Pathfinder   3 comments

I played my first game of D & D Pathfinder yesterday.  And, I had a good time, but that was probably more because I was roleplaying an outrageous barbarian than because the rules or setting were anything special.

Some of you may know that I don’t normally play Dungeons and Dragons, or normally have anything to do with the game.  That’s not because I really have anything against D & D.  It’s just because the game is so damn slow.  And it was slow yesterday too.  At 2:30 Corencio and I said we’d play.  At 4;30 we finally had characters that were ready to go.  Partly that was because Jake, our GM, was so enthusiastic about the game that he went off into D & D stories on practically every attribute and skill, and partly it was because there’s just a heckuva lotta stuff to look up and write down.  The players’ manual was a 400 page book, and a lot of it was in small print.   And everybody took it so seriously–you’d think the world might come to an end if I didn’t have the right defense bonus.  I’m an old roleplayer, and I do mean old.  The older I get, the less important the numbers are, and the more important the roleplaying.  To some extent I was able to speed things up by joking and force of personality, but it still took 2  hours to get ready to play.

By the time the game started I was running short of time.  Jake, bless his heart, was running this game on the fly just for my son and I, altho his regular gaming group was also meeting and joining in.  You could almost hear his mental cogwheels grinding as  he tried to come up with a good introductory adventure for us.  In a short time the seven of us set off to capture a bandit chieftain, alive or dead.  Halfway to the destination, we ran into a group of dragons.  I could see everybody gearing up for an epic fight.  But, I didn’t have time for an hour-long battle with dragons.  We could see they were brass dragons, supposedly good, so we recruited them.  We had a pretty high level party–7th level and up, and two guys could speak dragon.  With some high sounding phrases like justice and outlaws, we soon had them on our side.

On to the town.  The bad guys had dragons too.  Oh good!  Something for our dragons to do.  We had a magical tank with adamantium armor–told you it was a high level game.  We crashed the front gates with it.  My barbarian stood on top of it, and the used the momentum to catapult himself up onto the walls.  It took an acrobatics feat.  I made it.  Once there i found myself being rushed by three orcish barbarians.  Being outnumbered is a good way to get killed, so I decided to recruit them as well.  Tried intimidation.  Failed.  Cut that orc in half with my battleaxe.  Tried intimidation again on the next two.  That worked just fine.  They turned to fight for me, and Kennan the barbarian was soon clearing the walls of defenders with a combination of recruiting and slaughter that seemed to be working very well indeed.

And then I ran out of time and had to go.  We turned in our characters and left them to be run as npcs by the GM.  Jake’s a friend of mine–even if he is 42 years younger than me–who lives 2 houses over.  I’ll find out what happened to Kennan and Corencio the Pathfinder characters later this week.

I’ve always maintained that it is the GM and the players that make any roleplaying game fun.  We had a good group of players at Samurai Comics in Phoenix Wednesday afternoon.  It wasn’t the worst D & D session I’ve ever been in.  I’d play again if I got a chance.

But, I tell you now, there’s a market out there for pre-generated characters.  Taking 2 hours to get the characters ready to play is almost always going to be a deal-breaker for me.

And advice to GMs who are trying to run quick adventures on the fly–advice straight from John Wick, mi amigo.  Let the players help you with the creative work.  You don’t have to invent things for us players.  Given half a chance the players will make your game deeper, richer, and more fun than you can.  Jake rolled a random encounter and came up with dragons.  After a bit of bluster on my part, they turned into good dragons, and gave him an excuse for the bad guys to have dragons also.  GMs you can use your players’ imaginations if you just give them a hint and let them roll with it.  And everyone will have a good time.


Posted October 22, 2009 by atroll in Uncategorized

3 responses to “Pathfinder

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  1. You described why my fantasy games of choice are Tunnels & Trolls and Paul Jessup’s Magpie Codex. Easy,easy, easy, fast, fast, fast!

  2. Hey, I still have a few years to go but I’m old too. It’s a state of mind. 🙂

    Sounds like you had quite fun, and got to show off a bit. The most important skill for a GM probably is to listen. Yeah, and listen when John Wick or Ken St Andre gives GM advice. 🙂

    People have told me that the reason it takes forever to make a character is because you are supposed to use the character builder online. Damn annoying if you ask me.

  3. It usually took me and my crew about 30 min to make characters for D&D 3.5, but that was for 1st lvl game. I have found that the higher the starting lvl of the game the longer it takes.


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