For some reason, lots of people have been talking about trying out new tabletop RPGs lately. Without spending too much time on the whirlwind of news, it’s not hyperbole to state that 2023 has shaken up the market for ttrpgs in a way we haven’t seen for a very long time. People who have long needed just one push to try something new found themselves making commitments to take some time away from Dungeons and Dragons to give other systems a shot.
One clear winner from all the chaos has been Pathfinder. Originally a deviation off older D&D editions to begin with, current events have had a lot of people jumping ship to try out Pathfinder 2e, which released in 2019. What we weren’t expecting was just how big the sales bump would be: it’s been confirmed that the hardcover core rulebook sold out by the end of January, with an 8 month supply of books vanishing in just two weeks!
For what it’s worth, we’re fans of Pathfinder here. Eric wrote up a great article reviewing the second edition core rulebook that showed off how the new edition deviates from its roots to become an engaging new system. He even had a chance at PAX Unplugged that year to interview Lyz Liddell, one of the game designers as to all the changes and where the system was going next.
All of this preamble is to say: we think Pathfinder is worth checking out, and we’re happy to see so many are making the jump. But where do you get started?
Humble Bundle On A Budget
This month (February 2023), Paizo has collaborated with Humble Bundle to put out a fantastic package of digital sourcebooks for Pathfinder 2E. For just $25, you can pick up a 28 item bundle that includes all the main source books, a bunch of adventure paths, and even some of their more advanced books like Secrets of Magic.
That’s not what we’re advocating for though. Instead, we are hoping to encourage new players and the curious to start out more… humble. Rather than jumping in with both feet and feeling too overwhelmed, there’s a bundle option that offers you 7 items for just $5 instead. Why choose this? Three of the seven offerings stand out:
- Pathfinder 2E Core Rulebook
- Pathfinder 2E Bestiary
- Pathfinder Lost Omens World Guide
The first two books are no brainers; it's great for every player to have a basic rulebook and it's always fun to look through a big book of monsters. The third one however, Lost Omens, is actually the official setting of Pathfinder, and can help give context to players and game masters alike.
The Lost Omens World Guide is a great way to learn about what makes Pathfinder's setting different. There are 10 chapters for 10 regions of the world like the Mwangi Expanse or Eye of Dread.
For myself, this is a huge boon: for me to enjoy the lore of a ttrpg, I need to be able to dig into it, and having an easily accessible guide to the setting itself will let new player groups really dive into the world and see how it differs from campaign settings they already know from D&D like Forgotten Realms or Eberron.
A Chance To Try Something New Without Breaking The Bank
These three books are the real reason we love this bundle. We also enjoy the fact that there is a digital beginner box as well as a one-shot adventure in the smaller bundle, so people can just jump in and try something new without feeling too intimidated. Don’t get me wrong, the full bundle has a bunch of adventures and guides (including the Gamemastery Guide for GMs, which might tempt many to get the bigger package), but the five dollar option is a great way to let yourself and many of your friends buy in and try something out without feeling overwhelmed.
We hope this helps people who have been curious about Pathfinder a reason to dip their toe in. If you enjoy it, great! We firmly believe that if people are rolling dice and having fun, that’s what matters in the end, regardless of system or company. For now though, we’re excited to see that new voices and writers are getting a chance to shine, in part because of great deals like this. Plus, buying this bundle helps support the charity Code For America… so skip a coffee or two, pull up a PDF, and try learning something new this February.