Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pathfinder Updates



Somewhere along the way Pathfinder shifted from a side game last year into the one game I am consistently running these days. I just ran session #20 of our Wrath of the Righteous campaign. I need to get the summaries up on here sometime soon but for now some observations:

  • Locally (DFW Texas area) I don't see any loss of momentum in PF as might have been expected with a new version of D&D. I think that to some degree they cater to different tastes as far as game mechanics, even if the type of games run are similar. I suspect a lot of people are playing both. Regardless, the local Pathfinder Society is adding games at more stores rather than any kind of cutback so that's good news for Paizo.
  • Paizo ran a big sale in October and this forced me to think about some things. I have a "collector" impulse that flares up from time to time and with a game as big as Pathfinder that can be a bad thing. As I was about to place an order for a fair number of discounted Pathfinder AP modules I had a moment of insight that I thought I might share: I already have 5 or 6 Adventure Paths that I would like to run or am already running. Assuming it takes two years to play through one start to finish, I already have 8-10 years worth of material here! That's not even counting any kind of self-created campaign, and it's not counting any conversion of older material. I ended 3rd Edition with a lot of good adventures I never ran because we just ran out of time and moved on. There's a sort of ranking process that happens in my head  - "what would I run next?" and "what would I run if a separate group wanted to play right now?" - if I have two or three campaigns I'm looking forward to do I really need another Pathfinder campaign right now? I'm getting to where the answer is "no" for a change. There are enough "system" books for PF to keep me interested for quite a while, so I really don't need to go back and fill in all of the older AP material. the only reason would be to say at some point "I have them all" and while that's nice for research purposes, I've realized I can probably live without unlocking that particular achievement. While it is possible, given the miracle of the internet, to collect every published item from any given game system, I don't really want to turn my house into the Texas Paizo Museum.
  • Playing and running in the same system really does invest you in the game. Rules we cover in one campaign inevitable turn up in the other. Some nifty character ability or item in one sometimes generates a "hmm" when I sit down for the other. There is some synergy there that I haven't experienced in a years.
  • A quick rundown of the previous, current, and upcoming AP's. There plus Rise of the Runelords, Shattered Star - and maybe the Emerald Spire big dungeon - are my main Coming Attractions for PF for the near future.
    • Wrath of the Righteous - awesome, epic, and a lot of fun to run so far. Mass combat has been quick and fun as well as the party invades and lays siege to the city of Drezen.
    • Mummy's Mask - looks like a lot of fun with a pretty big scenery change from Fantasy Europe to Fantasy Egypt. No big rules tweak here like Mythic for WotR, just a different environment.
    • Iron Gods - pretty wild mix of fantasy and tech. Lots of new stuff for technological items. Very different environments though there is still quite a bit of traditional fantasy in there, including dungeon crawls.I expect there will be a lot of SF conversions cooked up using the books here as a core. 
    • Giantslayer - not a ton of details yet but it looks like this is going to be Pathfinder's "Against the Giants" and I have high expectations for it. I always enjoy running giants as a DM - I'm not sure why, I just do. The descriptions so far have me very interested. 
    • Hell's Rebels - I don't know enough yet to have a strong opinion. On the surface, running around rebelling against an evil empire doesn't interest me as much as some of the others but then again it could be a decent fantasy Star Wars and what's wrong with that?
  • Watching my son play alongside friends I have had for years is a pretty cool thing. It's not an indulgence on their part as far as I can tell, and it's not dragging a half-interested youngster into an otherwise grown-up party - he's old enough now and experienced enough that he can hold his own and contribute just like anyone else. It doesn't matter what game, or even really what hobby - having some shared interests and watching them grow up and do their own thing in something you both understand and enjoy is a really good feeling. 

1 comment:

Kelvin Green said...

My group is still not ready to judge D&D5 and we won't until the DMG is out and we've given the game a good run, but so far we're agreed that while it is much simpler and easier to play than Pathfinder and none of us miss all the number crunching and optimisation, we're not sure that it's any more fun to play as a result.

There's still plenty of time but think it's telling that we haven't put our PF books on eBay as we did the moment we switched from D&D4 to PF.