Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Building Sub-Optimal Characters

Pathfinder 2e is a very tactical game that relies heavily on good builds. If you run the game a little looser like I do (e.g., theater of the mind, letting it ride, just saying yes), builds matter a little less. It helps that Pathfinder 2e is not nearly as bad as Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition when it comes to intentional "trap" options.

What I'm saying is, you don't have to build your character to be totally optimized and synergistic. You should try to build well, but the system will pick up some of the slack, and using the rules as a conflict resolution tool instead of dominating the entirety of the at-table experience will pick up the rest.

I'm not recommending you build intentionally flawed characters. I'm saying pick options that seem cool and don't agonize over your build. You can always use Retraining to swap things that don't work. And if you keep your approaches to situations fresh and creative, you probably won't be in a position where you die (hero points all but prevent that anyways).

Yes, if you're playing Pathfinder 2e or other crunchy systems, you're doing it for a reason. But they don't account for everything that needs to happen at a table, like storytelling, roleplay, and having fun (which you can forget to do regardless of what system you use). Trust that the rules are there when you need them, but don't obsess over them or use them as a crutch.