Wow, where to begin? Let's begin with the disclaimer, the PDF was provided to me by RedBrick,LLC for the purposes of review.
Getting that out of the way; Earthdawn requires a different view of gaming, so the rules for the Pathfinder version DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT stick to pure Pathfinder Rules. This is going to upset some people looking to just have a Barsaive campaign setting using Earthdawn rules (If you want that, use the basic rules and just use the background info.) The rules presented in the EDPG (PFRPG) are more of a hybridization of Pathfinder and Earthdawn.
Remember my background, I'm a huge Earthdawn fan, I have a near complete set of 1st edition books (missing the Blades adventure, and the Earthdawn Journals). I have the LRG 2nd edition, and I have 3rd edition (all core plus Cathay). I've been involved with Pathfinder since Alpha Testing, and I am an Adventure Path charter subscriber. So I know both systems well.
The book starts out with the standard fluff that is in the Earthdawn books, including reference to spell matrices, which aren't included in the spell casting system. During Character creation there are differences, the point values of purchase are based upon the Earthdawn point chart rather than the Pathfinder point buy system. (I don't see where using a standard 25 pt buy wouldn't work, so if you want to use the standard chart, no issue as far as I could see.) The races have different stat numbers than normal PFRPG players are used to seeing, but, that is in the tradition of Earthdawn, so I see what direction the designers are coming from.
Each character starts with a discipline feat, this gives you access to an adept's discipline (determining which adept skills and talents you gain access to.) Without knowing how Experience is going to be handled from the Game Masters guide, I don't know exactly how everything will work out, I mean will fighter based archer be completely inferior to a ranger based one simply because he has less skill points? Will the fighter based one be superior due to the extra feats. I'm still not sure how classes are handled specifically. I think that you can multi-class to your hearts content, though each of the adept feats (not adept skills) has requirements you might not meet if you aren't careful.
There are definitely elements I wish I had seen in this edition that weren't there. I wish the spell system was there from Earthdawn, I love spell threads and spell matrixes. It is one of the things that set Earthdawn apart from D&D back in the day, the lack of the Vancian spell magic system.
I will definitely be trying the system out, there's a lot to it, and it will REALLY require some getting used to. But I might just prefer the Original Earthdawn, as it is one of my favorite systems. I think that the system has plenty of elements that bring the feeling of Earthdawn to Pathfinder.
Cost: $29.99 for hard copy (when it becomes available), and $17.99 for PDF.
Value: Tough one, as I've stated before, Paizo set the bar on PDF sales. However RedBrick is a smaller company, so if you want to run this game, it's your call. Support a smaller game company because they're bringing something unique to the game.
Artwork: It features pretty much the same artwork from the older editions of Earthdawn (minus the crazy Mayan style covers from 3rd edition).
Rating: 16 of 20
Find additional reviews at www.EpicRPGBlog.blogspot.com in addition to updated commentary and house rule ideas to make the Pathfinder version MORE like Earthdawn. Note: this review varies slightly from the review posted on my blog, the review on the blog is more personalized.
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