Blasting enemies with fire, throwing weapons with telekinesis, and knowing secrets of ancient lore are some of the qualities of Wizard, one of four pre-generated characters at Pathfinders Society in Elie.
Pathfinders Society is a role-playing game in which players become fictional characters who interact in a fictional world. It’s a tabletop game played by teams who must overcome various obstacles, sort of like a team video game.
"I always hear from friends or co-workers with kids talking about how hard it can be to get them away from video games. This has the fighting aspect of those games, which the kids like, but includes many things parents want their children to practise — math, reading, problem-solving, creative thinking, and teamwork," said Lessa Baker, who helped start the Elie chapter of Pathfinders Society with her husband, Dave.
They play the game at Elie Community Centre every other Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The next session is scheduled for April 12, then April 26 and so on.
Lessa has been involved in Pathfinders Society for a year and a half. Dave has been involved in various role-playing games for 15 years, but has been involved in Pathfinders Society for two years.
"Your characters are yours to create, whether you want to be a dashing swashbuckler or a powerful sorcerer to everything between," Dave says.
The game is designed to be played in teams of four to six people.
"You choose how your character interacts with and overcomes those obstacles as well as how they interact with your teammates; this is a co-operative game, after all," Dave explains.
People around the world play Pathfinders Society. The couple plays in Winnipeg but wanted to start it in a rural location, for people who don’t want to drive to the city.
Even though role-playing games are typically for a niche group, Dave thinks Pathfinders Society is good for anyone.
"It provides a completely different form of cheap entertainment for the area. It is a fun diversion that lets loose your imagination and lets you be the hero without sitting in front of an idiot box being anti-social."
It’s free to play at the Elie Community Centre. The group’s first session drew 11 players but they hope to expand it to more people in the area.
For more information, contact the couple with the subject line PFS at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amber McGuckin is a community correspondent for Headingley.