Dungeons and Dragons is one of those things that, although I don’t talk about it a whole lot, is a consistent part of my gaming life.
It may not be the same as video games, but in the gently paraphrased words of one Maurice Moss of IT Crowd fame, it’s like a video game, except it uses the most powerful processor known to man: the human mind.
That was the appeal that drew me to the game, and the same appeal that drew me to finish my first campaign back in November. Although my poor ifrit/rakshasa did die once, betrayed by her own d20, she was magically resurrected and made it to the end.
She then retired to build her own plane of existence and live a solitary life, but the adventure wasn’t over for me.
With about a week to spare, we dove right into our next game, which unfortunately for my learning curve, was not Pathfinder. It was a 5th edition game.
So, with new rules and new feats and new sheets on the table, I decided to add just one more new thing to the mix.
See, I’m one of those people who likes to learn as much as possible when it comes to new games. I like testing out different styles, approaches, and even character classes to find one I love.
As much as I loved my witch, who could reduce powerful casters to brawlers and put just about anything to sleep for a quick coup de grâce (her spell DCs were a minimum of 40 for cantrips, because her INT modifier was around 23), I didn’t want to stop there.
I’d broken one class, and I wanted to try something different.
Bryseis the monk
Bryseis the enthusiastic tiefling is my first attempt at a 5th edition character, and also happens to be the first character I built myself, so there was some learning involved in the character sheet.
In hindsight, I think that was a good thing, because it made it much easier to understand where the numbers come from.
She very quickly became lots of fun, channeling her inner Natsu and wreaking havoc with her chaotic good alignment. Because I built her as a variant tiefling, she isn’t really the smartest or wisest, but she sure loves to help!
Her fighting style is also a little different from a witch. Instead of picking a daily set of spells from a two-inch deck of every possible spell my witch knew, Bryseis has a stick. She gets right up in the heat of battle, instead of staying 30 ft. back, and can do fun things like cleaving.
She does have a few spells at third level, because I set her up as a monk of the Way of the Four Elements, but it’s much simpler.
Overall, the experience was a bit of an eye-opener because I had come into the Pathfinder game around level 4. I started out in 5th edition at first level, which showed me just how squishy first-level characters are!
Amber the bard
About a month after I’d made my monk, Shane finished writing up his own game, loosely based on various pieces of Final Fantasy lore. I hadn’t really planned ahead for what I wanted my character to be, but within hours of him telling me about the game, I was ready.
In yet another bid to learn something completely new, I decided I would make a dwarven bard loosely based on Thorin Oakenshield, but much more fond of swearing and bad jokes.
I had an advantage for the bard role, because one of the other players in our regular group tends to cycle between bards, clerics, and paladins. He, as the unlucky one, went through all three in the previous Pathfinder game, and landed on bard for the 5th edition game that Bryseis is in.
This meant that unlike the monk role, I had actually seen the bard played properly, so I had a vague idea of what it could do.
That didn’t stop me from promptly forgetting everything in the heat of conflict, but I tried.
I’m really looking forward to testing out both new classes, and although both have technically died already, hopefully they make it to the end of the campaign!