Monday, July 22, 2013

Trying to love Pathfinder

     The following was a Google+ post a few months back. It serves as a preface to tomorrows post:

A few months ago a good friend of mine suggested we get our kids together to game. He had been playing in a Pathfinder Society group at one of our game stores and wanted to run Pathfinder for us.

I was a little apprehensive since I tried Pathfinder several years ago and found that, at the time, it was too complicated for my boys. I suggested Castles and Crusades, but he had a Pathfinder campaign module all picked out and was itching to run it, so we went with Pathfinder.  It turns out the boys enjoy it, I’m okay with it and I’m trying to like it more cause soon it will be my turn to run something. 

     I don’t mind saying Pathfinder is a bit overwhelming, with all its situational rules, conditional rules, advanced combat feats, stacking on feats and then traits and more.  I think part of the problem is that my buddy and his daughter started in Society play where it seems players start grooming their characters at first level for eventual stardom at higher levels. They will take three levels of this and then switch classes to something else in order to get a certain advantage later down the line. Frankly without my Hero Lab program I would be totally lost.
 I mentioned this to another friend and he laughed and pointed out that I ran AD&D Living City and GURPS games and there were plenty of rules and power gamers trying to break the game there as well.  Point taken.
 So I’m reading the Pathfinder rules, reading the world-book, and basically trying to fall in love or at least start to like the system.  There is a lot to admire, especially the job they did with the world, they threw just about every sub-genre of fantasy in a blender and made it work smoothly.
 It’s clear that in my corner of the world Pathfinder is the now and near future of gaming. I have tried to get AD&D, Castles & Crusades, and Dicey Tales games going online and in real life and find only one or two people even vaguely interested. But someone mentions playing Pathfinder and the crowd starts forming.