Paizo has released pocket editions of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook (msrp $24.99, Amazon Affiliate for less), and the Bestiary (msrp 19.99, Amazon Affiliate currently same price, but prime). These two books are the minimum you need to play Pathfinder. While full of rules, ideas, and impressive monsters, the original books, at a massive 8.5 x 11 inches and 575 pages for the Core Rulebook, and 328 pages for the Bestiary are significant tomes to lug around.
The pocket editions are simply miniaturized paperback versions with the same beautiful layout of the originals. Pagination is the same, so you can find the same material on the same page in either book. The font is about 2/3 the size found in the full-size, hard-bound volumes. Dimensions of the pocket edition Core Rulebook are 6.5 x 8.4 x 1 inches and it comes in at 2 pounds. At $24.99 and $19.99 msrp for the Core Rulebook and the Bestiary they are cheaper by $25 and $20 respectively than their hardbound counterparts
Why might you need these pocket editions.
- Cheaper: The pocket editions are $25 and $20 cheaper than the full-size versions (msrp). Saving $45 makes entry into the game much easier. Remember though, if money is your issue, you can get both the Core Rulebook and the Bestiary as pdf’s for just $9.99 each on the Paizo site.
- Easy to carry/Pathfinder Society: If you’re traveling, the pocket editions take up much less space than their counterparts. Pathfinder Society Organized Play requires you to have any books you’ve used in the creation of your characters. At the very least this includes the Core Rulebook. As a GM having these two is a must. Carrying less stuff, always good and the Pocket Editions satisfy this goal!
- Extras: These are good, cheap, extras to have at a table to pass around for rules checks. Now when my kids are devouring the full-size versions for fun, I’ll have a copy to plan with!
- Earthquake Kit: Huh? I recently picked up the Pathfinder Beginner Box from the awesome Pathfinder humble bundle. I already had a version, and mostly play with the full-rules anyhow, so I added the Beginner Box to the bundle for the cost of shipping and plan to leave it sealed and with my earthquake kit. If I’m ever sitting in a shelter for a few days, I’m going to have something to do! These two books, with some dice and paper could also easily pack into such a kit.
At a busy table, these also take up less space, though they don’t stay open on their own like the hardbound versions can.
I was skeptical that these would actually fit in a pocket as their name suggests, so I tried it out. Impressively they did! Now, not just any pocket, but here I am sporting the Core Rulebook in my very hip cargo pants. The Bestiary is in the other pocket. Belt recommended.
Disclosure: Paizo provided copies of the Pocket Editions for review.