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?

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7 thoughts on “Pathfinder RPG

  1. I have created my new character for a most probably intro next game day. Perhaps that new character will give you some ideas. And he’s not evil, either.

    Just awaiting on the all-powerful DM’s response 😉

  2. Interesting, maybe I will use my Barnes & Noble gift card to pick up the core rulebook. I wonder if they will ever make a computer game based on those rules? Might be a market for it if Wizards of the Coast only allows companies to use 4e rules in future ‘official’ games…

  3. It seems unlikely, Chris. The upcoming Neverwinter game (being done by Cryptic) is going to be 4e.

    I think people who call it 3.75e have the right of it. It is really close to 3.5e with some modifications that make sense.

    Classes have had some adjustments to allow for a lot more choice, as I metioned above.

    So far the skill system is the same (in effect); they’ve merged some skills (as did 4e) and they’ve removed the confusion of cross class half rank skills. Now you are capped to your Character Level in skill ranks. When you invest a point in a class skill you get a +3 bonus where as with a non-class skill, you just get the ranks. This is sort of how they rejigged the whole CL+3 is the max number of ranks and did away with the half rank sillyness.

    I looked through the feats and see a good number of them there are the same while others have slight modifications (such as Cleave, which operates like the Cleave in 4e).

    Combat seems much the same but they’ve simplified things. Instead of having a bunch of different equations for figuring out how a grapple, feint, trip, bull rush, etc. were done or countered, it’s all lumped into a Combat Maneuver Bonus (or Defense). It’s now a more direct opposed roll for all of that. They also added in a couple of additional combat options such as dragging an opponent or adjusting their position in a fashion other than Bull Rush.

    Really, it’s a whole lot of little tweaks all over the place which make sense and freshens things up with some more choices.

  4. The party does seem to be gravitating away from core evil.

    Perhaps, I think, because the world is saturated with lawful evilness and wouldn’t tolerate a bunch of evil reavers running around destroying everything they see… which appears to be how our group collectively views evil (i.e. evil is very “chaotic evil all for me and me for none” sort of evil).

    I think that irks people a bit, but I have no intention of changing that. A game where the party just wantonly destroys whatever it sees isn’t fun for very long.

    RPGs really don’t lend themselves well to the players being villians. Oh sure, they can be villianous, and the DM can create a world where the players get to do nasty things, but there’s still a puppetmaster driving the world. The goal of the villian is to come out on top, and that’s going to make an evil group get kind of bored after a while. You don’t get to be the Godfather, you get to be the caporegimes in D&D.

    It also appears to me that too much time is spent working out tangential details like “why would my character do this quest/mission/order/whatever?” Instead of looking for the deeper philosophical satisfaction in some quest, perhaps viewing things with simpler goals: wealth, local power, survival. It is with no small sense of irony that I view our groups tendency to look upon their characters as having some deeply internal story arc, while the same group of people has traditionally complained about DMs having story arcs and how that is so constraining. There is more satisfaction, i think, in creating something playable and seeing where it goes, rather than creating a character with a grandiose plan in mind and being disappointed when it doesn’t play out that way. In our group too much time is spent trying to be the coolest character, and not enough time is spent playing the team.

    Pathfinder isn’t going to help that last bit. Nor is it going to help with deep, elaborate character plans not being fulfilled.

    What pathfinder may help with is our monthy lawyering sessions. The rules seem to be clearer, and clarity is good with our group.

  5. I have to agree entirely with that assessment.

    One thing Pathfinder adds, for me, is more options inside the character classes which adds some more replay options. As I mentioned above, I’m pretty bored/tired of the existing options for classes and most of the others don’t interest me.

    I don’t think I’m one of the types that must out do others, when I created Smaken I was one of two meatshields with the other meatshield not really being meaty. Now he’s one of three.

    I think part of the whole ‘outdoing others’ might come from the fact that there are so many others and no one likes feeling less than useful. With seven players in the group, you’re almost guaranteed to have overlap with another…

    … so long as you’re not a healer type. 😐

  6. I know the ‘official’ games will have to be 4e, but if enough support (i.e.- potential customers) exists for the Pathfinder 3.75 ideas someone might want to make a game based on that ruleset. Computer gaming is a competitive place; someone may want the synergy (or exposure) of some kind of tie-in…

    We shall see.

    I did pick up the book, but I haven’t had time to start reading yet (and it is a thick book, both DMG and player guide both by the look of it).

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