Tabletop Tuesday: Finding the Path
I’ve played quite a number of Tabletop/Pen & Paper RPGs. I cut my teeth on Dungeons & Dragons, of course, but then cut a path through Boot Hill, Top Secret, Gamma World, Traveler, Marvel Super Heroes & DC Universe, Car Wars, Middle Earth, Call of Cthulhu, and probably a few I’m forgetting off the top of my head. But the heart and soul of it was always Dungeons and Dragons, from Basic to Advanced, Second Edition through Third. I bought the three corebooks for Fourth Edition, but it just didn’t feel right, so they were shelved unplayed.
Well, this past weekend, I and three of my oldest friends gathered in a historic haunted building (read yesterday’s blog) in the midst of a heavy snowfall and dusted off the Pathfinder Beginner Box from Paizo Publishing. Pathfinder is, in essence, Dungeons & Dragon v. 3.5, with a few interesting tweaks here and there.
I served, as usual, as the Dungeon Master, while Brent Smith and Doug Gentry played pre-generated characters (Ezren the Wizard and Valeros the Warrior, respectively) and Joe Strunk rolled a fighter/thief.
The Beginner Box module, Black Fang’s Dungeon, was pretty basic, but a lot of fun, both for me and the players. It came with a dry-erase dungeon map and miniature pawns that came in quite handy. We were never big on miniature play so this was stretching a different set of muscles for us and I think we all enjoyed the hell out of it. It brought something fresh and new to the table for us.
Black Fang’s Dungeon was no cake walk, though I did beef it up in a couple of places just for giggles. Confronting a Black Dragon, even a young one, as first level characters seemed at bit much at first read, but the adventure played out quite well. Much treasure and many magic items were gained, a copious number of monsters were slain, traps and puzzles — while at a minimum — were solved with only a modicum of hair-pulling, and the aforementioned dragon, while not slain, was driven from his nest, ne’er to bother the village of Sandpoint again.
Pathfinder’s a damn good RPG system. It’s old school in spirit, with several fresh and innovative tweaks that made for an extremely enjoyable experience. I do believe we’re all-in. I imagine that the larger gatherings of the Oak Hill Dungeons & Dragons Club will still kick AD&D around (with a few Pathfinder dalliances) for the short haul, but we will most likely slowly transition to Pathfinder being our core gaming system.
All in all, a big thumbs up from this ancient dice slinger.