Podcast #16: Jason Bulmahn

Paizo Publishing’s Pathfinder RPG, which extends and modifies the rules of the 3.5 edition of D&D, has continued to grow in popularity since it started its open playtest in March 2008. In this episode of Games With Garfield, Jessica, Richard, and Skaff – who have all participated in Pathfinder campaigns with Paizo owners Lisa Stevens and Victor Wertz – interview Jason Bulmahn, Paizo’s Lead Designer.

LINKS: Pathfinder | Paizo Publishing | The Safe House | Gen Con Indy | Conan the Barbarian | Agricola | Small World | Through The Ages

EMAIL: info@threedonkeys.com

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Comments

3 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. I don’t trust anyone who didn’t die to that gold spore-covered plate. At the time it seemed unfair, but thinking back now it was obviously a great tutorial method of teaching players to distrust everything and to not get too attached to their constantly-facing-death characters.

    You guys need to do a video podcast, so I can see if Jason flinched when Jessica called his world “boring.” (I know, I know, “deceptively boring at first” was her meaning.)

    I liked Richard’s question about “amazing mechanics” vs “amazing world”, but I wonder if the question would be possible if so many underlying mechanics didn’t already exist. Given basic concepts that are (to some) taken for granted, I can see that a top-down or bottom-up design approach could work equally well. But only because the core foundation is already there.

    Using Magic for example, I know modern card design is as likely to follow “this is the world, populate it with mechanics” as vice-versa. But without the mechanics of a deck of cards, or a mana basis, or a turn system, it’s a lot harder to turn an abstract Angel concept into a playable instance.

  2. Indeed, the meaning was “deceptively boring at first,” or even “deceptively familiar at first.” Jason, to his credit, did not flinch at all and was a total trooper in putting up with my merciless teasing on that, and his inability to pronounce “golem” correctly. ;-)

  3. Brady Dommermuth,

    Mechanics lead flavor/world about 80% of the time in Magic: The Gathering (which I think is appropriate given the game’s nature). That probably wasn’t true in the game’s first few years, but once you’ve done the most resonant fantasy tropes 3 or 4 times each, mechanics take the driver’s seat.

    And insisting that “golem” be pronounced “GOLE-em” is like insisting that “Paris” be pronounced “pah-REE.”

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