Friday, July 10, 2015

That's a Lot of Tiny Boxes

+Rob Conley calls me up and says, "Hey Tim, you want to play Pathfinder?  I'll use the Kingmaker adventure path from a few years back."

I thought, I've got a lot of the books, but never played it.  Never player 3.5 for that matter.  "Sure.  But just so you know I own the Kingmaker series and know the first book fairly well."

"No problem."

The following night I grab my massive tome of the core rules and grab a character sheet from on-line.  I print the character sheet and scratch my head.  That's a lot of tiny boxes.  I commence character creation.  It said to roll 4d6.  Okay, I think.  A bit of a sissy way to roll, but I read the other methods, they seemed to be more, put in whatever score you want.  I roll.  I roll badly.  Even with 4d6 I managed to have the first character to have three scores of 8, a 7 and a 6.  My highest attribute was a 10.  Fricking dice hate me.

I put that little cherub of a now NPC to the side and reroll.  Okay, this time I am average an 11, 2 - 12s, 2 - 13s and a massive 14.  Cool, I can work with that.  Pick out a race.  Keeping it simple, human.  Picking a class, want something that I haven't played in a while.  I kept my stats in a row, so the picks were some sort of spellcasting.  I've played clerics a lot recently and just made a mage dude for 5th edition.  Druid.  Okay,  haven't played on of those in a while.

Then I get to the adjustments for race, class, and begin building my skills.  I got it.  It took my a long time, but I got it.  I'm still only partially done with my guy and I started him a day and a half ago.  I forget who, but some smart man said "have fun playing Mathfinder".  He is not wrong.

While I am interested in giving it a go.  And while I haven't played one minute of Pathfinder or 3.5, I can tell there is going to be a lot of rule checking.  Or a lot of, what does that do?, moments.  I love the Pathfinder books look and use them as reference material, but it also makes me appreciate the simplicity of rulesets. 

I believe most folks love the options in the 3.5 games and I used to also.  I loved to make unique quirky characters, but there comes a time when the process of making a character begins to outweigh the actual playing of the character.  I have my own level where that is reached and Pathfinder has already surpassed it.  Still, I want to play the game.  See how it goes.  And besides, I'll be with a few goofball friends, playing heroes (maybe), talking in funny voices and rolling dice in between distracting conversations about latest movies or books. 

If I am slinging dice and talking shit, it's all good.


  1. Interesting...I don't think I've tried playing that.

  2. I can play Pathfinder, but I wouldn't want to run it.

  3. Playing is ok, trying to create NPCS to match against the characters takes more time than I have available. That's why I stopped running it.

  4. Playing is ok, trying to create NPCS to match against the characters takes more time than I have available. That's why I stopped running it.

  5. This is one of the reasons I've stopped playing 3.x and Pathfinder. The setting and adventure paths are great, but chargen makes me crazy.

    Once you get past chargen, it can be a blast, but even leveling up can be a bit of a pain with the way the Feat trees work.

    For similar reasons, I don't play GURPS. I used to love all the tweaking you could do in character generation... but as I get older, I just want to get to the playing and skip all the math.

  6. Mathfinder LOL, that's a great way to describe it. There is a definite appeal to the hidden math geek in me there. And it definitely appeals to teaching the teenagers who are all about buffing and min/maxing in video games. But for a group of veteran adults it may not be a cup of tea.

  7. I knew a Mathfinder/Pathfinder group who spent 8 hours at my FLGS creating high level characters. The group disbanded after about 2-3 sessions.

    Then another GM stepped forward. The group spent another 5 hours creating characters.

    That group fell apart after about 2-3 sessions.

    Then another GM stepped forward...

    And the cycle continues to this day.

    I just don't see the appeal. I had enough with 3.5e.

  8. As long as the GM knows the rules enough to keep the game flowing and fun is all that is really necessary. If there's a rules lawyer in the group, again, it will be up to the GM to use good refereeing to suppress rules debates in favour of keeping the fun factor going. Unless the group enjoys the multitude of math calculations and arguing rules...

  9. I plyed in an 8 week PF campaign a couple of years ago. But at the end of it, I couldn't think of anything that happened, that wouldn't have been handled just as well by a less complicated system.