Tuesday, November 29, 2011

GM Advice - Converting from the Screen to Paper- Part One

How many times have you seen a cool new show or read a great book and have wanted to play out the characters? How difficult would it be to move that character class or type to a class in Pathfinder or DnD? Have you ever tried to convert a concept in a movie or a book to a game only to end up in total failure when the concept was either way too overpowered or grossly under-powered? How can one convert an idea from a movie or a book that they've seen to a playable class? 

I have been watching the Legend of the Seeker on Netflix. The Legend of the Seeker is based around the Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind. In the show as in the books the Seeker is a hero who has been called to fight an awesome darkness. The Seeker is an almost mystical figure of myth and legend who is born whenever there is a great evil to overcome. 

Like all good heroes the Seeker is not alone in his quest. In the show the Seeker has a female compaion who can turn the minds and souls of others called a Confessor and a very powerful wizard of the First Order. The Confessor is the judge of the lands of the world and no one can lie to a Confessor. The Wizard of the First Order is a powerful mage who is able to use both arcane magic and arcane healing.

In this series I will be taking a look at the Pathfinder game and considering the ways in which I could use existing classes to create alternate class features for the Seeker, The Confessor and the Wizard of the First Order. I am considering using the Witch, the Wizard and the Fighter base classes and I plan on modifying them to fit within the abilities of the above character types.

A First Look

First we have to look at what they can do,what gives them their power and how they function in the world.

Seeker - Power granted by the magic in the Sword of Truth and a magical sense that he seems to possess. A Seeker is able to fight many enemies at once and uses the Sword of Truth to block even magical attacks. The Seeker seems to have an almost supernatural ability to dodge blows. A Seeker is born but does not become a Seeker until he is named.

Confessor - Power granted from the order of the Confessor. A Confessor is born with her power but she must go to the order to be trained. A Confessor is almost rogue-like in her ability to use stealth and has the ability to touch a person and "Confess" them to do her bidding. Once a confessor is able to confess someone they remain her slave until she dies.

Wizard of the First Order - Power granted by birth. A Wizard is trained by a master in the arcane arts. A wizard of the first order calls upon inner power to channel their magics. Wizard fire is known only to the wizards of the first order. In the show the wizard displayed a mastery of multiple forms of magical schools including divination, illusion, transmutation, conjuring and evocation.

Now that we have a base understanding of these archtypes we will spend some time over the next few columns discussing how to make them effective Pathfinder classes.

The Legend of the Seeker, The Swords of Truth Novels and all other concepts are copyright Terry Goodkind and ABC Studios.


  1. Well, that would be one interpretation of the Sword of Truth series. Unfortunately, there is more to being the Seeker, Confessor, or Wizard.

    The True Seeker is actually a War-wizard, being able to use both Negative and Possitive magic (easy enough to read, possible sorcerer w/necromatic & holy priest spells.)

    If you had to give it a class, then your looking at a Inquisitor/Paladin, LN alignment (no, not Good as the Seeker can kill even the innocent along with the guilty.).

    As for the Confessor, they would be Aristocrats with the ability to cast a Permanent Dominate Other spell with a very high DC save (high enough that normal npcs couldn't make it, even with a natural 20). From the description given by Kahlan in the book, Confessors can use their abilities, some once every few days, others after a days rest. The Mother Confessor is after a few hours rest.

    There are two types of Wizards. Both types are not able to cast any negative/necromatic spells.

    Taught: A specialist evocation Fire wizard, unable to cast any negative/necromatic spells. Special ability: 1+cha mod/day for wizards fire (fireball 1d6 per 2 lvls, if desired can increase the damage to 1d8 per level and results in the death of the wizard.).

    Gifted: Like the Taught Wizard, the gifted can use fire. But they're able to specialize into other fields, including divine healing spells.

    While the taught wizard may happily cast spells without worry of the consequences. The Gifted Wizard Due to the Wizards 2nd rule (Unintended Consequences) May use other means to deal with others rather than cast spells.

    The female Wizard is: Sorceress.

  2. @Ladyskunk - While I appreciate your feedback the point of this exercise is to make a playable character based on what was in the show/books not to make the all powerful seeker, confessor and wizard. I will be showing you what I mean as this thread progresses.

  3. Okies, based on that. Then the Seeker is a Paladin, the Confessor is a Cleric and the Wizard is a Magus.