Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dungeon World vs. Pathfinder

Okay, so my group is discussing playing Pathfinder and two of us are arguing for Dungeon World. It is not a retroclone. It is a new rules system that seeks to capture the feel of old school D&D. Gygax himself commented that D&D had become,
Gygax: I've looked at them, yes, but I'm not really a fan. The new D&D is too rule intensive. It's relegated the Dungeon Master to being an entertainer rather than master of the game. It's done away with the archetypes, focused on nothing but combat and character power, lost the group cooperative aspect, bastardized the class-based system, and resembles a comic-book superheroes game more than a fantasy RPG where a player can play any alignment desired, not just lawful good.

Now, should I tell you what I really think?
GameSpy interview Aug 14, 2004.

So Pathfinder is simply a continuation of this 'comic-book superheroes game' that Gygax had no time for. Meanwhile, Dungeon World is actively trying to recapture the feel of old D&D. I love the character creation, collaboration, and simple rules of Dungeon World. With about two pages of rules anyone can learn to play Dungeon World. With about twelve pages of rules anyone can learn to run a Dungeon World game. My ten year old son and I created a Wizard character for him in less than fifteen minutes. Now I know we need to do more when we get other players, bonds, questions and such but it was that easy. I asked him a few questions to see if he understood the rules (he already plays AD&D 1st e.) and he nailed it. He had a few questions himself because Dungeon World was so different but he understood.

So which will it be, simplicity and D&D feel or Pathfinder because it is popular? We'll keep you informed. 

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