Making the List (Countdown to PaizoCon: 9)

Temple of Shadows - Tease

With just over a week to go til PaizoCon, it is a good day to talk about the List. Not the checklist of travel sundries (we will be getting to that), or the costs for your trip (though keep track as needed), or even the schedule of your events (but you will need that)… No, today we talk about the List of CHARACTERS you are taking for any games you intend to participate in!

It is a gaming convention after all!

Making the List

Stress free gaming is easy with good prep. And nothing is quite as nerve wracking as trying to assemble a character on short notice. If you need more than a week or just can’t get a new character together, most games WILL have pregenerated characters available. With over a week to go, and a general idea (hopefully) of what you will be playing you should still have PLENTY of time to get ready.

A few suggestions:

  • Review Your Schedule: The most important events to consider are any Lottery events you got into because they often times have special character creation rules and may allow for higher-level more time intensive builds. In out sample it looks like we need:
    • A low tier PFS character (1-5)
      • This is tricky because it actually can mean either low tier group. We recommend taking a green 1st-2nd AND a more played 3rd-5th level character, if you don’t have one consider the possibility of playing a pregenerated character.
    • A  pregenerated character (it is a Legendary Games event and they do AWESOME pregen) so this will probably be a blast. No level range is listed but it is from their Adventure Path so possible that it is a little higher.
      • Our recommendation (and we do have one) is to select THREE classes you don’t know very well from the official Paizo sources and read them top to bottom until you “get” them. If you are not able (or willing to do that) focus on melee mechanics unless you see a class you already know.
      • No work for our list beyond possible reading.
    • Our third game is a Kobold Press game and it says mysteriously “Players have the option of using pre-generated character provided by the Game Master”
      • No level ranges were initially listed BUT in the even posting “forum” it lists 8th level.
      • Most games will allow you a PFS legal character of the required level, so it looks like we have options here:
        • Use an existing PFS character for fun even though they aren’t getting PFS character credit.
        • Make up a new whole cloth new PC for the game.
        • Use a legal character from a home game that is (or can be) leveled to the appropriate level.
        • As that it is a Kobold Press game, it is worth asking them if their content is legal.
    • General PFS games.Level ranges are mostly low 1-5. Though there is a mid (3-7) and the Special. This years special is pregenerated only playing a reprise of last year’s Aspis operatives. We have four PFS games scheduled.
    • A reprise dungeon with pregens that include some from last year. While similar to the above pregens, it is worth noting that prior familiarity with pregens might greatly increase success rates with “survival mode” dungeons. We have familiarity with 2 of the prior years character (we died) so I will look to get my hands on one of them.
      • As another pregen game we recommend adding at least 2 more review classes to look at.
  • Look For Overlap: It is pretty clear that reviewing the above some possible overlaps exist. There are a few reasons finding character overlap at a Con is a great idea:
    • Increased Familiarity: Less characters played means more playtime per character which gives us a faster mastery of mechanics and more time to solidify a fun persona for roleplaying.
    • Less Time in Creation: A Con is already a huge outlay of time and resources to attend (particularly for those of us who travel) so spending even more time in prep can move the experience beyond the reasonable. A tighter group of characters means less time making them and more time taking care of real world issues before the event.
    • More Time to Develop: If you DO find you have more time after the List is ready, you can take that time to refine and vet out your choices. Convention games are notoriously brutal and having your edges sharp is NOT a bad idea.
  • Boil It Down, Build It Out: Once you have your overlaps figured out, build the List. We recommend building in reverse level order. So in our example we have:
    • As many as four PFS characters with possible levels 1-2 or 3-5. We need at least 2 variable level ranges but otherwise we can get away with 2 PFS characters.
    • An 8th level PFS legal character or POSSIBLY a 3rd party class from Kobold Class. Normally this would be the first character we would tackle but until we have an OK regarding full scope of rules available, we will delay a bit.
    • 2 pregen games = 6 class reviews for us. We game a lot but it never hurts to be up to speed. We try to consider some more esoteric read-throughs and come up with:
      • Ninja
      • Bloodrager
      • Kineticist
      • Occultist
      • Unchained Summoner
      • Vigelante
    • 3 Characters and some reading, very do-able.
  • Time Allowing, Backups: Spontenaiety is a huge part of gaming. That means you might need to jump into a game quickly and play something unexpected. Review your boiled down list and look for holes.
    • We have a 1st level, 3rd level, and an 8th.
    • Our holes are mid  5-6 and 10+ so time allowing we would want something in this range.
    • Most convention games don’t go higher than 12 without fully assembled pre-gens.
  • Finalize It:
    • 8th level with possible Kobold material (ASAP)
    • 3rd level
    • 1st level
    • Readings
    • 10th level is possible
    • 5th level if possible
    • When in doubt stick to PFS legal characters.

And there we have our list. A week out and 3 to 5 characters to get through with some homework as well. If you are going to pursue the readings be willing to let them come early in the process, you may find a class you want for a later lower level character.

This of course is a hardcore gaming view of PaizoCon. DO NOT forget the amazing panels, demos, dealer room, and side activities around the convention. Be willing to change when necessary and HAVE  FUN!

Need new options for new characters? See our other products at:, drivethruRPG, paizo and RPGNow.

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