Manual.
The simplicity of 5E is elegant and allows all involved to focus on roleplaying instead of rules; but if you were prepared to spend some time getting your head around P2 and committing it to memory (good luck!), I'd have to say it probably comes out on top overall as a game system. The Special Edition is well-made, too, with good quality stitching and two useful page marker ribbons.
One other consideration is the quality and quantity of supplements. Of course, the original Pathfinder comes out on top here. There are adventure paths and modules for every conceivable setting, and copious materials on rules expansions, character options and styles of play. There are no less than six core bestiaries in hardcover, two unparalleled books on NPCs and equipment, and seemingly endless releases covering various locations in the default campaign world, Golarion. And then there's the reams of excellent material available from third party publishers. It's really well supported, but you might find yourself over-faced by it all.
Wizards of the Coast have kept rules 'splat' books for 5E to a minimum, concentrating instead on published adventures and campaign settings, along with a couple of monster books. The quality is almost universally outstanding, and this strategy has maintained the easygoing identity of the Fifth Edition rules. By contrast, so far Paizo's output for P2 has been variable, with some supplements being rather overpriced and thin on content compared to those of its predecessor.
On balance, I'd say Pathfinder Second Edition is technically a superior game to Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons, but with D&D's streamlined feel, great artwork and superb line of supplements, it's unlikely that P2 will usurp 5E in the marketplace. It's a shame, because P2 has a lot going for it and the original game was second to none in its day. I'm really impressed by the Second Edition's mechanics, versatility and immersive, simulation-like play style, but D&D does leave you with more room to breathe and concentrate on running a fun and well-paced game, instead of getting mired in details.
In summary, then, if you like realism, complexity and a breadth of options, go with P2; if you want smooth, easy play or have rookie players, go with 5E. Both are top class games - it just depends on your own personal preferences and experience.
A must for all Pathfinder, D&D fans and gamers.
**This book was purchased via Amazon Prime's pre-release book order.
My daughter was incredibly disappointed with the length of time it took to receive this book.
We ordered this book expecting it to be shipped to us on or very closely after the release day, however, it was a good two plus weeks after the release date when the book was finally delivered. We presumed there must have been a supply problem with obtaining the actual book but this was not the case as my daughters friends were able to purchaae this book directly off the shelf at various book stores without issue**
The one thing that was disappointing was that the first book that was sent to me came with a bunch of pages at the front bent over so it left white lines along the folds and damage to the art and writing on the pages. I had to send it back.
Initial reads have been promising, its biggest issue so far is that it feels like there is a really simple game system involved, its just obscured by mountains of information