Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Pathfinder club comes to campus

Augustana has a brand-new type of game club on campus this fall: the Pathfinder Club. Pathfinder is a tabletop roleplaying game (RPG) where players explore a fantasy world as a Dungeon Master introduces monsters and describes the locations of enemies.
Pathfinder is often compared to the classic Dungeons & Dragons RPG. The major difference is that Pathfinder is regulated and reported online after each mission, so it is not restricted to having a specific group for the whole process.
Mason Bergstrom, an Augustana sophomore and the president and founder of the Pathfinder Club, states “I formed this club so that there would be a place for people who didn’t have specific groups to play RPGs with since they normally form groups and then don’t accept more people – so a lot of people can get left out.” Bergstrom’s Pathfinder Society is able to avoid this problem because anyone can come play at any time – Pathfinder does not need the same group every time. Bergstrom says that he “loves that Pathfinder is still able to capture the essence of a game like Dungeons & Dragons while also not excluding anyone.” Bergstrom states that Pathfinder is part of a very popular game genre, but “in an actual gaming club, it is impossible to play games like this and uphold regular club activities since it takes so much time.”
The club as a whole rarely has to actually meet up – they only meet to play games. They meet for games every Saturday and occasionally on Fridays and Sundays. The club will be holding meetings to teach the game to new players, however. Bergstrom comments that potential new members only need “to be willing to learn how to play and willing to work with other people to solve the puzzles and simulated social encounters of the games.”
Gavin Wink, another sophomore and member of the club, says that games like Dungeons & Dragons are becoming more mainstream, so anyone who enjoys creativity and storytelling may enjoy Pathfinder. Wink comments that “the people that you play with really make [the game], and the group that we’ve got is really great. The people we have running the game are really good and create a genuinely immersive experience and that helps a lot.”
Alexander Duke, sophomore and secretary of the club, says that he was very invested when Bergstrom originally brought up the idea for the club. Duke comments, “I remember asking him if I could play as a wizard with a ray gun and flying swords just to see if it could be done and he said yes.” Duke says that after that, he knew that he wanted to play Pathfinder. Duke states that while other gaming clubs play modern games or classic games like Monopoly or cards, “Pathfinder relies on the imagination of the user and their desire to do something,” and you can’t really compare that to other forms of games because they all have good and bad points.
Duke also agrees that new members do not need previous experience to join the Pathfinder club. He states that players only need to “do very basic math, follow some rules, and roleplay”. He does admit that there are a lot of rules and things to keep track of, but the sheet you are given helps keep everything in order and there are at least 6 people who can help you through it. Duke states that if a student has “even the slightest desire to live out an alternate reality as someone or something that they really wanted to be,” they should try Pathfinder at least once. Overall, Duke comments “I’ve had so much fun over the last year playing missions and laughing so hard my sides hurt. I can’t imagine myself not playing Pathfinder.”

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Pathfinder club comes to campus