The group got together last Thursday to roll characters and talk about backgrounds. I was all about playing a fighter-type, with a straight up fighter as my preference and a ranger as backup.
I am now playing a bard. So you see what planning does for you.
As we went around the table talking about preferences, it became clear that most folks were sticking pretty close to their comfort zone with character choice -- a fighter and a wizard were chosen almost immediately. I had no desire to play a cleric, as my last Pathfinder character was a cleric. I loved that character, but wanted something different. Someone else picked a paladin (an odd choice for this player), giving us two melee characters. Another player said he really did NOT want to play a rogue, so he took the cleric. Every party needs a cleric. Now, I was character-less and the party was rogue-less. And I've always been a stickler for a balanced party, unless we all decided to play the same class in a game designed around that concept (which I've always thought would be cool, but have never done). So I said I'd play a rogue.
We then worked out a pretty nice group backstory that both unites (most of) us and creates some intra-party tension. I'll talk about this in another post. That story got me sold on the character, but not on the class. The Pathfinder rogue is as much about sneaky, backstabbing combat as he is stealing things and disarming traps. My concept fit the later well, but not the former. So I went home with an empty character sheet.
I thought for a couple of days about my character's role in the party and my role in the group. Having played a lot of Pathfinder, I know the rules and the setting better than the other players, so likely I was going to take a leadership and support role both in and out of character. I hadn't thought of a bard at all, but then I stumbled across the archaeologist -- a bard archetype that's apparently in Pathfinder Ultimate Combat. Fortunately, it's also in the Pathfinder SRD (hooray for the OGL and Paizo's willingness to make so much of it's stuff available for free!). The archaeologist swaps the bard's music abilities for some rogue abilities like trap-finding. He also gets some extra luck in the form of a bonus to all rolls that lasts for a few rounds per day. This sounded a lot more like my concept! He'll know a lot about the world, have motivation to explore it, be competent at ranged combat, be good at tracking and trap finding, and have some spells as a reserve/support character.
I still haven't crunched the numbers or come up with a name, but I feel a lot better about this half-elf than I did at the table last Thursday.