Technical blog and writings by Micah Webner.

Blogrimage 2014 Day 23: Happy Camper

Looking back over the first three weeks of this blogrimage, it's amazing to see how far we've come from my initial idea of just introducing my teenagers to tabletop roleplaying games by maybe playing through a couple of short adventures to becoming total Pathfinder RPG nerds trying to decide whether or not to roll up additional characters so we can play in multiple campaigns. All I can tell you is that if you want to immerse yourself into something, pick a challenge and write about it every day for 30 days. You'll either love it, or you'll hate it. I'm just glad I didn't decide to live on Soylent for 30 days.

It's time to say goodbye to the character sheets we created on day one. The characters are staying, but it's time to transfer them to full Pathfinder character sheets. I've heard a few things--all good--about Happy Camper's Pathfinder Character Sheets. I've looked at them, and I think they'll be fantastic. They are a bit difficult to find, though. I found a set on the ADnD Downloads site. While looking around I also found Character Sheets by Dyslexic Studeos [sic]. Not sure if I like these character sheets better or not, but I'm pretty sure their Game Master campaign sheets are exactly what I've been wanting since the beginning.

I also helped one of my daughters roll up a new character today. This was my first druid build, and--with animal companion--it took almost three hours just to complete the character. That's because we read just about everything we need to know about this class, although we never did get to the druid spell list. I wanted to go through good detail because I ran into problems rolling characters for our friends yesterday. I finally have a good cheat sheet of notes for this process. Most of it is pretty straightforward, and just takes time, especially when both the GM and the player are inexperienced.

There are a few places where it would be really helpful if the book explicitly told you "now write this number here". That was one of the beautiful things about the Beginner Box. The Hero's Handbook walks you through everything with section letters on the simplified character sheet and "now turn to page" steps. The Beginner Box character sheet actually has a couple of sections that the regular sheet does not have just to help explain how some of the numbers go together. This information is buried in the Combat chapter in the Core Rulebook instead of being part of character creation. (Granted, it's the very next thing after character creation, but when you're sitting at the table trying to figure things out, that's not as obvious as it seems like it would be.) Conversely, while the Hero's Handbook was very brief and just said "fill in these boxes then put the numbers here" without any explanation of why you were doing this, those extra fields on the form made it completely obvious what to do.

The good news is that I now understand every part of the character sheets, and have a lovely 3x5 card with notes that will eventually get transferred into my Dropbox folder as a quick reference.