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Take the Pathfinder Beginner Box Test!


Beginner Box


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I am running a middle-school Pathfinder club and having a blast! I have not been very strict with the game's rules so far (we have met 4 times), but I do want to make sure they know the basic rules as well as possible.

Understandably, the kids want to get straight into playing as soon as possible once the club starts. So I have devised a time-tested device -- a Test -- to motivate them to look more closely at the Hero's Handbook. It's a take-home "test," and the students can help each other. Those who do well on the test will be rewarded with XP. :D

I found that making the test reinforced my own knowledge, so I'd imagine it will help others as well. So I thought this might be useful for other people who are learning the rules. I made sure to include both basic questions and a few trick questions too, hehe.

You can download my Pathfinder Beginners Box Players' Test and my Answer Key (they are Google Doc PDF files).

Feel free to share your scores and to comment. (I give this to the students on Monday, so point out any errors if there are any!)


I like your idea. I've been running Pathfinder at the school I teach at since Easter, the students are all in year 7-9. Here's some feedback based on my experience, YMMV.

I've found that they can be overly fond of PvP, and that I have had to actively discourage it. I think that using Wanda and Fiona and Ripred might give the impression that PvP is okay. I'd use some monsters rather than PCs.

I have found myself disappointed by the students lack of wanting to learn the rules. I realise that this is my problem, not theirs. They are loving the story and the make-believe too much to bother with the crunch. From that perspective I think that your questions are too hard. I think the first page is great, but the second and third need to be simplified or introduced after a few weeks of play. When I have tried to get them to explore the rules, by email one question at a time about the rules relating to their character, they have had little interest in looking up the rules, even when I gave the link to the relevant section of the PRD.

I have also seen them trying to bring in ideas, descriptions, rules, archetypes and conventions from other games, computer games mostly. This surprised me (though it shouldn't have) and then it annoyed me as they wouldn't let go of their preconceived notions - it got to the point where they once told me that goblins aren't pyromaniacs. Perhaps I should have run with their perception more, but I felt that they should have run with mine as the GM. Goblins will be however the GM wants to portray them, not as WoW or whatever has. Again, I realise this is more of a personal issue I have, but I wanted to give you a 'heads up' on it. I also found that any role playing of an NPC lead them to want to kill that NPC - their thinking was along the lines that only PCs are Good, and any developed NPC must be a Bad Guy. I'm not sure of I triggered that one inadvertently, I thought I had began with introducing them to two well-developed allies (though they had been left alone to fight off three giant spiders - the dwarf NPC was scouting ahead about 100' and took a few rounds to get back to the party.)


I don't know if the beginners Box differs from the normal pathfinder rules, since i have never looked at it. But if it doesn't, I believe there are some small mistakes in your answers.

1. As far as I can see, in your answer to question 23 you give Wanda the -4 penalty for shooting into melee, right? This does only apply if one of the combatants is an ally which you are trying not to hit. You didn't state anywhere that Wanda and the cleric are allies.

2. In your challenge question you assume that you are carrying the crossbow unloaded. While this would be the case in most situations (because you don't want to ruin your crossbow) it should be possible to have the string already drawn and locked while you carry it around in an area where you expect to encounter goblins. This would eliminate the move action to load the crossbow in the first round where it is used. I allow my players to do this and I am not aware of any RAW that forbids it. Just saying, if I was one of your players and didn't know of any RAW against this tactic, I would try to do this.


OberonViking wrote:

I like your idea. I've been running Pathfinder at the school I teach at since Easter, the students are all in year 7-9. Here's some feedback based on my experience, YMMV.

I've found that they can be overly fond of PvP, and that I have had to actively discourage it. I think that using Wanda and Fiona and Ripred might give the impression that PvP is okay. I'd use some monsters rather than PCs.

I have found myself disappointed by the students lack of wanting to learn the rules. I realise that this is my problem, not theirs. They are loving the story and the make-believe too much to bother with the crunch. From that perspective I think that your questions are too hard. I think the first page is great, but the second and third need to be simplified or introduced after a few weeks of play. When I have tried to get them to explore the rules, by email one question at a time about the rules relating to their character, they have had little interest in looking up the rules, even when I gave the link to the relevant section of the PRD.

Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I can substitute a monster in that question. Intraparty conflict is something I've had to prevent -- sometimes by mediating disputes over treasure, or simply overruling someone's actions. One of my rules is that there aren't individual XP rewards from adventuring -- you win or lose together.

One player was very aggressive in his style of play, and so attacked an NPC with whom they had just negotiated a deal. People didn't want him to do it, but he did it anyway. So the other PCs wanted to attack him instead of the monsters.

I basically overruled them, saying they will have to take care of their common danger first. But there was still a consequence for the first player's actions: they earned 0 XP from the battle because they had broken their agreement with the NPC and had already earned XP previously for making that agreement.

My sense of these particular students I have is that they are very math and left-brain oriented, and they will be able to handle the stuff on pages 2 and 3, or at least not be intimidated and discouraged by it. (Of the 12 students in the club, 6 of them want to be GMs.) They'll be spurred by the challenge. This "test" is more just an exercise and occasion to explore the rules. If they don't want to shoot for the XP by reading the Combat chapter closely, they don't have to. And we'll go through the answers together as a group.

Quote:


I have also seen them trying to bring in ideas, descriptions, rules, archetypes and conventions from other games, computer games mostly. This surprised me (though it shouldn't have) and then it annoyed me as they wouldn't let go of their preconceived notions - it got to the point where they once told me that goblins aren't pyromaniacs. Perhaps I should have run with their perception more, but I felt that they should have run with mine as the GM. Goblins will be however the GM wants to portray them, not as WoW or whatever has. Again, I realise this is more of a personal issue I have, but I wanted to give you a 'heads up' on it. I also found that any role playing of an NPC lead them to want to kill that NPC - their thinking was along the lines that only PCs are Good, and any developed NPC must be a Bad Guy. I'm not sure of I triggered that one inadvertently, I thought I had began with introducing them to two well-developed allies (though they had been left alone to fight off three...

All of the games so far have been GM'd by the students, while I go from table to table and assist the GMs when it's helpful. Overall, I am leaving the questions of "style" of GMing and feel of the world to them. I rather like being surprised by what they come up with. But yeah, if the players were to disagree with the GM on something like goblins being pyromaniacs, I would not allow that, even if the GM is inclined to allow it -- it's the GM's world.

When I have a chance (hopefully this Monday), I'll be GMing for a few of the students and introduce new ideas that they can incorporate into their games, such as establishing the setting of a town that they live in and have some NPC encounters that are important for gathering information. (I plan to transplant Hollow's Last Hope into Sandpoint.) Standing on the outside, there's only so much I can do to interfere with a game that is already in progress -- but I'll try to influence events by talking to the student GMs between sessions and setting my own examples.


Kalridian wrote:

I don't know if the beginners Box differs from the normal pathfinder rules, since i have never looked at it. But if it doesn't, I believe there are some small mistakes in your answers.

1. As far as I can see, in your answer to question 23 you give Wanda the -4 penalty for shooting into melee, right? This does only apply if one of the combatants is an ally which you are trying not to hit. You didn't state anywhere that Wanda and the cleric are allies.

2. In your challenge question you assume that you are carrying the crossbow unloaded. While this would be the case in most situations (because you don't want to ruin your crossbow) it should be possible to have the string already drawn and locked while you carry it around in an area where you expect to encounter goblins. This would eliminate the move action to load the crossbow in the first round where it is used. I allow my players to do this and I am not aware of any RAW that forbids it. Just saying, if I was one of your players and didn't know of any RAW against this tactic, I would try to do this.

For these specific rules, the rules in the Beginner Box do match the core rules.

And I like your suggestions. I'll add your clarifications to the document.


Ahhhh, I didn't realise you had already played a few games, and that many if them are GMing.

Sounds like you have it all under control, probably better than I do.
At the end of the year I'm going to talk to them about moving from Beginner Box to Pathfinder Society Play - with the option being home brew adventures or PFS scenarios.

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