I will admit, I was a bit surprised to be invited to play Pathfinder 2e or any edition by a friend, largely because I never really thought there’s be enough people keen to try out a TTRPG in my small town.
Having played Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2, The Temple of Elemental Evil, and various other computer games based on the mechanics of Dungeons and Dragons I wasn’t totally new to the idea of TTRPGs I’d just never had the opportunity to play. See, you kind of need to know other people interested in playing them which is somewhat different from a computer game where you recruit your NPC helpers and off you go.
Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn even went so far as to allow you to set up a multiplayer game and run six characters all controlled by you in your party which was kind of fun but it meant party members didn’t have personal baggage for you to try to solve or mood swings that meant you had to keep on their good side to keep the party together.
But a friend of mine in town was a real fan of TTRPGs and has played before and run games and so he invited myself and three others to go on a campaign.
What has been the Pathfinder experience so far?
Now not being even a little bit familiar with Pathfinder that meant the first step was reading the rule book. Wow that’s a lot of reading and a lot of details that will swiftly be forgotten about various classes and spells and the like. Admittedly, I probably didn’t need to read the whole thing before beginning (and was told I could just refer to it as needed throughout) but I’m the person who when I got a new phone and answering machine sat on the floor with the manual for nearly two hours trying out each feature and step just to make sure I had clarity.
Yeah, I was never not going to read the manual.
I drew the line however at the various expansion books, bestiary and other extras and have stuck to a look in the book if needed policy.
That first feeling I had after reading through all of that though was being a little bit overwhelmed. I think I realised for the first time how different playing Pathfinder in real life was going to be from just opening a computer game that handled all the tracking of hit points and dice rolls and so on.
Our GM, being the only one with actual experience playing, was really great. Long before we sat down for our first session we had a group chat where we were firing off questions and discussing what we wanted out of a campaign. We also started planning our characters, to be refined once we all got together.
On that note, I took one look at the character creation sheet and realised just how much scribbling and writing was going to take place and figured there had to be an easier way. And sure enough, there are several apps for that specifically for Pathfinder that various people have made. I had the GM check over one I was considering using and it had everything it needed and so we all kind of decided to use it as it will export the character sheet for us but we can track hit points and status conditions and whatever else we need to through the app (less chance of me losing it that way as well).
After initially playing around with a potential cleric character, and I might still try them at some point, I decided it would be more fun to be a sorcerer. Actually, I just kind of got intrigued by the whole bloodline idea and so started a new character file. Several hours later the idea of Emlyn, the human sorcerer with a Draconic bloodline and a background as a gambler was born.
I will admit, she’s now only level two but I’m pretty attached to her. I think my current self-interest is in keeping her alive long enough to get a bit stronger because right now even goblins are a bit of a problem.
Probably just as well I went with that build over the cleric. As useful as the cleric may have been in combat turns out everyone in my party more or less went for characters with either self-interested goals or somewhat shady backgrounds (no one went full evil but we’re all willing to cross a few lines if needed). The cleric may have found themselves abandoned pretty early on or may have given up on the rest of the party in disgust which would have been a short run for my first attempt at Pathfinder.
Anyway, we’ve had three sessions playing, chatting, snacking and generally having a good time. Our GM fortunately has a whole range of models and dice and pretty much everything we needed though the rest of us are kind of really getting into Pathfinder. So much so that one member got the paid version of the app to give them access to everything and several of us have used various programs to build models of our characters to be printed (again, I’ll be really sad if my character dies at this point).
Admittedly, we haven’t got very far. We arrived in our first town after a few minor encounters, shopped a bit and joined a noble on an expedition he had planned into a dungeon. After he got injured (because we failed to detect an ambush) he more or less wanted to pull out but we convinced him to explore just a bit further (turns out I’m really good at persuading people) and then walked into the lair of someone really scary. Fortunately she didn’t stop us leaving but we found out by asking around in town we were very lucky we had enough sense not to start something with her because we’d most definitely have been wiped out.
Instead we parted ways with the noble, convinced the druid he’d hired to stay with us because she had some pretty good healing spells, and then we took a few jobs exterminating pests at the harbour to try to get a little bit tougher before we head back to the dungeon. Only I’m pretty sure we’ll go a different direction next time.
What is most fun so far about Pathfinder is after we call it a day and start packing up the dice and characters and wiping down the board where we’ve drawn the current locations that we all want to talk about everything we just went through and the decisions we made or didn’t make. That and of course planning the next session when we can all get together.
So my first experiences with Pathfinder and TTRPGs has so far been pretty positive and its been an interesting learning experience. Now I just need to figure out what choices to make as my level 2 sorceress goes up to level 3 in order to be a little more useful to the party.
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
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