Everyone I've ever played with, and myself even, have only ever learned to play an RPG by just sitting down and playing it. Some catch on to the rules faster than others, some like to read the rules, others just roll dice and eventually remember when to roll the d20 and when to roll the d6s. But it's always done by doing, not by reading or by being taught. RPGs are are a community and cooperative game, and without a group it's just a bunch of math.
Check to see if there are any Pathfinder Society games in your area. Instant group. The best part about finding a PFS group is you won't be GMing and can "co-pilot" your SOs character for he 1st scenario as she picks up the mechanics.
In the meantime, or in between games, give her the rulebook. Yes it's big and no it's not something you read all of. Ever. Just the parts about what you use, and if you are a player, that's just what your character does. Save the exceptions and high level stuff for when they actually happen.
Luna, I've seen more than a few relationships where the gamer pushed a 2.5 until they became a 5 or higher.
This is an area I would tread very, very lightly. I've been married 27 years and I took a voluntary hiatus from gaming for several years while my children were very young precisely to keep my wife from moving up the ranks on this list. Gaming (the way I do it anyway) is a significant investment of time and energy, and game sessions last hours. Had I insisted on gaming during those years I am sure it would have become a major issue in our marriage. I waited it out and as a result I've managed to keep my wife at about a 4 for years.
Now, if you don't invest as much effort as I do (I GM, sculpt minis, make terrain and just generally am always looking for gaming stuff when we shop, etc...) then I may not be a good example to follow...
But still, gaming is fun, but it's just gaming. There are actually more important things in life.
I'm not pushing her, and I've been without truly playing for about a year. Given the time and chance, I'd be doing what you're doing. In fact, I've been creating a campaign setting, hopefully for publish in the future. My wife doesn't mind, although not having help developing it does cut into time she fells could be spent better, although she supports me 100% and would love to see my world become a Pathfinder 3pp add on. She's helped me a little with the creative aspects such as drawing holy symbols...
I agree with Tarkeighas. Starting with the story element and a strong character idea that your spouse will recognize is a good idea.
I don't personally know a gamer with a non-gaming SO, but I'd listen carefully to Adamantine Dragon on this one. You don't want to turn a supportive spouse into one who thinks you're wasting your time with this thing. She sounds very supportive and hopefully she'll continue support your hobbies as long as you're not neglecting her or the kids, but if she's lukewarm you'll want to put the game's best foot forwards and not push too hard. Don't expect her to suddenly become your group.
And if she liked the idea of the unicorn, give her a unicorn.
I know somebody who tried to introduce their partner to pathfinder as a sorcerer and it was a DISASTER. You THINK it'd be easy because they don't have to pre-memorize spells and stuff, but even with a limited spell list EACH SPELL has like EIGHT FACTORS associated with it mechanically and some of them are RIDICULOUSLY COMPLICATED.
Do you want to IMAGINE what it was like truly explaining the potential of prestidigitation to a new player... or even how it is PRONOUNCED OR SPELLED?!
If they can't understand Prestidigitation, then suggest that they don't pick prestidigitation, or any of the other ridiculously complicated or hard to use spells! A Sorcerer 1 gets four 0-level and 2 1st-level spells known. A simple spell list could be:
0 - Detect Magic, Read Magic, Light, Mage Hand
1 - Mage Armor, Magic Missile
These are all simple, easy-to-use, and useful spells. And it keeps going. You can make a 20th level sorcerer without using any spells that would be difficult to explain to a novice. It won't be optimized, but it will be interesting. Look:
Other 0-level choices: Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, Spark, Mending, Message, Arcane Mark
Other 1-level choices: Shield, Comprehend Languages, Charm Person, Silent Image
2nd-level choices: Resist Energy, Glitterdust, See Invisibility, Invisibility, Bull's Strength Etc, Spider Climb
3rd-level choices: Protection from Energy, Tongues, Heroism, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fireball, Displacement, Major Image, Fly, Greater Magic Weapon, Water Breathing
4th-level choices: Dimension Door, Charm Monster, Ice Storm, Greater Invisibility, Resilient Sphere
5th level: Teleport, Wall of Stone, Feeblemind, Hold Monster, Wall of Force, Cone of Cold, Sending
6th level: True Seeing, Greater Heroism, Mass Suggestion, Chain Lightning, Disintegrate, Globe of Invulnerability
7th level: Greater Teleport, Greater Arcane Sight, Mass Hold Person, Delayed Blast Fireball, Mass Invisibility, Mass Fly, Reverse Gravity
8th level: Mind Blank, Discern Location, Mass Charm Monster, Stormbolts
9th level: Communal Mind Blank, Meteor Swarm, Mage's Disjunction, Time Stop
A new player shouldn't be a caster, unless they REALLY REALLY want to be, and don't want to be something other than. This gal in particular was really confused about her spells, and didn't understand why she couldn't use those spells to be an effective thief... "No, the ROGUE is the thief" ... turns out she had no idea what she wanted to be but she would have been happier a rogue.
This is an entirely different problem. This is the problem called "not figuring out what kind of character the novice actually wants to play before making the character."
A basic martial character is probably a little easier for a beginner than a basic caster. But do not discourage someone who wants to play a caster on the grounds that it's too complicated.
i would stick to easy classes, but ask her what she wants to play. once she has an idea of the type of character she wants to play flavor a fighter, bard, or cleric (stick to more healing spells, makes spell casting easier).
make sure you tell her to ask you for help when ever she is struggling, ask everyone else NOT TO ANSWER HER QUESTIONS!! as more then one person talking at once will confuse her more.
let her slide and try not to over burden her with "heavy rules lawyering".
i went through this same thing with my wife, but she is getting better every session.
My GF has moved fro a 3 to a 4 between years 2 and 3 in the relationship. Funny how cohabiting occurred at the same point in time. Icy silence and lack of eye contact as I leave the house on Sundays haunt me until I get to my DM's place. The discussions about taking weeks off aren't common. I know its not a deal breaker as she has her own geek addictions, such as Sims 3.
|Jessica Price Project Manager|
The best way to learn, I think, is with a group.
When I started playing, I was fortunate enough to be playing with a group of long-time gamers, but they were all very different in approach. Our GM has decades of GMing under her belt and has, I think, a nice balance between hardcore rules and adapting for the best storytelling experience. All of that meant that when I'd have a rules question, I got different approaches to explaining the rules, and was able to pursue the one that made the most sense to me, my interests, and my playing style.
I wouldn't hand someone the Core Rulebook and tell them to read it, any more than I would hand someone a bible and tell them to read it.
I'd see if you can find a local gaming store and maybe meet some people there to play a scenario or module with.
Another approach, if she likes computer games, is to grab one of the older Baldur's Gate games. They use 2nd edition, I think, but the technology constraints mean they actually play more similarly to tabletop RPGing than more contemporary computer or console RPGs, and the mechanics are a lot more exposed than in something like Skyrim, but the computer does a lot of the calculations for you, so it's less intimidating than trying to keep track of everything yourself. I think I got a head start as a newbie tabletop gamer because I was familiar with a lot of the concepts from Baldur's Gate, and it made it less overwhelming.