Hullo, Gentle Readers. You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t posted about my tabletop RPGs of late. Honestly, I’ve been in something of a hiatus, between visitors, the Ren Faire, and the LARP I ran last weekend (well, last weekend as of my writing this.)
That doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about RPGs. Au contraire, not only have I been pondering events for the future of my own D&D game, I’m currently planning on going to play (yes, play, not GM) my first Pathfinder (yes, Pathfinder, not D&D) game.
It’s interesting to look at Pathfinder and recognize its skeleton as being 3.5 D&D, while appreciating the original material they’ve developed. I can see some strengths, and some of the same weaknesses. I’m certainly looking forward to playing, and I thought I might share some of my thoughts, hopes, and concerns.
My Initial Thoughts
Obviously, this is going to be a game that Steve, Jay, and I are going to pick up quickly. After all, Steve and I essentially played it for 9 years, and Jay played it for a solid 3-4 years. If anything, the only thing that might give us trouble will be when we run across little differences. If there are things that aren’t quite 3.5 as we remember it, that may trip us up. I know our GM, however, and he’s solid, so I’m not too concerned.
I quite like some of the new classes they’ve introduced. While I am more than content to pull out my old Halfling rogue, Toby, to try and tell his story in the context of the campaign we’re playing, some of the other players are going to be using some of the new classes. Our group definitely has an Oracle and an Inquisitor, and there may be a Gunslinger, a Magus, and an Alchemist joining us. I may actually be the only person playing a base class, which would be amusing.
Hey, I’m Hitting Some of My Resolutions!
So I recently went back and looked at the article I wrote about my resolutions for 2013. This hits several things I mentioned back then. I’m playing with some people I’ve never RPed with before, I’m a player, rather than the GM, and it’s even sort of a new game. Although I’ve known most of the players for years, one is someone I’ve only met once, one is someone I’ve never met, two are people I’ve only GMed for, rather than played on the same side of the screen with, and I’ve never been in a game run by the GM. I’m quite excited, really.
It’s always tricky for me to be a player. I don’t want to be a rules lawyer, but I have a relatively strong knowledge of the rules and strong opinions about how some of the vaguer rules are meant to be used. It’ll be interesting to let go of the reins of power for a while.
As I mentioned before, I have minor concerns about having some oddnesses with the rules. I don’t own Pathfinder, so I haven’t been able to really sit down and look through the rules to find the differences. I worry vaguely about being a nuisance in that sense.
My broader concern is one about something that I feel is one of Pathfinder’s strengths, actually—the Adventure Path. I know that these paths are an arcing story that will take us from beginning to end. My concern is that they may not have a place for the character that I have in mind. I’ve had to do a little tweak or two to my original concept based on the campaign we’re doing, and I’m worried that the backstory I’ve developed for Toby may not jibe with the overall story of this campaign.
Toby is a character I created for a 4E campaign a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, the campaign ended way too early, because I was loving playing that character. I’m left feeling like his story was unfulfilled, and I want to give him another chance to live. I’m just a bit concerned that, when this campaign is done, I’ll still feel like Toby’s tale is left untold.
Now, I have enormous trust for the GM. He’s GMed many campaigns over the years (albeit ones I was not involved with), and he’s been a huge part of my enjoyment of the current Isles campaign for the last two and a half years. I know that he’ll find a way to incorporate my story into the overall story of the campaign. Even so, a minor, niggling concern is still tugging away somewhere in my ganglia. I just want to help tell a good story through my participation, and I’m sure we’ll all have a great time despite my concerns.
Honestly, I probably have the same concerns any player does when they get ready to be in a new game. Will I get along okay with the others? Will they like my character? Will I enjoy the story, or will I walk away feeling like I’ve wasted my time?
Really, these are only light concerns at best. I know I enjoy playing D&D 3.5 (although I do still prefer 4E), and at least four of the players and the GM are some of my closest friends. Because I rarely play, I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to my game experiences, and we’re likely to have a chance to enjoy some awesome German food, so the long trip to get to where we’re playing will totally be worth it.
I’m going in with only mild fears, medium expectations, and high hopes. At the least, it’ll be a chance to be together with friends and to game with some new folks. At the best, it’ll be a blast.