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Beginner Box, where from Here...


Beginner Box


Ok I know this is asked a lot but as I've a slightly different situation and there's been a few adventure paths released since I last played I thought I'd ask again.

Anyway, onto the background first.

A group of friends wanted to play Pathfinder (well as they're new to RP they said D&D but we won't hold that against them ;) ) and I really didn't want to GM as I always end up doing that. So I'm going to be a player in a game where the players are all first timers and the GM is a first time GM (she's played several times but never GMed and usually plays 'easier' classes like fighters).

Even though I'm not GMing the GM is leaning on me heavily to help as this is their first time. So I suggested playing the Beginner Box as it's a cut down version of the rules and the GM and players time to ease in before moving up to the full rules.

So the idea is to play through the adventures in the GM Guide, GM Kit, and the Bash set by which time everyone should be comfortable enough to move to an adventure path (I've GMed a couple of these but I can' 'play dumb' for the sake of a good game. :) ).

So, from there we want to jump to the full rules with the same characters (converted using the Transitions PDF and a little common sense) and an adventure path.

So what would be a good adventure path to jump to, that's now to big a leap up to GM and isn't RotR? (I've run RotR more than once and I don't want to play dumb for a whole adventure path).

Also take into consideration that we might have 6 players (most likely 5 but a 6th is possible, but I will take a support char so as not to overpower the party) and they will have probably gained a level or 2 by that point (I might suggest to the GM to hold back XP and make sure the players only get one level through the beginner box so they aren't overpowered for the adventure path).

So after all of that, any recommendations? (spoiler free please, remember even though I'm doing a lot of the background work I'll be a player).


I'd advise having them run some modules first instead of a campaign for their first few times. That way you can still assist them as a co gm, but they can get a feel for running a game that isn't watered down like the beginners box. Campaigns can seem really cool to run for new GMs, but a lot of them can wind up burning out very quickly because it feels way too daunting trying to keep up with everything the players do that could have potential affect in the future of it. Run some modules, let them get used to running a game, then look into a campaign after if they're still up for the task.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I would also advise your new GM starting with the Kids Tracks before running the Black Fang adventure from the Beginner Box.

As for moving up to the full game...

I'm struggling to think of an AP which you can start from book two.

Maybe Shattered Star?

If you'd prefer a module, try Feast of Ravenmoor

or, from a 3PP, Gibbous Moon.


The idea of Shattered Star sounds good in theory, but that was made for 3.5 originally. Which would of course mean conversions. If PF is the only system played and understood, then conversion is gonna be hell. Council of Thieves is the first pure PF path, but shortly after that, APs started becoming a little more influenced by upcoming books. And that's going to be very rough for a brand new GM with little experience, you know what I mean?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Shattered Star is a PfRPG product. The only APs written for 3.5 were Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness, and Legacy of Fire.

There are modules written for Beginner's Box rules, including a new Path by Legendary Games that was just Kickstarted, Trail of the Apprentice. The first four of 5 parts are available in PDF, and my understanding is that the last will be available soon. Adventure-a-Week's BASIC quartet is also a series of linked modules set in a Hogwarts-style "adventurers' school."

GeraintElberion wrote:
I'm struggling to think of an AP which you can start from book two.

There aren't enough XP in Blackfang + Beginner Box Bash to get that high level, are there? I'd just start an AP at 2nd-level or wherever you end up; some people do that anyway for added surviveablity/less death-by-random-crit.


My bad, you're right Joana. I must've been thinking of Second Darkness then and mentioned Star... Talk about a long week so far lol.


Thanks for the input.

I see the advantages of starting with individual adventures, my only worry is that once you go too far down that route you're pretty much locked out of adventure paths with those characters as they'll be too high a level. Not necessarily a deal breaker but an adventure path tends to feel more 'epic' in scope for the players.

Also, I may not have been clear, I wasn't thinking of starting and adventure path at book 2 but rather making sure the chars didn't advance beyond level 2 so they could start from the beginning of an adventure path without being too overpowered as you can easily scale up to handle an extra level then just be meager with the xp so they advance a little slower and then the levels match up (I honestly don't know how much XP you could get from the beginner box modules and whether you could get above level 2 with them).

EDIT: Or as stated above just run the AP with an extra level for extra surviveablity.

Why would you recommend playing the kids track first (let's not mention it's called that, our youngest players are in their late teens and they might be touchy about it ;) )?

I must admit I'm starting to feel that I might end up GMing after all as the 'would be' GM doesn't seem to be too interested in putting in the leg work and keeps asking "is it all pre-done, so all I have to do is pick up the book and run it?"

I've never hit an adventure path, module, etc that doesn't need at least a bit of pre-planning (and a lot of pre-planning if you really want a good game).

We'll see though. I can take over if the GM feels overwhelmed after the beginner box stuff...


One bit of good news, just found out one of the players has played D&D E5 before so they have a bit of experience at least and jumped at playing the wizard.

I'm happy with that as I though I might have to play the wiz as it tends to be one of the harder ones to get your head around. :)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
DisFanJen wrote:

Thanks for the input.

I see the advantages of starting with individual adventures, my only worry is that once you go too far down that route you're pretty much locked out of adventure paths with those characters as they'll be too high a level. Not necessarily a deal breaker but an adventure path tends to feel more 'epic' in scope for the players.

Also, I may not have been clear, I wasn't thinking of starting and adventure path at book 2 but rather making sure the chars didn't advance beyond level 2 so they could start from the beginning of an adventure path without being too overpowered as you can easily scale up to handle an extra level then just be meager with the xp so they advance a little slower and then the levels match up (I honestly don't know how much XP you could get from the beginner box modules and whether you could get above level 2 with them).

EDIT: Or as stated above just run the AP with an extra level for extra surviveablity.

Why would you recommend playing the kids track first (let's not mention it's called that, our youngest players are in their late teens and they might be touchy about it ;) )?

I must admit I'm starting to feel that I might end up GMing after all as the 'would be' GM doesn't seem to be too interested in putting in the leg work and keeps asking "is it all pre-done, so all I have to do is pick up the book and run it?"

I've never hit an adventure path, module, etc that doesn't need at least a bit of pre-planning (and a lot of pre-planning if you really want a good game).

We'll see though. I can take over if the GM feels overwhelmed after the beginner box stuff...

Kids Track teaches the basic principles of the game in four hour-long chunks.

It will teach the GM as well as the players.
It goes:
Combat
Skills
Feats and special abilities
Roleplay


GeraintElberion wrote:
DisFanJen wrote:

Thanks for the input.

I see the advantages of starting with individual adventures, my only worry is that once you go too far down that route you're pretty much locked out of adventure paths with those characters as they'll be too high a level. Not necessarily a deal breaker but an adventure path tends to feel more 'epic' in scope for the players.

Also, I may not have been clear, I wasn't thinking of starting and adventure path at book 2 but rather making sure the chars didn't advance beyond level 2 so they could start from the beginning of an adventure path without being too overpowered as you can easily scale up to handle an extra level then just be meager with the xp so they advance a little slower and then the levels match up (I honestly don't know how much XP you could get from the beginner box modules and whether you could get above level 2 with them).

EDIT: Or as stated above just run the AP with an extra level for extra surviveablity.

Why would you recommend playing the kids track first (let's not mention it's called that, our youngest players are in their late teens and they might be touchy about it ;) )?

I must admit I'm starting to feel that I might end up GMing after all as the 'would be' GM doesn't seem to be too interested in putting in the leg work and keeps asking "is it all pre-done, so all I have to do is pick up the book and run it?"

I've never hit an adventure path, module, etc that doesn't need at least a bit of pre-planning (and a lot of pre-planning if you really want a good game).

We'll see though. I can take over if the GM feels overwhelmed after the beginner box stuff...

Kids Track teaches the basic principles of the game in four hour-long chunks.

It will teach the GM as well as the players.
It goes:
Combat
Skills
Feats and special abilities
Roleplay

Thanks for that, I didn't know much about them as I was trying to avoid spoilers while still helping the GM.

I'll pass the info on and see if we can start with them.

It probably is a


Not sure if anyone's interested in an update but here's one anyway. :)

After a bit of a delay due to, well, life we finally got around to our first gaming session last night.

The GM, with a little encouragement did put in the extra work, doing a pre-walk through of the adventures, getting the tokens ready (which did take some work as we have the PDF version, so printing, backing onto thick card and laminating was the name of the game) and that really showed during the game.

Things went a lot more smoothly that I expected, with a couple of rule screw ups by the group that the GM managed to gloss over with probably only myself noticing and no disruption to the game.

The most important part however is that the group had a blast! Everyone was laughing and joking, and showing the biggest initial sign that someone is getting invested in their character, they were all excited over the XP and the loot and spent a good 20 mins pouring over the two equipment sections looking for more gear, though how you can take that long given the small amount of gear is beyond me. I can't wait till they see the real books! :)

We're going to play the last 2 beginner adventures next week then sit down with the players and see if they would like to keep going with the full version of PF, but I can already tell you the answer they'll give. We have four more converts my friends. :)

The only downside that I think you get with all new groups was the lack of real roleplaying. Trying to convince someone to give us some information was an exercise in rolling D20's rather than anyone trying to play it out and possibly getting a bonus to the roll for good oratory. But that's pretty much par for the course with new rpers so I'm hoping that'll get better with time.

Oh, and one player just didn't get the idea of alignment. He went with lawful good then spent most of the game suggesting killing prisoners, torture, etc. More than once I said "Lawful Good dude!". I think we're just going to force a switch to at least Chaotic Good then go from there.

So we definitely need to look at full adventures or an adventure path and soon as we're probably going to need it for 2 weeks from now.

I just need to help the GM decide what to go with. Preferably with a starting point in Sandpoint, Korvosa or Riddleport (all places we've been to, or near, in the beginner advs).

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

That sounds great.

There's always one new player who gets excited that you can do anything after years of computer game multiple choice and tries to push the moral boundaries.
I tend to go for the shared experience chat after the game: "nobody wants to stop playing heroes to listen to detailed descriptions of torture: it's weird and gross" or "it's a group game, if everyone else is playing heroes it only works if everyone plays heroes.

It's just like how many first time GMs TPK the party (such power!): people take time to figure out that what you can do with the system is different to what you should do.


Regarding where to go next, I'm starting a new group of beginners as well and am probably going to go from Beginner's Box to Shards of Sin. My group is pretty young, ranging 11-18 with an adult helper. The other adult and myself are longtime dice rollers and hope to be directing the kids away from some of the more unsavory elements of the game, considering it's being run as a therapeutic respite group. I'll be curious to hear how your transition from the box goes.

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