JP On Gaming

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pathfinder Society, first impressions...

So this past Saturday, I played at Enchanted Ground in the first of what I hope will be many Pathfinder Society Saturdays. In this post, I will share my thoughts about the game. Not the adventures themselves.

I always recommend people play in any type of organized play system in game day or convention format, where you can play many adventures in a very short time. Hopefully, this gives you a sample of the game, the system, how adventures run and a mix of players if some of them annoy you. In my case I played a mini-con of Living Greyhawk in a frozen wasteland of a bar back in January of ‘03. The first 3 adventures left me somewhat cold (more than just figuratively but I enjoyed the 4th adventure (TUS3-1 Haunted House of bin-Khadij) so much that I came back for more and the rest is history.

Although I now consider myself an organized play veteran, I still like to try out something new be playing a burst. At best, I stick around and learn a new system. At worse, I lost a day and don’t have to do it again.

My Character

Face it, who does not like to talk about their characters. I certainly do! I thought of three different characters for the game.

First a cleric, cleric has always been my favorite class (at least until 4e came along). However the table had 2 clerics already, so I canned the idea. Second an elemental sorcerer. Ever since I began to write and play them, sorcerers with their large number of spells per day have been a draw to me. When I made an Arcanis character, I created a sorceress. Third a paladin. Pathfinder paladins really gained a lot and they are high on my "want to play" list.

So I created a half-elf sorceress. I did like the idea of sorcerers being travelers and merchants so I made a Qadiran sorceress. Though I initially thought of a water sorcerer, I settled on good ol’ fire instead.

Lessons about Pathfinder society

One I quickly learned is that Pathfinder is about resource management. The adventures were very resource-intensive, requiring cleaver management of spells and abilities. Do not throw the fireball on the first thug you meet, but do not hold back too much that you need to spend all your healing at the first enemy you meet either. As I said... manage your resources well. That is why I love to play sorcerers (especially beyond the first level).

Two Cantrips & Orisons are awesome. Because of lesson #1, using 0-level abilities (because they do not use spell slots) is always a valid option. I never saw so many acid splashes & rays of frost being used!

Three The faction system is a great idea. More than once did we have some minor role-playing arguments about what to do with NPCs. Especially when some PCs maintain that "Slavery is the basis of the economy, freeing slaves results in market instability"... Yes, good times. I have found that the secret societies help people focus their characters and give them some level of distinction (see my many rants on vanilla characters).

Four Perhaps the most important lesson: Pathfinder is AWESOME. The system is fun and characters all have class abilities that make them unique.

Will I play again

I case you have not read the rest of the article, the answer is a big *YES*, I will.


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