Returning to gaming…

I am a 38 year old pen and paper role player and damn proud of it!  I have to admit that there was a time in my life that gaming was very thin on the ground but an old mate of mine and I decided to devote the time needed to try out 4th edition DnD (Dungeons and Dragons) when it came out.  We both persevered for some time trying to kid ourselves that it was a good game (which it isn’t) and it was not until a meeting with another mate in Melbourne, Australia was I put on the path that I am now on.

I live in Elliott, Tasmania Australia and my wife and I took a random trip to Melbourne so I could visit my mail ordering game store that I have bought from for 25 years for the very first time.  I bought an armload of 4th Edition DnD stuff and went out with another gaming mate that I had not seen in a long time that night.  We talked about the good old days, gaming and the like.  I told him about the game we were playing and he mentioned that he had heard of a game called Pathfinder that branched off from DnD when 4th Edition hit.  I was intrigued and on returning home decided to purchase the core rulebook to see if it was any better than DnD.

The long and short of the matter was after a two day read-a-thon my 4th edition DnD material I had purchased never got read and I am now a year and a half later deep in the world of Golarion, running an adventure path (The Serpent’s Skull) with every core rulebook, Pathfinder battle miniatures, a subscription to Pathfinder adventure paths, many Pathfinder chronicle books and an iPad full of apps, PDF’s, a cardboard model pirate ship and more devoted to the game.

In short Pathfinder is in every sense of the word what DnD always could, should and needed to be.

Pathfinder has a great level of roleplaying (rather than the tabletop warm fluffy beer and pretzel style game DnD is currently) with loads of variety.  I can remember only one of my “epic” battles in all of my years of playing DnD which occurred playing the second edition of the game.  In Pathfinder there are at least 6 battles that all of my players would rate as epic and memorable to this point.  In a word the system just works.

So why do I feel compelled to blog about this?  There are probably three main reasons.

  1. I largely am the GM of most games. I love to run games and have had a much larger history of running than playing these style of games.  And I feel I am good at what I do.  I want to blog about Pathfinder as it is the best working system I have encountered.  I want you all to play Pathfinder and if I can blog about my activities and preparations and help someone in the process, excellent!
  2. I feel that this form of the game (as in the pen and paper style) is being dumbed down.  Long gone is the arbitrary GM who is an impartial referee.  If you read the latest incarnations of DnD they tell you essentially to give the player everything they want.  Where is the story in that?  Where are the hard earned lessons and highlights of a great victory over seemingly overwhelming odds.  I want to blog about how the game was in its hey day, before people thought an RPG was a sort of computer game.
  3. Finally, I want to pay homage to my players, Pathfinder and my character as once a month I turn the reins over to another DM so I can play in the Rise of the Runelords adventure path recently re released by Paizo. 

Pathfinder has revolutionised our group.  This return to RPG’s went from my mate and I running solo to our group being five strong with others wanting a piece of the action.  One of my group is my mate from Melbourne who initially suggested I take a look at it.  He moved to Tasmania to get a game after I gave him my review and he is the one running the Rise of the Runelords!

Mainly this blog will focus on the preparation that I do for my games.  I will write some posts that look at the tough issues and my experiences of them like player deaths and the like.  I will write a bit of a mini blog that will follow the path of my Halfling Summoner and his Eidolon Grell through the Rise of the Runelords adventure path.  The main thing I want to achieve though is share this sense of admiration I have for the system of Pathfinder.  Prior to this game my favourite game of all time was one called Earthdawn.  It still is my favourite for richness of world but its system is archaic compared to Pathfinder.  Positively ancient.

I hope you enjoy the blog as much as I will enjoy writing it.

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