Next week my oldest friend (who is also named Andrew), Monica, and I will sit down with our kids and play Pathfinder. Now Monica and I have played with the kids a number of times but we haven’t really played Pathfinder so this will be a little new for our kids. Andrew’s kids have played a little Pathfinder so they’ll have a better handle on the rules as we start but they’ve never played with more than one adult (who was the GM). So while this won’t be an entirely new experience for any of us it will be interesting and hopefully a lot of fun.
Having played with my children on a number of occasions I know it can be hard for them to feel like they have the authority to make decisions. In the past we’ve handled this a number of ways this time I decided I wanted to try something different. In the past we’ve played games where no one really talked about their PCs age and everyone was just treated as if they were generally equal on other occasions the PC’s including my wife’s were all children. Now Andrew had suggested maybe I should play something unusual such as a faerie dragon. He also offered to let me play a little higher level if need be. I took his advice but a little more mundanely.
I’ll be playing an awakened cat (slayer), who thinks of himself as some sort of knight…
I call him Ser Fidelius Felix, aka Shadow. Shadow is the name on his collar but he knows his name is Fidelius and is almost as certain he is a knight. Not a human sort of knight he is first and foremost a cat just a supernatural one. Now from a story perspective I like Fidelius because, he can offer advice but he has no thumbs and largely won’t be taken very seriously by any NPCs we should meet which means the other character’s will have to take up some of the cat’s slack.
While I’m sure we’ll still have to coach the kids a little I’m hoping this approach encourages them to take center stage and lead us into (and out of) whatever trouble Andrew has in store for us.
- The party right now:
- Human Sorcerer (Katie)
- ??? Sorcerer (Andrew’s eldest)
- ??? Fighter (Andrew’s second child)
- Human Monk with a little Captain America flair (Thomas)
- a Cat Slayer (me).
- And a total unknown probably some sort of cleric. (Monica)
If you’re interested in the build I used to make my awakened cat PC here he is:
Ser Fidelias (aka Shadow)
Male cat slayer 2 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide 53, Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 131)
N Tiny magical beast
Init +5; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +8
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 12 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 size)
hp 17 (3 HD; 1d8+2d10+3)
Fort +6, Ref +10, Will +2
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +9 (1d3–2), 2 claws +9 (1d2–2)
Space 2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks studied target +1 (1st, move action)
Str 7, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 8
Base Atk +2; CMB +5; CMD 14 (18 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Weapon Finesse[B]
Traits dirty fighter, self-taught scholar, student of philosophy
Skills Acrobatics +11, Appraise +4, Bluff +3, Climb +15, Diplomacy –1 (–6 to improve other creatures’ attitudes towards you), Disable Device +10, Escape Artist +7, Intimidate –1 (–6 to improve other creatures’ attitudes towards you), Linguistics +6 (+7 to decipher unfamiliar language), Perception +8 (+9 to locate traps), Stealth +22, Survival +7 (+8 to track); Racial Modifiers +4 Climb, +4 Stealth
Languages Catfolk, Common, Skald
SQ condescending, slayer talent (trapfinding[ACG]), track +1, trapfinding +1
Other Gear collar with name tag marked “Shadow”
Condescending You take a –5 penalty on Diplomacy and Intimidate checks to improve other creatures’ attitudes toward you.
Dirty Fighter When you hit a foe you are flanking, you deal an additional 1 point of damage (this damage is added to your base damage, and is multiplied on a critical hit). This additional damage is a trait bonus.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Scent (Ex) This special quality allows a creature to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. Creatures with the scent ability can identify familiar odors just as humans do familiar sights.
The creature can detect opponents within 30 feet by sense of smell. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple normal range.
When a creature detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed – only its presence somewhere within range. The creature can take a move action to note the direction of the scent. When the creature is within 5 feet of the source, it pinpoints the source’s location.
A creature with the scent ability can follow tracks by smell, making a Wisdom (or Survival) check to find or follow a track. The typical DC for a fresh trail is 10 (no matter what kind of surface holds the scent). This DC increases or decreases depending on how strong the quarry’s odor is, the number of creatures, and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail is cold, the DC increases by 2. The ability otherwise follows the rules for the Survival skill. Creatures tracking by scent ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.
Student of Philosophy You can use your Intelligence modifier in place of your Charisma modifier on Diplomacy checks to persuade others and on Bluff checks to convince others that a lie is true. (This trait does not affect Diplomacy checks to gather information or Bluff checks to feint in combat.)
Studied Target +1 (move action, 1 at a time) (Ex) A slayer can study an opponent he can see as a move action. The slayer then gains a +1 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks attempted against that opponent, and a +1 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against it. The DCs of slayer class abilities against that opponent increase by 1. A slayer can only maintain these bonuses against one opponent at a time; these bonuses remain in effect until either the opponent is dead or the slayer studies a new target.
If a slayer deals sneak attack damage to a target, he can study that target as an immediate action, allowing him to apply his studied target bonuses against that target (including to the normal weapon damage roll).
At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels, the bonuses on weapon attack and damage rolls, as well as the bonus to slayer ability DCs against a studied target increase by 1. In addition, at each such interval, the slayer is able to maintain these bonuses against an additional studied target at the same time. The slayer may discard this connection to a studied target as a free action, allowing him to study another target in its place.
At 7th level, a slayer can study an opponent as a move or swift action.
Track +1 A ranger or slayer adds 1/2 his level (minimum 1) to Survival skill checks made to follow tracks.
Trapfinding +1 A rogue adds 1/2 her level on Perception checks to locate traps and on Disable Device checks (minimum +1). A rogue can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps.