Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hypocracy / Ooh, I am excited about Pathfinder

I swore myself off Dungeons & Dragons about six years ago. I'd finished running a year long 3.5 campaign with seven players that had taken them from Level 1 to approx Level 15, killed off all the original characters except one and sapped my will to live.
I think it was the extreme silliness of spells, spell-like abilities and general epic prowess D&D characters start acquiring around Level 10 and above that did me in.
The sheer number of modifiers, potential for insane actions and improbable escapes that got me in the end.
I just couldn't comprehend just how epicly competent these characters were.
It did my nut.
When 4th Ed came out, I ditched all my 3.5 books in the bin and embraced the new edition whole heartedly. After all, it was streamlined, improved, easier to grasp.
It was differently insane.
And seemed to focus entirely on tactical dungeon combat. It was like playing Diablo.
Or Dungeon Siege.
I ran it for my local gaming club, and after about 3 sessions jacked it in and played a halfling in somebody else's Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay game.
Every now and then I'd look in on the D&D guys. They were always in some dungeon working out if they should plow on and get the Action Points, or take a short rest and heal, or weighing up if they should use their per day power now or save it.
I never actually saw them have a conversation with an NPC or do something non combat related.
So, I swore myself off D&D entirely. I'll stick with my WoD and Gumshoe games, I thought.
Earlier this year, though, I realised I had an itch for D&D style fantasy.
I thought about hacking WoD into a fantasy game, and bought World of Darkness: Mirrors. Good ideas, just not quite the same...
I picked up my copy of Ars Magica 5th Ed and flicked through. Yeah, but not quite. It's not epic fantasy. It's not disposable. It's not fast paced.
So I've bought Pathfinder.
I'm halfway through it, and I'm getting a little giddy about it.
Yes, I know its essentially 3.5 with tweaks, and I can see characters becoming insanely powerful by 10th level again, but it sings to me.
The Classes and Races look like fun to play, I'm already familiar with the rules, so just need to spot the differences, it encourages multi-classing and non-standard skill point distribution.
It's a game I hated 6 years ago, and right now I think its great.
I first went out with my wife in 95. We split up some five months later.
Ten years later, we get married.
Not that I'm comparing my wife to D&D/Pathfinder...