One fell off a shelf once and scared the life out of me. That was a surprise. Not sure that is what this question is about though. Let us instead go back to when I started fourth edition Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). I like many other people disliked this game immensely. I would say hate but the truth is we were playing it. It was not hated, just immensely disliked. The fourth edition was more like a beer and pretzels tabletop game than a roleplaying game (RPG). It was as much of an RPG as Skyrim is. I really am treading on some toes, aren’t I?
Surprise me, my long forgotten friend
My wife and I decided to make a trip to the city of Melbourne. There was a shop there that I had been buying stuff from on mail order for many years. I arrived and bought a heap of fourth edition books and went back to my hotel. During this trip, we were catching up with an RPG buddy of mine I had not seen for years. He had moved to Melbourne and we took him out for a meal. When I told him about my purchases and he asked me what I thought of Pathfinder if I was not enjoying the fourth edition. I had no idea what he was talking about! I had never heard of this mythical game. He told me it was a branch from the 3.5 edition of D&D.
I had only played the third edition of D&D. When 3.5 came out I was certain it was just another Wizards of the Coast grab for more cash. It was only much later that I had discovered 3.5 edition was way better than the third edition. I had made that connection a little bit before our trip to Melbourne. So, with the information from my friend, I was intrigued by this word, Pathfinder.
On return to my home, I mail ordered a copy of Pathfinder from the same store I had been at days before. But I also had a work trip to Hobart to attend and I went to the game store there. Sitting on the shelf was a copy of this game and the Advanced Player’s Guide. On a whim, I made the purchase. The mail order took months to get sent and it got sold to the players of my game at that stage. I read the core book and was impressed. Certainly not the best game on the market but very impressive. Much better than the fourth edition anyhow.
It was not even a challenge to get my group to switch to the new game. They loved its style and we were playing it solidly a week after the purchase. It was a massive surprise to me. There was the surprise about how professional this game was. The way that I had never heard about this massive game was also a surprise. When I researched it I found so much support online for it. Just the whole experience was a massive surprise.
I am not playing Pathfinder anymore. But it did surprise me in massive ways. I have had a lot of fun with the game but it got too big. Many of the supplements they were producing just broke the game for me. But I also found the world of Indie games and my needs also changed. Much fun was had with Pathfinder but it is no surprise I have moved on to other games. Keep rolling.