Monday, November 13, 2017

The Psychological Effect of Pathfinder Pocket Editions

These books continue to amaze me. Sure, they're just the exact same rule books I ran my campaigns with from 2009 to about mid 2013. Yeah, they're exactly the same game in every possible way, with all that entails for Pathfinder.

But holy cow they are suddenly the most portable thing I've got,* and complete, too! I want an easy-to-stow "go anywhere" set of rules that takes up minimal space and affords all the luxuries you might want in a robust rule set? Pathfinder's pocket editions have totally got you covered. Add a set of miniature dice and a 5x9 notebook and you've got yourself a stew going.

I'm definitely not advocating that if you didn't like Pathfinder before then you will suddenly fall for it. But I am saying that the psychological impact of these tiny tomes for someone like myself is shocking....I've been genuinely enjoying reading these Pathfinder books again, with almost a weird, nostalgic fervor. I'm remembering the fun times I had with Pathfinder all of a sudden rather than the intense drag I all too often recalled in the past.

I know it's a combination of "tiny and cute" and "all in my head," but I can't help it! Weird, I know.

I mean....I bet I could fit six frickin' Pathfinder pocket rulebooks into a single Pathfinder Beginner Box! (EDIT: Almost! The box needs to be a little wider, but you can get the Bestiary, Core Rules and GameMastery Guide in there, totally. I mean, if you take out the Basic Box stuff. You know what I mean!)

Anyway, if you're keeping score they have so far released pocket editions of:

Pathfinder Core Rulebook
Advanced Player's Guide
GameMastery Guide
Ultimate Equipment
Bestiary 2

Bestiary 3 and 4 along with Ultimate Magic and Advanced Class Guide are up for pocket editions next. I imagine we'll continue to get more, as it seems these must be selling well. Wizards of the Coast take heed! I could sure use some pocket editions of D&D 5E, too. I'm getting old, and my back hurts carrying eighty pounds of books to game night.

While searching around on my blog I realized that I have a real "thing" for pocket editions of RPGs. Go figure!

Final note: none of the above really relates to reality, which right now is that I am totally loving Xanathar's Guide to Everything and can't wait to get to D&D Wednesday for some 5E fun. More on this magical tome later this week.

*I have lots of highly portable OSR stuff, yes, but nothing that lets me roll a tiefling inquisitor or oread ranger/witch. The fascination I have for these pocket editions is the fact that they pack so much complexity for their size. Not everyone wants that, of course. But man am I on a crunch kick right now, and I don't know why. The only retroclone in the OSR domain I am familiar with that shoots for "more options" rather than less is Blood & Treasure...and you know, I'd buy a pocket edition of that one, too.


  1. Ah, I knew I couldn't be the only one.

    Yes, I've stopped buying PF stuff some time ago but I still get the pocket edition books when they come out. They look so cute !

    1. It's insidious, but kudos to Paizo for figuring out how to continue to get our money.