|Ron Lundeen Contributor|
This question is aimed at a particular group of people, as will be apparent in the question itself. Husbands and long time boyfirends, how did you go about teaching your significant other how to play 3.x/PF? The Beginner Box is out of the question at this point in time. I'm having a difficlut time explaining skills and feats in particular. Not the skills and feats themselves, but the differences between the two. Right now, I'm beginning to run her through a little adventure of my own making. She'll be using a custom race I made based on the Viera from the Final Fantasy Tactics games. (If you'd like the racial stats, I'll give them to you if it perks your interest.) Her class is rogue. I'm frustrated more at myself than her. I even had a bit of a time explaining the differences between a Paladin and a Ranger as far as abilities go. I would really appreciate any advice given. I've got to explain combat and stuff as I go along. She's genuinely interested, but I feel that the fact that I'm a crappy teacher may turn her off of it, ya know.
Have you considered, uh, having her actually read the rules?
How did you learn Pathfinder? I'd suggest using that same method.
I taught my wife to roleplay ten years ago in college (before she was my wife) just by letting her borrow the book and then running a game (though the first game I ran with her was Godlike, not any version of D&D).
Well, the fact that we have children makes actually reading the book difficult. Although I could asign it to her in small segments.
Well, I will say this Luna_Silvertear, i got lucky. My wife had played DnD previously with a group of her peers in college. After we had been together for awhile, and we were getting a little bored of just going out to eat or to the movies i had the idea of starting another DnD group with alot of the friends I had. I asked if she was interested in the idea. She said yes, so I asked a group of my friends, if i paid and purchased everything and GM'd, if they would all be willing to play. Clear yes rang across the bored... almost had 8 players... that was a nightmare, and exhausting, but it paid off. After a year long campaign she was hooked, and same as mplindustries, "GODMODE", because of a lack of an understanding of certain rules, and assumptions made from previous gaming experiences. We have been playing for about 3 to 4 years now... and the funny part is shes the GM now. :) Enough time / playing, and interest and she read the whole book on her own. Just keep playing! I'd say do more than just yourself and her. So you can share the "Remember when i jumped 45 feet in the air to punch a dragon in the face" stories, yeah... that ACTUALLY happened >_>, with a group of friends, and group itself will also create a common bond.
Hope this helps! Cheers mate, and keep on playin! :)
Use her learning style.
Everyone has one (or more) methods of learning that they are adept with, so find out what hers is and use only that method to teach her.
The biggest ones are visual (let her read the rules or watch you using the knowledge you wish to impart to her step by step), auditory (tell her how it works, like a lecture on PF rules), and kinetic (skip the "learn how" part and just start playing.)
My significant other leans heavily toward kinetic learning, so I teach her how to play new games by just sitting down and the table with her and saying "Okay, here's the new game. Here's a character sheet, let's start making a character." and then step by step telling her how to go through the process and having her physically do those things (roll dice, find spots to write information without me telling her where it is, etc.) and she retains that knowledge.
Then we just start playing and as each rule or die roll actually comes up I walk her through the physical process of using that rule and making that roll.
Plain and simple, if she is having trouble learning in one way - do something different.
You may want to let the professionals step in with prewritten adventures and tried and true races and classes. If she is not satisfied with the precut races, give her a chance to review the advanced race guide and read the menus of abilities, then go back and choose what she wants.
Make sure to explai the game has s muc to offer that frankly, playing a few games is only like a test drive. Give it a whirl with something that catches her personal flavor for a level or three and as she she how he other players run their pcs, she will absorb mor of he things work and may want to try something different all together or adjust what she has. For new players, give them a break and allow adjustment over time.
For advanced players, I expect them to keep as close as possible to what they begin with, otherwise it is just an invitation to manipulate early gains at low levels to be swapped out for long term superior options after they get several hit dice of HP.
Each group plays different and I rarely see the players that are all about the story but consider letting her read an adventure. After it has been run or one you do not plan to put her pc through. Again, bring in a professionaly written work. This allows her to see that wonderful aspect o the game a well. And in a light that a player rarely sees since players rarely get every bit of backstory or figure out every clue.
I think of feats as special traing that either let's you break/negate one if the regular rules and/or significantly increases your odds at success for a specific area.
Skill points represent how much better or more diversified your stand out character(PC stats and levels) is compared to your average Joe(10 point buy and few levels).
Print out a cheat sheet for her.
This does not take the place of actually reading the rules in time. This is just to help ease in new players. I dislike how many players never even read their own characters rules. They say they want to tell a story. Well in that case, Mayberry should go tell a story instead of pretending they want to play this specific game with a rule set we are all expected to follow save when the GM evokes soecial permission. Of course if that permission is given all the time, than you are not really playing by the rules anyway in which case I say go. Back to telling a collaborative story or pick a system better suited for such. Sometime the story sees the protagonist fail. Thevrules are partially their to challenge the players. Those stumbles of failure and deaths are what really make the successes stand out as heroic(badass if going villain or mercenary style).
I'm married (I just had my ninth anniversary yesterday) and we have four kids. We play twice a week, Wednesday Night and Sunday from our home. I run Wenesday, and when the Carrion Crown campaign finishes my wife is taking over and running Fire Mountain Games the Way of the Wicked campaign for us.
We do have a small advantage in that we work from home...but that's somewhat countered by homeschooling the children.
The key to our managing is pretty simple...one of us looks after the younger children, often putting them down for a nap, while the other relaxes...which for us often means reading rule books and creating characters (I have five that need a home - won't anyone love my Feral shapeshifter?).
We do cheat, though, and use the SRD and such so we can also check stuff out when we're working (or at least taking a break from said work).
I'd suggest setting aside an evening, after the kids are asleep, to let her sit down and read the core rules at least somewhat. You can do something else but be ready to answer questions like, 'What the hell is BAB and why does that fighter guy get more than the monk guy?' because the Pathfinder rules are simply too big to be told to someone. Then you guys can run a game, soon after, to re-enforce those rules. It's the best way I know to get them to sink in.
I was never taught by anyone as such (though it was 1st edition, and maybe easier to just pick up). I watched a group of friends (which didn't include my boyfriend) play, and after a while I asked to join in.
I don't think you can hope to learn just by reading the rules, I think you have to see people playing and how it fits together in context. The difference in skills and feats may become more obvious in play, And perhaps a group with other patient experienced players, not a solo adventure.
Actually, summer before last, I ran my kids and their grandma (who hadn't played any rpgs before) through 'We be Goblins' which is a free download. I pretty much just gave Grandma a goblin fighter and we sat down and got on with it, and she managed fine. Most importantly, It was a lot of fun.
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
Oh, it's possible to just jump in...I simply find it best to read the rules, then play. The combination of book learning and practical application helps people, I find. Simply reading the book is too theoretical, and hard to really visualize how the rules click together, but jumping right can be overwhelming, especially for any kind of caster or class that relies heavily on a number of special abilities. As with most things in life, some of both works better, or at least in my experience.
I don't think anyone needs to be taught at all - I didn't teach my wife, although I help her with advice because I spend more time on looking at third party stuff and other, less commonly used sources. And no one taught me or the guys I play with. We just read the rules and then started playing (badly...our GM decided that our third level heroes could totally handle waves of Orcs and a Winter Wolf) but we did improve (and find some pre-made scenarios to play so we could learn a bit of balance).
For me it was video games (baldur's gate and neverwinter nights 1 to be precise) and i think that video games can really help but they do require a large amount of time.
Even if the Beginner Box is not possible at the moment, you might want to download the pregen character sheets anyway.....they are set up with explanations for the key areas, some tips on rules to remember, etc.
Might work well as the 'cheat sheet' being mentioned as well as start guiding her questions as she continues her learning.
*Feats are a one shot thing, you have it or you don't
*Skills are something everyone has, and stem from their physical and mental capabilities.
As for teaching, everyone is different :)
There are different ways of accessing the brain: we mentioned a few earlier:
Does she feel embarrassed? Either by the hobby, by having to be taught, or by her previous inability to understand other things? All of those could interfere. Make sure that while learning, having fun become most important.
All people respond to the three stimulus types (seeing, hearing, doing) to different degrees. So try to incorporate all three approaches when teaching her. Reading a page of rules, discussing it, and then applying it to a character sheet (or having a mock battle, looking up potential spells). This uses all three methods, and provides a variety of ways of accessing the information.
Last but not least: You need to start thinking about the game and the rules differently. Sometimes being told "because the rules say so" is not going to convince someone, or even make sense to them. if you cannot explain the different between feats and skills, look back over it, think of different ways of explaining, or even think about what the actual difference is if you have not thought about it before. If you see other things possible being confusing, think about them ahead of time (divine versus arcane magic; spontaneous versus prepared casters; Attacks of opportunity; Differently lengthed actions). The more prepared you are with a variety of tools, examples, thoughts and resources, the more able you will be able to adapt to her needs as a learner.
My advice. Don't teach your significant other. Let him or her do something they are interested in and you do what you're interested in.
When each partner in a partnership has time for themselves it can actually be really good for the relationship.
Throw kids in the mix and I bet neither of you get a lot of time to pursue your own interests.
For me, it includes getting away from the family every 4th Sunday afternoon to play Pathfinder. Or, as my Wife calls it "Nerdfest".
If your partner is truly interested they will eventually pick up the book on their own. If they don't do that they are most likely making the effort to try and please you. It's a nice gesture for sure, but D&D is something you either love or you don't.
I have taught two girlfriends to play D&D 3.5 & Pathfinder, using pretty much the same system.
First, explain to her what the premise of the overall game is. Lucky me, both girls were fans already of LotR & faeries. Also explain that it is a social game, interacting with other people at the table and with the environment created by the DM. Explain how leveling works along with other achievements.
Given that, ask her what type of character she would like to play, in broad strokes. If she asks about her options, again give her broad ideas: a mistress of magic, a raging barbarian princesses or a scion of a higher power.
As for races, I would stick with the core races. One they are easier to relate too because of their history. Two, they are readily available to read about in the CRB. In my experience, she will want to play an elf or half-elf.
Once you have the idea, you select a class or two that might best fit her previous selection. Go over some of the finer points between the different selections. Once she's settled on one, have her read about it in depth.
After a class and race has been picked, buy/roll up stats. Explain how each stat would affect your character and the mechanics they represent.
Then move through the rule book in order, skills, feats, equipment, magic etc. Again, explain how each section will affect her character. Let her read up on each section and make those choices first. If she needs an explanation, be there for her and offer advice. But do it in small chucks so that she doesn't feel overwhelmed. Let her fill in/create her character sheet, that way she'll feel ownership of it.
All in all, it should be a slow, methodical process. It make take a few days. In the end though, she'll appreciate it more because of the process of creating a character instead of you just giving her a piece of paper with everything filled in.
As for what type of adventure to run, I'll leave that up to you since you know your lady better then us. If you plan on doing a solo adventure for the first couple of sessions, you could try: 1 on 1 Adventures or Crypt of the Everburning Flame with you playing NPCs. Or if it is homemade, make sure it is tailor made to her character and her strengths. By making it about her, she will feel involved in the process and enjoy it more.
If you are going to play in a group, play with only 2 maybe 3 other people. Make sure you invite people you know give a good representation of the game. The first impression you give of RPG will make a lasting effect on your girl and if she'll want to play again.
And finally, bribery. Give her something that most character don't get. My current girlfriend got a unicorn for her Paladin mount when she started. She loved that unicorn and defended it like a champ.
I do NOT recommend just having her show up to an already established game, giving her a sheet with every thing filled out or hastily written up 20 minutes before hand. I have seen too many guys do this and the girls were bored out of their minds by the second out and never returned. I would also stay away from a lot of homebrew rules or creations (like your race). Keep in simple in the beginning. You can always add more later. Just because you've been around 100 elven mages, doesn't mean she has.
You have to sell the game to get her hooked. It may take a couple of days or in your case weeks. She may not enjoy it to the level that you do, but she'll understand it and will enjoy the times you play together. What is fun for me is not so much the in-game time with my girlfriend, but when she brings up out of the blue some story about one of our games or a weird gaming reference. It's like we clicked on another level.
Thank you so much guys for your advice. I plan on saving the info in this thread for future reference. Also, my wife is lurking here on my profile, so if you have a tip or to directly for her, she'll see it.
And finally, bribery. Give her something that most character don't get. My current girlfriend got a unicorn for her Paladin mount when she started. She loved that unicorn and defended it like a champ.
^She did the girly "AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!" at this, stating that she wants one too.
I really appreciate you guys for the help. I give internet cookies to all of you guys.
If it's anything like my wife was, it will be a gradual process. Don't expect her (or anyone) to take it all in and master it all in 1 sitting. She will get the hang of it after a few games; just be patient with her.
What my wife enjoyed in getting familiar with the game was me running a 1-on-1 small solo adventure with her. She was a rogue, like your wife, and she really enjoyed that. I created the quick, made up setting that she was in a small harbor town. There were some important documents on a ship docked here that she was supposed to steal for someone. I went so far as to say that the plan was to sneak on the ship without being seen, find the documents, and return them to her contact.
It was funny watching her play this scenario for her first time ever playing the game. She told me in plain English how she wanted to go about sneaking on the ship, I told her what dice to roll, and it went from there. She got on the ship without being seen, but she got caught trying to sneak into the cabin. She fought 2 guys, killed 1, and the other one surrendered. By this time, she was already in the swing of dice rolling.
The guy who surrendered was at her mercy. This presented to her a prime example of being able to do whatever you want in the game, and the fact that your decisions have a real impact in the game.
Used to playing video games, she told the guy to take his shoes off. "Um... sure." He took them off. "Hand me your shoes," she says. "Um... okay. Here you go." He hands her his shoes. She asks me, "how much are the shoes worth? Are they an upgrade?" I was trying so hard not to lose it... "They smell terrible. You'd be lucky to get a copper for them." She immediately expressed disgust and threw the guy's shoes overboard. The guy looked sad. "Hey. What'd you do that for? ...Those were my only shoes." Oh man... it was hilarious.
Then she decides to tie the guy up, but she only ties up his hands. -_- She ties his hands, tells him to "stay there," and proceeds to the cabin to look for the papers. She learned her lesson when later she finds the fat captain stumbling in and the other guy whose feet were left untied following right behind him. She ran to the top deck, jumped overboard, and fled the area. What a fun way to end the little "test adventure." After that, she was hooked and couldn't wait to actually play with a group.
If you want her to learn and she does not have the time to read because of the kids the solution is simple. Tell her that you are going to give her some time to read and do some of the things she normally does to give her that time. Fix dinner or do the laundry or whatever she normally does while she is reading. If she does not read then let her do the chores you were going to do for her.
While my wife does not game this type of solution has worked for both of us on other things. If you give her the time to read and she does not then she is probably not interested and you may want to reconsider trying to get her in the game.
Everybody in this thread seems to be acting like women can't possibly understand roleplaying and that they need special treatment and it's going to be so confusing because it's so totally different from the world of shopping and housework that women are used to.
This is 2012, not 1912. Women are people. You treat them the same as anyone else. Lots of women roleplay--even ones without boyfriends that roleplay. In fact, over the course of the past 20 years, I've roleplayed with more women than men. I currently run a game with only female players.
You teach a woman to play Pathfinder in the exact same way you'd teach a man to play Pathfinder. You teach your girlfriend the same way you'd teach any other friend. Get her to read it and talk about the parts she doesn't understand (if any), so you can explain it. Having kids does not prevent you from reading--it does restrict reading time, but if you want to read something, you definitely can. And don't assign it--that's ridiculous. I assume she's not a child (or else you're really creepy :P), so if she wants to learn, she'll find a way.
Don't give her special stuff like unicorns and crap--that's just a fast track to making the other players hate her and you for getting/giving special treatment. If she's the sort that will like roleplaying, she'll like it without mollycoddling.
Ultimately, if she's not really into roleplaying, well, let it go--don't force it. But then dump her because there are lots of roleplaying girls out there. :P
I am the master of the Girlfriend Game. I have been running games for my buddies' sisters, my own girlfriends, my friend's girlfriends, and now my wife and her friends, for almost all of my 32 years of playing.
Now. There are great gamer girls out there. Girls who initiate gaming on their own. You don't need to teach them, so I will assume what you have here is the old situation of a girlfriend who wants to be involved, and have some fun, but is not a full-on geek about learning the rules.
If that is the case, please ignore all the other advice you are getting here. From what I can tell, they are all trying to turn your girlfriend into a full time gamer with complete rules knowledge. If you are just getting an interested girlfriend into the game, this is the worst idea possible. The rules will quickly overwhelm her, and she will realize how BORING all of this can be.
NEWS FLASH TO GAMERS: What we do IS BORING. The playing is fun. But the other 99% of it is not something most people want. Stop giving bad advice to people who want their girlfriends to join in, when the real answer is simple.
YOU handle the rules for her in the beginning. Ask her what she wants to build, and GENTLY involve her in the process. Take care of the boring parts (skill point adjustments), and do not over explain everything. Get her into the game with a lot of encouragement at the table. Ask the other more experienced players to help you coach her. Get everybody involved in making sure she has fun.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: It will NEVER matter that she does not memorize even a single page of the rulebook. In time, she will either decide to get more involved with rules on her own, but if she never does, she still will get used to playing her character. Just remember to act like human beings if she ever needs help with something. In my game, most of my female players have only a loose understanding of the game, but what does that matter? They tell me (the GM) what they are doing, and I tell them what dice to roll, if they don't know already. It's hardly the end of the world.
If you happen to end up with a devoted player at your side who loves to study the rules, congratulations! That's NOT how these situations usually turn out, so turn down your expectations. Try to have fun together.
Don't give her special stuff like unicorns and crap--that's just a fast track to making the other players hate her and you for getting/giving special treatment. If she's the sort that will like roleplaying, she'll like it without mollycoddling.
Everybody in this thread seems to be acting like women can't possibly understand roleplaying...
Mplindustries, First off...she's not a child. There is a hight limit to ride this ride. Just thought I'd clear that one up. I'm don't think that women are RPG handicapped or anything like that, nor am I sexist in any form that I am readily aware of. My wife is far from an idiot. My whole problem is that I am the idiot and lack the ability to explain it to her in a simple manner. I'm not going to run her in a group until she gets a handle on the rules, so something special, like an item that lets her channel positive energy equal to a Cleric her level -3 about 3/day so she can have a bit of healing, or even a wand of CLW (10 charges) isn't going to break the bank. Personally, I've played in a game where the GM (male) favored the female player, and it bothered me so much that I declared my character went insane of the period of 4-5 sessions just so I could blow her (and myself) up with a Maximized delayed blast fireball.
... or maybe look after the kids while she reads?
And you assign things to your wife?
Anyway, as to the rest--if she wants to learn, she will do so by doing what all gamers did to learn -- pick up a little from the books and the rest by practice.
If she isn't interested and is only doing this to mollify you (NOT suggesting she is, I just don't know the situation), then she's not going to learn. People learn poorly stuff that they're not interested in, whether it's games or algebra or writing sonnets.
Gotcha. Self-righteous tone of disbelief retracted.
I haven't taught a significant other to play but I have introduced a good number of new players to RPGs and Pathfinder through Pathfinder Society games.
I like the trial by fire approach. Give 'em a pre-gen and just start playing. Explain rules on the go as needed. Don't bog them down with EVERYTHING all at once. If the person is interested, they will pick up more knowledge each time they play and might get curious enough to pick up a book on their own. If not, well, maybe the game is not for them and that's OK too. At least they tried something new.
Fair enough, but I assumed people who had not treated women like that would realize they were excluded--I'm not sure about the last time I've heard the word "everybody" to literally mean everybody.
Mplindustries, First off...she's not a child. There is a hight limit to ride this ride. Just thought I'd clear that one up.
Ha, I assumed she wasn't a child, that was (I thought obviously) a joke. And what a classy way of confirming that fact. <_<
Anyway, I was defending her--pointing out that she shouldn't need babying.
I'm don't think that women are RPG handicapped or anything like that, nor am I sexist in any form that I am readily aware of. My wife is far from an idiot. My whole problem is that I am the idiot and lack the ability to explain it to her in a simple manner.
Well, look, I'm not saying you treat your girl badly--I was suggesting some other people in the thread were being a bit condescending, but that's besides the point. The thing is, if your ability to teach is the issue, the fact that this is your significant other is irrelevant.
I'm not going to run her in a group until she gets a handle on the rules
See, I think this is a mistake. Get her to watch a session once or twice so she knows what really goes on. That's going to prepare her way more than playing a solo game with you is going to do. She'll have no concept of asserting herself and fighting for attention, of the time it takes waiting for other people's turns, of the fact that this is a teamwork game so she doesn't have to/can't do it all herself.
Personally, I've played in a game where the GM (male) favored the female player, and it bothered me so much that I declared my character went insane of the period of 4-5 sessions just so I could blow her (and myself) up with a Maximized delayed blast fireball.
Well, just make sure you don't do that.
I agree entirely, but right now we're not in a position where we can find a group.
NEWS FLASH TO GAMERS: What we do IS BORING.
When my 11-year-old brother asked to join our D&D game, I let him, with the following disclosure:
"D&D is a totally awesome game about doing math and waiting your turn."
If this comes of as snarky I apologize; it is an honest answer.
Learn to cut to the chase. I passed over this thread several times because there is no meaningful words in the title, I already know everything it tells me based on the section it is in. When I finally did open it I read the first sentence and almost closed it, again not a single meaningful word in it.
I am a full time teacher with a Masters in Education; when I teach I am also entertaining. I need either meaningful or interesting information non-stop or I expect people to lose focus. Too much fodder and too little pay out is a surefire way to make people not care.
I was half asleep when I posted the thread. Forgive the rather unimaginative title. I should've titled it "I wanna cast a spell...I cast FLARE!"
Id have her read through the sections that matter being the skills section and combat section. 1ce she has that down almost religiously ask what does she want to do both in combat and out of combat. Suggest the classes that u think would be best for this. Personally id say stay away from heavy casters starting off because that can get over whelming, i know i was when i 1st looked at wizard but with time i came to understand it. Also have her start in an area were learning can be obtained in almost 1-2 sessions. I started my gf out at school and that took about 4 sessions because she enjoyed role playing it. At school u can have her tested through non-fatal combat and skill checks as well having lectures in class about the practicality and use of skills and combat maneuvers. Also school can give the character more depth and knowledge of some of the things going on in the game depending on how ur game is structured. I set my gf in a game i made my self and she got to learn normal etiquette of the city she was in and about to go to along with its history and laws. In all it went over greatly and lasted 2 years playing 1ce every week.
Also if u all have a portable device with the net on it have
Since you said "Desperate" -- I am going to go for broke and literally spill the entire contents of my head here. This is going to be a wall of text, so go in with full warning and nobody is being forced to read this. I'll preface by saying that if two people love roleplaying, it can be the same thing as having a personal "best-seller" between them, and the stories are treasured forever, but if your spouse quickly, or even ultimately decides it's unfulfilling -- I BEG YOU BOTH TO BE HONEST WITH EACH OTHER. You say she shadows your account... I say "Bless you, dear -- for being open to share this hobby and most sacred of enjoyments with your partner - I've been in relationships where gaming has been an integral part, and where it needn't be. I hope it is very fulfilling for the both of you, give it a chance with an open heart... and don't force it if you can't feel it. If RPGs don't work, I *PRAY* you come up with some other activity you can share like this where you are both good, giving, and game to one another."
OKAY... now into HOW I WOULD DO THIS:
Since you mention the final fantasy series -- you are certainly familiar with video games. Something YOU will be extrodinarily familiar with then will be the concept of a TUTORIAL LEVEL.
It's obvious that since you already have a race/class decided that you can make the build for her (constructing characters/builds is something you should take responsibility for until she gets the handle on the game) but you can actually synthesize her learning into the CHARACTER learning to be a rogue, by having the first adventures be just that -- learning what her various skills are, and how to use them. for most players the adventure starts at level 1 -- because it assumes you'll learn as you go or you already know how to play... instead, start at level 0. Put ranks in skills as she learns to express them, or you can have the build all worked out, but she's not level "1" and starting the campaign until it's demonstrated in the tutorial challenges that she knows how to use all her skills. At the end of the tutorial she or you can tweak her character if either of you like, or as it suits her play style, but have a build in mind.
A good place to start would be to go on youtube and take a look at the tutorial level for THIEF: THE DARK PROJECT. I know there is a radical difference between PnP games and FPS-style games... but the level will give you a thematic spine and a good example of various challenges a rogue faces, in a safe and non-lethal atmosphere for the player. Your wife will begin her character as a novice thief IN THE THIEVES GUILD, and despite her relative cluelessness her patrons have undoubted confidence in her RAW POTENTIAL... she can make as many mistakes as she may or wants in this first scenario, but everything she learns builds on the previous thing.
Here's a link to the tutorial I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhiaI1UH7nU
Watch it, and model the first tests after what you see -- with your imagination you can make analogous tests very fascinating and engrossing. I trust you can skim out any references to THAT game's mechanics and swap them for OUR game's mechanics. The point is, that tutorial addresses stealth, noise, sneaking up on people, melee and missile fighting, and other skills -- you will present the skills in a similar safe and hopefully immersive manner. She'll LEARN how to be a rogue, by DOING the things a rogue does.
For example, start her in a room that is dark with rays of light coming through the windows bathing one side in shadow -- you can use a grid even as preparation for eventual combat. Give her a picture in her mind of where it's dark and where it's light and put a sentry in the room. The objective of the task should be to get behind the sentry without being seen to approach. You can explain that there is no facing in the game, but she must use her STEALTH skill here, and she'll get a bonus to stealth for picking the dark side of the room, and it's far riskier but not impossible to make it on the light side. (maybe put a tempting silver chalice on that side of the room, with the odd pillar or box to hide behind, a challenge with a reward of a few gp for taking risks, more on that later)
Have a second part to travel over a balance beam between rooftops in the poor section of town. Lots of hay-bales and bushes lie below, or perhaps her mentor can cast featherfall -- but she'll have to use acrobatics to cross the balance beam, and then disable device to pick the lock on the window on the other side. Calculate the spread of how much gold a rogue starts with at the beginning of the game at level 1, and scatter coins and little treasures all around your tutorial level to encourage her to look for hidden stuff, and as an exercise in perception (though there should be simulations for encountering and disarming traps as well) -- with the scattered treasure idea it will also instill the idea that just like in a regular game, you should be on the lookout for extra or hidden stuff. It's always fun to find loot. So for example, as part of a climb/acrobatics challenge (She must climb a rope and swing or jump to a series of other ropes to cross a room, she can notice (especially if she is looking for) a black felt bag hanging from the bottom of one of the shorter ropes by the cieling, or a gold ring on a eave or ledge near the exit door to the room... At the end of the tutorials she'll have no less/more than the min/max a level 1 rogue starts with, but it will be because of her diligence she got more rather than less.
If she doesn't have enough skill points to put into all class skills and you wonder if she's up to the task of having "agency" for these choices, have the tutorial challenge include various CHOICES that will feature the skills that come naturally to HER... Tell her that her mentors are watching to see how SHE solves the problems and her skills after her training is complete will reflect her choices (where these last few ranks go on her sheet, or maybe the guild can give her a free Masterwork thieves-tools if she repeatedly picks locks, or a disguise kit for disguise -- you get the idea) for example, one of the tests is a theatrical mock-up of the front of a castle. On one side of the stage is a guard outfit drying in the laundry (she can pick Disguise) -- there is a "Study" off to the side where one can forge papers for entry (Linguistics), a guard off to the side who is sleeping with an OVERSIZED key ring dangling obviously (slight of hand) -- the DCs for the activities should be normal, but if she gets "caught" the mentor calls "CUT" like it's just a play and everybody goes back to "Places" and the challenge can begin again. Keep the set-peices short, at least at first, no more than 3 skill checks, and at first it's obvious what to use but as you go on, provide choices. Patterns may emerge on the kinds of things she likes to do -- illustrate successes... and failures. Repeated high rolling for acrobatics should be hammed up as flips and sommersaults through the air, flawlessly completing challenges some of her fellow apprentices take solid dives on. A poor disguise rolls will lead to chiding stories over choices of garb that were none too convincing, Give lower DC to perception when she actively is seeking something but higher if she is preoccupied with other tasks.
If you're a great GM you could even introduce a kind of "Hogwarts/Harry-Potter" meets "Oliver Twist" aspect to the thieves guild... make up several NPCS going through thieves training with her, and give them character aspects that make them endearing and interesting. These NPCs can even go on these challenges with her (maybe one at a time, but this will prepare her to work in a party, AS WELL as have an example of how everything can be done RIGHT or WRONG (some of her friends will be star pupils, others, maybe not so much) here are some ideas:(character development will help with roleplay, and even give her some contacts or companions for later on in the game!)
Bors: Bors is the grandson of a very influential member of the thieves guild - thievery is IN HIS BLOOD, but less in his personality. He hopes he can satisfy his family by repurposing his rogue skills to be a spy or diplomat, and is more interested in stealing intriguing papers than shiny things. Despite being almost grossly overweight (glandular problem) he is a FLAWLESS climber (really, it's kind of freaky) and for somebody of his stature is really rather quiet over the floorboards. His friends joke that if there is nowhere else to hide, a good thief can always take refuge in Bors' shadow.
Trixie: Trixie is a nick-name, and only some of her teachers know what her real name is -- some people say her actual name is really embarrassing, others say it's more mysterious/complicated than that -- and that a former student (ahem) got... "relocated" when they found out. Trixie's stealth and device skills are lacking, but her perception, bluff, and disguise are spot on... she's also quite intimidating and as long as she's playing a role can be rather persuasive (her real personality though is to be intimidating) -- when she can she eschews the sneaking aspect and bluffs right through the front door, makes or steals uniforms and outfits that convince people she belongs in places (especially outfits like 'head chef' or 'butler' or 'officer' that allow her to move through even exclusive areas without anybody willing to challenge her. Despite her manner alienating most of her peers, she's actually quite lonely and she goes to ungodly lengths to help and protect people who "Understand her"... which really just might be the people she actually picks to let in.
Tems: Tems is going to be a fence and everybody knows it. Use magical device, Appraise, and Knowledge (Local) are his main talents. He's CONSTANTLY bungling on the physical challenges, some people even wonder if he'll pass muster... but he already has dirt on half the people in the class, and even some say a couple of instructors or he'd be gone by now. NOBODY gets as much for their loot than Tems does, and he's already got a minor side-line as a fence in the training school for moving other students finer 'rewards' (the loot dropped around as incentive) for a cut of the profit, generally a fraction of the margin of the better deal he'd get. One or two people whisper that Tems might actually be the star pupil... and he's been faking incompetance THE ENTIRE TIME... but that's just crazy... what kind of brass ones does a fellow have to have to try and pull the wool on the guild that's training you!?!
You get the idea -- maybe you make the tutorial adventure a very short run-through of all the skills, but with NPCs that can help (Aid other +2!) various tasks or offer challenges, rivalry, encouragement, she'll be hopefully challenged to role-play more, showing different sides of herself to aquaintences rather than close compatriots, and you can sow plot development into the above, if you both enjoy it. There are plot hooks to each of the above NPCs to make them interesting... and they could easily be best friends or bitter enemies that could develop later into recurring contacts or foils/villains even in later adventures! She'll have a strong sense of agency that the friends she CHOSE (you can't be friends with everyone, can you?) will have an impact on her character later. 3 adventures down the line, when she is trying to fence a particularly expensive ancient vase -- she may bump into "Tems" again -- this time as a successful and influential import/exporter (a front for moving his stolen goods)... and whether he was a pal or a rival might make the difference between getting the best price for the vase, a side-quest to get out of town before his cronies steal it before she can sell it, or even if she hated him enough, a side-quest for her to rob his warehouse of a most precious item. You get the idea.
I realize I'm getting VERY fancy here -- and you can go far lower-frills, a basic obstacle-course of sorts with some (inert) traps, locked doors and boxes, pits, ropes, ledges, a series of infiltration (diplomacy, bluff, intimidate) scenarios, a little disguise... basically something that explores EACH skill a rogue has, hopefully in a variety of situations with differing DCs so the player gets an idea of what they can and cannot do.
In mock fighting, put her in a couple of melee, range, and surprise situations. She'll note the massive difference in damage between her surprise attack, going against a fighter or classmate toe to toe, shooting at targets or dummies at various ranges and various degrees of cover, as well as crossing a live-fire exercise "run the garden without being hit by dummy arrows" she can learn the use of stealth, cover, and concealment (bushes will help her not get hit so much, the fog spell in the middle of the range or the giant mushrooms over there provide 40% or 80% concealment, etc.
The individual tests will give her familiarity with the mechanics -- but the story (if you are up to the task) of actually becoming a thief may help in hooking her into the finer aspects of the game where only ego (joy for doing well or burn of setbacks) and not the sense of feeling more incompetent than your character on your first adventure. If you really like the "thief school" idea you could have her first adventure be a "Practical Final" where her and her classmates are all sent to a Noble's house on a day a petty-noble (and his finest guards) are off on a trip -- those finer guards were important for discipline, and at this point since the master's leaving -- discipline is pretty lax. Some of the guards have taken to drinking or sleeping on duty it's been noted... SOME of them. The graduating class has been tasked with descending on the house like locusts and stealing EVERYTHING that isn't nailed down. Rivalry will be in full force with some thieves even trying to sabotage one another, while friendships or favors during the learning phase will be returned in spades as friends share intel and get each other out of trouble. The best loot will be in the deepest more secure areas of the house -- where you might give her a choice of a cool magical item she may want (not too powerful) or an exotic pet or mount, or maybe just a really lovely bauble that, being her first great heist, might be of great sentimental value.
So I'm probably beating a dead horse at this point -- but you introduce little aspects a little at a time. You might even have two character sheets, one for you and one for her, and ss she learns her powers and abilities, you take a little bit of info off the one SHE has and put in on HERS, like a "bag of tricks" - that way she isn't looking at 20 skills and 8 powers and is so spoiled for choice or ruined for relevance it looks meaningless. When you cover sneak attacks, you write sneak attacks onto her sheet and she knows what it does and that it's in a different place than a regular skill. Chances are, she'll start to pick up on more sophisticated rules interaction once you start building on what she knows.
Best part: every time she levels -- you can explain the new powers or abilities in the context of lessons she'd previously studied or witnessed back in school. Ie:
DING! She's level 2, and has "Evasion" now -- what the hell does that mean? Suddenly, she has a flashback, she's back in the classroom, watching her classmates and the advanced students in an "Evasion Exercise" -- clay pots with dampened explosive charges are thrown at the students as they sommersault across the room -- taking saves as they go. You present a scenario where a classmate totally fails to dive away from the charges (or even just roll a set of saving throws and resolve them) with fails COVERING students with soot (Full, damage, they have to go change) -- a successful save for beginner students (half damage) but they can continue -- and the advanced students with evasion miraculously dive/roll away from the soot, suffering no damage. She remembers the lesson as a beginner student, but in her minds eye -- she in the advanced class -- show her how to apply this ability like she was back in the classroom, and she'll grasp (and hopefully have a sense of accomplishment) from now being able to cross a room of explosions (however inert) clean and smelling like a rose -- noting that lesser trained individuals suffer some damage anywhere where she does not. (and even if she fails her reflex saves and gets dirty -- it will give her a grasp that her evasion ability isn't PROOF against such situations, it mitigates some of the RISK -- such familiarity will go miles towards instilling confidence towards what her character can and cannot do) ... so what she whiffs two rounds of saving throws and needs to change again and again... it is a simulation, and can become part of her memory of education. A lesson she saw, and has now absorbed fully.
Please take a note of my handle and feel free to send me a message if you want me to take a look at other posts you have on this topic. I wish you and your spouse the best of luck -- and I don't know how little your kids are, but carefully introducing, even SHARING gaming with your kids can be a GREAT way to enjoy family time, empower and teach your kids, and expose them to new ideas, cultures, and facts. (That's a WHOLE other ball of wax entirely, but soon enough when I have children, if they seem interested I'm going to groom them for gaming as well -- because it opened my eyes and mind to so much in the world. That said, gaming with your spouse can open up a spectacular inner world as well -- one that you can share with friends AND kids alike!
Best of luck.
First off, this is like introducing any friend or loved one to a complicated hobby. I absolutely agree with the advice to:
1) Pay attention to her learning style.
2) Get her interested in a character she likes and wants to play, and an interesting adventure she wants to be a part of.
3) Do be prepared for the possibility that in the long run she won't actually enjoy the game. Our loved ones do sometimes try and fail to get interested in our hobbies, whatever they are. If she does enjoy it, great!
4) Introduce her to group play if you can get a group together and that group is supportive of new players.
Id have her read through the sections that matter being the skills section and combat section. 1ce she has that down almost religiously ask what does she want to do both in combat and out of combat.
No! Ask her what she wants to do and then (slowly, as she needs them) show her the rules and tools she needs to do it. Otherwise it's boring.
I don't know if I'd do something as obvious as a "tutorial level," but that's the right idea - introduce and explain skills and abilities as she needs them.
Suggest the classes that u think would be best for this. Personally id say stay away from heavy casters starting off because that can get over whelming, i know i was when i 1st looked at wizard but with time i came to understand it.
Generally agree, but some casters are easier than some martial classes. Sorcerers are good for beginners since their limited spell list and spontaneous casting is easier to handle. If she wants to play a caster, don't discourage her, just point her at the casters that are easier to play.
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?!
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.
WATCHING a spellcaster work, or witnessing or being the target of magic is a great way to get familiar, rather than casting it. Caveat Emptor.
My wife realized early on that these games mean a great deal to me. At some point she told me she would only play if she could play a witch, but this was back before Pathfinder and I could never properly help her build the character she desired.
Then the APG came out and not long afterwards I had a group set up just so she could play.
How did she learn how to play? I mostly created the character, and from there it was holding her hand to help her learn how to play. She is dyslexic, so reading the books was out of the question. She had to learn by rolling dice, asking questions, and just playing.
She was the one who pushed me to start PFS in my area just so we would have characters for PaizoCon, which she insisted on attending.
We have a couples group composed of two of my best friends, myself, and our significant others. The ladies all learned to play by being given the basic rundown (these are the various dice, D20 is used for this and this, your weapon uses this one, etc.) and jumping right in. It's pretty easy to pick up as you go along, and much harder to absorb by just reading or having someone try to explain it to you. Do you have any other players who can help you introduce her to the hobby?
I don't wish to make any assumptions about your relationship, but here goes. Try to not take a heavy hand in her choices for character build. If you must suggest something then say it once and leave it. It might help if she has another player in the group to ask questions of. She needs to feel like a member of the group and not just your wife/GF. Ultimately, if she likes the game she will pick up rules, strategy, etc. on her own..
For most of us that have been playing for a long time we take for granted how incredibly complicated our game has become
Pathfinder is the current evolution of a game that had decades of development behind it, and whether we realise it or not, most of us have been learning slowly over a very long period.
Trying to drop a new gamer into a fully fledged system of feats, skills, combat maneuvers, spells and all manner of other things in incredibly unfair
My advice - Start rules light and get your new player to give you a concept. Build the character together based on what your player envisions the character to be able to do. You'll find most players have some concepts from books, TV or movies and this will give you a start.
Run simple adventures that are story heavy and technically light. Slowly ramp up the complexity, and begin to showcase some of the mechanics of the game through monsters and NPCs.
Some people might suggest this is coddling, or that i'm somehow implying girls or wives are slow, stupid or whatever. This is crap. The speed at which you advance the mechanics will be based entirely on the person. You might find your new player is extremely apt and learns quickly. They might even master the game in time, or teach you a thing or two :)
Think back to when you learned to drive. You didnt jump in and tearass down the highway doing burnouts and stunts. You started with the basics and built up. Now its a skill you barely give any thought to. Anyone speak a second (or more) language? Did you try to engage in deep linguistic wrangling from day one, or did you learn "yes", "no" and "Do you speak english?".
All complex learning starts like this. Patience grasshopper...
In my experience spouses/SOs fall into one of the following categories when it comes to gaming:
1. They love it and probably played it before the relationship blossomed.
In my current game group of six (now five) players, we had one 8, one 7, one 5, and two 4s. The other player is brand new and I haven't been able to figure out his spouse's attitude, but since she doesn't show up with him, I'm pretty sure it's not 1 or 2.
So, if you aren't at 5 or above, I'd say count your blessings. If you are dealing with a 1 or 2, then it will eventually work itself out positively. If 3 or 4, I would say don't push it, or you run the risk of making it a higher number.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
I'd say she's a 2.5. I'm sorry for your 8. That's gotta blow man.
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.