There is a Games Workshop mini, for the Warhammer Fantasy Battles game, that I think is called, “Warrior Priest” or something similar.
It’s this guy. (I did not paint this one… I’m linking the image from Cool Mini or Not. The poster’s handle is Wombat85.)
He has two hammers. He’s awesome. I want to make this guy as a character and paint my mini and use it in game. But this will never happen… and here’s why:
It isn’t practical. I’m talking about using him in Pathfinder, but simply put, it isn’t workable for me. In the first place, the game system really doesn’t support making a two-weapon fighting priest (or paladin, really). Now, I can build this character, and he’d be, “okay.” But when I start to think of it I realize that there are about a dozen other ways I could build a character that are more useful to the party. And that’s really the crux of it. I don’t want to be so sub par that I’m a drag on the party for my own “fun” of playing a concept character.
And as I’ve thought about this more, it’s made me realize two things.
1. I like numbers. I may have mentioned this before, but I actually enjoy a system with lots of character building options. The problem is, with enough character building options, you reach a point where it seems inevitable that some of the those paths become significantly better choices than others. More importantly though, some choices are marginalized. And part of the reason for this stems from the work of the forces of balance… if a choice is viable for a build it will be less effective in, then it runs the risk of being way-too-good in a build it actually works with. And this then becomes an issue for me — How to create a game that involves a lot of mechanical options for characters without constantly struggling with balance-math?
2. Despite my desire to be a story-gamer, in play, I do actually enjoy building “useful” characters. As I look back at my characters over the years, I find that I have often taken the track of starting with the numbers — “okay I need to build a cleric” — and working backward to “now I have the good numbers worked out, let’s build a fun story/personality.” And this doesn’t just happen in D&D/PF, but also in Shadowrun, etc. Basically, any system that involves accounting in the building process. But you take out the “BUILD” portion, and I find that I don’t struggle with this dynamic. And thus my characters are usually more fun for me.
Just thinking out loud here. I’m starting to struggle with gaming again. It may just be a little depression creeping in around the edges from my frustration in job searching… but also, a little gloomy about gaming too.
But that enough gloom for one post. What’s your experience? Am I alone in this or does everyone do it?
Thanks for reading.