So with only a few sessions left in our Shattered Star campaign, we've been talking more and more about what's next. While it's not set in stone quite yet, it sounds like we're probably going to end up running a Pathfinder adventure path called "Wrath of the Righteous". Using actual Pathfinder this time, instead of D&D 5e. We've been talking a bit about what sort of characters each of us will be playing. One is looking at a Changeling Witch, another is considering something skill-focused, and another is thinking Barbarian.
Usually I wait and see what the rest of the party is doing, and fill
that hole. But I just played the same boring fighter for over a
year, so I'm wanting to pick something I'll really look forward to
playing. At the same time, I'm not as good with Pathfinder so I don't
want anything too complicated. So something simple, but still interesting. Hopefully it's possible.
I'm currently researching the Warpriest, but I'm not sold quite yet. If we do go with the Wrath campaign, Warpriest sounds like a decent fit, but I don't know enough about how it plays. After playing Bjertha for 50 sessions, I'm a little sick of melee fighting. If a Warpriest can be built that focuses more on healing, spells, or ranged attacks, that might please me. But if I end up being the most heavily armored in the party, I'll probably have to tank again - which is fine, just not not my first choice.
So I'm writing this out as a mental exercise, to explore what I do and don't like about certain classes and races, so that maybe I can find something that really fits me.
My favorite classes are usually ranged and/or Charisma based. My favorite characters in previous campaigns were Bards, Sorcerers, and archers (various builds). I also like playing healers, but I don't like being the party's only healer unless I have a ton of healing options. My favorite healing character was a 4e Cleric pacifist, who concentrated on healing so much that she was terrible in combat. I also have a thing for nature magic and animal companions.
All of my characters are female (that's non-negotiable, but no one's ever complained). Most of my characters are of Neutral Good or Chaotic Good alignment. I could try other alignments, but I'd have problems staying in character. A lot of my characters have been somewhat peaceful - not afraid of battle, but avoiding a fight when possible, and never killing a helpless enemy after the battle's over. Bjertha was the most hot-headed character I've played, and she was hard to get used to.
I usually don't worry much about gold, because I like finding new equipment more than buying it in a store. If I do buy a magic item, the first one I try to buy is a bag of holding, so I can carry more of what I find in the dungeons. When the party does find a cache of magic items, I usually let the other players pick first. I might end up with a random variety of mismatched equipment, but that's a lot more interesting to me than having a perfect set of optimized gear.
Core classes I haven't played in PnP:
One thing to consider is, what have I not played? Seems like I should try everything at least once. However, there are reasons for my omissions.
Barbarian - I wrote a big long backstory for a Barbarian one time, but I've yet to play one in a PnP campaign. They sound like fun, but I don't think I'd like keeping track of how many rounds I've used my rage. Plus I like my melee characters to be well armored.
Paladin - I've always liked them because they're well-armored and can heal, but I typically don't care for their personalities. Most of my characters are of Good alignment, but I've never been into Lawful. If the system requires Paladins be Lawful Good, I'm probably out.
Rogue - I'm fairly surprised I haven't played a Rogue in PnP, but it just hasn't happened yet. They sound like fun on paper, but personality-wise most of them seem motivated by gold. My characters don't tend to be very greedy, so my Rogue would have other reasons for choosing that lifestyle. Online I used to play a Rogue who was on the run from the law after being wrongly convicted. She didn't enjoy picking pockets, but she couldn't get a real job where she might be recognized.
Wizard - Meh. They're so complicated and strategic, plus they go down too quickly. I can see how they could be fun, but I don't think I have the tactical skills to run one effectively.
I've been playing a Dwarf since mid 2014, and I'd really like to play someone attractive again. But oddly, at the same time I've been wanting to try a Half-Orc or Tiefling - they're the only core races I've never played. Well, I don't think I've played a Gnome either, but I'm not interested. I've also been pondering some of the non-core races, because I'm sick of playing the same races over and over again. But I don't feel like playing anything monster-like. I've always wanted to try a Pixie, but I don't think Pathfinder has one. I'm also partial to cat-like people.
In past campaigns, my favorite characters have been Elves, Half-Elves, Eladrin, Dragonborn, and one Hamadryad. I think I've played more Humans than anything, which is funny because I find them boring. I'm already playing one in real life (though not very convincingly), so I don't know why I'd want to play them in fantasy.
Twice now when I've had trouble deciding on a character, I've rolled for race/class randomly. However, both times I was disappointed with the outcome, and they just weren't as fun or as memorable as characters I chose myself.
Anyway, I still have a few weeks to think about it, so we'll see.