For those that dont know what pathfinder is, I suggest going here http://paizo.com/store/games/roleplayingGames/p/pathfinder/pathfinderRPG
and checking it out (the alpha download is free btw). Since the discontinuation of Dungeon and Dragon magazine Paizo publishing decided it would continue these great articles under a different name and eventually it turned into an entire new edition. Its still in its Alpha stage of development but Paizo's done an excellent job of listening to their player base and improving things that didnt work great in 3.5
The system has had a lot of tweaks to it, some good, some awesome, some not so good but I have yet to see a tweak that I absolutly dont like. Below is an account of our adventure tonight with some of the cooler things that happened in it.
Tonight I got to play my first chat game of Pathfinder with several other friends who are spread around the world. Tonight was an exploritory night to check out new class features and try out a few combats to see how the updates of pathfinder compared to 3.5. For the first time in several years I put down my holy symbol (for those that dont know my favorite class is clerics) to try something new and after a quick look around the new Sorcerer really called out to me. The class was still an arcane magic powerhouse, sporting more spells per day then the wizard but less able to be known but the real thing that struck me was the idea of heritages that were built into the core class. Heritiages are nothing new, after 3.0 was released I remember seeing several articles on other magical bloodlines then dragons but even in books like complete arcane/mage, and dragon magazines these were always add ons. In Pathfinder your heritage is part of the core class and really shapes your character and their abilities. When I started reading through them I was like a kid in a candy store but eventually chose celestial, figuring that sometime thousands of years ago an angel bred with one of my characters ancestors to create a champion of good. As I went further into character creation i noticed they consolodated a lot of skills turning things like hide and move silently into stealth, or balance, jump, and tumble into acrobatics and that some race abilities have changed like everyone gets an additional +2 to a stat. Small characters still kind of get screwed when trying to be front line fighters though.
Anyway we started out and were recruited to enter a old crypt and put the undead creatures inside to rest. We had a group of five with a sorcerer (me), cleric, rogue, barbarian, and fighter all at level 3. When we got in we were killing skeletons and zombies when our cleric couldnt turn the entire groups. The first things I starting noticing was how useful it was to have cantrips and orisons as at will powers. Even though these were low powered spells having them usable at will really helped me kill things continuously and save my bigger spells for tougher creatures. One of the cooler aspects of the night was when our barbarian started using rage points to give himself supernatural abilities besides just the normal barbarian rage. There were several times in the night where he set his ax on fire just by spending rage points. Our fighter also had some bonuses to resisting fear and had bonuses because he had class abilities devoted to armor making him harder to hit and able to do certain skills easier (he said he didnt get weapon specialties till later though).
Eventually things got stepped up a notch where we stopped fighting hoards of skeletons and zombies and moved up to vampire spawn. The first time grapples came up I was amazed that they had simplified the system although Im not sure how I feel about them still provoking AoO's. We fought through the vampire's fairly easily and then crossed over into the third and lowest level of the crypt where we found the mastermind vampire/necromancer that had been causing the whole problem. I blew all my heavy hitting spells as quickly as I could and our fighter and barbarian kept the thing off me. However after a massive critical our barbarian fell and that got everyone worried...till I used my heavenly fire bloodline power to get him above 0 hit points and back into the fight. When I ran out of spells I just kept using heavenly fire against the undead (it heals good people and hurts evil ones) and eventually we killed the guy and the session ended.
If you dont like 4th edition (I personally have played in it yet but Ive read everything and can see a lot of flaws) yet you want to continue playing 3.x with material coming out all the time I would check this out. Pathfinder is definatly an interesting game so far and I liked a lot of the tweaks that paizo has put in so far