I got into tabletop role-playing games when I was about 15. My older sister had been playing them and painting miniatures for them for what seemed like ages. One time when she visited from college she brought minis and paint with her, and my younger sister and I painted them. So by the time I was in high school I knew enough about RPGs to know that I was interested in trying one.
Then came my first serious boyfriend. He was a gamer of all sorts. He played RPGs, miniature war games, video games, board games, collectible card games. And he had friends who did those things too, so all of a sudden there were multiple people around who played these games that I’d been wanting to try.
Unfortunately, being high school kids, people never seemed to be able to commit to a regular game session. That’s not a big deal with some games, but an RPG is an ongoing thing. So we ended up playing a few sessions of one thing before it disintegrated, then a few sessions of something else with a slightly different group of people, and so on. I think the first game I ever played was Vampire: The Masquerade and it lasted maybe two sessions. My high school boyfriend ran a few sessions of a game based on the Dragon Lance (I think?) book series; and later a short lived Cthulu game with myself and one other player. We found an awesome little gaming shop and played some strange wild west flavored game. And, of course, there were numerous attempts at D&D games.
D&D is the only one I actually stuck with once I got out of high school. During my one year at college I tried to join a gaming club, but I didn’t really feel like I meshed with the people very well. So, I took a break from gaming for a while and got into another scene. But it didn’t take too long before I was in a relationship with another gamer geek. And, moving to a new area notwithstanding, it wasn’t much longer after that before we found a D&D group to play with. I’ve been with that group (or, well, that game master since he and I are the only ones left from the original group) for six years now. And until a month or two ago we had been playing D&D the whole time.
But ever since the fourth edition of D&D came out it seems like everyone, everywhere wants some kind of change. For those of us who hate the way fourth edition has turned D&D into a cross between a collectible card game and a video game, there is an alternative.
Pathfinder is the natural progression of D&D 3.5. It takes the overall system from 3.5 and tweaks it to make a little more sense, then takes the classes and does an overhaul to them to make them more interesting. Pathfinder is for the player who wants their fighter to just fight and leave the magic to the spellcasters. Pathfinder is for the player who wants their cleric to actually be useful in regard to healing, instead of being pushed into the background by fourth edition D&D’s decision to let EVERYONE just heal themselves. Pathfinder is the new D&D, and D&D has become a game for small children.