This is Part 3 in a series called “To Switch or Not To Switch” about whether or not my gaming group should switch to Dungeons and Dragons, 5th Edition, or stay with Pathfinder.
Whichever gaming system we use, I’ve already determined that to be a better DM I’m willing to invest some money into the books and publications that accompany the system. What’s a little less obvious is how he return-on-investment will play out.
Pathfinder has a wealth of material available, and a lot of it can be purchased bit by bit at lower price points. I can get a lot of homebrew value out of a Pathfinder Player Companion and those are usually about $8 – $12 on PDF, or $15 to get the print edition. One of those a month is plenty of information to keep my homebrew storyline going.
Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition (5e) has less material available right now. It’s not been around long enough yet to expect that. But they do have adventure paths that will take a party from level 1 to level 15 that cost about $60. For our gaming group meeting biweekly, that’s probably a year’s worth of material at least (if we stick to it.) A campaign setting book is also due out this fall, so by the time we switch we could use that for a homebrew situation.
But guess what? Pathfinder has adventure paths of similar length for about the same price – so we could still go that route if we wanted to use in adventure path.
This makes me think that investment in books is pretty negligible. Each company keeps the price-point similar. Unless we know for certain that I’ll be homebrewing stories for years to come instead of using adventure paths and modules. In that case, the cheaper piecemeal Player Companions give Pathfinder the edge in my opinion.