I put my game system design to the side for now and decided to play with an already established system.
AD&D2E is available to me (I still have all my books – well, most of them – enough for me to roll up a character PDQ) but I want to move forward. Knowing that Pathfinder started out as AD&D3.5E before evolving into what it is today, I thought I would give it a whirl. I didn’t dive in both feet – that can get expensive – but I did buy the PF2E Core Rulebook. And now I am making a character to just…. well…. make a character.
In doing so, I’m reminded now of when I was a kid and I first bought my Player’s Handbook. The picture of what you see there is my actual copy.
I remember being in my room, huddled beneath my white tensor lamp, rolling dice and making notes on graph paper. I’d emptied my closet completely and put my desk in there – a drafting table (all I ever needed to write was a pen, paper and a flat surface) – so I had a little private office where I could work. In that little space, I crafted character after character, if only to have them and see what could come of them. I enjoyed the act of creation for creation’s sake. No agenda, no “I have to write 1,000 words or die trying”, no nothing other than “I want to do this cool thing because the cool thing makes me feel good”.
Something has changed. And it’s changed me. And though what I’m about to type next can sound confusing, I’m sticking to my guns – I can’t change what has changed me, but I can make a change. So what am I doing? I’m using the PF2E Core Rulebook to start making character after character with no agenda in mind. Sounds pretty easy, right?
Not for me. I don’t know when it happened, but at some point my hobby came to be all about output. If I would start a story, I would be constantly in my own head, asking me where I want to go with this – will it be sent for publication? will anyone like it? It will be rejected again and I won’t agree with the rejections at first and then cave in because maybe I’m not as good as I think? will I even finish it? should it be a trilogy? when will I have time to keep writing it, much less finish it.
And even as I type this, I think about the character I want to build and craft and their abilities, and then I think about what do I do with them? do I make another character and do a solo-role play? do I use my StoryCube Dice to come up with a system to generate random play? if I do that, what do the sides of the cubes mean? do I have to create monsters and scenarios and plot points for each cube? will it even work? who will play it? Honestly, these are the voices in my head and what I contend with whenever I am faced with the simple act of creating something.
But today it’s not going to stop me. My only goal right now is to grant myself permission to have as much fun as possible.
UPDATE – I really like what I’ve done so far. Yeah, I’m taking my time. But like I said, I’m having fun. I attached a copy of the PDF sample of the character sheet I’ve come up with.