Or, “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pathfinder System”.
When I first learned to play Pathfinder, I only had the barest understanding of the character creation rules and action resolution rules. I had experience with the Third Edition of the world’s most popular role-playing game, so the mechanics were not completely alien to me.
When I wanted to run Pathfinder, I started learning with the Beginner Box. That gave me an introductory picture of what was going on with the rules. From there, I read the Pathfinder Core Rulebook and was able to learn how the full game was played and run.
I set up the house rules for my campaign, Thelsikar’s Ambition, with some limitations on which of the Core rules would be used. I allowed character creation based on the Core rulebook, with the option of using Archetypes and Traits, if the resources for those rules were available to the player. I set no such limitation for myself. As a GM, I focused on using the Gamastery Guide and the Bestiary, but I allowed myself to access any content supplement which met my needs for supporting the campaign and its setting.
My rule of thumb for content use is to use any source which is cool, is fun and adds content in a meaningful way. I don’t limit myself to Pathfinder resources for inspiration. I have long borrowed from any source I could find to help me run a game and create content for it.
I have gradually loosened the limitations on character advancement. Currently, i am considering limited introduction and use of the Brew Potion and Craft Wonderous Item Feats in order to allow a player character in my campaign to create useful and desired magic items, if the player wants that option. I intend to use the alchemical components rules from Ultimate Campaign to limit the ability to craft any given item. Gold is already a limiting factor in the campaign, with my stinginess in giving out treasure putting the characters at below the recommended wealth by level guidelines. I have been attempting to correct that problem as I have gone along, but that’s a subject for another post.
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