Sunday, January 19, 2014

Path Finder

I am embarking on a bold, new adventure. I hope.

That is, I hope it's bold and has something new. I am skeptical and more than a little cynical about it.

 I am feeling very 'ical' I'm ashamed to say.

I'm talking about my upcoming stint as a player...of Pathfinder...


Just posting this makes me feel kinda...dirty. *Shudder*
Starting this coming weekend (I believe) my friend Ray will be running Pathfinder and some of the members of our regular gaming group will be forming the PC party, along with yours truly.

I probably don't have to tell you, I am not exactly waiting with baited breath.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm no hypocrite. I will definitely give it a try and I am trying to not to carry over any of my previous Pathfinder experiences (OK, experience. Singular.) to pre-color my opinion. Additionally, I know my friend Ray is a good GM, he knows and likes the setting he will be using a lot, so chances are the game, as a game, will be pretty cool.

I am just not...jazzed. Yeah, that's it. Not incredibly excited by the prospects.

I thought of one way of getting into it and it's by being kind of a jerk. Basically, we have one player who never teams up with the others, is always self-absorbed and tends to think he's a lot more clever than he is. He oft times gets himself and the rest of the party in a lot of trouble.

I was thinking of playing that guy, especially in opposition of his (that player's) character.

I don't know if I can pull it off though. It would take herculean effort and concentration on my part to be that much of a smeghead.

I need to find a path through Pathfinder. A way to get stoked about it.

Any ideas?

Barking Alien


  1. I can only offer empathy. A good player group is vital to enjoying the game. I run Pathfinder every week as GM, but I won't play it because the only groups I could play in are terrible...just terrible, with a mix of powr gamers, loner contrarians, guys looking to break the rules and plain old asshats. Once in a blue moon my wife will run a game and I can player with my actual friends, the decent guys who are players in my own game, and those are always great experiences...but too far and few between unfortunately.

  2. Thanks Tori. I appreciate a sympathetic ear.

    I will say the player group is my usual group, fairly solid players and a great bunch of guys but yeah, every group has that one person who is just...grrr.

    The other concern is that I am a player in this campaign and I don't like to play. It's very, very rare that I actually really like being a player in any game. Add to that the fact that I am not a medieval fantasy or D&D/D20 fan and I am up against some serious obstacles in trying to get the juices flowing.

    Lastly, these players have rarely, if ever, played with a player like me. I don't play the way they do. I am more accustomed to my old groups and their approaches so it may take me a while to get into the groove with this team.

  3. If it's your usual group, doesn't that player you always mention, Marcus, seem to be that player you're thinking of being?

    1. Yeah. I'm thinking of pulling a Marcus. Especially if Marcus is there. Balance the field a little.

  4. It seems that every extended gaming group has one of those, unfortunately.

    Well, try and have fun all the same.

  5. To me, Pathfinder feels like an over-the-top superhero version of D&D. If your GM plays it in the same way you should have great fun.

    1. I'm weird in that, if that is really what we were playing, if I knew from the beginning it was supposed to be a medieval superhero game (sort of how my own D&D-But-Not is), I'd probably like it.

      Most people that I've encountered don't seem to treat it that way. That treat it too seriously almost. D&D, Pathfinder and games like it are not serious approaches to medieval fantasy for me and if the GM acts like they are it never gels for me.

  6. How much do you know about the campaign setting and the world? Could you create a character tied to something in the setting? In these situations I usually default to a playing a basic warrior and finding some way to tie him into the setting. You could make an old-fashioned fighter with a 2-handed sword so you don't have to worry about the rules so much and just focus on your character and his ties to the campaign.

    Also, do you know what everyone else is playing? Maybe you could tie your character, in a less antagonistic way, to one of the players and do something interesting.

  7. You must be new 'round these here parts Monkapotomus (cool name btw). ;)

    Teasing but in truth, my style of play is not the issue (at least not for me). Let's go over how Adam plays fantasy (as both a GM and a Player):

    1- I know nothing about the world and the setting. I do not want to know too much about it before play. I have played D&D. That should be enough. I want to learn about the world and the setting as I play. I don't usually like games where you have to read thirty pages of setting material to make up a character. Boo! If I have to read a short story to play your game I will stay home and read some short stories.

    2- I do love to tie my characters into a setting though. So, if I want to play an Elven Magic User, and Elven Magic Users are really specific and unique in this campaign, tell me a little about Elves and Magic Users in your setting. Not a book. A page or two at most.

    3- I never worry about the rules and always just focus on my character (or the characters). No change there.

    4- I kind of care what everyone else is playing and kind of don't. Like the setting, I'd prefer to learn about them when I start playing. That said, it is sometimes cool to have a few of us know each other before hand. In addition, in Fantasy and certain kinds of Science Fiction, the whole 'roles' thing pisses me the hell off. It presses button you don't want to press and I can't honestly tell you why.

    "So your a Wizard, but are you a Control Wizard, a Striker or what?"

    "I am the kind who punches people in their damned faces for asking questions like that."

    Seriously, you're playing D&D. You're limited and shoehorned in enough already. Do you really need to make your character as inflexible and unvaried as possible?

    I think I got something. Different from a typical 'Adam character' in some ways. Also, Will's character and mine met up in the recent past and are currently travelling together.

    This could work.

    1. What can I say, you've been blogging a while and I'm still catching up :)

      I agree with you on the 30 pages of backstory. Just give me some highlights or key themes so I have something to work with or at least know what kind of character to not make.

      The whole 'roles' thing gives me mixed feeling. I find it useful when talking with some younger players who's only experience with RPGs is computer games. Being able to translate that to table-top RPGs gives me a starting point to work with and a point of reference to transition from. For some people, World of Warcraft and the LoTR movies are their only exposure to fantasy and being able to use them as a points of reference helps them to get excited about playing. As for Pathfinder, like many games it all depends on how you run it. I don't think it is a problem unique to D&D so much as just combat gaming in general.

  8. No worries Monkapotomus, I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

    Hmmm, maybe you could, oh I don't know, Follow the blog. That might help you. ;)

    I can see where you're coming from with the roles being used as a source of quick reference for the modern video/computer gamer when they are trying to relate to table top RPG. I just feel that, since I am not trying to relate my RPG to their computer and video games, you don't have to jam that square peg into my round hole when writing a RPG manual.

    Wow. That analogy DID NOT go exactly as intended. O.O

    This conversation has inspired an idea for a new post. It's been a while since I introduced some of my newer readers to my particular brand of New School Old School gaming. Thanks Big M!

  9. First off: HA! This should be fun to watch!

    Second: If you aren't enthused about D&D type fantasy play something unusual. PF has "archetypes" which are customized versions of each class that change the flavor somewhat. Also some of the classes are a little different from D&D too. Look up the "Gunslinger" and see if that pushes any buttons. The alchemist is another one that you might have some fun with.

    1. I am trying that, or, at least I think I am. Not knowing what all these Archetypes are I am sure I could be missing on that might be fun.

      As you can imagine, right off the bat the whole thing (system wise) just rubs me the wrong way. I am playing a Class and Level game after all so as soon as I start making up my character I run into the 'Wall of Limits' that seems built into the D&D/D20 model.

      But...I think I like me character. He's cool enough. I am playing something a bit outside my usual style, going for the badass as opposed to the scholar/thinking type.

  10. Not really into the whole crossover SUV scene...

    1. You don't like Sports Utility Vehicles and those similar vehicles with more passenger vehicle like features. Fair enough.

      What does that have to do with the discussion?

      (Sorry but this reference went right over my head).