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Battletech dev unveils new Pathfinder deck-building game

Battletech publisher Catalyst Game Labs has announced a new game in its series of co-op deck builders, this one based on the TTRPG Pathfinder.

Pathfinder Runefire art showing a warrior fighting a heavily armored skeleton

BattleTech and Shadowrun publisher Catalyst Game Labs is releasing a deck building game based on the Pathfinder tabletop RPG. The publisher has partnered with Paizo to produce the game, titled Runefire, and expects to launch a crowdfunding campaign for it some time this year.

In this cooperative deck building game, players will create a character, choosing from several Pathfinder races (or ancestries) and selecting their favorite Pathfinder class. They’ll embark on adventure through Pathfinder’s setting Golarion, leveling up and accessing new spells, feats, and equipment as they go.

According to Catalyst Game Labs, Runefire is a narrative game where players make decisions as they play, and these impact future adventures.

Pathfinder Runefire box mock up

The game will likely be quite familiar to Catalyst Game Labs fans, as it uses the same ‘engine’ as the company’s deckbuilding DnD game Dragonfire, released in 2017, and its earlier Shadowrun game Crossfire from 2014.

In a press release, Catalyst Game Labs creative director Randall N. Bills said it was a joy to slide back into developing for this game system. “BattleTech will always remain my one true love. Yet the time I spent developing Dragonfire was an absolute high-watermark of my career.”

While Catalyst promises more details about Runefire in the future, it’s not currently clear how Runefire will differ from the company’s previous tabletop RPG inspired deck building games. But Bills says it is “the best yet iteration of this game”.

While both of the company’s previous deckbuilding titles share a BGG score of 7.1, in most online discussion we saw Dragonfire compared favorably to Crossfire. It seems many fans view it as a straight-up improvement, stamping out certain problems, such as a wildly variable difficulty level.

Check out our guide if you’re wondering how Pathfinder vs DnD compare. And if you love RPGs or co-op board games, you might also enjoy these other dungeon crawler titles.