With our latest Pathfinder campaign I decided to break out of the mold and try something that I've never done before; I'm playing a spell caster. I've always stayed away from these classes in the past because of the limitations of the spells. "Okay guys, I've cast my one spell for the day. Guess I'll just hang back and read a book while you guys finish exploring the dungeon." I mean really, what fun is that?
Thankfully Pathfinder addresses that problem by giving you access to some minor spells that you have unlimited use of. Sure they're not going to stop a raging demon out of the Nine Hells but something's better than nothing. Of course the problem after that was which kind of spell caster. After all, one thing that Pathfinder isn't lacking is a ridiculously variety of classes to choose from (but more on that another time...). After digging around (and listening to what everyone else was playing...) I finally decided to try my hand at being a sorcerer. Of the magical classes it seems to be the one that's easier to grow with. Wizards need to be able to spend some time researching and studying to really advance themselves whereas sorcerers just have the stuff more or less pop into their head. Gotta love that, right?
Next I choose my race, bloodline, what color socks I'm wearing, etc, etc... All the little details that go into making a Pathfinder character. Then I hopped right over to Reaper Miniatures to search for the perfect mini. Not a requirement for an RPG but I really like having my own little mini me to call my own so its a must in my book. It was while I was searching for my round 25mm bases that I stumbled on this little blast from the past.
This figure is one of a familiar set that was released by Reaper years ago. I love all the figures in the set but this one was always my favorite. With this old treasure in hand, I headed right back to my character sheet to rebuild my sorcerer so I could somehow have a familiar which of course is where the problem came in.
This little guy is obviously not an animal which is the "normal" familiar for the magical classes. In fact the closest that I could come up with was a homunculus but that's a higher level spell than we were starting with and I wanted to make sure I could use the little dude in the game right from the get go. That's when the old gears really started grinding away in my melon and I came up with a plan.
Getting SpacerGal on the horn I explained my dilemma and asked him if I could re-skin one of the familiar types into something completely different conceptually but leave it the same mechanically. He thought for a second and decided why not so off I went to the books again to figure out just what he was going to be. After much hemming and hawing I finally decided to base him on the cat familiar that wizards have. This makes him somewhat effective in combat and makes him ridiculously stealthy which I really liked the idea of. One second he's there and then he suddenly seems to vanish and reappear somewhere else. After some minor tweaks, my new wizard/sorcerer character was ready to rock... along with his own version of "Toto" too.
The idea of re-skinning some aspect of your game is something that I don't think many people think of but its always an option you should keep in mind. Just because the rules say "You have a dog that obediently follows you around wherever you go" doesn't mean that you can't change it up and make it some kind of manservant that your family sent out to keep an eye on you. Doing this not only gives you more creative freedom to make an exciting and interesting character but also makes that character your own. Talk with your DM/GM/Keeper/whatever they might be this week and tell them your ideas. Work together and not only will you be able to create a character that you're really interested in playing but you might even throw the GM something to play with too. Just think of how many times has Batman had to go save Robin's butt over the years or vice versa.
So remember; just because you can't find exactly what you have in mind in the book doesn't mean that you can't do it. Look beyond the confines of the rules and talk it out so that you can make it a great gaming experience for everyone at the table. Until next time...