Friday night I watched “The Pathfinder” for the first time. At the end, I noticed that it was an adaptation of a Dark Horse graphic novel. I’m a big fan of the locally owned comics giant, so I decided to research both movie and comic on-line. I didn’t find much on them, what I did find was a role playing game (RPG) by the same name with a slew of inspiring concept art.
The Pathfinder RPG, sometimes called “3.75E”, has been called a Spiritual Successor to Edition 3.5 of Dungeons & Dragons. It is a tabletop game based upon the rules of Dungeons and Dragons’ 3.5 Edition, but expands on them, making additional rules, rebalancing classes, and simplifying it.
In short, it’s D&D for those who disliked the changes found in D&D’s Fourth Edition (or who liked 3.5 and wished to remain compatible with its rules).
Pathfinder was created by Paizo Publishing, a group that was split off from Wizards of the Coast in 2002 to publish Dragon and Dungeon Magazines. When WotC announced the fourth edition of D&D, they took back the publication rights to the magazines in order to create exclusively online versions. Paizo decided to publish a 3rd-edition-focused magazine of its own, Pathfinder, keeping up the “Adventure Path” tradition they’d established in the last three years of Dungeon while establishing a new in-house campaign setting. They subsequently decided that rather than transition into 4th Edition, they would create their own spin on 3rd, using the foundation of D&D to offer something new and fresh while allowing old players to build on what they already knew, created, and played. It also prides itself on being compatible with 3.5 (with a few rules alterations, of course.)
Pathfinder products are set in the world of Golarion, which aims to be more like classic pulp fantasy than the more recent Dungeons and Dragons settings.
The game has nothing to do with the movie of the same name. There is now a line of novels, comics and web fiction issued under Pathfinder Tales.
This post focuses on the concept art of Wayne Reynolds. Later I will do other posts in this series showcasing other great concept artists in “The Pathfinder” stable. A massive online index of Pathfinder 1 characters can be viewed here.