Sadly, my Pathfinder game was canceled this weekend. But when the GM said why they were doing it I completely understood and agreed with his choice. Because, as much as we all love our role playing, too much of it can be bad. And bad role playing is seriously no fun.
The funny thing is that while I was looking forward to getting out of the house and getting together with the group, I was a maybe sensing this for myself as last week went on. I was feeling a little burned out by the current thread in the game. The big reason for that was because I was not playing my character. As much fun as it was to really get into the character of the ‘bad guy’ who joins up with the group temporarily, that is not my ideal way to play.
But that was not the only reason. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how you could tell that some members of the Critical Role group were getting a little bored with 2 ‘character development’ sessions in a row. I think that is a little bit of what is affecting my views of my Pathfinder game. We have had 2 sessions with not a lot of battle. We finished the Boss battle rather quickly, and then went and spent money and messed around. The next session was when I began to play my temporary character, and we had one very short combat encounter where the party quickly ran when it was clear that they were outmatched. So there simply has not been a lot of fighting lately.
My Deadlands game has gone 2 sessions without a single battle, but I think that is the core concept of the game. And I am happy with that. So it is not like I have to have constant combat sessions. It comes down to the flavor of a campaign. If you craft one kind of campaign, and then go too much the other way to break things up that can end up being a problem.
An ideal game would probably have a mix of combat and social encounters, with some trap finding and mysteries as well. But not every GM can run a game like that. I know I am not. And my Pathfinder GM runs a great campaign that is almost purely combat encounters. The last couple of sessions have gotten away from that. Which I think is too much for that campaign to sustain. Which is why I am hoping that his taking a break was a good thing. Because he now has time to put together a couple of his normally kick ass combat scenarios. Get back to what he is good at.
Because social encounters can be fun, but too much of them can be a bad thing. Which is the opposite of the lesson I have taken to heart from the boys. With them, I have learned that attempting any social encounters is probably too much, at least for them.