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Pathfinder Minis! Paizo & Wizkids announce new partnership

WizKids and Paizo have announced a new range of pre-painted fantasy miniatures based on the Pathfinder RPG.

Quoted from the official announcement:

Paizo and WizKids Launch Pathfinder Pre-Painted Minis
by: Jerome  |  Published: May 25th, 2011

Beginner Box Release Resurrects Pre-Painted Plastic Fantasy Miniatures

May 25, 2011 (REDMOND, Wash.) – Paizo Publishing and WizKids Games announce a new partnership whereby WizKids Games will produce a special set of pre-painted plastic miniatures for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box, an introductory boxed set slated to release in October 2011.

“We’re excited to bring the Pathfinder property to life via 3-D pre-painted fantasy miniatures” said Lax Chandra, President of WizKids Games, “Paizo’s Pathfinder RPG has emerged as a leader in the RPG category and we are looking forward to working with their great brand.”

“WizKids essentially created the pre-painted plastic miniatures category, and they’ve only gotten better in the years since,” said Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens. “We are thrilled to work with WizKids to bring our iconic characters to tabletops all over the world.”

Pathfinder RPG Beginner Box pre-painted fantasy miniatures will be available at paizo.com and through WizKids distribution partners worldwide starting in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Are these prepainted plastic miniatures included in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box?
A: The Beginner Box includes more than 80 full-color pawns, but it does not include any prepainted plastic miniatures. This set is a separate product designed to complement the Beginner Box or stand on its own.

Q: Are the miniatures in this set randomized?
A: It’s a fixed set of miniatures. The exact list of minis will be announced soon.

Q: How much will this set cost?
A: The exact price will be announced soon. Expect the price to be comparable to similar WizKids miniatures boxed sets.

Q: Will this set be part of Paizo’s Pathfinder Roleplaying Game subscription?
A: This set is produced by WizKids under license from Paizo, and is not part of any Paizo subscription.

Q: How does this affect the Pathfinder Miniatures line from Reaper Miniatures?
A: Reaper Miniatures has been producing unpainted metal Pathfinder Miniatures since Fall 2009, and they will continue to do so.

Q: Do these miniatures use Reaper’s sculpts?
A: These miniatures use all-new sculpts by WizKids.

ABOUT PAIZO PUBLISHING

Paizo Publishing®, LLC is a leading publisher of fantasy roleplaying games, accessories, board games, and novels. Paizo’s Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game, the result of the largest open playtest in the history of tabletop gaming, is one of the best-selling tabletop RPGs in today’s market. Pathfinder Adventure Path is the most popular and best-selling monthly product in the tabletop RPG industry. Paizo.com is the leading online hobby retail store, offering tens of thousands of products from a variety of publishers to customers all over the world. In the nine years since its founding, Paizo Publishing has received more than forty major awards and has grown to become one of the most influential companies in the hobby games industry.

ABOUT WIZKIDS GAMES

A wholly owned subsidiary of the National Entertainment Collectibles Association Inc. (NECA), WizKids/NECA is a New Jersey-based game developer and publisher dedicated to creating games driven by imagination. The HeroClix brand is the most successful collectible miniatures games on the market today, with over 250 million miniature game figures sold worldwide. For additional information, visit www.wizkidsgames.com.

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What is PAX?

You can’t delve into the origins of the PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) without first excavating the history of the webcomic known as Penny Arcade.  Penny Arcade is a webcomic written by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik based around video games and video game culture.  The comic originally debuted in 1998 on the website loonygames.com.  Jerry and Mike have since established their own website at Penny-Arcade.com which is updated with a new comic strip every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  The comics are accompanied by regular updates on the website’s blog.

The Penny-Arcade.com website receives over 2 million page views a day and I can say without hesitation that I am quite green with envy- almost as green as Kermit the Frog.  After spending a lot of time on their website, I can see what all the hype is about.  Not only does the comic have engaging artwork and characters but the references to everything in nerd culture cause me to laugh out loud at my desk at work which in turn causes my co-workers to fire looks of confusion and disdain in my direction which cause me to become distracted and write run-on sentences like the one you have just completed.  If their comic can do that, it can accomplish anything- even time travel without a flux capacitor.  Here’s one of my favorites:

Jerry and Mike are two of a handful of artists able to make a living off webcomics.   Originally Jerry and Mike supported their artistic endeavor with donations through their website, now they have switched to providing advertising and merchandise to support their ongoing comic.  In addition to the comic the two nerds have launched a slew of other projects including Child’s Play (a children’s charity), 2 games – Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness episodes 1 and 2, and of course the now famous PAX.

PAX is essentially a throng of excited tabletop and video gamers intent on spending three days completely plugged in to console and computer video games and tabletop RPGs.  In addition there is an inside keynote speech, game inspired concerts, panels on game industry topics, game publisher exhibition booths, tournaments, free-play areas, and after-hour parties.  PAX also features the Omegathon, a weekend long tournament of randomly selected attendees competing for a grand prize!  The final round of the tournament makes up PAX’s closing ceremony; past games have included Pong, Halo 3, Skee ball, and my absolute hands down favorite- Tetris!  PAX is a semi-annual festival that takes place in Seattle and Boston.

For a real look into what PAX is all about check out this video:

 

Jerry Holkins has said that the effect of PAX and Child’s Play on gaming culture will outlast that of the Penny Arcade webcomic “substantially”.

NERD TREK has requested media passes to attend PAX 2011 and will be covering all 3 days of the festival with a team of 6 of our nerdiest journalists.  Stay tuned to NERDTREK.com for full coverage of PAX Seattle 2011.

 

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My first Pathfinder game

Yesterday I was finally able to sit down with some friends and try out the game that seemingly everyone from AD&D 2nd edition to D&D 3.5 has migrated to.  I have had a borrowed copy of the Pathfinder book kicking around my house for a couple months but haven’t really had the chance to crack it open for more than a few minutes at a time.  When I had the chance I flipped through the pages and was immediately attracted to the colorful illustrations, high quality background and Pathfinder logo at the top of each page.  Although aesthetics should not necessarily be considered when weighing the quality of a RPG product, it is still something people look at and could perhaps be the deciding point on if the book makes it to checkout.  Thus, I am taking into account the attractiveness of the illustrations, backgrounds, logos, and character illos.

Before I get too deep into my personal review of Pathfinder let me explain a bit about my gaming past.  I come from a background of over 20 years DMing AD&D 1st and 2nd edition and the transition to 3.5 was admittedly a little forced.  I basically had no choice as everyone in my player lineup now plays the newer systems.  I had been a steadfast hardcore 2nd edition gamer owning every single 2e book as well as the entire collection of Forgotten Realms books and boxed sets- thanks Ed Greenwood!  One concept I quite enjoyed about 3.5 was the elimination of Thac0 which had served only to confuse new players and those who failed basic math.  Also, more strategy was introduced into the combat system along with an extremely set of detailed rules which served to help solve almost any dispute at the table quickly without much room for argument.  With this new book of rules also came a few annoyances to me as a DM.  Since when did 1st level characters become insanely powerful individuals who could already wield a surprising amount of power?  In 1st and 2nd edition it really felt like you would have to earn those abilities through many gaming sessions and although sometimes frustrating and difficult, you appreciated your earned powers that much more.  Also there are so many books for customizing your character in 3.5 that you basically can make any kind of character class you can imagine.  Although this is great for the players, the DM has a huge headache on his hands trying to figure out how to challenge a group who has a warrior who can psionically recharge and focus his attacks causing massive amounts of damage and slaying almost any enemy you throw at him.  Another challenge is overcoming the rule lawyering that comes into play with the advent of all these new and detailed rules.  Although useful when solving certain scenarios the rules sometimes get in the way of the story and when they do I try and remind my players that we’re here to have fun, not scrutinize every little detail and rule of the game.  That’s just a couple examples of the many challenges I have come across running 3.5 games.  I know that as DM I have the final say on these things, but honestly- who has time to keep track of all of this and scrutinize everyone’s character sheets?  Perhaps in high school on summer vacation, but I’m older now and I want to fill my precious free time with writing and DMing adventure, not being a rules lawyer over your characters.  Would Pathfinder be much different?  I had heard that some of the great annoyances of 3.5 had been removed and some new ideas introduced that would simplify a lot of the silliness that went on.

When I had the chance to sit down yesterday and dig a little further than skin deep I found basically the same rules for character creation as D&D 3.5, but a lot simpler.  We all decided to create characters and although I usually DM I requested the chance to try out this new RPG from the player position.  A fellow player agreed to take the DM throne and run a short and simple game, but first came character creation.  I rolled my stats a couple times and finally decided on a character with one strong stat, a few average and a couple weak.  I like characters that vary a bit and are not powerful across the board.  In fact I believe there is a strong advantage in playing a character that has a handicap.  It requires you to come up with some interesting ways to overcome that weakness.  So, I made a halfling bard with 3 STR named Cardamon Jolst along with a slew of other aliases, his true name being a secret that even he doesn’t remember after all his years traveling from village to village working the locals and extracting information and plundering coin.  The first thing I noticed while generating my character was that the character generation information was all laid out for me similar to the way 3.5 was presented.  If you’re coming from a 3.5 background Pathfinder should be a welcome change of pace without throwing you out of your realm too much.  I followed the directions for my race which were all neatly presented in a little box at the bottom of the page.  Once that was in order I moved on to my class of bard and started from the top working my way down.  It seems that they spent a lot of time narrowing down just the right balance of lore and game rules.  I was able to glean a few ideas for my character while at the same time writing down all my skills and special abilities.  When I filled out my skills one of the first things I noticed was that the Search, Spot, and one other ability I cannot recall but obviously do not miss were absent.  In their place was a familiar skill called “Perception”, something we had come up with on our own when running 2nd edition games all those years ago.  Perception in our games had been obtained by adding up INT, WIS, and CHA, dividing your result by 3 and using that number as a basis for checks involving anything requiring a perception check- the equivalent of spot and search checks in 3.5.  Now in Pathfinder they finally eliminated all those unnecessary redundancies and replaced them with the Perception check.  Simpler is smarter, I like it.  Also when you place a rank in a class skill you automatically get a bonus 3 points in that skill the first time you plug a rank in that slot.  This is nice because you can instantly begin using your new abilities without worrying about constantly failing.  When starting out a new character this is nice because instead of having a sleight of hand of say 5, you end up with an 8 which is much more likely to actually succeed should you decide to use that skill.  You can really concentrate of specific skills and customize your base class character without going bonkers with prestige classes like they did in 3.5.  There is definitely something to be said about the core classes and honing their abilities so that each is unique and a required presence within the party.  You can’t survive without your fighter, priest, thief, or mage.  All four must be present or at least skills distributed equally so that all ground is covered and exploration can take place with each person holding a very specific set of skills or abilities that allow the group to succeed by working together.  I love the group dynamic and I think Pathfinder has found a way to work that in quite well.

After our characters were rolled up (which despite my ignorance in the Pathfinder system didn’t take as long as I would have thought) we started a short intro game to get us accustomed to this new system.  A couple of the guys had already played and run Pathfinder games in the past and were really excited that the rest of us were willing to give it a shot.  Hell, I’ll try anything at least once!  What do I have to lose?  So, we started our adventure of which I must spare the details as this was a pre-made adventure and I do not wish to spoil it for any of my readers.  Throughout the adventure I utilized my skills and special abilities.  As a bard it was very interesting realizing that in combat I was mostly ineffective at causing more than a couple points of damage (if that!) per round.  In fact, I was mostly a support character singing my silly songs (which I made sure were contextually correct and quite emotionally abusive to the goblins we were combating, as well as rhythmically engaging) and buffing up my fellow adventurers.  The Paladin and Monk were tanks while the cleric and I helped keep the party alive and successful in combat.  I had a couple spells of 1st level which I decided to save in case there was a more difficult battle on the horizon which never did come in our short gaming session.  I did not get the chance to use my abilities for adventuring or exploration purposes on this session, but my first experience playing Pathfinder left me with a good enough taste in my mouth that I decided not to rinse and came home, hopped online, and promptly ordered the core book through Amazon.

If you too have been sitting on the fence in regards to the Pathfinder RPG I suggest hopping down on my side and grabbing a copy of this book.  Give it a shot, what have you got to lose?  You’ll be out $30 for a used copy that you could pass onto a friend should you not enjoy the game.  Although if you like everything that the original TSR and WOTC authors produced, I think you will find Pathfinder a welcome addition to your RPG collection.

If you enjoyed these Pathfinder character images you will love the artwork provided in the Pathfinder Core Rules book as this was gleaned from that source!  Well, all of them save one- this last picture is Jenny Poussin, a gorgeous gal who enjoys Pathfinder almost as much as she does modeling!  Check her out on Facebook and add her to your friends. You’ll love her cosplay pictures of various RPG and video game characters!  While you are on Facebook make sure you “like” NERD TREK which will automatically enter you in all of our future contests and giveaways!  Check out our Facebook page or NERDTREK.com homepage to see what kind of Nerd goodies we’re giving away today!


Here’s a link to some great prices on new and used copies of Pathfinder on Amazon.  When I last checked there was still a brand new copy for $31 with free shipping!  Enjoy!

 

ORIGINALLY POSTED MAY 16, 2011