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Pathfinder Core Rulebook – Review

January 6, 2012

The great part about the Pathfinder Core Rulebook is that it is nearly comprehensive. Of course, the bad part about the Core Rulebook is that its nearly comprehensive.

I’ve got the 5th and as of this posting, the most recent printing of the Core Rules. It’s a massive book weighing in at 576 pages, and details almost everything you need for years of fun adventure in Paizo’s Pathfinder. I first took a look at Pathfinder a few years ago, but as someone who never played 3rd edition or 3.5, it was a lot of rules and mechanics to absorb. Recently, Paizo has remedied this situation with the Beginner Box, which will likely prove to be the introduction for a lot of folks who are new to the system.

The Core book works great as a reference book for the entire system and makes it fairly easy to find what you need, as you need it. The drawback of this comprehensive approach is that it makes it difficult to learn the system, due to the amount of information presented. It is in effect, a players handbook and a dungeon master’s guide combined in one mega-volume. I wonder if it isn’t more wise to separate the two. It would also likely reduce the price for players who just want to own their part of the rules. As it stands now the MSRP for the Core Rulebook is $49.99.

All and all it’s absolutely essential if you want to get in to the Pathfinder system. If you know and have experience with the 3.5 edition rules, maybe it won’t be as hard a transition. If you’re coming from 4e or are new to RPGs, I would recommend the Beginner Box to ease your way in to the mechanics.

Pros: Lots of info, plenty of options for both players and GMs

Cons: Huge, hard to digest at first

Reviews of the Advanced Players Guide and the Gamemastery Guide will be up next week!

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