Thursday, March 19, 2015

Becoming a Pathfinder Player / Path Master

Let me just say I am committed to the Original AD&D and D&D system as some of us "Old Timers" are. We dismiss anything after TSR as JUNK

About 2 weeks ago, I decided to pick up the beginner box for Pathfinder. This is my first exposure to the D20 system... I read all the material for D&D 3.0 and about the D20 system many years ago and it did not appeal to me. To me, changing the base system of AD&D make it a completely different game and not related to AD&D or to D&D.

SO I have heard several good things about Pathfinder (Open Game License) and since I despise Wizards of the Coast (Magic is gamer's crack and really has no place at conventions, nor does it lead to full blown Role playing) I made the choice to give it a shot

$30 Dollars later I get the Beginner box set...

Looking through the materials, I find it to be very well done.

This is a nice box set that allows you play almost immediately. I would have like to have different colored dice in the sets, it would have been a nice touch that anyone buying the set does not only get red dice (did I mention I have 2 of these sets)

The Cardboard heros and monsters are well done but I have figures so I will never punch them or open the bag of stands. Same with the dice, I have no need to open to the dice.


The classes are pretty much standard from the D&D basics... Fighter, Cleric, Mage and Rogue
I kinda despise the term Rogue, it it a left over of the 2nd edition softening up of the entire system.... A Thief is a thief

Races - Human, Elves and Dwarves - Standard races, nothing exciting or new here... Humans get a +2 bonus to any trait without having the penalty of -2 that Dwarves and Elves are stuck with....somehow, the Halfling is not in the set


So I read the Hero's Handbook first and then went though character creation step by step.. I decided to make a Dwarf Cleric. So I followed the 4D6, drop the lowest, arrange as needed method...

Pros of Character Creation

  •  Using the 4D6 attributes in D&D
  •  Seems fairly easy, I did get confused creating the character with all the page turning.

Cons of Creation

  •   You add a lot of plus to the modifiers between race and Class... I started out with a 19 in wisdom and a +5 ... meaning my failure rate on wisdom based stuff was going to be low rate right off the bat
  •  Feats and Skills... If you are doing a skill based system, then play a skill based system,  I am not fond of a half breed system (hence why I never liked the D20 system when I first read up on it)
  • I had to figure that Class Feats and Skills were not automatically given, even though it says to mark the class skills... not sure if this was merely my error or a book clarity issue

  • Did I mention that if all modifiers add up to less than +3, you can reroll all your rolls

I made my character, bought what they need and getting ready to learn the Combat... Every class starts with the same money in basic. My experience is somewhat in the middle, while being fairly easy, I think it is simplified by the system used... The over use of feats and Skills can lead to making powerful characters

So my Dwarf Cleric, Gundababba, has no scores under 13, the Armor Class is 18...

playing in a lot of different RPG's over the years, this 18 AC is really daunting... I assume that a Monster needs an 18 or higher to hit him (with any bonuses) and he is not wearing a heavy armor.



Roll a D20 and add any initiative modifiers
    Order from Highest to lowest
Spells are instantaneous at least in the Beginners set
Initiative is rolled once for the combat and not done each round (if you lose, you lose until the next battle)

Not fond of this at all, seems to be just a way to speed up actions....

So I have a +4 to my Mace attack, +5 if I use a hammer.... so I basically can hit most things with a 12, unless they have pretty good armor.

For example, the Goblins in the set are AC 13, so if I roll a 9 or better at first level, I hit and do 1D8 damage +4


Pretty much the standard ones used in AD&D, no real comments about them



So I ordered and I am reading the Pathfinder: Core Rulebook

I am playing in my first Pathfinder game in April at Philly Gamescon

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Miniatures... why and how...

OK, Let's talk about miniatures and their use in gaming..

Their are games where using miniatures is a must, Like BATTLETECH... where having miniatures really gets the play going... of course you can use flat maps with the Hexes, Terrain without hexes (using a ruler or pieces of string to determine line of sight and distance) or you can create maps with hexes ( This is my favorite to play on)

Now in most Role Playing games, there are ways to incorporate miniatures if it is desired. There are elaborate setups for dungeon tiles and terrain available for purchase.  I prefer the BattleMats as I only want to detail to players what they have to have a spacing for.

I still use mostly Pencil and paper to detail scenes and perspectives but I have used an extensive amount of minis to do that also

Mostly, if there is more than 6 players and 10 monsters I go to the Minis

Back in the day, I used Ral Partha Paints and a Magnifying glass

Battlemech held in place and ready for detail painting
This is one of the best tools you could use for detail work.

Although not as good as the 2 figures I had Professionally done for me, I am pretty proud of them.

My Professionally done figures

So, using figures or scribbling on paper is a fun way to add additional dimensions to your game. Like using mood music or lighting...