A few days ago I found some very entertaining stories written by Andrew Watson. All feature a solo spellcaster who goes through a published Pathfinder module.
- Camulus the Sorcerer (level 18) and the Witchwar Legacy
- Horden Hammerhand the Arcanist (level 12) and the Eyes of the Ten
- Marcus D'Avore the Arcanist (level 11) Versus the King of the Storval Stairs
- Marcus D'Avore the Arcanist (level 11) and the Elven Entanglement
- Marcus D'Avore the Arcanist (level 16) Invades the Moonscar
- Casmir the Sorcerer (level 10) and the Fury/Fate of the Fiend
- Casmir the Sorcerer (level 10) and the Five Challenges
Totally unrelated to these stories, here is M. S. Corley's picture of what an Arcanist might look like. Seem to you like a more flexible, mobile, and upbeat wizard?
I have written about the Eidos Thief computer games, and noticed similarities that undoubtedly help explain why I enjoyed his tales so much.
In Andrew's stories a lone protagonist is more maneuverable and stealthy than his opponents. Exploration can happen quickly and is not bogged down by combats. The hero can complete the mission while avoiding many fights. But avoiding a fight forfeits an opportunity to gain information and loot, and also allows a threat to remain between our hero and the exit, which might be problematic if a hasty retreat is needed.
The protagonist does not defeat his enemies by being better than them at their kind of fighting--instead he has a small but robust set of tricks he uses to take them out. Many of these tricks defeat the foe without killing it.
The hero has limited and valuable resources, and the better tricks use up more important resources. Thus the hero must continually look for the least costly solution for each problem. Studying his enemies helps him know which tricks to use in each circumstance.
Am I forcing the similarities, or do you see them too?
UPDATE: Andrew has created five challenges for others to solve with similar stories.