Monday, November 14, 2011

PF Beginner Box Play Report I

Last night, I watched my nephews, who are in fifth and sixth grade.  (Sadly, I forgot to take pictures at the table.)  It's been months since we got together, and the last time we played it was a B/X (1981) game.  I showed them the new Pathfinder Beginner Box.  At first, the fifth grader wanted to play and had to pry the sixth grader off of the Xbox.  Once he got to the table, the sixth grader was very excited to play a game that used ascending AC (when we play old style D&D in the future, I will convert everything to AAC.  Traditional AC twisted his mind in painful ways).

Ezren, Zordlon the elven fighter, Rogar the dwarven cleric, and Merisiel

Character Generation
I tried to convince them to play pre-generated characters, but they were stubborn, so we went through character generation.  They went through the pawns, chose ones they liked, and then generated characters based on them: an elf fighter named Zordlan (with great stats!  6th grader was rolling HOT!) and a dwarven cleric of Gorum named Rogar.  They teemed up with Ezren and Merisiel and headed out.  By the way: thank you whoever put the suggested names in the race section.  I was in no mood to deal with the difficulty in naming last night.  (The 5th grader wants to come up with stupid and annoying names, the 6th grader wants me to list a bunch of great names off the top of my head so he can choose one, and I was in the mood for neither last night.)

Sadly, by the time we got to actual play, the fifth grader was undergoing a massive attack of ADHD and NFLitis. Even sadder, this one views any reading as work, and even the greatly reduced load and highly visually organized, step-by-step process of character building wore him out on this particular evening.  (This was the same kid who lost his focus part way through our last B/X fairy mound game.  Is it possible to lose the gift somewhere between 1st grade and 5th?  I blame the Xbox and them getting cell phones too young.) The sixth grader, however, got progressively more excited.  He enjoyed the character building process, and was able to follow through the Hero's Guide with his character sheet with minimal help.  Both of them working sharing one book and doing making their characters simultaneous took somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour. 

Play moved quickly, in spite of the fact that the Obscure GM had done no preparation.  We made it through the two rooms of the dungeon before 5th grader was replaced by the 9th grader who came home early and took over Rogar.  He over the Hero's Guide and character sheet and was quite enthused -- the most frustrating thing for him in 3.5 was not being able to find everything in the books on his own.  From first glance, he found Pathfinder's new organization in the Box much less overwhelming.  The two of them polished the goblins off.  No negotiations for them: knowing how goblins have been portrayed by me in other games, they asked me about what there characters new about goblins in Golarion.  Hearing about the little pyros and their history in Sandpoint, they were out for goblin blood.  Well, okay... goblin treasure, too.

The Proof is in the Pudding
While I was writing this report, I got a text message from the 6th grader, bemoaning the fact that we couldn't get together to play this week.  "Zordlon's scimitar is thirsty for blood!"  You can't ask for better than that.

Note: This is pretty late for Mythopoeic Monday.  Last week and next week are pretty crazy, so posting this week and next will probably be somewhat erratic.