Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back in the Pathfinder Saddle Again

Back in the Pathfinder Saddle Again

I took a break from fantasy gaming for a few months for several reasons, not the least of which was I got married and was not going to be running a game on my honeymoon. So for the majority of the summer I have played the new Star Wars Saga edition game using the Dawn of Defiance campaign path from the Wizards website. I loved Saga edition, but hated that really bad adventure series. Running modules is still a relatively new concept to me and I find that my original reasons why I created my own still stand for the most part. Paizo’s adventure paths are the exception to the rule in my opinion, and I feel no particular shame in running those adventures for my friends.

I have the New Testament of Fantasy Gaming now, the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. I received mine early (on the 10th) like a lot of subscribers but I haven’t felt much need to write about it before now because I haven’t really had a chance to delve into it. I am not one of those rules guys that can literally sit down read the whole book and speak for hours on it. I can say that it is a very pretty book, easily one of the best produced game books I own. I like some of the final changes, and others I am still leery of. I like the removal of plate armor from Clerics, but I am still not completely sold on the change in concentration. We’ll see how it plays out.

Saturday I started the Curse of the Crimson Throne. I’ve made some changes to our usual play style for this campaign. First I am actually using a point buy system for stats. I find that whenever we roll stats someone ends up with a distinct and unfair advantage over the other players. Despite the fact this is a cooperative game it is less fun when one character is omni-capable and yours is mildly incompetent. Secondly I instituted a very basic Backgrounds rule based on that used in Storyteller system games. Each character was given 7 points to distribute amongst various categories that would be fleshed out in game. I also allowed the players to choose two Traits from the various Pathfinder Companion books they liked, and I gave them a third trait based on their prelude story which connected them through Gaedrin Lamm. Everyone also ended up with a very minor magical item. I am sure to some this would sound like I opened the candy store, but I play with only three people and I find that they are much less likely to be destroyed in the first fight if I give them something to balance out the numbers.

I really liked the Harrow cards in play. In addition to drawing principal cards for each player based on their primary stat we also did Harrow readings strictly by the numbers for each character. I was able to easily work the cards into readings that were general enough to be universally dire and work some specific events that I know of into the prophesy. I think it will add a nice touch to the campaign.

We only had time on our opening session to play through the individual preludes and the confrontation with Gaedren Lamm. I think the roleplay went pretty well and I think the session went smoothly. There was not a lot of the new rules in play, only one use of a combat maneuver.

We have also begun a wet paint wiki for use in game, and Beth was kind of enough to write session summaries while in game. I’ve never had a game secretary before. I kind of dig it.

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