August 6, 2012

Returning from the hills...

... I came baring a trite little beast known as Pathfinder. Yeah, that game.

Been preparing to move off and away, but in the meantime my little group introduced me to Paizo's game by way of a burlap DM-flavoured sack.

A curious game; similar to 3rd/3.5 in most aspects; but it does away with some of my gripes for the aforementioned games, all but one. One problem that always remained: the hurdles and hoops the Referee must contort through. It's a good game for players, but in my experience, an unnecessary mess for the one running it. Challenge Ratings, point budgeting, and what-have-you.

The majority of my DM/GM/SM/etc. experience comes from the older games, systems, and from even the retro clones. These (as I'm sure I needn't explain) games were quite easy to implement new races, creatures and stuff worth Experience Gain without issue. Especially after a good read through 'Encounter/Adventure' design philosophy as it appears in the Three Little Brown Books, and from forum personalities (mainly WaysoftheEarth from OD&D Discussion Board!). Stocking environments was easier than ever, as was determining damage and EXP gain by Hit Die, and other concepts.

Returning to stat-generating and skill-giving of every damn creature, after such an absence is very disheartening. No longer can I just make something improvised-like and still be fair about it, and quite frankly, it appalls me that I can *will* get caught making things up by the players in the newer systems. Because they can just as easily point out conflicts with modern encounter design, and even argue total Challenge Ratings with me, and act as if I've cheated them. Hell, I remember being chewed out for having to make up stats for monsters (lost their statistics PAGE) as battle was provoked, and barely survived to flee. Not that attacking an entire cult of Hero-grade (level 4+) Druids had anything to do with it.

The Encounter (read: Experience) Budgeting especially pulls my nails. It should be the Referee's own right to place down a troll cave (compleat with defenses), even if the 1st level party thought it was a good idea to walk past the warning signs.

Diggin' that they got rid of those ludicrous level adjustments for Player Characters.  There's too many by-the-book types (of the younger generations anyhoo) and, what if someone wants to play a Lizardfolk or some other creature at Starting Level 1? Wouldn't happen in 3rd/3.5, no sirree!

That is all.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a problem with the players if they're not willing to let you stretch some creative muscle to make a game that will be fun and unexpected for them.