RPG A Day 9: How did a game surprise you?

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.

surprise face

3.5 Edition?

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.

The switch

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.

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