11 Dec

Pathfinder so far…

I, obviously, have not been keeping up with posting here but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t still been playing on a regular basis. Our Halloween one-shot kind of fell through as one of the players had to cancel near the last minute and it wasn’t really going to work well without a full compliment of players. So instead, we did what many had been doing…we busted out the Pathfinder Beginner Box and played the included introductory adventure. We had quite a bit of fun with it. I’m not saying that it’ll ever win awards for its depth and character development but it was a fun little dungeon crawl. Some of the rule changes, of course, changed how things played a bit. For example, the lack of attacks of opportunities meant that a certain big bad guy at the “end” of the adventure could move about quite a bit without any real repercussions. I think the cleric’s Channel Energy healing did almost as much healing for the bad guy as the good guys due to this.

Like many others, I contemplated expanding upon the introductory module (especially since the bad guy got away) but I decided not to. Instead, I figured we might as well jump in and start playing–more or less–full Pathfinder. I picked up the three “First Steps” modules for the Pathfinder Society Organized play, added another player (Austin), and away we went.

I was a bit disappointed with the series. Don’t get me wrong, we had fun, but it just seemed too artificial to me. I’m sure some of this is an artifact of the format of the adventures…each designed to be played in four hours as part of organized play. It just wasn’t quite what I wanted. My players often tend to not want to just go from encounter to encounter and, at times, that is what these felt like. We took nearly three sessions (of 4 to 5 hours each) to finish the first of the three. Some of that was because we are still pretty new to Pathfinder and some was due to my players’ inclination to “dawdle.” Some, though, were the modules themselves (e.g., the dealings with the Sapphire Sage in the first module really rubbed some of my players wrong due to its overly “gamist” and artificial feel).

We played through the first two modules and started the third but stopped before we got too far into it. It just seemed like there were so many holes, inconsistencies, and little things that I didn’t like by that point that we stopped before getting too far into it. I wanted to run these modules as close to written as possible since this was all intended to give us all a good introduction to the Pathfinder system but I just wasn’t going to be able to do it. Of course, it also helped that one of the PCs attempted to cast charm person on a rather well-guarded bigwig at the beginning of the module who was kind of important to the party even beginning their third mission. I’ll just say that a certain gnome bard is still serving as a charmed attendant of Master Torch in Absalom.

Regardless, I think the modules served their purpose for us…to start to get a better feel for Pathfinder. At least at the lower levels. I’m not ready to play high level Pathfinder yet and I know my players aren’t either but I do want to play a bit of a higher level next. Actually, I had read a lot about E6 (for 3.5) and the “sweet spot” it represents so sixth level seems like a good point to try at this point.

Everyone made a sixth level character (or grabbed a pre-gen) and we started Entombed with the Pharaohs. I’ll post more about our first session with it but it was quite fun.