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Beginning Player's Guide to Adventuring


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Hi everyone,

I've noticed that my new players are missing a lot of the things I take for granted. Perception checks, looking for traps, etc. One player in particular (the rogue/Merisiel) is brand new to gaming of any sort and I'm afraid that she may get frustrated if she thinks she's not contributing much to the party.

I'm toying with the idea of giving the players a rough check list of possible things to do in certain situations. I don't want to come across as telling them what to do, but I hope that this would actually make them more autonomous (i.e., less spoon feeding).

Please let me know what you think and/or if you have any suggested additions/changes. Thanks.

- Niilo

Starting the Adventure
- stock up on expendibles (e.g., arrows, potions, food)
- ask NPC's for more information about quest (e.g., how far? what is the area like?)

Exploring
- should you be sneaking? [stealth check]
- can you hear anything? [perception check]

New Area/Room
- look around for danger [perception check]
- found a monster? Go to "Encounter!"
- search for treasure or clues [perception check]

Encounter!
- do you know anything about these creature that could help? [knowledge check]
- do you want to try talking to them? [diplomacy check]
- can the environment/area impact a fight? (e.g., is there cover; can you retreat) [ask the GM and/or knowledge/perception checks]
- if you fight and triump, return to "New Area/Room"

Treasure
- is it safe? [perception check]
- is it trapped? Remove the trap [disable devices check]
- is it magical? [cast Detect Magic]
- is it immediately useful? Give it to someone who can use it.

After the Adventure
- split the loot
- buy new gear
- is there any knowledge that you need to gain? (e.g., asking NPCs about a clue or researching a tough monster you fought)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I really like this idea. My kids are fairly new to RPGs and I find myself asking them "leading" questions (Do you want to check this chest for traps first or not? Do you want to stop and listen for anything?..etc)

A check list would be cool and VERY helpful until they get the hang of it. Heck a checklist would be cool and helpful for me (as a noob GM).

I look forward to the final draft.


Unless I get feedback from this forum, the above is pretty much my current final draft. It's been brewing in Textpad since our last session a week ago. I'm thinking of printing it out in index card format, and for each player putting their appropriate skill check next to the skills mentioned. *Or*, I was also thinking of printing out index cards for everyone with just their skills on them - I find that some are still having trouble knowing what I mean when I say, "Make a perception skill check.".

When I get feedback from my players, I'll report back here.

- Niilo


Nice idea.

Some of the other things my group routinely does:

Resting
- set alarms (eg. minor noisy traps (disable device), minor spells)
- set a watch rota?
- check loads and possibly redistribute
- check treasure
- downtime activities (eg. plans, spell preparation, banter, bookkeeping)

Pre-planning
- back up weapon?
- ranged option? (weapon/alchemy/magic)
- marching order
- agreed basic tactics (eg. how the party approaches a new area, reacts to ambush, reacts to encounters etc)


My girls are new to gaming as well. When we made their characters I also gave them roles around their skills: wizard = knower of things (knowledge skills) so you should also keep a log of clues, people or things you find interesting; rogue = explorer (perception, stealth) so you should draw maps of everything since I only have enough battlemat/modular dungeon terrain/table space for a couple rooms at a time; fighter = scary tough guy (intimidate) so on top of physical things you should control the pace of the fights (since this guy's being played by my wife she's taken the defacto role of mini battle strategist suggesting where to go, who to attack, etc) and cleric = charismatic leader (diplomacy, linguistics) so you should be the party's "face".

Up til now I've just been verbally telling them this checklist, figuring they'd pick it but not in the detail you've got here. Not only is your list more complete but I also like the idea of writing it up like a crib sheet. Idea stolen (YOINK!)


Thank you so much for this wonderful idea! I am just getting back into pen/paper rpg gaming, and I am running the beginner box scenario tonight for my wife and three friends! Two of them have very little experience playing games like this, and what you posted here is exactly what I was looking for!

Maybe by the end of the night I will have a couple more things to add to this list! Thanks again!

brevous

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's a good list, and it gets the players to be more pro-active.

Some of the items are, however, reactive, and should ideally be checked for in response to them happening. Perception checks to see/hear creatures running across their peripheral vision, the sound of a remote alarm, Knowledge checks for recognising a creature (if I show you a picture of an elephant, you think "Oh, look. An elephant.". You don't think "Hmmm. An as-yet-unidentified creature. Maybe I should ask for a Knowledge nature check?").

This could be a case of asking for a roll, or having the GM make a secret roll on the player's behalf.

While some players can get precious about 'owning' all their rolls, and some GMs think it's 'spoon-feeding' to give out information the players haven't 'earned', I believe it's better for the flow of the game.

The reason I say that, is because if you make it a hard rule, that you only give out information when it is specifically asked for, you can end up in situations where a PC misses something that would have been totally obvious to them, because the player didn't know there was a reason to ask for a check.
The players react, by simply asking for checks all the time. And I mean, aaaaaaaalllll the time. Every five feet, five people roll perception, hear the results, then shuffle forward another five feet, roll perception, etc.

Grand Lodge

Great idea especially if your players are new to this game system.

If you want to evolve their awareness later you can make your leads environmental rather than saying "you want to check for traps?"
ex.
"as you enter the cave you hear your foot falls echoing against the stony walls" if they opt to be stealthy have them roll perception "beyond the sound of water dripping from the cavern ceiling you hear the faint sound of scrapes and grumbling"

Make it "eerily quiet" as if this area were purposely unpatrolled. could lead for a trap search.


I have resurrected this thread b/c I have veteran players NOT using the beginner box but playing PF after a 3 mo hiatus. I'm stealing these ideas and making cheat cards to give to them; they have gotten lazy playing all kinds of MMORPG's and board games!

I will have one side that says "Non-combat" and will have things like:
- Gather Info
- Scribe Scrolls/Brew Potions
- Restock

Plus many of the suggestions above.

The other side will be the combat stuff listed above. Thanks again for this?

Silver Crusade

Niilo John Van Steinburg wrote:

Hi everyone,

I've noticed that my new players are missing a lot of the things I take for granted. Perception checks, looking for traps, etc. One player in particular (the rogue/Merisiel) is brand new to gaming of any sort and I'm afraid that she may get frustrated if she thinks she's not contributing much to the party.

I'm toying with the idea of giving the players a rough check list of possible things to do in certain situations. I don't want to come across as telling them what to do, but I hope that this would actually make them more autonomous (i.e., less spoon feeding).

Please let me know what you think and/or if you have any suggested additions/changes. Thanks.

- Niilo

Starting the Adventure
- stock up on expendibles (e.g., arrows, potions, food)
- ask NPC's for more information about quest (e.g., how far? what is the area like?)

Exploring
- should you be sneaking? [stealth check]
- can you hear anything? [perception check]

New Area/Room
- look around for danger [perception check]
- found a monster? Go to "Encounter!"
- search for treasure or clues [perception check]

Encounter!
- do you know anything about these creature that could help? [knowledge check]
- do you want to try talking to them? [diplomacy check]
- can the environment/area impact a fight? (e.g., is there cover; can you retreat) [ask the GM and/or knowledge/perception checks]
- if you fight and triump, return to "New Area/Room"

Treasure
- is it safe? [perception check]
- is it trapped? Remove the trap [disable devices check]
- is it magical? [cast Detect Magic]
- is it immediately useful? Give it to someone who can use it.

After the Adventure
- split the loot
- buy new gear
- is there any knowledge that you need to gain? (e.g., asking NPCs about a clue or researching a tough monster you fought)

Great idea for new players that don't have the years of exposure behind them.

Huge suggestions though. Don't present it like a list. I find that lists like that, much like the Power Cards in 4E, become both overwhelming, and in their own way limiting in themselves, as players then think those are their only choices.

Could you write up a small, fun essay suggesting an "adventurer's mindset" so they can better understand not only what is possible, but how an adventurer in his/her element works best? Perhaps present it as a Pathfinder Society training letter?

You know I may take this on as a project myself if I have some time.

But either way, I think you'll find it more effective this way.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Personally, I much prefer a list. One big essay is nice to read the first time, but as a reference for every game (until it becomes second nature) it is much easier to find a topic using a list.

Silver Crusade

Don Walker wrote:
Personally, I much prefer a list. One big essay is nice to read the first time, but as a reference for every game (until it becomes second nature) it is much easier to find a topic using a list.

Different strokes. I've always found that new players become overwhelmed so I'm sticking with my suggestion.

Players won't need a checklist ifyoungetnthem in the right mindset. A list puts us in the limiting 4E territory.

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