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PaizoCon 2016

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box (OGL)

****½ (based on 35 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box (OGL)
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Adventure Awaits!

Take your first step into an exciting world of fantasy adventure with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box! Within you'll find simple rules for creating and customizing your own hero, as well as a robust system for running your character through challenging adventures and deadly battles against villainous monsters like goblins and dragons! Will you master weapons and magic to become a courageous fighter, a wise cleric, a witty rogue, or a brilliant wizard? All the details of your character are yours to control. The only limit it your imagination!

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box is packed with everything you need to get started with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, an imaginative tabletop fantasy adventure game for 2-5 players. Tons of monsters, challenges, and advice give gamers the tools to create their own worlds and adventures, providing countless hours of gaming excitement. With streamlined rules and a focus on action-packed heroic adventure, this deluxe boxed set is the ideal introduction to the world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and the best starting point for a lifetime of pulse-pounding adventure!

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box includes:

  • A 64-page Hero's Handbook, detailing character creation, spells, equipment, and general rules for playing the game
  • A 96-page Game Master's Guide packed with adventure, monsters, magic treasures, and advice on how to create and narrate tales all your own
  • A 16-page Transition Guide to bring your hero to the full Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!
  • A complete set of 7 polyhedral dice
  • More than 80 full-color pawns depicting diverse heroes and monsters
  • Four pregenerated character sheets to throw you right into the action
  • Four blank character sheets to record the abilities of your custom-made hero
  • A durable, resuable, double-sided Flip-Mat play surface that works with any kind of marker

And don't forget to check out the prepainted Pathfinder Beginner Box Heroes Miniatures Set from WizKids, featuring the pregenerated heroes included in the Beginner Box!

Pawns Included in the Beginner Box
Air Elemental
Animated Statue (2)
Barghest
Black Dragon
Boar
Boggard
Dire Rat (3)
Doppelganger
Dwarf Cleric (Female)
Dwarf Cleric (Male)
Dwarf Fighter (Female)
Dwarf Fighter (Male)
Dwarf Rogue (Female)
Dwarf Rogue (Male)
Dwarf Wizard (Female)
Dwarf Wizard (Male)
Earth Elemental
Elf Cleric (Female)
Elf Cleric (Male)
Elf Fighter (Female)
Elf Fighter (Male)
Elf Rogue (Female)
Elf Rogue (Male)
Elf Wizard (Female)
Elf Wizard (Male)
Ezren (Iconic Wizard)
Fire Elemental
Gargoyle (2)
Ghost
Ghoul (2)
Giant Centipede
Giant Spider (2)
Goblin (4)
Goblin Boss
Goblin Dog
Gray Ooze
Green Hag
Hell Hound (2)
Human Cleric (Female)
Human Cleric (Male)
Human Fighter (Female)
Human Fighter (Male)
Human Rogue (Female)
Human Rogue (Male)
Human Wizard (Female)
Human Wizard (Male)
Kyra (Iconic Cleric)
Manticore
Medusa
Merisiel (Iconic Rogue)
Mimic
Mummy
Ogre
Orc (2)
Orc Boss
Reefclaw
Salamander
Serpentfolk
Skeletal Champion
Skeleton (4)
Troglodyte (2)
Valeros (Iconic Fighter)
Venomous Snake
Water Elemental
Werewolf (2)
Will-O'-Wisp
Wolf (2)
Zombie (2)

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-630-0

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box (OGL)

Product Availability


Print Edition: This product is a backorder.

PDF: Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Non-Mint: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days. This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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Product Reviews (35)
1 to 5 of 35 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 35 ratings)

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This Box Rocks!

*****

After I bought the Core Rulebook, I was a bit overwhelmed. So I picked up the Beginner Box next. The rule books made the game much more accessible to me. Rules I didn't quite get from the Core Rulebook were simplified in a way that made sense to me. Also, the introductory adventure was easy to run and the suggestions for expanding sparked my creativity. I liked the explanations the GM's book gave for the several different kinds of adventures and the content that makes them up.


Brilliant way to Introduce New Players

*****

For an explanation of how I use the five star review method, see my entry on So What's the Riddle Like Anyway? HERE.

The Pathfinder RPG Beginner Box uses simplified rules to introduce the game to new players. This is very important as the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook is somewhat…intimidating to people who have never played a Tabletop RPG before. So the objectives of the Beginner Box is to get people who with no RPG experience familiar with the concept, a firm grasp of the basic rules, and have fun doing it. A challenging task…let’s see what they have done with it!

First let’s look at what is included in the Beginner Box. It comes with a cover page to get people reading the right volumes whether they are a player or GM; a Hero's Handbook, covering character creation and the general rules; a Game Master's Guide with a ready to go dungeon, monsters, magic treasures, and advice on how to create your own dungeons and the basics of game mastering; a set of 7 polyhedral dice; a mass of cardboard pawns to mark both heroes and monsters; four pregenerated character sheets; four blank character sheets so you can make your own hero; a double-sided Flip-Mat with a dungeon on one side and blank with grid on the other; and finally a transition guide that explains how to transfer your character over to the full rules version of the game.

Outside of the books, the extras are really great. The cover page is the standard “Read Me First!” type pamphlet you find with any new piece of technology or complicated instructions these days. It points the would-be players in the right directions and gives them an idea of where to begin. A simple, helpful guide. The pre-generated character sheets and blank character sheets look great and are very easy to read. The only problem I can see with them is that they have—by necessity—been designed to work with the limited rules presented in the Beginner Box. This limits their usefulness once the players move on to the full rules.

Flip-Mats are beautiful, time-saving, and great for getting the players to really understand and visualize the action. Having one built for the dungeon provided is a practical god-send. The blank other side is exactly what would be needed for a new GM starting out, so spot on there. A full set of good quality dice plus character and monster pawns to act as placement markers fills out the rest. The dice are an obvious addition, but the pawns are fantastic. Beautiful representations of every monster portrayed in the dungeon provided and the bestiary included in the Game Master's Guide. One extra is a goblin dog, which for some reason does not have stats anywhere. Could have been used for another goblin or orc or something instead. Obviously the stats were originally intended to be in, but something got changed in development. Not a big deal, really.

The Hero's Handbook is wonderful: beautiful art, an excellent solo-adventure to get a newbie understanding the basics of table-top roleplaying games, and simplified rules that explain how to make a character, how they work in game, and how to advance them all the way to 5th level. It begins with a step-by-step guide to filling out a blank character sheet on the inside front cover, a useful reference. After the intro and table of contents, a solo pick-your-path adventure is included to help a newcomer get what players actually do in a RPG session. After that is a sample of play written out so that the reader gets what is goes on with more than just one person playing.

This is a good way to introduce a new player to the game. I’ve seen the sample of play in virtually every RPG from the very beginning with my Tom Moldvay version of Basic D&D. But I like the way it was coupled with a pick-your-path adventure. A new player gets to experience what it is like to play and sees what a games session could be like before starting. A good, practical one-two punch.

The rules section is next and the rules are simplified and pared down so that a new player isn’t overwhelmed. It goes through the character creation process in a bit more detail, keyed entirely to the character sheet. This really helps streamline the process and keeps everything easy to access. Only three races (human, elf, & dwarf) and four classes (fighter, cleric, wizard, rogue) are available, but that’s good; keeping things pretty basic is what this whole product is about. The book guides a player through character creation and levelling up in a very easy to read and understand format. It allows for choice, but limits the number of choices so as not to confuse a new player. It also explains the basic consequences of each choice so that the player doesn’t have to worry about having made the “wrong” choice. It is a very good and easy way to learn.

The rest of the book covers basic adventuring rules and the basics of combat and spellcasting. It is succinct and to the point and there is a glossary of common terms on the inside of the back cover. A combat guide is placed on the back cover of the book, so it really is of great use throughout the game.

The Game Master's Guide has a sample dungeon to run a group through as a first game mastering experience that includes a GM’s version of the map on the inside front cover. It’s a neat little dungeon that includes all the standard tropes found in your average RPG: monsters, traps, treasure, and what used to be referred to as “tricks”: items that can be beneficial or baneful or nothing at all depending on how you interact with them. The dungeon is an ideal training ground both for GMs and players.

The next two sections cover basic methods of game mastering and building adventures respectively. It’s all easy to follow and understand, with sound advice that will really help bring someone new up to speed quickly. It ends with the basic framework for a sequel to the sample dungeon, giving the new GM the opportunity to build the adventure her own way given the tools already presented. It is a good way to get the creative juices flowing; it’s sort of like having training wheels on a bike then removing them.

The next section covers advice on building encounters within unique environments, from underground dungeons to urban settings. It’s followed by a section covering traps, with a good variety available as samples. Next up is a magic treasure section, with images by each of the limited selection of items available. I like this; it’s as if the authors gave recipes for building campaigns and adventures then provide the component ingredients for use. Mix carefully…

Completing the ingredient list we have a selection of low-level monsters follows with random encounter tables for each of the previously discusses environments and how to use them. This plus a setting—Sandpoint—completes the new info section of the book.

After that we get a number of reference pages at the back which are easy and quick to access for rules adjudication. My favorite of these reference pages are the list of conditions: from blinded to grabbed and all the way to unconscious, each of the common conditions found in this limited rule set—and most of those found in the game—are explained clearly and are accompanied by a picture of a goblin afflicted by it. Incredibly useful and cool to look at. The inside back cover has a number of common map symbols to use in making your own maps and the back cover itself has the most common conditions accompanied by a quick combat reference guide and an explanation of cover. All in all, a very useful reference book.

The final book is the Transition Guide, a brief explanation on how to convert your game over to the full rules when you are ready to expand. It’s clear, simple, and a very good aid in expanding to the full rules. But what I really like about the book is the fact that there is a chapter dedicated to converting full rule adventure modules into Beginner Box rule adventures! This is a classy move; with the PRD available for free online, gamers could simply use the Beginner Box without buying anything else should they so choose. By giving advice on how to convert an adventure over, Paizo has made available all the myriad modules and scenarios available for Pathfinder for the Beginner Box as well. They use the free downloadable module Master of the Fallen Fortress as a conversion example and do a very good job of it.

On top of all this are the free to download resources available on Paizo’s website on the Beginner Box page, HERE. They include printable character sheets, both blank and of the pregenerated characters; a Player Pack with a fifth class (Barbarian), new options for the other four classes, new feats, and new equipment; a GM’s Kit with a new small adventure, a few new monsters and magic items, plus more advice on using published adventures; a Pathfinder Society Beginner Box Character Creation Guide, helping let players get involved in the PFS; and Bash Demos—short mini-adventures to get people involved quickly and can act as seeds for bigger adventures. The value of all this simply cannot be overstated.

Final Thoughts: As an introduction to the Pathfinder RPG, this is simply a brilliant product. The Beginner Box has everything needed to help brand new players learn the basics of the game and get a good idea of what tabletop role-playing is all about. With the support it’s been given on the Paizo website and the ability to easily convert all the many low-level adventures out there to this rule set, this is all that anyone needs for quite a lot of adventuring. Add in that the Flip-Mat, pawns, and reference materials will be of use to anyone who plays the game—even the Core Rulebook and beyond crowd—and this becomes an indispensable addition to every Pathfinder player who wants to introduce someone to the game. 5 out of 5 stars.


Good deal?

****( )

I’m all about economy and base a lot of my ratings off the bang I get for my buck. The Beginner’s box does offer quite a bit for the money but I was not “blown away” buy the value. First I will say what I liked about the box. One, it came with all the dice you could ever want including a percent dice that I had never seen before. We would just use a d20 and figure it out with that. Second. It comes with a full dungeon mat and on the reverse side there is a blank combat mat that can be drawn on with dry erase makers, this added some major points in my book. Finale good thing I can say about the box is that it comes with a plethora of paper minis, I love paper minis.
Now the things I didn’t like. First, all the nice paper minis that came with the game did not all come with accompanying rules. I felt like this was a direct marketing gimmick to sell the bestiary book. Second the abridged rule books that come with the box did not do a very good job of covering ALL the rules that were needed to complete the dungeon. I remember at least three instances of having to improvise because the rules did not cover that specific situation. Again I feel like this was a marketing ploy to convince customers to by the core rule book. Finale thing I didn’t like were the restrictions placed on character creation. Character creation is the heart and soul of the game and to limit the choices to a few races and classes was counterproductive in my opinion to enticing new players.
So am I’m glad I bought this box? I guess it was okay. There are far worse things to buy for 35 dollars. In hind sight maybe I should have just bought the pdf’s of the bestiary, a level 1 adventure and the core rule book, but that could have taken me a lot longer to get playing. This box is good at getting you playing quickly and wanting more. So even though it had its faults I still give the box 4 out 5 stars.


AMAZING

*****

I love this box! When I opened it I saw all of these amazing books and maps and tokens, and I started to read the game master's book like two seconds after looking at everything. The books look absolutely gorgeous and everything about it is good. The only problem with it is (and paizo can't help it) that it's hard to find a gaming group because they think it's to nerdy, but whatever.


Paizo Knows How To Hook Beginners

*****

We purchased the Beginner Box at GenCon 2012, after our kids played the Pathfinder "Kid's Beginner Track" and had a grand old time. When we got home with it, my daughter (11 at the time) scurried up to her room with it and horded it for some time. Then one day she came downstairs, handed us pre-generated characters, and ran a game for us.

Using the Beginner Box, she was able to learn core rules and prepare a campaign with no assistance. She was able to argue (and win) with her Dad, regarding combat technicalities. We had a fantastic time, and she's run several scenarios for us from the box and the online resources that go with it.

Lots of other reviews here talk about all the contents of the box -- which are definitely more than worth the cost of the box. What I love about it is how brilliantly accessible Paizo made GMing for people who've never done it before - including 11 year olds.

Want to get your feet wet in Tabletop RPGs? This is the creek to start in.


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