Saturday, April 2, 2011

Finding The Path To The Reaching Guild

Hey everyone and welcome to the latest installment of the Dispatch!

We just had our first session of Pathfinder this week so I want to share my first impressions on that system but before we do that I thought we'd take a look at one of my crews for Torment's Reach.

Raising The Guild In Torment's Reach
Converting A Guild Crew To Song Of Blades

For my first crew I decided to just go with the Guild crew that I already had for two very good reasons. One: I already own them (always a plus that) and two: they're already painted (an even bigger plus!). First up is Sonnia Criid who I think I took the most liberty with as I made her much less effective in close combat and instead focused on her magic and ranged ability.

Sonnia Criid
Quality 2+
Combat 2
Special abilities: channeler, magic shield, leader, pistol, tough, unique

As is fitting, she is a leader and I also gave her tough as well since crew masters are should be harder to kill than your average joe. Finally I also gave her a pistol which is one of the new things I had to add into the system. This give her a +1 to her combat with a short range. Not only does this improve her combat score to an average level it also lets her reach out a touch someone without just relying on her magic. After all, a girl's gotta have options right?

Next up is Sonnia's able cohort in crime busting Samael Hopkins.

Samael Hopkins
Quality 3+
Combat 3
Special abilities: entangle, hunter, pistol, scout, tough

I basically boiled down the special rules for Samael's huntin' tools by giving his the entangle ability. This lets him pin a target down (at least temporarily) and really keeps the feel of the character. He also has hunter and scout, both of which are new abilities I created. Hunter lets him choose an enemy personality mini before the game starts and Samael gains a +1 to his combat against it plus an extra victory point if he kills it in single combat while scout lets him ignore the movement penalties from ruins and woods. This makes him a very mobile mini in some situations and a potent personality killer as well.

Next up are the two Guild guards, Kyle Swift and Jacob Weaver.

Guild Guard
Quailty 4+
Combat 2
Special abilities: gregarious, pistol

These guys are really quite straight forward in my opinion. One thing of note is the fact that these guards are not actually personalities. Yes, they both have names but that is purely for fluff reasons and has no effect on the game mechanics.

Last but not least is the convict gunslinger Jeremiah Smythe just to round things out. Like the guild guards, he is not actually a personality but I wanted it there for flavor.

Convict Gunslinger
Quality 4+
Combat 3
Special abilities: gunslinger, pistol, rapid fire

Of the whole crew this one took the most creative license on my part for his special abilities. The gunfighter ability lets the mini use his pistols in hand-to-hand combat, giving him an effective combat score of 4 all the time. The important thing about this ability is that it is tied to the pistol ability and no other type of ranged weapon. If you've got a rifle then you're out of luck but with a pistol you're all set. Next is the rapid fire ability. Normally a mini can only make one combat per turn but this ability lets the mini make two ranged attacks for one action. This is a pretty potent ability but I tried to offset it by giving them a penalty of -1 to its combat score when it does this.

And there you have it! I haven't had a chance to try them in a game to see just how balanced (or unbalanced) the new special rules are but I'll be doing that soon and I'll be sure to pass along the experience. I also have a few more crews in the works as well so y'all come back now and we'll see how they're shaping up.

Trying To Find The Path
First Impressions Of The Pathfinder RPG

This week my role playing group set aside Mutants and Masterminds and we delved into the world of Pathfinder. This was the first of several sessions in our GMs custom world of Leviathos, a world that has been devastated by a magical disaster (caused by the elves... go figure) that flooded large portions of the world. There are still large islands scattered around and our adventure opened with us arriving on Corvaysa, a very large island (bigger than New Zealand but smaller than Austailia to give some perspective) that is the home to the strongest of the human kingdoms.

So what about Pathfinder? Overall, it seems very much like the D&D of old which isn't that surprising since that is effectively what it is. I never played 3.5 but from everything I've heard it is basically the same thing. We haven't actually had any real combat yet so I can't comment on that but other than that it seems like a pretty good system. I can see how character creation can get kind of crunch especially when you are picking your feats. There are no where near as many as 4e but there are still a pretty hefty helping of them to choose from but I had a very specific concept in mind so I was able to just skim the lists and pick what fit my character. Equipment was another story as Pat is being quite specific about this part but that is more his style and I can see a GM playing this aspect either strictly or loosely depending on preference.

So overall, it looks pretty good so far. Not a raving review but so far the system hasn't struck me as anything innovative which I really don't expect it to. Then again that familiarity also makes it very easy to get into and the Pathfinder books are beautifully done and come in pdf as well as hardcovers. If you really want the physical copy of the core book you can plunk down the $50 and get a gorgeous looking full color hard bound book or you can spend $10 and get a pdf of the same thing, all depends on your preference which is a really nice option in my opinion. Don't get me wrong; I love the book but being able to get all the info for $10 sold me on the pdf instantly.

So if you like 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons, are an old time gamer from earlier editions, or you just want to try something different from 4e for a while I definitely recommend checking this one out. The production qualities are great and having the pdf option makes it extremely affordable plus Paizo (and a good number of other companies)is coming out with new stuff for the line all the time. Well supported, high quality production, and affordable price; ya can't really ask for more can you?

The Parting Shot...

And there's another one in the books! I had wanted to put in pictures of the various models for the Guild but I'll have to add that later. Be sure to come back again as we look at some of the other crews that I'm working on (think I've got three more in the works right now...) plus I'm going to get a battle report up for Torment's Reach as well. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them here on the blog or you can email me at SinCitySnowman@gmail.com. Until next time...

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