Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is the latest entry from Owlcat Games and it aims to continue honoring the beloved tabletop experience following the massive success seen with Pathfinder: Kingmaker by the same studio. With a game that has as much extensive lore as Pathfinder does, the challenge to remain true to the source material can be rough but this team was up to the task and that's something we were fortunate enough to learn a little more about when sitting down with creative director Alexander Mishulin.
To say that the lore in Pathfinder is extensive would be a massive understatement. As a huge fan of the original tabletop RPG myself, I couldn't help but to curious as to what the challenges were like when translating all of that backstory over into a video game format. Kingmaker did it well, but what about Wrath of the Righteous?
"The biggest challenge for us was maintaining the enormous versatility of character creation available in the Pathfinder," the creative director tells Prima Games. "There are numerous options and builds even in just one class, but a lot of characters are created by combining several classes with specific archetypes. So we were working hard to bring as much of the class abilities and feats as we could to allow that amount of versatility."
He added, "And, we are extending that in Wrath of the Righteous. We are introducing eight more classes and three more archetypes per class (in part due to achieved Stretch Goals in our Kickstarter Campaign, and we have to thank our backers for allowing us to do so). And Mythic Paths provide an additional layer of character development as well to make it genuinely varied."
The balancing act between staying true and amplifying the content in a unique way is one that requires a lot of planning and a firm knowledge of the target audience, something Owlcat is more than aware of and have honored in the past. That being said, the team did promise in their Kickstarter campaign for the upcoming game that they were going to offer a "new strategic layer of gameplay" through the control of armies.
"We liked how our strategic layer worked in Pathfinder: Kingmaker, allowing us to show your companions from a different perspective and make you feel like a leader of the growing nation," Mishulin tells us when asked about what exactly that new strategy layer means for players. "This time we want you to feel like a person leading the enormous military effort—Crusade."
So what's the player's role in all of this? Well, they're the commander for one: "At a certain point in the game, the player will be appointed as the Commander of the Fifth Crusade. And that means that they will not be only adventuring, but also make strategic decisions: recruiting and upgrading the armies, sending them to fight demons across the world map.
"Solving major issues with the crusade and developing it in different directions to better fight demons. Players will be reclaiming the lands from the demons and finding relics of the previous crusades that can serve them and improve the equipment of their characters. And battles will not be as detailed as Total War battles, but closer to more old-school strategy games. Due to another stretch goal reached, we can make them far more tactical and closer to games like Heroes of Might and Magic series or Master of Magic."
For those worried about jumping into Wrath of the Righteous without having played Kingmaker, don't be. Owlcat made sure that players will be able to dive right in with no issues due to careful planning and strategic storytelling:
"In Pathfinder: Kingmaker, we were focused on teaching how to play the game itself. This time we are also going to help you with a lot more aspects, explaining the rules of the system and giving a lot of advice. It is a little bit close to what GM is doing at the table. When the player creating a character at the table, GM is making sure that character will be viable, and stays true to the player's concept. Or describes and explains a particular rule, or pinpoints the conflicting items… We are going to provide a lot of advice (and players will be able to turn them off if they find hints annoying) and attract attention to particular situations, but we will not be taking any actions. We are providing information and explanations, but it is up to the player to decide what exactly to do about it. "
Now that the Kickstarter has closed after having raised over 2 million dollars, it's time to get started on releasing the latest Pathfinder adventure! Right now, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is only coming to PC through Steam and GOG but the team did mention that they were open to other platforms further down the line! You can learn even more with our previous coverage here as well as the studio's official website.