Tuesday evening was… manic. After a medical emergency saw two of our players unavailable for the night – don’t worry, they’re both fine now – and the rest of us had eaten some tea, we all gathered around and began the process of creating characters for the Pathfinder campaign.

If you haven’t roleplayed for a while, you can forget just how long character creation can take when you have to keep looking things up. Looking things up in books that are not as logically laid out as they could be. Seriously, when Paizo ever come to do new editions or overhauls Pathfinder, they need to hire some business-to-business technology copywriters, because they need more people with the skills of explaining complicated things in easy-to-understand ways. And they should get in some regular graphic designers, not the illustrators who did all the pretty pictures, so that they can create diagrams and charts that clearly explain the processes involved.

By the end of Tuesday night I was not the only one complaining about the obtuse nature of the rule books.

I can’t draw to scale, yet

I broke out the game mat before everyone started throwing D6s around and drew a rough map of the large island we would be playing on. I’m not fantastically proud of it, but I think it did the job. Welcome to Dashder:

Roleplay-Diaries-map-v1 It’s meant to be approximately the length of Germany, which is something like 600 miles, and covered in lots of forests and a large mountain range. It’s not densely populated. Before people began rolling the dice for character creation, I explained that everyone had come to the city of Tolderne to join in summer festival celebrations and that while there a large earthquake had struck and flattened much of the city.

Then we began rolling for character creation. We got up to a point where everyone had rolled and written down in their notebooks what six scores they had (we used “standard method”, roll four D6s and remove the lowest one rolled and add the remainder together, repeat six times) we then picked races and classes. One of the players wanted to be a gnome barbarian, but their rolls were too low to do something like that and in the end we compromised on re-rolls which were a bit better and switching to her picking bard as a class.

One-to-one

Once the basic rolling, race and class decisions had been made, I had to spend one-to-one time with each of the players, helping them pick and assign skills and feats. This obviously meant that we had some players who were bored for parts of the evening, though some did take advantage of my graphic novels collection. But with so many people playing who hadn’t even played D&D before, I needed to give them that one-to-one time.

Even though we spent more than two hours working on characters, I’m having to finish their character sheets for them. We didn’t have enough time for people to buy equipment and weapons, so I asked people to write shopping lists for the kinds of things they knew they wanted their characters to have. I’ve just got to make sure I don’t spend all of their gold and over encumber them.

At least I’ve got over a week until we start playing properly… still need to figure out AC and more.