FAL News: Paizo to release Pathfinder RPG

Paizo, known primarily for being the last company to publish Dragon and Dungeon under license from Wizards of the Coast, has made an interesting move in the light of the development of the Open Game License, and the changes to that strategy for Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition.

The short of it is that Paizo will release the Pathfinder RPG, which ties into their line of Pathfinder adventure paths. More information can be found here!

The key element of this move by Paizo is of course the fact that the Pathfinder RPG will be a direct competitor to D&D. Given the quality of Pazio’s past products, it will be very interesting to see how this influences WotC strategy. If Pathfinder becomes a relevant and sucessful alternative to the new D&D, and this in turn means that other publishers stay with the OGL instead of going to the new GSL, it might create an obstacle for WotC to rope in some players wanting to stay with 3.5 rather than adopt 4.0.

More on this tomorrow!


FAL News: 4th edition of D&D to be announced at GenCon

According to the talk on EN World, and persuasive evidence posted by poster MerricB, WotC will announce the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons at GenCon tomorrow. It’s going to be interesting to see what they do with the game, and how it ties into the digital plans they have.

UPDATE: This seems to be the first substantial information about the new edition.

UPDATE II: More meaty information here!

UPDATE III: Word is getting around.

Stay tuned!


FAL Review: Explorer’s Handbook

Publisher Wizards of the Coast. Released August 2005. Format Hardcover. Game system Dungeons & Dragons. Setting Eberron. Pages 160. Price $29.95.

Designers David Noonan, Rich Burlew, Frank Brunner. Cover artist Wayne Reynolds.

Sometimes a book is released that helps define a setting. When your read it you go “ah, now I understand!”. Explorer’s Handbook for D&D is one of those books. I like Eberron, I like the sources for inspiration and I like the rules system. Still it has been difficult for me to know what I was supposed to do with it all. When playing, it felt more like just ordinary D&D, without the spices that supposedly makes Eberron special. This uncertainty was laid to rest with this book.

Explorer’s Handbook’s focus is exploration, how to do it and where to do it. Leave Sharn and discover the world, board the ligtning train and leave the civilised countries behind; the Eberron atmosphere is taking shape, and it feels like Raiders of the Lost Ark! Only with swords and sorcery, of course. First out is a discussion about why and how you travel and how long it takes. After that comes equipment, organisations, expeditions and prestige classes. You also find maps showing several different vehicles, like airships, storm ships and lightning rail trains. The PCs kan be members of the organisations described and adventure hooks for this are detailed as well. This is followed by sections on places where the PCs journey can start, stops on the way and final destinations. You are given examples you can use straight out of the book, maps, NPCs and adventure hooks. To spice things up the writers also include short comments on specific details of the Eberron setting.

The contents of this book is aimed at the Dungeon Master. The style of writing shows more attitude than the more standard D&D fare, which I find somewhat boring in the generic books. Sometimes this feels awkward but most of the times it works well and makes reading the text an enjoyment. Most of the contents in the Explorer’s Handbook is specific for Eberron but since the places described are unknown to most people on Eberron, including the PCs, they can easily be transferred to another campaign setting.

If you are a Dungeon Master who is thinking about what to do with Eberron will get lots of ideas and examples of how to create new adventures with that pulp feeling Eberron has as a signature trait from this book.