Pathfinder is a series of roleplaying game supplements published by Paizo Publishing since 2007. Originally designed for use with the revised 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons, they transitioned to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game in 2009.
Four lines of supplements are produced:
- Pathfinder Adventure Path
- Pathfinder Modules
- Pathfinder Campaign Setting
- Pathfinder Player Companion
All Pathfinder books are published under the terms of the Open Game License (OGL). While the magazines Dragon and Dungeon were both licensed to make use of certain iconic elements of Dungeons & Dragons intellectual property, including material drawn from official settings published by Wizards of the Coast and unique monsters such as illithids, the terms of the OGL forbid the use of such "closed" IP elements. Conversely, however, OGL material from other roleplaying game publishers (such as Necromancer Games or Green Ronin Publishing) can be used in Pathfinder, whereas the terms of Paizo's license with Wizards of the Coast had prevented them from using any third-party OGL material in Dragon or Dungeon.
The Pathfinder product lines use a subscription business model, in addition to being sold in book stores, game stores, and online retailers. All of the subscriptions are ongoing, and can be canceled at any time, rather than being initially purchased for a set length of time as many magazine subscriptions are.
Each Pathfinder product is published in both print and PDF.
Pathfinder Adventure Path
Paizo Publishing's main Pathfinder product line is its Adventure Paths. A continuation of the concept from Dungeon magazine, which ceased publication in September 2007, each year's worth of Pathfinder Adventure Path publishes two complete adventure paths in six-volume arcs, with supplementary articles to fill out each 96-page volume, and is under the editorial supervision of James Jacobs, formerly editor-in-chief of Dungeon. The Pathfinder's Journal is a short (6-8 page) fiction section. The first Pathfinder's Journal is general information about the Pathfinder Society, and the next 17 volumes form a single storyline.
Paizo has published a number of adventure paths, including "Rise of the Runelords", "Curse of the Crimson Throne", "Second Darkness", and "Legacy of Fire". The "Council of Thieves" Adventure Path is the first to use the rules of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
Pathfinder Modules are stand-alone adventures. Each module is a 32-page softcover containing a single adventure and one or more new monsters. Each module also includes ready-to-play characters of the appropriate level for the adventure.
Pathfinder Modules were originally called GameMastery Modules. The name was changed in June 2008 to bring it in line with other books set in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting. Modules is a bi-monthly publication.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting
Pathfinder Campaign Setting products, originally known as Pathfinder Chronicles, are additional materials published monthly and designed to explore the fictional world of Golarion, the setting of the Adventure Path and Module lines.
With a strong post-modernist sword and sorcery influence, the world of Golarion has civilizations and nations inspired by those of Earth's real history and expands beyond the fictional tropes and literary references related to western civilization found in the works of mid-20th century authors like Tolkien or Lewis, adding elements from African mythology, Asian mythology or Middle East medieval fiction.
Pathfinder Players Companion
Pathfinder Players Companion are 32-page softcover books released monthly. The line is targeted at players (as opposed to Game Masters); each issue contains details on the fictional civilizations, races and organizations which populate the world of Golarion. Originally published bimonthly, since August 2012, Players Companion has been monthly.
- Varianor Abroad. "Review of Pathfinder #1 - "Burnt Offerings"". ENWorld. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
- Pathfinder Adventure Path ongoing subscription page on Paizo Publishing's website.
- Pathfinder Modules ongoing subscription page on Paizo Publishing's website.
- Pathfinder Companion ongoing subscription page on Paizo Publishing's website.
- Pathfinder Chronicles ongoing subscription page on Paizo Publishing's website.
- Marsh, Steven (2007-09-28). "Pyramid Review: Pathfinder #1: Rise of the Runelords Chapter 1: Burnt Offerings (for d20 System) and Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide". Pyramid (online). Steve Jackson Games. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- Hall, Scot (2007-10-12). "Review of Pathfinder #1-Rise of the Runelords Chapter 1: "Burnt Offerings"". RPGnet. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
- Lombardi, Anthony (2007-12-17). "Pathfinder #1 -- Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offering (Review)". GamingReport.com. Retrieved 2008-02-23.