[RPG] Can Pathfinder be played with a Dungeon World style combat system


Could I play Pathfinder with a combat system that is fast-paced and lacks initiative like the one present in Dungeon World?

The reason why I ask is because I'm trying to build a Dark Souls based campaign and I feel that having all the PCs wait for their turn isn't exactly the type of combat fitting for a Dark Souls-esque campaign. The interaction of all the PCs at the same time in combat and the requirement of having them be quick on their feet is the type of combat I need to run this campaign successfully.

I want to stick with Pathfinder as the core due to how it handles character creation, experience/leveling, magic and skills, and my comfort level with it.

Best Answer

You possibly could, but you'd almost certainly be better off with a different system.

Pathfinder is designed very heavily around the assumption that rolling initiative and taking turns is how combat progresses and is constrained. Dungeon World is designed around the assumption that combat is driven forward and constrained by player decisions. If you were to change Pathfinder to use Dungeon World's system of initiative, you would need to re-design, re-write and re-balance a huge number of character abilities, spells and effects (including, but not limited to, everything with a duration). To the best of my knowledge, no-one has ever tried to do this. You could conceivably do it yourself, but by the time you were done the game you'd have would only superficially resemble the Pathfinder it was based on; The rules content and game experience would be immensely changed.

Given the scale of work involved, it might be a lot easier to modify Dungeon World (or some other game that features apocalypse-style initiative) to include more of the language and flavour of Pathfinder, or just to use a different system that has apocalypse-style initiative built in.

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