Pathfinder in Play

Finally got to play Pathfinder last night, it was great. We went through two encounters: a quick skirmish against eight goblins and one quite lengthy one against something like 20 goblins and 2 hobgoblins. We had a bit of time for some roleplaying as well.

The party consisted of a half-elf universalist wizard, a human sorcerer with the air elemental bloodline, a half-elf fighter, a human monk, a human cleric of Gorum half-brother to the half-elf fighter. During the first fight my cleric who thirsts for battle and can cast enlarge person thanks to the strength domain took on 4 goblins by himself while the rest of the party delt with the other 4. Some really bad rolls on my part and the low AC of a non-shield using character with a 9 dex and having just increased himself to large size resulted in him getting killed rather quickly by the group of goblins. My new character is a half-orc rogue.

The spell casters were really cool; the wizard has this ability called “hand of the apprentice” that let her throw her staff at enemies with telekinesis while the sorcerer got to shoot a low powered lightning bolt almost every round. They were both useful even though the wizard didn’t have a “combat load” of spells prepared as her character would not have had any reason to expect the cataclysm that began our adventure.

The skill system in Pathfinder is beautiful; it has all the flexibility of skill ranks, a concise skill list, and eliminated the arbitrary x4 skill points at first level and the different cost of cross class skills. This makes multi-classing a lot less difficult on the math since skill ranks all spend at the same rate, but class skills that you have ranks in get a +3 bonus. This also allows you to get bigger bonuses to more skills as the first rank in a class skill gets you a total of +4.

Multi-classing is still somewhat discouraged, but instead of a penalty for doing so you just miss out on the bonus skill point or hit point that would be gained when you level up in your favored class, which is now determined by character rather than a function of race.

There are some tweaks to a lot of the feats; dodge is now just a straight +1 to AC it doesn’t have to be declared on any particular enemy, while cleave is no longer conditional on dropping an enemy but lowers your AC as you unbalance yourself striking at 2 foes.

There are, I’m sure, lots of other changes from 3.5, but these are the only ones that actually popped up during play. I’ll continue to write about Pathfinder as I get to play and further explore the system.

Coming up Next: My chaotic evil character

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~ by katallos on October 17, 2009.

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