The Garden of Forlorn Hope
Its possible my gaming experience is significantly different from everyone else’s… but it seems to me that the first thing a player should have before even consulting a manual or rolling dice is a Character Concept.
Here’s the Idea.
Write a sentence or two about your character.
Avoid game jargon or published game specifics.
This concept should be sufficiently complex to mentally inspire interactions with him/her upon the first read through. Once this is done THEN build out those sentences into the excitement you get from learning about a hero from the dust cover of a book. Even bad books started out with character concepts with sufficient potential to get you to fork over the cash to find out just how bad it got. Write up a concept with enough hard points to be more than mere inspiration.
Once you’ve got that THEN we can talk about what sort of classes/feats/archetype/attributes/abilities/talents this character needs to reach his storytelling potential. And that’s the rub. Yes this a pathfinder game. Yes you’re going to be in combat. Yes you need to know just what you’re capable of before we can get this party started. But I also need to know what kind of story we are joining in on here. Whats going to thrill you; whats going to anger you;… what the hell is going to bring you past the the shell of a 2 dimensional npc? And into the character from which legends are going to be founded upon.
Tell me about THAT guy.