Whether it’s at an Organized Play Event or the precious four hours at a friend’s house, sometimes in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game we want to get into character fast. Rapid immersion helps get a game moving, improves verisimilitude, and helps characters (and their players) get to know one another… And it can be really easy to do with a quick exercise. Today we present – Work It!….
Simple Immersion Exercise: Work It!
Nearly every character in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game has access to a Profession or Craft skill. In Organized Play it is often a source of income for “day jobs” and often times is a key factor in improvised solutions as a replacement for another relevant skill. Choosing an early game or downtime moment to “set up shot” or “ply your trade” as an opportunity to launch into some role-playing for your character:
- Which Skill is the character going to use? Craft or Profession (or even Perform)? Are they making something to sell later? Soliciting work? Imagine what it is the character is doing to further their “side work.” Maybe they are buying materials or watching out for things to re-purpose or sell from the course of the adventurers.
- Where did the character learn the Skill? Who was it that taught them? Comparing notes between characters who both have Craft (Weapons) or Profession (Soldier) could be fascinating exploration of the characters? Maybe two humans learned weaponcraft from different cultures (Elven vs. Dwarven is often a good hot topic). Maybe the soldiers find they served on different sides of the same war or battle.
- How is the character soliciting their skills? Are they writing up postings or handbills? Are they hawking outside the inn? What is the characters pitch? If there are written bills what do they say? Where did you post them or hand them out?
- What kind of progress are they making? Craft skills take several days to finish. Describing partial progress, creative blocks or half-finished items can be very engaging and descriptive role-play.
- Are they open to (or seeking) collaboration? Once another PC becomes involved in the exercise it can be interesting to explore the presence or undesired offers of an Aid Another check or even just creative input or direction. Maybe the dwarf is offended by the willowy sculpture of a pantheon’s goddess and insists that the shoulders or hips be wider to be realistic. The role-playing options here are gold and quite memorable.
- Does the character really intend to part with the results of the skills? Do they intend to sell the accidental masterwork? Or take the time to go away from the party to use their guide Profession skill? Does another party member want the item or service? Or would they want a custom version of it?
Digging into Skills is a fast-track to understanding a character’s background and evolution. Sharing these in roleplaying moments can really aid characters in developing a sense of one another, filling in gaps in verisimilitude and immersions in quick, compelling strokes.