Over the past two weeks I have been researching which games system to apply to a campaign story I’ve been working on for a while. After chatting with some people on Twitter, I finally settled on Paizo’s Pathfinder system. This is mostly because I’ve previously been in campaigns using 3.5 edition Dungeons and Dragons and I too had had enough of the bad press that fourth ed. has come to receive since its release. Plus, I’d been given the opportunity to look at the rules for Pathfinder and was able to decipher what they would enable me to do.

Tech with accountability

As I type this, PDF versions of the Core rules, bestiary and book for GMs are downloading from the official site. I’ve already ordered a physical copy of the core rules so that my players can check things as they need to. I’ll be using the PDFs on my tablet, mostly, which brings me to an observation I made on Twitter recently:

Where are the comprehensive, official, phone and tablet apps for things like Pathfinder? eBooks on steroids would be most appreciated.

Pathfinder diary entry 1 img 1While I’m glad there are PDF versions of the rule books available, due to size and cost of the physical books, it strikes me as somewhat strange how far behind major producers of roleplay games are in terms of turning their roleplay books into official apps. I said eBooks on steroids, because these apps need to not only be copies of the rules and searchable, you should to be able to type in campaign details so that it can help you calculate aspects like damage correctly or keep track of character sheets.

Before you cry, “There are unofficial apps!” I know and while I appreciate the amount of effort that has gone into producing these unofficial apps, they’re unofficial. The creators of them have no accountability to keep them running in tip-top condition and don’t have the advantages of a development environment where they’re being paid to do what they’re doing.

And before you cry, “It’s meant for pen and paper!” I know, but it’s not very practical to pull out reams of paper on commute journey and start scribbling things down while trying to figure out aspects of the game. Actually, what would also be good is if eBooks on steroids were kept up-to-date with links to how-to-play videos on aspects of the game that the recent novice might not be so knowledgeable on.

And the campaign itself

Pathfinder diary entry 1 img 2I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take any inspiration from the various fantasy novels, videogames and films I’ve experienced over the years. But the story is my own. As I want to give my players a campaign that works partially with their characters, I’m going to concentrate on helping them generate their characters before planning out the really niggly details of the plot.

Features of the story include: a tower, monsters, people in distress and something otherworldly.

A little nervous

This will be my first Pathfinder campaign. Previously I’ve attempted to run an Aberrant one. I’ve mainly been a player before and so don’t have much GM experience, but I am hopeful. I am determined to run my own campaign though, rather than using one of the ones created by Paizo, not because I think they’re bad (I don’t know either way), but because I’ve been sitting on this story for a long time.