Game Night with the Guys, part 2

I’d originally planned to write about something else for today’s blog, but I just stepped away from a brainstorming session with my friends regarding which Pathfinder Adventure Path we’re going to play next. I’ve looked forward to this for weeks and, after tonight, it was well worth the wait.

I’ve loved this ever since a few of us got together for a smaller game to brainstorm ideas a few years ago. What was meant to be a fun, casual hangout with simple decisions of “I’m playing the Bard” and “I’m playing the Fighter” turned into a storytelling brainstorming session. Ideas that we’d never have come up with alone sprouted and grew in a matter of moments. Character ideas that lived on the fringe suddenly rushed into the spotlight, made real by the back-and-forth of close friends with similar interests and open minds.

Brainstorming new characters for new games is a thrilling time. It’s like staring at a blank sheet of paper, or a screen if you’re working digitally, and the possibilities for creation are endless. Sometimes the choices are too many and you’re afflicted with Option Paralysis, in which case you need a friend to nudge you in one direction or another. Sometimes you need a campaign setting to tell you what’s appropriate and what isn’t. Whether you enjoy wide-open freedom of choice or restrictions that present challenging opportunities for your imagination, there are few things that thrill me more than the prospect of a brand new character.

I’m also extremely lucky to have a group of friends who share a common desire at a gaming table. We don’t have any disruptive players, nor do we lean in to the “chaotic murder hobo” stereotype that seems to plague some gaming tables. We tend to play good people who strive to perform good deeds, which is my favorite type of game. Our power fantasies don’t really involve dominating enemies or conquering lands, but improving the lives of others and righting injustices. Any time I have the opportunity to create a new character whose goals are noble and lofty, I’m a happy gamer. Tonight was one of those nights.

Now that we’ve decided on our latest campaign (Strength of Thousands), it’s time for both my favorite and most challenging part of the character creation process: actually creating said character! I’m going to go through more than a few drafts between now and the start of this new game, but it’s the process that brings me the most joy. I’m interested to see the details that will fall into place as a result of my endless tweaking, daydreaming, and sourcebook-scouring. I have one idea in mind as of this writing, but I fully expect that to change as I sit down to sculpt this concept into its final form.

I’m so excited.