Chunky Soup

Our first Pathfinder game is less than 24-hours away as I write this, and I am feeling a bit less than prepared. After purchasing an electronic version of the rules direct from Paizo, I spent most of the last week’s leisure time reading rules, and most of today hammering on character creation. It hasn’t been an entirely smooth process.

These are chunky rules, with plenty of options, and the multiplicity of those options practically requires that character creation be spread over multiple chapters (rather than pages). Still, there was more page-flipping than I would have liked in working through the many possibilities on offer. As a mature game, there are no limits to the player-created resources on the web for character creation, but it was still a pretty study-intensive process to put together my fighter and (about half of) my wizard today. I expect we will finish up character generation at tomorrow’s game, and hopefully have time to bash some orcs as well.

Notice that I said the rules were “chunky,” and not “clunky.” This is a rules-heavy system, but the rules appear to work, and make their own kind of sense. It is a system that demands study. I hope it will reward study, as well. It has been some fun figuring out my character. I was tempted to leave everything up to an on-line character generator, or to just grab a pre-generated character, but if we are going to use such a rules-heavy system, it seems defeating the point to avoid the rules. You just have to embrace the horror, and try to appreciate the severe beauty of bonus feats, skill points, and racial and class bonuses.


this might be my guy … twenty levels from now!

The rules did let me create a vaguely interesting fighter. Roog is a Varisian youth, six-foot-three and still carrying baby fat at age sixteen, checking in at a hefty 320 pounds. I figure he was a carney or a rube for his family’s Gypsy-like traveling circus, but now that he’s come into his majority (and scored a longsword and a spiked shield) he’s off to carve a name for himself. I optimized his attributes and hacked the two-weapon fighting rules to make him a sword-and-board killing machine — at least to the degree that a first level character can aspire to such ambitions. With low charisma and low intelligence, he will be a secondary character to my still-in-progress Elven wizard — and I know from experience it is best to let a character’s personality emerge during play — but I already have a couple character tags in mind for Roog. For one, there are the aforementioned man-child physical dimensions, and the promise that Roog may not know his own strength. For another, for some reason I expect Roog refers to himself in the third person — “The Roog” — and that he shouts “ROOOOOOG!” when rushing into battle.

I am certain that he will annoy Dave, which is reason enough to play him.

More after our first game.


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