Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Seizing the Initiative

"Who takes Improved Initiative?"

This question, blatantly asked in The Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising, is one that most players voice at a table. Feats are a big deal after all, so why waste it just to help you go first when combat breaks out?

I'll tell you why.

If you go first then you have the chance to claim the battlefield, and to make the opening moves. You catch your enemies unawares, and you have a better chance of dealing out damage and dropping the threat before it can even draw its sword. The right spell, or the right alchemical item, can completely change the course of combat from that point onward. Characters who go first have the chance to strike hard, fast, and without mercy. That's the kind of player who takes Improved Initiative, and that's the sort of gamer we welcome with open arms.

What's This Blog About?

In the spirit of the title, this blog is here to share tips, tricks, and character builds for all those who are looking for a new and interesting twist on their mechanics. In addition to tuning up your sheet though, we'll also have articles for dungeon masters on the little ways to turn a good game into a great game, and to help players breathe real life into their characters. In between all of that we'll have great gaming stories, amusing pictures, character portraits, and maybe the occasional video that will make any gamer's day.

And Just Who The Hell Are You?

Since I've been using the royal "we", I'll tell you just who the hell I am and why you should listen to me. My name is Neal F. Litherland, and I am an author. I'm also an avid role playing gamer, a DM, and I've contributed to Paizo's Pathfinder game both on the fictional and mechanical sides of things. Before you ask, no, this blog isn't connected to Paizo in any way; these are my own thoughts and opinions about games I've played and that I've both loved and hated.

For those of you who still aren't quite convinced, I've got a couple of references that might pique your interest.

The Irregulars The Irregulars is my first contribution to Paizo's Pathfinder Tales. With Molthune gearing up to go to war, Andoran sends in a team of experts to gum up the works. A suicide squad of loose cannons and skull crackers, the Irregulars are the best and the brightest of the bottom of the barrel.

The Avengers This link is for the seven character guides I wrote to convert the Avengers (and Loki, don't forget Loki) into Golarion PCs. Some take a couple of levels to really hit their strides, but others can start kicking ass and taking names out of the gate.

A Guide to the Best Alchemical Items For those players who want to have a little ace in the hole, there's nothing like the right alchemical tool for the job.

More Bang For Your Bomb A guide I wrote for Kobold Quarterly to help turn your Alchemist into a walking conflagration.

The Laying on of Fists: Feats and Features for Battle Clerics and Paladins This title is pretty self-explanatory; another Kobold Quarterly piece.

Calling in the Cavalry: Mounted Mayhem in Paizo's Pathfinder After I played a Shining Knight, I just had to put this guide together.

Faces of Rage: Adding Character to Your Barbarians Because there's more to Rage than meets the eye. Remember that.

You're in the Army Now This is one for the DMs. Does your party fall apart like a soggy sandwich? Whip them into shape and give them a purpose!

Anything Else We Should Know?

I think that's about it for now. However, for those who are more interested in writing than roleplaying, check out my other blog The Literary Mercenary for tips and tricks on being a professional pen monkey. If you'd like to see more of my fiction and follow my writing, check out my author page on Facebook, or jack in at Tumblr.

If my readers want me to discuss any particular game, or any particular topic under the umbrella of gaming, just drop me a line and I'll look a little deeper into it. If you have something you want to share, let me know and I'll consider people who are serious about guest posts. Also, if you want to see more gaming stuff then remember that we run on Google AdSense; that's how we bloggers pay our Internet bills.

Lastly fellow gamers, I leave you with these words of wisdom. Remember, it is always better to do a thing.

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