Technical blog and writings by Micah Webner.

Blogrimage 2014 Day 18: Dipping in the Deep End

I dipped my toe into the deep end tonight. Just a little. I bought the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook tonight. I wish I could say I dropped fifty bucks for the hardcover edition, but no, we went for the $9.99 downloadable PDF version. Having dug around in the online Pathfinder Reference Document for the past couple of weeks, I can say this is definitely an upgrade. 576 pages with beautiful artwork and a lot more depth than just the rules.

Speaking of dipping, I've been hearing and reading a lot about that lately, too. Seems it's a variation on the old multiclass play that I was familiar with back in the 1e days. Instead of leveling up, a player character who has earned enough experience points to advance can take a first-level rank in a different class instead. Adding only one or two lower levels in different classes and then resuming advancement in the PC's favored class is called dipping, and it appears to add a lot of versatility to character development with a reasonably small setback. Some classes don't need it, of course. In fact, most of the new classes from the last playtest look like combinations of existing classes that have been smoothed out to allow for less complicated advancement while keeping a broader skill set. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, some of these, like the hunter class, seem broad enough for solo adventuring.

Sometimes it starts to seem like there's just too much information to process, but the great thing about it is that this means most questions are answerable, and a lot of the details can just be ignored until it comes up in the game. The chapter on Gamemastering in the book talks about a lot of the stuff a GM does need to think about before playing, but much of it is just common sense. There are even things like backing up your campaign journal if you store it on a computer. The best advice I could find (aside from that rule about making sure everyone, including the GM, is having fun) is to just stay far enough ahead of your PCs so they have somewhere to go when they finish the current adventure, but you don't drive yourself crazy trying to prepare for every possible option at once.