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Nobody Expects an Intro Set!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

This past Monday I spoiled on the Paizo Twitter feed that we're beginning the process of working on a Pathfinder intro set. Jason quickly retweeted it and it spread from there. So, what do we mean exactly when we say an intro set? First off we're not 100% sure of anything yet. What we do know is that it'll be useful for more than a couple of sessions, will be a great PFRPG teaching tool, and will help us get more people playing Pathfinder. It'll probably come in a box, it might have counters and/or tokens, probably a Flip-Mat or two, most likely cover a good range of levels, and have a handful of classes and a good collection of feats. Essentially it'll be everything you need to get people playing, and learning, the game. Because the more people playing, the more opportunity for gaming, and we can all do with more gaming right?

We're at the very beginning of this process and nothing is set in stone though. Getting some feedback would be really helpful, though, so what would you like to see in an introductory Pathfinder product?

Hyrum Savage
Marketing Manager

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jdh417 wrote:

If the Pathfinder box is simply the same basic rules as Pathfinder, but lacking most of the character options (Pathfinder's strong point) and limited in levels, it won't be any different than the current 4e Red Box. While many have praised its production values and presentation, few people think it's really worth buying.

I'll offer this one example.

The Alexandrian

Check out the entry for September 28 on the Essentials box set. (Unfortunately, this guy doesn't break up his entries on separate pages.) The post raises several points which also could apply to the potential Pathfinder box: paying for a promo, rules confusion, may as well buy the full version if you really want to play and learn that.

Huh. I never thought of that. Okay, here's a new idea. Make a box, but add in the Core Rulebook into it. Also add in a set of dice, a beginner's adventure path specifically designed to teach the more common rules of the system, maps, and cardboard tokens for the players (one of each class) and monsters. This would drive the price up to around $65 (generous estimate), but it would include everything the players would need to play, ever. Keep the statics for the monsters used in the adventure included in the adventure path, so there are monsters around to fight. That way, it's not a "pay-to-preview" as it's been called, but a real introduction to the game. You don't specifically need the GM's guide to play, nor do you specifically need the Bestiary. A few monsters in an adventure path is sufficient to start play and teach people the most common rules.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

So I'll keep this short.

#1. UNDER $30. $19.99 would be ideal.

#2. A BOX. Everyone forgets what they did with their first D&D box - they kept all their other stuff (character sheets, etc.) in it.

#3. STUFF. Include real stuff, like real minis, real dice, and a paper gaming mat. Real stuff makes people think they *got* something. No monster tokens and no paper chits for dice.

#4. BLACK & WHITE. Saves cost, and non-glossy paper is easy on the eyes. I wish current gaming books were non-glossy.

#5. A good adventure. Keep on the Borderlands is probably one of the best introductory adventures ever, and Village of Hommlet is another great example. And it should be VERY straightforward. D0 is okay, but it's no KotB. We all like involved, complicated adventures now, but this will be someone's first time. Even D0 is on the complicated side for brand new players.

#6. Limited levels. No more than 1-3. Limited classes - probably 4. Include Feats/Skills but put them in an Optional Rules appendix.

The key, however, is the cost and cover artwork.

And getting it into mainstream toy shops such as Toys 'R Us, Wal*Mart and Target.


Green Ronin has already produced an alternate take on the D20 system with their Mutants & Masterminds game. As others have mentioned, they've also produced a complete game in a boxed set with Dragon Age. Then there's several itinerations of the Micro-lite rules; D20 in a few pages.

The point is that the 3.5 rules aren't written in stone and don't have to be huge. There's no reason to be locked into doing a D&D box set the same way it's been done before. There's no reason to be forced into following every convention of the rules for a game whose purpose is to teach RPG's (and provide a rules-lite version for experienced players).

Paizo's specialties have so far have been Pathfinder (with it's wide array of character creation options, in my opinion) and it's adventures and their Glorian setting (not to overlook their high production value). I'd hope that any intro product would lean heavily on Paizo's strengths, rather than simply being a regurgitation of previous D&D starter sets.

This intro game need not be just an expensive sampler of the Core rules. It could be a game unto itself with easy hooks into Paizo's adventures. The kind of gamers looking for a rulings, rather than rules game, would not be intimidated by a little DIY. Please don't limit the appeal of this intro set.


jdh417 wrote:
I know this goes against conventional thinking here,

It's not a matter of "conventional thinking". It's a matter of reading what the Paizo-stated purpose of a Pathfinder intro set is.

"What we do know is that it'll be useful for more than a couple of sessions, will be a great PFRPG teaching tool, and will help us get more people playing Pathfinder."

Experienced players looking for a rules-light game should go look for a rules-light game, not buy a PFRPG teaching tool. If the box set is an alternative lighter rules set for experienced players, instead of an introduction to the full PFRPG for non-players, then it's done exactly the opposite of Paizo's stated goal.

Also note that the Paizo-given explanation is not that it's to "teach RPG's", but to teach PFRPG.


see wrote:
jdh417 wrote:
I know this goes against conventional thinking here,

It's not a matter of "conventional thinking". It's a matter of reading what the Paizo-stated purpose of a Pathfinder intro set is.

"What we do know is that it'll be useful for more than a couple of sessions, will be a great PFRPG teaching tool, and will help us get more people playing Pathfinder."

Experienced players looking for a rules-light game should go look for a rules-light game, not buy a PFRPG teaching tool. If the box set is an alternative lighter rules set for experienced players, instead of an introduction to the full PFRPG for non-players, then it's done exactly the opposite of Paizo's stated goal.

Also note that the Paizo-given explanation is not that it's to "teach RPG's", but to teach PFRPG.

I understand their stated purpose, but I think it's a waste of time and will turn out to be a waste of people's money.

The best teaching tool for Pathfinder is experienced players. Trying to do this out of a box for newbies is an uphill battle if this intro is going to be totally compatible with the Core version. This is assuming anybody outside of the RPG web community knows about it and if anybody outside of a FLGS will sell it. D&D is the sum of all of RPG's mainstream branding. Pathfinder doesn't register.

I'm trying to make suggestions to broaden the appeal of this game to other gamers, the most likely audience. Paying $20 for a trial version of the game makes less sense now than ever given the number of free fantasy RPG games on the Internet. Would you pay $5 for a trial version of Monopoly that only goes from the Start square to the Jail square and doesn't include the racecar, just to see if you liked it? Otherwise, the above suggestion of putting the Core rules in a box with dice is the way to go.


gbonehead wrote:

#1. UNDER $30. $19.99 would be ideal.

#2. A BOX. Everyone forgets what they did with their first D&D box - they kept all their other stuff (character sheets, etc.) in it.

#3. STUFF. Include real stuff, like real minis, real dice, and a paper gaming mat. Real stuff makes people think they *got* something. No monster tokens and no paper chits for dice.

To be honest, having a box with everything you're proposing is going to cost WAY more than $19.99. Real minis for all the characters and the monsters themselves will run about $30. That's why I suggested cardboard tokens. They're cheep, easy, flat (so nothing else in the box gets damaged in transport by pokey miniatures), and they do the job. Dice, on the other hand, I don't think ANYONE suggested using anything but real dice. Paper dice would just be dumb.

gbonehead wrote:
#6. Limited levels. No more than 1-3. Limited classes - probably 4. Include Feats/Skills but put them in an Optional Rules appendix.

Yeah, that seems like a mistake. What I'd do is make pre-made characters for the included adventure (which I'd make from scratch, more incentive for veterans to pick it up if it's not an adventure they already have) and put the descriptions of the feats and skills used in the GM's booklet. Put in the box the maps, the adventure, the GM's booklet (with all the rules used in the adventure and how to apply them in it), the character sheets, the tokens, and a set of dice. Sell for $15. Give a discount of $10 if the starter's adventure box and the Core Rulebook are bought at the same time.


Paizo did Pathfinder because they went against "conventional wisdom" and expectations, I hope they are smart enough to do so with this. Doing what has been done before and meeting those same old expectations is just going to be "ho hum", going the unexpected path, being innovative, etc... is what has put Pathfinder and Paizo where it is. Do the same with the "intro set". Don't just do your own version of what everyone else has done.

You can have a basic and easy to learn Pathfinder, and you will have people move on to the "advanced" version. There is a perception that this has been done before, and making that perception into a reality this time around would be a total win, IMO anyways.


Let me be somewhat less combative and a bit more specifically constructive.

Paizo's developed a few interesting new classes, at least some of these should be included. (Especially the Pokemon Master/Summoner, which might have some kid appeal.) If this Starter set is severely limited in character levels, then this would serve as a crosspromoter for the Advanced Players Guide. Otherwise (if it's a complete game), this would be a good differenter with D&D.

As mentioned above, put in a brand new adventure, but even more, an expansive sandbox setting. This may draw in a few customers that might not want the rules, but would want the setting. Again if the character levels are limited, have the sandbox go beyond that level, to give some incentive to get the Core rules.

Include a poster map of Golarion along with a short gazetteer overviewing the places of interest. I can't tell you how much that old Greyhawk map fueled my interest in RPG's.


So many really different opinions, incredible. And these are only the voices of people who are already into the game. :D
I suppose in the end it will come down to "be absolutely clear about who ought to buy this box" and "do what you think is best, give a s#@* about the PF veteran".

Quote:

So, instead of doing a rules-lite box (AKA weaksauce box), do a stand-alone game on the themes of PFRPG, using the core PFRPG mechanic. Put the branding/PI all over there. "Pathfinder: McGuffin Quest" "Golarion" "Sand Point", etc. Stick in a catalogue and an organised play flier.

To make the game useful to those who continue on to the larger RPG (and to attract the interest of those who already do), make the components reusable, not the rules. Flipmats, chase cards, cloisonné status markers, metallic copper/silver/gold pieces. Y'know: shiny, shiny schwag.

Sounds good too, yeah.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
gbonehead wrote:
#5. A good adventure. Keep on the Borderlands is probably one of the best introductory adventures ever, and Village of Hommlet is another great example. And it should be VERY straightforward. D0 is okay, but it's no KotB. We all like involved, complicated adventures now, but this will be someone's first time. Even D0 is on the complicated side for brand new players.

I think Crypt of the Everflame would fit the bill.

Cheliax

If the Intro Set were to have its own setting I think it would be best to focus on one of the least known areas of Golarion with enough detail to serve as an intro to new players, but as a setting source for experienced players. That would give good incentive for those who already have the game to buy it also.

One could even focus on Absolom and the Pathfinders as a whole if you don't want to go that route, including everything that new and old players would need to start off within the society as a whole. Maybe model it so that the box set serves as an intro to both the game and society in a way that presents the Pathfinder academy in Absolom like a more mature or at least later years Hogwarts. A few adventures within the building itself as well as the outlying city.

Also as an after thought, the box set should then have references to the world as a whole pointing new players not only to the core rules, but the campaign setting.


jdh417 wrote:


I understand their stated purpose, but I think it's a waste of time and will turn out to be a waste of people's money.

You might be surprised at the customer acquisition payoff for introductory sets. Given an extremely attractive box design and a good variety of well made components, the intros do have significant impact in recruiting new players.

For a potential player who has no materials, their is a huge leap between risking $20 instead of $40-$100 (books, dice, maps, etc.) just to get started. The lower risk factor results in more purchases, which in turn results in more active players. There's a bunch of marketing voodoo stats behind this, but the data works out strongly in favor of a $20 intro kit, expecially if good advertising hits at the same time as the release (or very shortly before).

In fact, odds are extremely high that most existing players who have the core products already will buy the starter set either out of a sense of curiosity, loyalty, or to have around for helping new players/GMs.

The intro set is a great idea that, if well executed, has huge potential for profitably attracting and retaining loyal customers, which is the primary objective of most businesses.

I design/build marketing data systems for a living, so the above is not mere speculation. Rather, such is based on observance of actual data relating to introductory kits for a variety of industries as they relate to customer acquisition and loyalty. In short: intro kits work.

Contributor

Grumpy Old Man wrote:

You might be surprised at the customer acquisition payoff for introductory sets. Given an extremely attractive box design and a good variety of well made components, the intros do have significant impact in recruiting new players.

For a potential player who has no materials, their is a huge leap between risking $20 instead of $40-$100 (books, dice, maps, etc.) just to get started. The lower risk factor results in more purchases, which in turn results in more active players. There's a bunch of marketing voodoo stats behind this, but the data works out strongly in favor of a $20 intro kit, expecially if good advertising hits at the same time as the release (or very shortly before).

This should be stressed.

I'm in a 3.5 game right now. One of the younger players recruited a friend who has no gaming gear and not much money to buy it.

The experienced gamers have given him a loaner set of dice but it would be highly useful if he could have a handbook but not something as pricy as the (out of print) 3.5 PHB or the (even more massive if in print) Pathfinder Core Rules. $50 is a little much to expect a new player to buy when they're trying a game or for that matter for a GM to risk loaning to a friend of a friend who they may not see for a month or more.

$20-25 is easily doable on most budgets however.


Grumpy Old Man wrote:
jdh417 wrote:


I understand their stated purpose, but I think it's a waste of time and will turn out to be a waste of people's money.

I design/build marketing data systems for a living, so the above is not mere speculation. Rather, such is based on observance of actual data relating to introductory kits for a variety of industries as they relate to customer acquisition and loyalty. In short: intro kits work.

I can't argue with your background and experience, but WOTC is on their third intro set for 4e (Shadowfell, Starter, Essentials). Even with their brand, their experience, and the money they've put into it, they still obviously haven't quite come up with the right formula for it. I think it's because WOTC is simply trying to duplicate TSR's old box set success with about the same components.

Paizo certainly has the experience, but not the brand, and probably not the funds. The company should look at doing something different than what has come before if they want more than marginal success.

Cheliax

Have a clear sense of the target audience. I recommend aiming for "people who are willing to give Pathfinder a try, but who aren't currently playing any RPG at all." People who are currently playing other RPGs will just pick up a copy of the Core Rulebook and will read it--they are not your target audience for this set. Instead, go for the uninitiated players who haven't ever played an RPG, and the players who haven't touched an RPG in a long time (the 30 year-old who hasn't played a role playing game since high school or college), and so forth.

Make it so that experienced players can use the set to introduce others to Pathfinder without feeling like these are fakey, made-up rules. Any gamer will have a set of friends who don't game--make it so that the experienced gamer can use this as an opportunity to introduce the game to others. I am personally intrigued by this as a way to introduce the game to my eldest daughter who has expressed a lot of interest in Pathfinder, but isn't quite old enough to play the real game.

Include explanations that relate game ideas to common-knowledge ideas and include pictures to help explain.

Make certain decisions for the player. For example, don't mention feats, but build the characters so that the effects of feats are clearly incorporated. Advanced players would be able to spot why this is the case, but the beginning players don't need to worry about those rules until they get to a more advanced level.

Include real rules, but only include the rules that are actually necessary to get started. Pathfinder is a game with a lot of rules, but you don't need all of the rules all of the time. So give the spellcaster real spells, but leave metamagic out. This is something the player can discover with the real game.

Don't make up new rules. The key here is to edit out the rules that get used less than 5% of the time, but everything that's left in should be a real part of the real game.

Streamline and go for rules that fit a pattern. So a player's turn should be a move action and a standard action so that the player gets used to the rhythm. Don't include spells that have a full-round casting time or combat options that require a full round to complete.

Error-proof the game. Go for options that work when you don't know what you're doing. So comparing the wizard vs. sorcerer: one requires the player to predict what spells will be necessary and to plan ahead, the other allows the player to make a decision on the spur of the moment. To me, this type of choice is clear--go with the sorcerer.

Make it possible to play with a less-than-optimal table. So if the players can only scrape together 3-4 people to sit down at the table, that's fine--it will still work. Heck, if the adventures work so that a player can solo play his way through the adventure, that's even better. So a player could get this for Christmas, try it out on his own, and then turn around and be the guide/GM for his friends.


jdh417 wrote:

If the Pathfinder box is simply the same basic rules as Pathfinder, but lacking most of the character options (Pathfinder's strong point) and limited in levels, it won't be any different than the current 4e Red Box. While many have praised its production values and presentation, few people think it's really worth buying.

I'll offer this one example.

The Alexandrian

Check out the entry for September 28 on the Essentials box set. (Unfortunately, this guy doesn't break up his entries on separate pages.) The post raises several points which also could apply to the potential Pathfinder box: paying for a promo, rules confusion, may as well buy the full version if you really want to play and learn that.

I know this goes against conventional thinking here, but I think a full game (going up to 15th level, same as the adventure paths), a full range of races and classes, and a really stripped down rules set is the way to go. This would appeal to experienced gamers wanting a lighter rules set. As long as it has some compatibility with Adventure Paths and such (which are Paizo's real forte), this Basic rules could still generate continuing sales, even if it's not the Core book. Being simplier, it would also be easier to teach new players.

A box set could include dice, Player's book, DM's book, and an adventure, as well as a "What is an RPG?" booklet. This would be a small, "read me first" pamphlet with all of the standard stuff that explains RPG's and the game conventions would help. Another booklet could be a conversion guide to the full version. Separating out this material will keep the size of the gamebooks down. Sell the gamebooks separately as well, making the pamphlets pdf files.

The main problem is that Paizo knows the 3.5 system so well, that the developers may have a problem cutting out rules, as they may consider them all integral. You might also have to completely rethink the classes and how they work to make a simpler version.

...

You are so right in many aspects of your post. I could not say it better. Today the art of good rpg design is not adding more and more stuff, its "really stripping down the rules" without changing the playing experience too much. This is not as difficult as it may seem in the first moment, when the right people with the right approach to gaming are working on it.

But if Paizo gives out just a 200p teaser product (eg. level 1-3) in order to lure converts and newbies into the hobby (like WotC did it recently with its useless Red Box) the whole project is damned on from the beginning.

Producing just an "intro-box" is very BAD idea because this means that one who is interested in the long run after buying such an intro-box, is forced to read and learn the current overkomplex PF core rules if he wants to play through an whole AP. And because almost no newbie (and many vets too) likes to learn 1000+p of rules this would lead to a much bigger drop-out rate than with a compact rules-light philosophy from level 1-15.

One of the challenges for a PF light project with access to full 15 levels is the monster stat block. It is the most difficult to change or to adapt in post-PF light modules. I suggest a clear 2 part stat block. (color coded?) One part for PF light and one for PF heavy.


Hi.

My opinion is to create a beginner box set that is as inexpensive to buy as you can afford to make it. If this was the case then I would buy the item to give to others as a Christmas or Birthday present. If it costs too much then I can't afford to give it out as a gift to others.

Grand Lodge

Art work will make or break a product in my opinion. My love affair with fantasy and RPG's started with the amazing artwork making me say "OH MAN! What is going on here?" *cough, Larry Elmore,*cough cough* Also the multi-color dice are great for learning so thats something to be considered IMHO. And as far as minis go, well I fell in love with the solid red dwarf that came with my 1st E D&D box so it doesn't take much in that department.

Contributor

The argument from The Alexandrian convinced me: It really does need to be a full 1 through 20th level progression, not just a false intro to convince you to buy the full game.

Yes, some people will, but some people have a limited budget or limited interest, and if you want more people playing the game, you need everyone, not just the people with a ton of disposable income and the willingness to spend it all on books.

Also, looking at Pathfinder's success, here's what I see the main strength: Jason took the old core classes and made them sexy again. Everyone got a power bump, new tweaks and frills, and it all works.

The new classes in the APG? Much the same thing. They're fun and cool. The Witch is now an interesting class, rather than an abortive afterthought in the DMG as part of an essay on "How to design a class" that basically didn't do much other than make a class with a dumpy spell list and never mention it again.

For an intro set, I had a wild idea: Why not give some love to a set of classes that no one bothers with? The five NPC classes: Adept, Aristocrat, Commoner, Expert and Warrior.

Adept already sounds sexy to begin with. So does Warrior. Commoner? Maybe not so much, but if you let people think of them as a folk hero, the sort who in dealing with fey creatures remembers the lore about cold iron and assorted peasant cleverness, that could work too. If Experts had some way to get Magical Artisan earlier than 7th level, even with a limited catologue of items--feather tokens and whatnot--they could be highly interesting as well. And Aristocrats should be sexier.

This would make the box set an interesting and useful expansion for GMs who wanted to expand their NPCs and have extra options for PCs, and would still leave people who bought just the box set with a very playable game.


Slithy wrote:

Have a clear sense of the target audience. I recommend aiming for "people who are willing to give Pathfinder a try, but who aren't currently playing any RPG at all." People who are currently playing other RPGs will just pick up a copy of the Core Rulebook and will read it--they are not your target audience for this set. Instead, go for the uninitiated players who haven't ever played an RPG, and the players who haven't touched an RPG in a long time (the 30 year-old who hasn't played a role playing game since high school or college), and so forth.

Make it so that experienced players can use the set to introduce others to Pathfinder without feeling like these are fakey, made-up rules. Any gamer will have a set of friends who don't game--make it so that the experienced gamer can use this as an opportunity to introduce the game to others. I am personally intrigued by this as a way to introduce the game to my eldest daughter who has expressed a lot of interest in Pathfinder, but isn't quite old enough to play the real game.

Include explanations that relate game ideas to common-knowledge ideas and include pictures to help explain.

Make certain decisions for the player. For example, don't mention feats, but build the characters so that the effects of feats are clearly incorporated. Advanced players would be able to spot why this is the case, but the beginning players don't need to worry about those rules until they get to a more advanced level.

Include real rules, but only include the rules that are actually necessary to get started. Pathfinder is a game with a lot of rules, but you don't need all of the rules all of the time. So give the spellcaster real spells, but leave metamagic out. This is something the player can discover with the real game.

Don't make up new rules. The key here is to edit out the rules that get used less than 5% of the time, but everything that's left in should be a real part of the real game.

Streamline and go for rules that fit a pattern. So a player's turn should...

+1. This, and the previous suggestion of using Oracle and Sorcerer rather than Cleric and Wizard, makes sense. Also, explanations of how certain rules work as they appear in the adventure would be useful. There's no good reason to include an entire game in here; the core rules only cost $10 as a PDF if you can't afford the dead tree edition, so it's not as though they're hard to get hold of.


I think this should be a rules light version of PF. Levels 1-10 only. Something that can give beginning players a long solid foundation in PF and then when they have played it out, they can upgrade to the full PF rule set.

But make it clear in the box set that this will be the only product. No further additions will be made to the rules light box set.
It would be expected of players to move on to the full PF after playing through it.
That way you set the expectation that you won't be spending any more of your developers time making new product for it.

I don't think my girlfriend would be comfortable or ready to play the full PF after only a couple levels of an intro set.

Also, why be like WotC and all their 3.x/4e forgettable intro sets? You play for a couple levels and then never open the box again!

Be original, and shock the people. Continue the gaming revolution!!


I was at my local Barnes & Noble in Games section this weekend. In addition to a new version of Cosimic Encounter, I also saw an Exalted themed(basically White Wolf's D&D)available as large board game, on par with Axis & Allies. The box probably weighed 5 lbs with all the stuff in it. It was $34. (Shocking, I know.) Over in the books on the RPG shelf there was one Paizo Pathfinder book, the Advanced Player's Guide. $40.

Not exactly a fair comparison. The Exalted board game was obviously no where as open ended as an actual RPG. Then again, none of the $40 Pathfinder core are complete by themselves either. I'm certainly not suggesting a Pathfinder board game (though I'm sure there'll be one in the future). But I would expect a Pathfinder Basic box to be on par with this Exalted game in terms of production, completeness, and out of the box playability. Given that there shouldn't be heavy duty maps and a bunch of toys inside, it should also be cheaper.

Cheliax

I've said this a couple of times before, but I want to repeat it again: boxed sets are tricky for libraries (tokens, maps, cards et al. are a pain to catalogue and keep track of); please, good Paizonians, publish the 'PF Intro Game' as books, too! Otherwise I fear most libraries will likely skip it.


Very late to this party, but my pair of pennies:

This box set needs to show that it is more than D&D 3.5 relabeled. The first of the suggestions that follow carry on from this thought:

- Sure, include the "Classic Four" classes but add one more class, perhaps one from the APG, like the Cavalier, Inquisitor or Alchemist. Or something that's received extensive reflavoring in the core rules, like the Barbarian, Paladin, or Sorcerer. I also like the suggestion I saw above of swapping in Sorcerer for Wizard and Oracle for Cleric. If avoiding the APG classes is desirable (because they ARE complex and their full rules are in a non-required supplement) then I would definitely pick "unexpected" core races where possible (unfortunately the Rogue is the only class with Trapfinding, so that's stuck).

- Likewise with races, I would be all for including the re-flavored Gnomes or Half-Orcs precisely because they're aren't completely "traditional"--they show what Pathfinder has to bring to the table.

- The module it comes with should have plenty of Golarion flavor (and this comes from someone who doesn't even use the Golarion setting). This shouldn't just be rules but show how the world can come to life in the players' and GM's hands.

- Include samples of the Game Mastery line: a flip mat (I'd say blank, light colored cobblestones on one side and wilderness on the other) or map pack, a small selection of item cards (to go with the pre-gen characters in the box). These are useful and also advertise the product line.

- Include paper tokens with stands instead of full minis. This saves money but still looks nice.

- As with the Core Rulebook, all the rules should be in one book--not one for the players and one for the GM (the thing I hated most about the Doctor Who RPG boxset was that they had two books--and the GM book was 70% cut and paste from the player's book anyway). BUT there should be brief quick reference sheets/cards, one for players and one for GM (the thing I loved most about the Doctor Who RPG boxset was the 2-page summary of play that players could keep out on the table to refer to).


Paizo may wish to consider what they can do with a boxed set that can get it off the RPG shelf and into the Games aisle.

Shadow Lodge

I'd make it the adept, the expert, and the warrior...but actually give them some stuff that makes them worth playing.

Contributor

Kthulhu wrote:
I'd make it the adept, the expert, and the warrior...but actually give them some stuff that makes them worth playing.

The Aristocrat too. A whole lot of the Bard stuff would port over to them, and far more logically than is current. I mean "Inspire Competence" makes more sense with a Prince saying "I have faith in your abilities" or a Princess swooning and asking you to help her than some guy with a lute going "Bluff bluff bluff the stupid ogre...."

Ditto with a lot of other stuff. And it would be just cool if higher level aristocrats could do Break Enchantment with a kiss.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'll second KAM's NPC classes idea. Goodman games even had a couple adventures where they started out as NPC classes.

I don't know the feasability, but I'm partial to a boxed set. For Asgetrion's library concerns, would it be possible to put out a book and have it say 'you use these dice, found at any hobby store' and a link to a random number generator here on site? It would allow the new player to read the computer get to know 'us' (and hopefully not get scared away) and serve as a backup gateway drug?

Cheliax

Matthew Morris wrote:

I'll second KAM's NPC classes idea. Goodman games even had a couple adventures where they started out as NPC classes.

I don't know the feasability, but I'm partial to a boxed set. For Asgetrion's library concerns, would it be possible to put out a book and have it say 'you use these dice, found at any hobby store' and a link to a random number generator here on site? It would allow the new player to read the computer get to know 'us' (and hopefully not get scared away) and serve as a backup gateway drug?

That's exactly what I meant; and if we're going to use Pathfinder Intro/Basic Game (the books) at my library to run games for customers, we'll surely market the boxed set for them as well. :)

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