Pathfinder: From GM to Player


My Rise of the Runelords campaign recently finished off after nearly 3 years of play. As I mentioned in this post, I now get to be a player in a new campaign. Coming up with new character concepts and builds was awesome. But once I’d settled on a build and mapped out the first 12 or so levels of my character’s career, I realised that I had done everything I needed to do. This was a very weird feeling after being a game master for the past few years. Don’t get me wrong – I want to be a player for a while: I think it will give me valuable experience and a nice change of pace – it’s just quite a change!

Usually after a session, I would start preparing for the next session, reading over the relevant parts of the adventure path and making notes of monster tactics, tweaking encounters to really challenge my players, drawing up maps, finding the right pawns or minis, and so on. While it was a lot of work, and could be really stressful if I didn’t have a lot of free time, I also enjoyed the process – particularly making encounters difficult enough to challenge my party (generally the adventure path encounters were nowhere near difficult enough for my players).

As a player, once I had sorted out my character and helped the other players with theirs, that was it. I even wrote up a campaign journal from my character’s perspective, and had another look at the feats I would be taking for the next few levels. After that I found myself at a loose end: no planning, no preparation, nothing to do! This got me thinking about other things I could do to occupy my time.

I thought about planning my next campaign, but that seems a bit premature, given that we’ve just started a different campaign. Instead, I thought I’d look into solo Pathfinder options – as in, one GM, one player – and run a few sessions with my hubby as the only player. This will be perfect for the upcoming holiday season when getting our normal group together is a lot less likely to happen. I’ll post my thoughts and experiences with solo Pathfinder once we’ve had a chance to try it out.

How do you handle the transition from GM to player?

Header image by Tomasz Chistowski, from the Paizo blog

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