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A box?!? Perfect! I would encourage you to use the Moldvay Basic Set box as the model.
*Human/Elf/Dwarf/Halfling (gnomes and the half breeds may be too much)
*minis - no
I'd actually go human, elf, dwarf, gnome, since I associate gnomes more with Pathfinder than I do halflings. Halfling seems pretty generic. Gnomes in Pathfinder are awesome.
Of course I don't really like elves, so I'd ditch them and put in half-orc instead (for the brooding, misunderstood archtype), but I do appreciate that elves are a mainstay of the genre so they'd probably be in a starter set.
I'd suggest going level 1-6, and including a couple shorter scaling adventures (IE like the Pathfinder Society scenarios) that can be played in either order.
For goodness sake clear the schedule of other stuff in the rules line, please, the year this comes. It needs to be the sole focus of attention. This is a flagship product.
Oh, and goblins - as I said when James Jacobs asked about it in the chat the other night, it needs pyromaniac Golarion goblins.
Absolutely real rules. I've taught D&D to noobies without any dumbing down, you just need what to roll and what to add REAL BIG. I think this will mostly be oriented towards new players in general...for folks experienced with other editions of the game they can just pick up the core rulebook.
Please include goblins. please please please! And Goblin songs!!!
This will now be the Christmas gift I give every child I know.
Please: Useful from 1st-3rd level; REAL rules; cleric, fighter, rogue, wizard; all core races; "basic" equipment aka Standard Adventuring Kit; dungeon crawl with a map (flip-mat?); dice (big purple d20? ;)); and GOBLINS!
Here's my two-cents...
First, make it a boxed set. Call it nostalgia, but the kids will snap it up and grognards who remember the good ol' days will immediately recogize it and buy it for their kids/grandkids. The box also serves to hold all of the goodies better than a single book.
After that, include the following:
1) Player's Guide (scaled down)
2) Introductory Adventure and partial GM's Guide
3) A single, double-sided flip-mat (depicting two reusable scenes from the introductory adventure, preferrably a wilderness setting and dungeon)
4) Tokens (a single page of card stock tokens to serve as minis for monsters and PCs, but make them compact enough to fit as many as you can on the sheet; you could also make it double-sided so that a single token had a goblin on one side and a hobgoblin on the other to maximize their usefulness and mix/match ability).
5) Dice (no frills, just a set that will get them rolling)
6) A coupon, flyer, etc. (that directs them to the Paizo site for more, including any web enhancements you might want to give away or bonus PDFs)
If you can create a boxed set in the $30 range with those things and still meet your price point, I think it'll become a tremendously successful product for you.
+1 especially for having dice included.
I really like these suggestions (up a few posts) - although I would make sure there are enough monsters available for a creative GM to make a great run through 3rd level.
Limiting available spells and skills is great. The tokens can be skipped to save some money for more monsters and the dice. I definitely think that serviceable dice are way more important than fancy tokens.
I like the idea. I recently bought the Dragon Age RPG that Green Ronin put out, and I STRONGLY urge you to take a look at what they've done there to draw influence for it.
What I'd specifically like to see in the player packet would be:
-Races: Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling
GM book should contain:
Damon Griffin wrote:
+1 With limited options, but it fits right there.
For the record, one of my old friends just opened a games shop. He has over stocked (IMO) on 4e ... just for one reason : they have a "basic" set.
Steal the entry market from them ... and you own the world.
I think all the ideas pertaining to box contents are great :) Here's a couple ideas related to books and rules, based on my own experience.
1- Put spells in their own little booklet. Casters will sing your praises for years to come, and so will GMs. Although an option, I don't think multiple copies of a Spells booklet are necessary. It's easy for players to share a book, with the main problems occurring when players and the GM both need to look in the same book at the same time.
2- Don't include feats at all. I can hear the outcry now "but the characters won't be able to do anything!" Au contraire mon ami. They will be able to do plenty. I would say that skills are optional for inclusion, but they form a nicely limited number of pretty general abilities that will get new players used to the idea of how to use the mechanic (without simply learning to rely on it.) Feats should be mentioned as being a part of the full-blown Pathfinder game, with the statement that players will be adding them to their character if they move into that game.
3- Respect your own efforts to their fullest. Don't sell the intro game short as being either inferior or impossible to use after a certain point is reached. Although it might boost sales of the big Pathfinder book slightly if you did, I think that not only can the big book stand on its own merits, but that new players will be eager to dig down into Paizo's library of adventures to support the intro game itself.
Best of luck with this cool direction! :)
It sounds like a great idea. Just make easy to help teach the game. It is think that one disadvantages of pathfinder. I beleive a beginners set will gain a better following. Just keep up the great work.
I hope not, personally. There's a new generation of gamers out there to attract, none of whom have any nostalgic attraction to B/X. Also, I can already forecast a "Pathfinder versus Essentials" flamewar as folks argue over whose box is closest to original D&D. It's already bad enough folks requesting Paizo to drop its bread-and-butter adventures and start aping WotC's supp focus: where's the pathfinder intro set? where are the pathfinder epic rules? where's psionics for pathfinder? where's UA? where's the pathfinder Complete series? etc.
Stand out, Paizo! ^_^
Never written here before, but as I'm handling a lot of starter's stuff myself right now, I think I can contribute one thing or another. What's following is a wild brainstorming without a claim to be the only eligible option. =)
A really big problem I see: The good about Pathfinder is its level of perfection and detail. If this starter is designed very simple, it won't catch the Pathfinder feeling. But if the starter booklet has 120 pages (as many people are proposing with "real rules" and "all options"), it's nothing like a real starter. Of course, ready-made characters and similar funnies wouldn't be the right way either as this IS in fact the starter for a detailed game!
Make it cheap. Really cheap. 20$ for D&D Essentials aren't bad, but... 15$ or even 12$ (!!) would be incredible. Include some dice, even if they are cheap material. I don't know about markers, maps and stuff as I'm biased (we're not using them). Perhaps a double-sided mini-map and a few quite generic markers would be a good idea for visualisation. Perhaps not. In the end, markers can't beat WoW. ;) So yeah, let them out.
An idea: Hone the character building down to mainly simple choice chains. Like...
Just some wild ideas, of course.
Oh God, I want it!
As for the tokens, I'd suggest something along the lines of those found in the Arkham Horror (for investigators) and WHFRP 3e (for classes and monsters): punch-out cardboard figures - drawn in the style of N'wah or Crystal Frazier would be THE AWESOME - to fit into clear plastic slotted bases, for PCs and a bunch of creatures.
The basic flip-mat is a must, and another one with a grassy side (for outdoors) and a stone slab tiled floor (for dungeons, fortresses, etc.) should be a fine add-on to the package.
A set of dice with the purple d20.
Rules for levels 1-6 in sturdy booklets. A digest of the Gamemastery Guide for new DMs is a must.
Okay. I posted in the other thread about this. But here I'll present what I'd expect, and be content, from an intro set for under $20:
Whatever is decided, I know the final product will be great. Paizo is awesome like that.
- The same game as Pathfinder just a slimmer version of it. It should have exactly the same mechanics, so an intro set PC could migrate directly to the regular game.
- An original level appropriate adventure with matching battle mats (no generic "woods" mats but mats that match the adventure) and player handouts.
- A piece of nicely bound and produced short fiction that is directly tied to the adventure. This piece of fiction should showcase the RULES OF THE GAME in it's narrative in ways that the reader can see things like combat, spell casting, and saving throws occurring in the text of the narrative. This piece of fiction should NOT "gloss over the game details" to benefit the story like most RPG fiction does.
- 4 dry erase character sheets.
- A discount code or coupon for a Paizo.com purchase of the core rulebook.
- Some kind of poster map.
- A Pathfinder comic book.
I think they can do both. As a matter of fact, I demand that they do everything!!!!
I want a BASIC game, not a limited rules set. Like I have said elsewhere people have proven 3E/Pathfinder rules can be simplified AND kept compatible enough to allow people to "upgrade" to the full rules set if and when they decide they want "more".
Plus you can provide easy to print, meaning simple and in basic black and white, conversions of your currently printed full color and full rules adventures, so that they can by those, and have the PDF show people how to go about using the basic and the advanced by converting between them. Not that there should be much in the way of converting it, just choose what you want to keep and delete the rest. When you go to using the full rules you add everything back on.
So use this to be a SIMPLE and BASIC rules set that familiarizes people with all the basic rules and rule concepts, and use the PDF's to allow them to use your current line of adventures AND teach them how they will be able to upgrade with ease whenever they wish too.
So do not do a limited set of rules, do a FULL and BASIC set of complete rules.
I like best what w0nkothesane suggests above if the purpose of the intro set is to get new players. We have to realize that peter jackson's LOTR films have surprisingly been now in the psyche of most non-gaming people and the suggestion of w0nkothesane closely starts from that mindset (the human,elf,dwarf, halfling party). In addition, to w0nkothesane, I also would like to see what NSpicer suggested, the introductory adventure (this is a must for fledging GM),the double-sided flip-mat (one for wilderness & one for dungeon), tokens, & dice.
The key word is "model" - I was referring to whats in the box: self contained rules, a killer adventure, and dice!
I would suggest a 'basic play' character sheet that fits on a single page or even half a page. In my experience, good character sheets are absolutely necessary for introducing new players to the game. A simpler character sheet might also help determine what should and should not be included in an intro game. If it doesn't fit on the 'intro sheet', it probably shouldn't be included in the 'intro game'.
I'd recommend including a random dungeon generator.
I still fondly remember the random dungeon tables in the original DMG. A random dungeon generator gives a new GM something to do between running the intro adventure and buying/designing a new one. And in a pinch, it could even be used for solo play.
I really hope they don't heed the suggestions to strip down race choices to human/elf/dwarf/halfling.
Yeah, LOTR and "tradition", but orcs have punched their way into our popculture via Warcraft and other avenues.
Kids love anime.
Putting those racial options on the bench serves no purpose but to reduce maximum appeal to a wider range of potential gamers.
The human/elf/dwarf/halfling-only thing is something the game has, or should have, grown past by this point. Going that route my score points with people fond of OD&D(and not overly fond of the other racial options for whatever reason), but that doesn't exactly do much to reach out to today's potential young gamers.
With their videogames and fantasy novels and loud music and rollerskates, kids aren't as bound by LotR themes as many might believe.
Also, no audio CD's plz. Anyone who heard one that came out of the 2E era starter box will know what I'm talking about. ;)
I think the intro box offers great potenial. I personally would suggest using well established and already well loved element as the basis of any such box.
So I would suggest a sandpoint based mini campaign, be included in the box, one that involves goblins. There is already a lot of material on sandpoint, and the awesome of the goblins is well proven.
I think that it would be wise to include a some what stream lined version of the system, between levels 1 and 5, that uses the slow XP progression. Provide plenty of advice, explaining the concept of a balanced party with advice.
Lots and lots of play aids. Dice, fold out poster maps, paper minis, spell cards, condition cards and character sheets, include a data CD with said play aids as PDFs(dice excluded for obvious reasons).
Beyond the box, support the intro set with additional material. I would suggest the the entire years module line be given over to low level, slow exp progression adventures, including a mini campaign in the style of tomb of the ever flame, ect.
For the Players...
For the Game Master
In the Box (in addition to the stuff above)