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First Official Pathfinder CRPG Coming from Paizo and… Owlcat?

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By Nelson Schneider - 07/09/17 at 03:15 PM CT

Remember back in October, 2016 when I got all excited about Obsidian Entertainment, the semi-Indie RPG developer crafted from the remains of Black Isle Studios, hinting at a collaboration with Paizo Productions, the company that kept tabletop RPGs alive while Wizards of the Coast worked through a number of psychological issues?

I don’t know if I should still be excited or not. Paizo has officially announced that, yes, they will be collaborating with a videogame developer to create a cRPG based on the “Kingmaker” Pathfinder Adventure Path… but the developer in question won’t be Obsidian. Instead, Paizo will be teaming up with an unknown quantity called Owlcat Games, an Indie outfit so new and untested they don’t even have a Wikipedia entry at the time of writing.

Owlcat Games consists of former employees of both Nival Interactive and My.com. It appears to be a foreign company, perhaps Polish or Russian, due to the rather… ethnic quality of the development team’s surnames (and My.com’s Russian roots), as well as a number of grammatical issues on the company home page. Fortunately, grammatical issues shouldn’t be a problem for the “Kingmaker” cRPG, as Chris Avellone, the freelance writer responsible for some of the best scripts to come out of Interplay back in the day, as well as the recent “Pillars of Eternity” will be doing the script adaptation for this project.

Despite the overwhelming positivity bombarding the recent slew of honest-to-goodness RPGs being released in an era of posers – games like “Pillars of Eternity,” “Wasteland 2,” “Divinity: Original Sin,” and “Torment: Tides of Numenera” – Paizo and Owlcat don’t seem to have faith in their project from the outset, as they are crowdfunding it on Kickstarter. The funding period ends in a mere 2 days, but has already exceeded the $500,000 goal by nearly $200,000, so the two companies involved in this project should feel vindicated.

Paizo is a great company. Pathfinder is a great tabletop RPG ruleset. This material needed to be computerized at some point, and I’m glad it’s happening sooner rather than later (for example, “The Temple of Elemental Evil” was a tabletop module in 1985, but didn’t get a cRPG adaptation until 2003). However, I can’t help but wonder if Owlcat has the staying power or the talent to do this project justice. Look at what happened with “Sword Coast Legends.”

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Chris

Wrote on07/10/17 at 07:26 PM CT

Who knows, maybe Owlcat will be another CD Projekt story... or not, but I'll be following this to see how things pan out.

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