After checking out some of the entries on here I have a feeling what the answer is going to be, but has anyone on here tried out Pathfinder? I haven't played D&D since 2E came out way back when. I wasn't a big fan of it so I stopped playing. I bought the basic books for 3E, but I relocated from Chicago to Charlotte at that time and never got back into it. Anyway, my 11 yr old son is interested in playing D&D and I am unsure where to start since there is so much more on the market now. I have all kinds of 1E stuff, and always preferred the original Greyhawk world material. I bought some used Castles and Crusades stuff from Ebay, but haven't dug deep into it yet. Any advice / comments would be appreciated.
For the most part I liked 3E, which is what Pathfinder is based on I think. There were a lot of good ideas for the mechanics, but sometimes those ideas were taken to absurd limits. But for the most part 3E/Pathfinder can be fun. Obviously I prefer 1E, and I think it makes a better system for young ones, since the skills/feats can get very fiddly.
Well, without too much preparation, I ran a prelim session at the Keep last night. The only wrinkle was my 8 yr old daughter wanted to play as well...
My son dwells a little too much on how things "should" look, as he is really into the LOTR and Hobbit movies (another subject for another time!), but we fell into a good rhythm. Got the character rolled up and equipped. He needed a little encouragement on chatting up folks in town, but we got as far as meeting a few individuals who may be interested in going along for an equal share of the loot. I set our first real adventure session for Friday night. I'm sure we'll have to play a bunch this weekend, as I'm off to Denver on Monday for a month or so.
My daughter played along for awhile and then lost interest. Too funny!
I started out with straight AD&D rules, but may alter as I go along. I really like some of the features of 3E (skills) as I get back into it. I'm remembering the only thing I really hated about 1E was that some of the monsters, dragons in particular, had really low hit dice. 5 - 7 HD for a white dragon? Weak. Demons and Devils too, but I don't want to get ahead of myself.
Yeah, I got on to the 3rd edition wagon before it even came out because there was some hype going around that Gary Gygax was coming back to D&D with the new edition. My friends got really excited over that news and my cousin Bill was telling me that I should check out these things called "message boards". The transition from no D&D products that were original flavored (I had the entirety of second edition even the computer accessories) and all around complaints (about how good it used to be) turned into hope upon the news. So when the books arrived they were taken in rapidly but the sessions were slow and the internet seemed to have talk about fixes in the new addons and hope that D20 can be used to put anything in a D&D game. So there was a lot of energy and enthusiasm that waned as I was talking to Gygax and he said he wasn't involved in official capacity then they came out with a revived Greyhawk that was more like second edition than Gygax. I was up to my neck in books. I would get out of work head down the Compleat Strategist on 33rd by the Empire State Building and buy all the new D20 stuff. Man, I had no idea that most people weren't even buying this crap and they were downloading scans. Here I am Mr Honest Joe handing my friends sealed modules to DM. We played the first four of the 3E series (my friend Taylor DMed the first two for four players;I DMed the 3rd and 4th for three players). My friend Taylor DMed the first few Necromancer Games module series for three players and my cousin Bill (DMing for the first time) did the Freeport/Green Ronin series for me and Taylor. I then wrote some session and DMed and they were atrocious with the combat rules and the skill checks.
By 2002, games had petered off even though I retained my "gotta have a game" demeanor. I went to GenCon for the first time and it was a bubble burst. Talking with Rob Kuntz, Arneson, Jim Ward, Larry Elmore, Ernie Gygax, Luke Gygax, and seeing "the industry" kind of woke me up to go back to original Advanced and throw out everything when I got home. I had thrown out all the non-Gygax era Greyhawk material years earlier so why not?
The prime motivator for the toss was that they announced a new semi-edition called "3.5" for 2003. Then it was over for me because all the stats in 3rd edition so far were already unwieldy and overwritten while the the core style was unflavorful "tattooed mega-booted" crap. I checked out 3.5 in the bookstore and online samples and it was worse.
The DRAGON and DUNGEON magazines tried to promote Gary Gygax with token articles but the rest was crap. Meanwhile, the game and the magazines were sold off again except this time to separate comapanies. D&D was bought (with the entire Wizards of the Coast) by Hasbro toys and the mags were already licensed by Paizo Publishing an indie company. I was like, its a good thing that I got off this shit wagon.
A few years after Hasbro announced 4th edition after recalling the mags license from Paizo. Paizo refusing to go out as defunct initiated a resistance to stick with 3.5 forever and released their own 3.5 D20 based game called PATHFINDER.
PATHFINDER has all the same issues that I had with 3rd/D20/3.5
Thanks for the background info. I had no idea about a lot of this stuff. I really haven't played since around '89 or '90. I bought some of the 2E stuff but thought it was mostly crap. Like a lot of folks, I kept hoping for Gary's return. When 3E came out I bought the core books, but relocated shortly thereafter and never had time for it. I did periodically check out sites like Canonfire though. When I brought up starting up a game with my son, he was all for it. Since I hadn't DM'd in 20 years, I thought it would be a good idea to check out what was currently on the market. That's what eventually lead me to this board.
C&C seems pretty similar to AD&D, while adding in some skill based attributes. I got a good deal on Ebay for the C&C basic books, and just picked up a used beginners set for Pathfinder. I'll look through it and see what it contains. That being said, I have most of the original AD&D modules, so I'm not interested in spending a ton of money buying all new stuff. Unfortunately, I think I missed the boat not getting Castle Zagyg from Troll Lords before Gary passed... Getting an edition now is like adding another mortgage payment!
Well, you didn't miss much with ZAGYG. I've been sitting on it for years and it doesn't remind me of anything Gary talked to me about the castle. It seemed like a major redo with the designer submitting stuff to Gygax and him checking off on premade designs. Then after he passed the widow withdrew that format and broke off leaving behind that formula which was later confirmed when the designer Ebayed the maps saying they were of his own design. Of course, I knew something was fishy. BTW, that guy has his own following or whatever but I don't grok it.
Last Edit: Feb 6, 2014 14:27:47 GMT -5 by geneweigel
I believe so, but it doesn't matter whoever was responsibl, Troll Lord productions, various co-designers, and Gygax as well were off the mark with CZ. It was not specifically what Gygax described to me or in various blurbs in mags over years. It didn't have the feeling of redo in that style so it just is off the mark.
Can it be fixed? I've got a feeling that I'd rather wait and see what the future brings. It seems like there might be something going but don't use me as a guide I am not an insider, much less a follower, into any Gygax franchise including the widow (Gygax games), the sons (Gygax magazine) and daughter (Gary Con). I really just talked to Gary.
Disappointed to hear that. As if price alone wasn't a deterrent, I'd hate to get something that was put together just to get it to market. I'll need a city setting sooner or later. Maybe City State of the Invincible Overlord? We played in that briefly years ago. I'll have to check into it. Don't have time to develop one myself.
It's interesting that you had discussions with Gygax about material. I have a few old letters that he replied to from the early 80's stashed away somewhere. I wrote him about the relative weakness of the Greyhawk Gods as presented in the Dragon mags. I also wrote a pretty scathing letter to TSR about the whole tanari, baatazu, yuogloth mess. What a bunch of crap. I had no idea at the time that Gary had departed. Harold Johnson replied defending the company's decision, but they had lost me by then.
Had our first big session in the Caves of Chaos. My son's Ranger picked up a few helpers for a equal share of the treasure, but also managed to invite evil Cleric and company to join in... I had the clerics turn on the rest of the party just as they were finishing off a bunch of kobolds. I didn't want to do it at the beginning of the battle and be too brutal, as most of the party was in bad shape. Miraculously they survived, but the look on his face was priceless! Learned a valuable lesson about being too trusting. So they killed all the kobolds, looted everything, & headed back to the keep. I advised him that he should probably get to know some of the members of the watch before making any more moves. Fun stuff!
Castle Zagyg: The 1st dungeon level map is pretty close to Gary's original Greyhawk Dungeon map. Some elements from the second version of the dungeon made their way in. The upper ruins and caves are new editions. I like the Mouths of Madness, but they're very similar to the Caves of Chaos, by design. While I liked reading the upper works, they didn't go over very well in play. For the vibe I thought they were trying to capture, old school mega dungeon crawl, I thought the placement of the ruins didn't work, and there was way too much fluff before the players actually get into the dungeon.
I'd like to get my hands on a copy of the EastMark Gazetter just to check it out. I'm going to have to check out some used book stores to see if there is an affordable copy out there.
On another note, just played a session in the Caves with my son over the phone, as I'm out of town for a few weeks. He's starting to get the idea of not barreling head first down every hallway. Now if I can just get him to quit asking if every big Orc is a Urukhai, we'll be all set!
Post by geneweigel on Feb 17, 2014 11:37:46 GMT -5
When EAST MARK first came out it had a lot of hope but it lost it once I bought so much CASTLES & CRUSADES/CASTLE ZAGYG product (about $150.00) and there wasn't even something notable. I thought the boxed set was going to be a big reveal for the EastMark's lack of oomph but I don't want to lie its disappointing. Get it as anomaly to fix it up but I suggest waiting for some other product from the widow just to see.
Just revisited the Caves after a few months off. The kids picked up a few hirelings from the Keep, and ended up killing the Ogre fairly easily. They like to charge into things quickly, but they're learning. We're having a lot of fun with it. I placed the Keep in the Yeomanry, and am planning on having them work their way to Greyhawk.