Welcome to another edition of a Roll of The Dice reviews, with your game guru, Adam! This week I decided to take a flying leap into the vast world that is Pen and Paper RPG’s, and jump into one of the most popular systems out there, Pathfinder (Or DND 3.75 for most of us).
Pen and Paper RPG’s are amazing, fun, and extremely immersive when you are playing with the right group. It is also a game that can be full of aggravation, heart break, and complete domination all dependant on an amazingly creative DM, and a simple roll of the dice.
Pathfinder uses a D20 system, meaning that you will use a set of dice consisting of a mixture of multiple sided dice, all added together to build a character, deal damage, hit a target, cast spells, and do interesting things by using skill checks. All of this will be touched on in the rest of this review.
The most important thing, and the first thing any new player will need to do is creating a player to jump into a fantasy world. This is broken down into so many different things, the most important of which are your race and class.
Do you want to be a thin, agile, and intelligent Elf, or would a hearty, strong, and tough Dwarf? Maybe you want to go all out and try a Drow (Dark-Elf) or Kitsune (Fox like creature) just to name a few of the dozens of races you can choose from.
Next is the all important class choice, which really boils down to what it is you want to do. Do you want to run in and strike your enemies down like a Barbarian or Monk, or do you want to be resilient and take an entire boatload of damage like a Paladin, or the occasional Cleric. There are healers, damage dealers (Melee, Ranged, and Magic) so the possibilities are endless. Each combination has its own pros and cons, which can mean something you want to do may be created in such a way to accomplish a certain goal, or possibly can be done in a completely different way.
Next, you roll for your base stats. There is quite a few combinations of how this can be done. Some DM (dungeon masters) do the standard, roll four, keep three but reroll ones one time. Some others I have used are the point buy system, the roll three D6 and keep them, and the point drain system. All of them seem to work, and can give you the best or worst combinations possible. At least with the point buy system there is no luck involved, as everyone is given the same pool to start with. Like any game revolved around dice, you will occasionally get screwed when taking a chance on the dice. Honestly though that is a part of the game dynamic, and one that brings a lot of fun to it.
Thirdly, you get to pick a few feats, depending on your class/race combo, but no matter what you get one. Feats are used to progressively make your character better at doing things. Be it attacking, talking to characters, defending, healing, sneaking in unannounced, or bartering for goods and services. Either way, you will always want to choose feats that will beneficial to yourself, and possibly your party as well. You want to work on having a well rounded party, especially in times of great destruction. I do not know how many times I have gotten screwed in a party because in a group of 6 players NO ONE EVER WANTS TO HEAL! I may be harbouring some darkness about that…
In order to start a basic game, each player will need a few things. We need a set of dice to use, a character sheet, a pencil, and it is really good to have some of the basic books. All of which can be picked up at The Comic Hunter, and usually on an amazing sale for used copies. You will want the Players Handbook, and that is it for the start, but eventually there are a few more that will be beneficial. Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Equipment, and a Bestiary or two can always come in handy for games that move on past the first few levels.
Speaking of that, in this game your character will gain levels, and get stronger based on the monsters you defeat, the heroic feats you complete, and the quests that you take on in order to help the people of the world in some small way. Everything you do can gain some basic experience, and in doing so, gets you one step closer to your next level, which gives you better stats, more feats, and an all around better chance of survival.
The game is designed to be played through the imagination, so it gets the creative juices flowing.
You create the story, while the DM creates the world, so you need to work together in an amazing partnership of understanding, and commitment to fun.
The game has so many different options, I can basically guarantee you will not be able to try every character/class/feat/and skill combination in the game.
There is so many amazing monsters, books, and character images all throughout the game, that the overall design feels rich and finished, which is amazingly rare as it is.
Too many books becomes a slightly big money pit, but honestly if you buy them all, you will have a rich history to play though. I do recommend only buying the ones as you need them.
With the amazing amount of character designs, classes, and races, you can create an infinite amount of characters. You will never have to play the same style twice, no matter the amount of games.
Every time you play with a new group, you have a completely different adventure, which adds a lot of replay value to it.
New dungeon masters also equal new home rules, new storylines, and new styles of play.
None, seriously absolutely no cons to the replay value of most pen and paper RPG’s.
This game has so many different facets to it, it is always changing so much.
You are entering into a fantasy world where Dragons, magic, and fantasy all converge to create a wonderful masterpiece. The creation of the character, the creation and playthrough of a brand new world, and the mere game itself all compile into a wild adventure of life.
The players can make the game extremely fun, and learning to work well as a team, figuring out which position each player is responsible for in the group is amazing and fun.
The only con is that the players can also make the game a giant waste of time. If you are interested in trying the game (as a new player) or just play (as a seasoned one) remember to have courtesy, honor, and be a fair sport. If you complain all the time, or bitch about how your character should be allowed to do something because you want to, or how the other players are OP, you will in fact ruin the game for everyone else there to have fun.
Honestly, I could spend a few novels worth of writing to explain the entirety of the game, and why you should get into it, but instead, you should just try and get into a game. There is always Pathfinder going on at The Comic Hunter on Wednesdays, in case you want to drop in and see how a game is run, or how it is played as well.
There is no way I can convince you that this is a game for you, or try to convince you that you should avoid it, and that is not want I want to do. I want you to imagine a world in which you control the destiny of life, magic, and possibly the entire world. Then imagine that in that world, you and a group of 3-7 party members are all that protects this realm. Do you want to help save the innocent by playing Pathfinder, or would you rather turn your back on those in need just to walk away leaving evil to destroy everything in this world we hold dear?
If you choose option one, we invite you to come out and have some fun, message us, Email us, or just drop on by to have an amazing time with an amazing group of people. If you choose option two, then we still invite you, there are evil characters that (sometimes) just want to watch the world burn. Either way, there is no reason for you to avoid this game, as all will have an amazing time playing it.
Feel free to ask myself, Cory Leblanc, or any of the guys at The Comic Hunter, and I am sure they can answer your questions, help you decide if this is the right game for you, or help you find the right RPG if it is not.
Either way, I hope I get to see you having fun with A Roll of The Dice. Tune in next time for another board game review, and remember to message me with any ideas for games, I am always looking for the next big thing to add to my collection.