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New GM - A couple questions


Beginner Box


Hey guys, just recently purchased the BB and I'm about to start a game this Saturday with a few friends. I've played D&D on and off for years so I'm familiar with tabletops in general (but new to pathfinder), but my friends have little to no experience in tabletops.

I understand that the BB has all I need to run a game up to level five, but I do have a couple of questions to go along with it.

1. Do I need to make any preparations as a GM before then? Obviously, I'll break open the box and read all the materials, but is there any other suggested things I should do beforehand?

2. Do my friends need to roll their characters before we begin or should they do it at the beginning of the game? They won't have access to the box or materials till Saturday, but I didn't know if they could use some of the resources on this site. If they did roll day-of, I'm not entirely familiar with the character creation process so I don't know how long this will take. They can always use pre-generated characters, but I have a feeling many of them will want to continue onto other campaigns.

3. I don't yet have the core rulebook, but if all goes well I plan on getting it. I noticed the free downloads of the GM kit and extended demos to extend play. If we're enjoying ourselves, is there any reason we couldn't just ramp into them right away? Or do those require the rulebook?

Thanks in advance, I'm really looking forward to playing. :)


1. yes read thru the adventure. Make sure you know who does what and what does what...
YOU as the GM need to have the best grasp on the rules of anyone. Either to enforce them if needed or to ignore them if you choose.

2. have them roll together for the first time. that way they can help each other AND it helps to make a cohesive party when they have a chance to hear what each is making, can add to each other's back stories and so on.
IF YOU don't know how to make characters yet, you can't expect your players to know.. Group think can be helpful.

3. You don't need the Core book and if you plan on the BB then it actually has rules that contradict the BB so.. just do what you are doing for now. BUT the rules are similar enough and build on what is in the BB so you can easily jump to "regular" PF without too many issues.
BB just has a simplified rules set.

Shadow Lodge

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One of the things we implemented in my group, which worked out really well, was to have each person get to know one section of the rules really well. That way, that person can give advice for that section, and it won't feel so overwhelming have to learn ALL the rules by yourself.

Also, as gaming sessions go on, each person will end up learning a little more about the other sections until each person has a reasonably good grasp of the rules.

In my group, we've all been playing PF for about a year, so most of us know how to make a character and most the rules for the CRB (beyond the BB), so when we implemented this technique we focused on just the combat rules. We split the combat chapter up, and each person learned a different section of that chapter. It was really useful for those very complex rules, such as the grappling combat maneuver. Now, whenever a question comes up about some relatively obscure rule, we don't have to take the time to find the rule and interpret it. One of the players knows it well enough to explain to the group.


Bookrat, that is a great idea about dividing up the sections. To learn the whole system after being away from RPGs for many years has taken me a very long time.

Lantern Lodge

I personally do not play or host modules all the games i play are custom created campaigns that friends and I come up with. A little advice though that i have learned concerning combat though is this, when determining the to hit and ac of an enemy use averages of party. Example: the party consist of a fighter a rogue and a ranger. the fighter has 23 ac, rogue has 20 ac and ranger has 21 ac. Add the ACs together and divide by the number of players being 3. The number obtained is what the average ac of the party is so make an enemy that can hit that ac within a range that you seem as challenging as you wish. Same goes for the enemy's ac. Average the to hit of the players and adjust the enemy ac accordingly. This will give you great control of encounters number wise.

Also remember any thing and every thing can occur so do not plan to far ahead and leave room for flexibility.

Also try your best not to mid ax a character every stat has role to play for any and all characters to a degree, even the fighter needs int and wis if it wishes to be good both out of combat and in combat.


Thanks guys! Really appreciate all the feedback. This will definitely help me out.


Thought of another question.

Let's say we finish up the BB and a couple other stuff specifically for the BB, like the Bash demos, or the stuff in the GM Kit. If we want to continue play afterwards, how difficult is it to get the generated characters into "core" PF? And what would we have to do for that?

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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You can use Beginner Box characters with the Core Rulebook.

If you read the Beginner Box Player Pack and GM Kit PDFs, they talk a bit about what's in the Core Rulebook. And we're working on another PDF that helps you transition from the Beginner Box to the Core Rulebook.

But you'll probably have several weeks' worth of time before you hit level 5, so you don't need to worry about it quite yet. :)


Awesome, thanks!


I think for 1st time players using the pre-made characters is really best.

When you get the box there will be 4 premade characters with nice graphics and a good explanation as to what they do. Let them look through the characters, have them read the back of the character sheet (gives them some back ground on their character) and then go nuts.

The first game is really pretty good, it is a nice slow introduction to the rules and it makes combat slowly more complicated as you go.

I ran this for 3 people who had never played and 1 who had about 20 years of experience. They loved the 1st adventure. Afterwards I had to start making stuff up on the fly because they wanted to keep playing.

The beginner box is a really nice product. Just go with those pre-gens and you should be good.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
And we're working on another PDF that helps you transition from the Beginner Box to the Core Rulebook.

I think I just peed a little.

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