Pathfinder RPG

I admit, I was really getting bored with the 3.5e D&D system on top of running out of steam for playing an evil character.

On evil characters: I’ve always failed at continuing to be evil for any length of time. Sneaky or tricky? Fun. But maliciously evil? Meh. It gets a little tiresome after awhile. I’ve started several attempts at playing ‘evil’ or ‘bad’ characters in various games (BG series, NWN series, Mass Effect series and even as a player in 1e D&D a long time ago. I don’t know what it is, but I just lose interest. I think I find it sort of the same after awhile and it isn’t really challenging. How hard is it to be an asshole that doesn’t care about much?

It’s really odd because I enjoy DMing and plotting out the evil schemes and things going on behind the scenes but as a player? Meh. I think it’s just easier to run ‘evil’ when you’re coordinating it as a DM and not when you’re stuck with half the group being either Chaotic Neutral or Neutral Evil. It’s like in both cases the group is there to foil your plans, only as a DM it’s sort of expected. Hehe

As for 3.5e? I’m running out of character ideas I find interesting and are of value to the group. I just don’t find any of the classes kicking around all that appealing. I think the group mistook that for lack of interest in my current character when instead it’s more of a general ‘mehness’ of 3.5e and playing evil for a length.

There are several classes I haven’t played yet, but I haven’t played them for a reason. The reasons being either they didn’t fit with the current group make up or I really have little interest in them. These classes are: Wizard (bleh), Druid (meh), Monk (eh) and Paladin (heh).

I have considered what I might do if I lose my current character (Smaken Dahed, Ogre Fighter/Cannibal) and I come up empty. Well, empty of interesting ideas that wouldn’t screw the party over. Favored Soul of Nerull would have been fun, but he wouldn’t serve the group for any length of time without making an attempt at ending their lives (not just a follower of the God of Murder, but a Favored Soul!). I consider Hextor – oddly enough, the group finds themselves in a town that is Lawful Evil and apparently following Hextor – but I could see it being rough on the party given their Chaotic or non-Lawful ways. I considered a Monk as well, but it would be Lawful Evil and face the same issues.

That led me to consider more Chaotic type classes, ultimately, to the Barbarian. That’s not all that far of a stretch from what I am playing now.

Oh, you’re probably wondering where I’m going with all this? Well, I was venting about it to a member and Pathfinder came up. Another member mentioned, another even brought in the hefty rulebook and another member mentioned the company that worked on the modules was the same and they were excellent. I spent a fair bit of a day reading up on it through the free SRD.

A lot of it is the same, but different enough to make it worth looking at, almost reinvigorating. All of the classes appear to have more flavor and variety to them with allowing people to make more active choices in how they want their character to be. For example, the Druid class doesn’t have to have an Animal Companion (I realize that’s the case in 3.5e but you’re not compensated for that sacrifice), instead it allows them to pick from a number of Domains (Animal, Plant, Weather, Fire, Earth, Air and Water). Domains are a lot more interesting as well. They added something more to the domain powers and even grow the benefits with levels – which is awesome!

The more and more I read, the more I liked it. I was IMing my friend about it was I was reading stuff and he was looking into it when he could and we both agreed it looked good. We brought it up on our group forum and there was a lot of interest. Before our last session we discussed it again and the whole group agreed we’d make the switch at the end of the current campaign.

Good stuff.

Now, what do I do if my current character dies and I have next to no interest in playing anything currently in 3.5e within the current alignment setting?

Favorite Characters…

Awhile back I asked people to help me pick between characters, only Ysharros offered some help. Oddly enough, I went with the Goblin Cleric character and had a load of fun. I have to admit, it now sits up top of my list of favorite characters.

A Goblin Cleric of Hermes who picked the Travel and Trickery domains, was Chaotic Good and a whole lot of fun despite being reduced to a mobile band-aid. There was just something about the pest personality I adopted for him that was enjoyable. I played him as a bit of a slacker as well, ducking out of sitting a watch over nights, pretending he didn’t know the the Giantish language other than what he believed was, “Hey, how’s it going?” but was actually, “Tongue my hairy dumper!” and misleading his brutish Minotaur companion – though only slightly. One of the things that never had a chance to come out was that he was a bit of a swindler – unfortunately, the ‘merchants’ in the group didn’t leverage his ability to be diplomatic and also outright bullshit people.

My next favorite is my current character, Smaken the Ogre. We’re playing with some modified rules that allows you to level up through monster race as a class then adopt a class later. I’ve got another two levels to go before I can actually pick a character class – I’ll be going with Fighter. Next level he’ll grow from Medium size to Large size which adds some benefits (+2 STR, 10 foot reach, size bonus to size related things, weapons of suitable size scale up in damage dice) but also has some costs (-2 DEX, -1 AC and -1 to hit from Size, I believe there are penalties to things like Hide as well). With some surprisingly good rolls and not going overboard with stat assignments, he’s actually smarter, wiser and more convincing than most Ogres would be. I was a little surprised but I managed to get away with 8 INT, 9 WIS and 10 CHA.

From the play side of things, I’m trying to ensure he stays well within his Lawful Evil alignment. I take opportunities to be brutal and cruel to things lesser than he is and generally harsh. I’ve even proposed we take on some slaves we rescued from their Mind Flayer oppressors but the Goodly types didn’t like that. Being a malnourished and growing Ogre, a lot of his concerns revolve around eating – some of the food sources make the other party members cringe, though the Dread Necromancer in the group is helping out by skinning things and collecting some choice cuts. So far Smaken has tried gnoll, wolf, bear and dragon. Some people got squeamish about a party member eating a sentient creature (the gnolls) but I put that to rest by letting them know halflings were tastier.

I’m playing him dumb, but not horribly dumb. Definitely uneducated since he grew up in Mind Flayer slave camps and was used for heavy lifting type jobs. Every now and then I throw out the odd revelation, but mostly he’s dazzled by the more complicated situations.

He’s at odds with some of the party members, but so far only the Druid is on his list of people that are weird and might need to be put in their place. He’s already had two run-ins with the Druid’s animal companion – a wolf. Once the damn wolf tried to eat the gnoll Smaken just knocked unconscious. Irritated by that, Smaken took a swipe at the wolf but missed. The Druid called his pet off. In Smaken’s defense, I did have him call out to leave this gnoll alone because he was going to question it and the Druid didn’t call the wolf off. Annoyed with the wolf, he later too a shot at it when it got in his way in combat, stepping right in front of Smaken, blocking easy (and tactical) access to an opponent. It was a hard hit and almost killed the wolf, as did the attack from the enemy. The wolf doesn’t seem to come around as much anymore. :)

The Githerzai Psychic Warrior is starting to annoy Smaken a bit. A rust monster ate the Gith’s metal shield so Smaken loaned the Gith his heavy wooden shield – since the Gith was a decent fighter, though clearly not an Ogre so he was more frail. The damn Gith engraved a symbol of Moridan and painted the shield. If Smaken didn’t like Dwarves so much (he thinks they’re sort of like little Ogres) and like that the symbol was a warhammer, there might have been more of an issue. At this point, Smaken isn’t going to loan the Githerzai anything in the near future. Who knows what the skinny, cone-head will do to whatever he’s loaned.

The goodly Duergar Cleric of Moridan is also a bit of a stick in the mud. Won’t let him take slaves or eat the Halfling prisoner and didn’t like him killing (and then eating) the Gnoll prisoner who didn’t have any information of value for Smaken. He’s a bit stuffy but he’s a Dwarf and he fixes up Smaken’s owies so that’s okay. For now.

The Warlock and Bard seem okay. They don’t get in his way, besides the Bard tells some pretty amazing stories about a group of adventurers that slay Mind Flayers. One of the characters in the story is pretty cool because he’s a big nasty Ogre, really strong and crushes his enemies. (The Bard is actually telling the story about how this group defeated a Mind Flayer overlord but has changed the names of the party members – Smaken hasn’t clued in that he’s the Ogre in that story.)

A sample of Smaken performing a “Gather Information” check:

In a tent-filled, refugee camp Smaken found himself in a ‘tavern’ filled with Dwarves and other refugees. Knowing the group is looking for a missing Dwarf that disappeared into nearby ruins he asks the Dwarves, “Hey! Yous dorfs – do yous guys know any udder dorfs?” He’s met with shrugs and several Dwarves pointing at each other.

I wasn’t actually expecting to be of any use, but I was hoping other members of the group might remember why we were there and get asking questions. It seems we were being stalled until we proved our worth later on in the evening when we defended the encampment from a ‘Death Squad’ from the local ruling Mind Flayer tyrant. We ended the session there.

Good fun.

I Won’t Lie, I Miss It…

It being two things. Perhaps I should have said “its” though I don’t think there is a plural form of it unless you say “those things there”.

Coffee. I do miss it. It’s part of my morning ritual. (Day 2) Feel pretty good today, though near the end of the afternoon yesterday and in the evening I was dozing off. Even while playing Lego Harry Potter (PS3) with the boys.

LittleBigOgre had his first ‘camp out’ in front of the local video game store yesterday morning. He was eagerly awaiting Lego Harry Potter (Years 1-4). Okay, so it wasn’t really a camp out, he just got there a little early with his mother (a.k.a. TheWife) and the store wasn’t open yet. He was quite pleased to learn he got the only remaining copy of the game that wasn’t reserved.

Back to the other thing I miss; D&D. I have to admit I do miss it which is probably a good thing. It means I’ll be enthusiastic when it starts up again which should be later on in July.

We’ll be going into a new campaign with yet another DM. It’s been awhile since this DM.. DMed. Back when I started playing with this group, I believe it was one guy, then another and then this guy. Since then it was the other guy, yet another guy, then another, then yet another guy, then me and then that other guy after the other guy.

He’s building up a portion of a collaborative project where some amazingly, awesome genius in the group though it would be great to have all our DMing experience work together in rounding out our own little playground (shared campaign world). This other guy is taking the first jab at a portion of the game world.

The area is currently in control by Mind Flayers who are using humans and other humanoids as slaves (and food). Animals really. Some are favored pets, but that is all.

If I didn’t know this guy better I’d worry it was some sort of S&M fetish, but I know he is just thinking of what it would be like if Illithids ran a kingdom or empire or what ever it is.

After much debate, I decided on playing an Ogre which will eventually end up as a Fighter (we’re using Savage Species-like rules instead of the Level Adjustment mechanic). I had decided against that in the previous campaign because I would have likely made him too stupid and with a severe deficit in the intuition department. That would have made him more of a detriment to the party than anything else. Instead I eased up on a few of the physical stats and bumped the mental stats up enough that he’d be more like a country bumpkin or someone that hasn’t really been exposed to the world and doesn’t really think ahead.

Other potential characters were:

- A memory-wiped/shattered mind Elan Psion (Shaper) where I proposed a bunch of potential backgrounds and left it up to the DM to pick without telling me. I figured it’d be fun to play and figure out who he was. The backgrounds ranged from psionic criminal/psychopath to an accountant that had a minor psionic powers which he used to entertain kids.

- A Sorcerer that focused on Conjurations. I hadn’t delved too much in creating a background since I dropped him for the Psion (Shaper) pretty quickly. The concept was supposed to be disposable HPs while bringing some buffs or debuffs to the group.

- The Halfling Barbarian/Druid character concept I’ve been toying with for awhile. I just find it amusing to imagine a 3’5” 50 pound Halfling flying into a Barbarian’s rage.

By the way, last time when I had to choose between a teenage, slacker Priest of Thor and the Goblin Cleric of Hermes, I went with the Goblin Cleric and it worked out really well. I had a ton of fun and it seems that he amused everyone else too while doing his best to keep them alive.

D&D Session Meh…

I’m not sure what was up with the session but it felt sort of meh. If I look at it I think it was a combination of several things:

1. I was tired.
2. The DM said before the session that his campaign was pretty much over so he’s just running with random encounters and character plots until the next campaign is ready.
3. People died.
4. I didn’t entirely agree with how the first encounter unfolded, there was too much of a delay in getting people into the area really putting everyone and a severe disadvantage – but what ever.
5. One of those people was reincarnated into a smaller size which caused issues.
6. Said issues interrupted the game for a length of time.
7. During that length of time, we were discussing what we were going to play in the upcoming campaign – this often puts people thinking ahead instead of the now.
8. I couldn’t really come up with anything for the next campaign; the classes looked overplayed, most of the character types have been done and the ones I didn’t really want to do I haven’t done for a reason.
9. I decided maybe I’ll try a Sorcerer that focuses on Conjuration.
10 I realized we didn’t really have a full blown healer so I’m starting to think Cleric.
11. I hate playing a character that I know I’m playing just because the role is needed.
12. I kind of regret a multiclass choice I made with this character.
13. There hasn’t been nearly enough ‘dungeon’ type delving for my liking; I am reminded of grinding mobs out in the open, above ground zones in EQ1.
14. Lloyd was sitting around with his shirt open and collar popped.

There was some talk (before the session) about taking a summer break or getting the next campaign rolling for the fall. I tossed out trying the starter pack for 4e just for something (different) to do. I think only 2 of the 7 other people had interest, though maybe the others didn’t hear.

Don’t mistake these comments for overall complaints about the campaign. I thought the campaign was good and I had a lot of fun playing my Goblin Cleric but starting over with new characters at higher levels just… meh.

That’s been the case in most campaigns where that has happened. We’ve identified that and noted it was an issue (at least I did) but we decided against starting over.

One thing that I mentioned in response to someone commenting that they really wanted to see a campaign get to 20s was that we need to stop with the overarching storyline that is supposed to take you from 1 to 20.

Why?

Because you hit the 10s and early teens and start losing people. Those people get replaced by people that have loose ties to said overarching storyline. This continues for awhile until almost no one has any ties to the story.

If want to advance to the max level, we’re better off having multiple stories to take us from point of interest to point of interest. Focus on the fact that lower level concerns are less world breaking and more immediate. Moderate levels tend to be a little bigger in scope, so open that up. By the mid-high levels things get to be more world sized and at the higher end to epic levels it tends to get planar.

Get back to adventures being about the adventure, sure story can be involved, but sometimes the story is a short one or a novella instead of a massive trilogy.

One of the players mentioned something he was running on a NWN persistent world server that involved a local vampire… perfect for a teens level group adventure! Not for a whole campaign to revolve around.

There is nothing wrong with episodes instead of trilogies.

Wrong Books…

Damn, I started reading the wrong series. I went with the Sci-Fi Mercenary series instead of the Fantasy Assassin series.

Why is it wrong?

Well, I figure the assassin series would help the situation I find my new D&D character in – he’s got to assassinate a ruler of a rival city which should be quite challenging. I figured there would be all sorts of cool ideas in there I could use to help me.

Hmm… wonder if I can get through them before next Wednesday?

Typing…

I feel like typing stuff and I’m not sure why?

Of course, there are a lot of other things I could be typing instead of this but then it becomes typing with a purpose rather than simply typing for the sake of typing.

I could be typing up a background for my new D&D character, who is a Xeph Soulknife, but I don’t feel up to it just yet.

I think the underlying reluctance is due to starting the guy off at 11th level and the fact that the game world’s time line changed a lot. Just as I was starting to get a feel for the game world, it got changed. Now I’m left trying to get a feel for it and figure out how to fit my character in.

Until then, he’s going to be a bit bloodthirsty and harsh. Not maniacal, but he will be unforgiving.

Last session I played in (I think I missed one since then) I was caught in the area effect of our party’s Wizard. Once the dust settled, I tossed my Mindblade at him and told him to be more careful where he aims.

A common caster tactic in our group is to not be concerned about Rogue-types since they have Evasion (lets them avoid being hit by area effects that involve Reflex saves) but I’m not actually a Rogue so I don’t have that.

To be fair, he was playing his alignment, as was I, so it appeared to work out. I established my characters as an ‘eye for an eye’ type and hopefully gave the Wizard something else to worry about when casting spells.

In WoW stuffs, we (our 25 man raid group) advanced to the point where we only have three bosses left to beat in ICC (our 10 man raid group is down to the Lich King and had him almost beat); Blood Queen, Sindragossa and the Lich King.

Blood Queen is kind of tricky, but I think we’ll have her soon. We made a lot of positive progress on her last night.

Sindragossa, on the other hand, I can see being a huge problem for us. It took our 10 man raid group two nights of wiping to her over and over until we got her down on the very last attempt on the second night. The 25 man version adds more confusion and chances of error so good times ahead.

I scored one of the best ranged weapons currently available to Hunters last night – Zod’s Repeating Longbow. The bow’s proc seems interesting, but it’s base damage and DPS is a big jump from the previous weapon. I’m not sure if it will repeat the last shot at half damage or if it will simply trigger an extra half damage regular shot, sort of like Wild Quiver talent does.

Now all I need is to get my hands on the Saurfang trinket (Deathbringer’s Will). Oh and some pants from Festergut – they are pretty sweet and have three gem slots. As it is now I’ve got full T10 with one Sanctified piece – yes, that’s all five pieces; head, shoulders, chest, hands and legs. I also recently picked up some Rock Steady Treads which are the best boots available. I’m going to compare some other slots vs. what’s available and see.

I’m also stockpiling Cardinal Rubies (I need about 12-14 of them) so I can create Armor Penetration gems once I have enough to do a complete flip over from Agility to Armor Penetration, I will.

Oh, I made a joke that our guild site is lacking news and so they gave me rights to add news. Kind of sneaky, assign the task to the one asking about it…

… only it’s ME!

MOUAHAHAHAAHA!

http://twistedserenity.guildomatic.com/