Luckily for this game, there are pre-made characters- Oh, dear god. No, NO! Sigh So, you want to try and make a Pathfinder Character, but you do not want to take a month-long course on understanding the minutia of the Pathfinder system. The game itself is a ported over copy of the pen and paper system- minus 3000 options added over time – which itself is a copy of the D&D 3.5 system of play. The game itself is built to expect extreme power-gamers, using a perfect combination of skills, strategizing their leveling options, or builds, twelve levels in advance, and will chew up and spit out any characters that aren’t perfectly suited to play the role in their party they need to fulfill. Basically you are forced to build a ‘perfect character’ before you even start playing, while planning out your next 20 hours of gameplay, and dealing with gaming mechanics that are built on top of an older system that you need to know, which is built on top of ANOTHER system you need to have a vague idea of, in order to have a CHANCE to survive. Not impossible, but the Cliff notes are going to sound extremely strange.
Step 1: Choose your portrait. This doesn’t matter at all. In fact, you should rejoice that the first step is so easy. Pick something that looks cool or sort of seems like an interesting choice. Be prepared to agonize about it later.
Step 2: Choose your Race. Not really though, you aren’t ready yet, slap on a human for now.
Step 3: Choose your Class/ Build. Okay here is your first real choice. What are you going to play? Take your time. Your choices are endless, well, more like 14*4. 14 base classes and 4 archetypes for each. Did I mention that each archetype has like 12 choices inside them? Yeah! Fun! Here is an easy way to decide which class you should play, pick a number between 1 and 14 then 1 and 4. Be that one! No? then go Fighter, good, easy. Oh! Did I mention that there are advanced classes you can start taking after level five, that if you want to meet the prerequisites for you need to plan out the next couple levels? HAHAHAHAAHAHaa. Just go with a fighter.
Step 4: Choose your Race. Good, you’re a Fighter unless you are insane, so this should be easy. Choose any race. Have fun. You can experiment. If you decided to do something different, then this would be the time to pick a race that has a bonus to your classes necessary abilities. There are lots of Elf Wizards, tons of Half-Orc Barbarians, don’t be stupid and make a Dwarf Sorcerer. They are mocked from childhood.
Step 5: Choose your Ability Scores and Skills. YOUR CLASSES TOP ATTRIBUTES SHOULD BE 18 OR 20! Wizards need a 20 in INT, Sorcerers a 20 in CHA. You are a fighter, put an 18 in STR or DEX. Take a 7 in CHA, you are a hitter, not a pretty face. Oh, please, please, please choose to put points into the suggested skills as well. When was the last time you heard of a Wizard who was secretly an Ironman competitor?
Step 6: Flesh out your Character. If you are a fighter, this isn’t hard. Do you want to swing a sword? Take sword features. A Bow? Archery features. This is also where a cleric chooses what god to devote themselves to, a monk chooses their Ki flavor, and every magic user chooses their spells. Not a fighter? You’re out of luck. Take a couple days reading the hundreds of possibilities. Try it. No really. Try it. Come away with a masters degree.
Step 7: Choose your Alignment. Are you good or evil? Lawful or Chaotic? Home stretch now. What actions are you going to take? Generic good guy Neutral Good? Asshole Lawful Neutral? Psychopath Chaotic Evil? Honestly, you should just choose True Neutral. Just don’t have an opinion.
Step 8: Rejoice. You made a character that might survive through the prologue. Take a moment, have a drink. I need one.
Step ?: Ok this is a secret but there is another way if you really want to make something other than a fighter, go to step three and hit the premade build button on a class/archetype you’re interested in, even an advanced class, then follow the rest of the instructions. The game will rush you past the harder choices and create a Min-Maxed piece of perfection. But that would keep you from having a wonderful experience. Right?
Final Note: I’m so glad that in this game they cut down the choices a bit. Pathfinder the pen and paper game has about double the amount of base classes. Not to mention the number of archetypes, like 30 or so per class. I heard that DLC is being made for this game though… won’t that be fun?
“Pathfinder Kingmaker Kickstarter Launch Trailer Poster.” Owlcat Games, 2017, owlcatgames.com/