Pathfinder Beginner Box Announced for November

Friday, March 20, 2020

New players will soon be able to take their first steps into an amazing world of fantasy adventure! Unveiled for November 2020, the Pathfinder Beginner Box will contain everything you need to learn how to play the Pathfinder, including rules to create your own fantasy hero and tools to make your own amazing stories.

Will you be a courageous fighter, charging headfirst into battle, or a sly rogue, moving quietly to strike at foes from the shadows? Maybe you will be a knowledgeable wizard, wielding incredible arcane spells or a wise and pious cleric, using the power of your deity to shape the world for the better. It is all up to you!

Inside you will find a rich toolbox, filled with everything you need to get started, including rules for character generation, an introductory adventure, guidelines to build your own campaign, character sheets, a full-color map, character pawns, and dice. This deluxe box set will be the ideal introduction to the Pathfinder, leading the way to a lifetime of adventure!

The Pathfinder Beginner Box will include:

  • An 80-page Hero's Handbook, including rules for character generation, a solo adventure, skills, spells, and equipment.
  • A 96-page Game Master's Handbook, containing an introductory adventure, over 20 pages of monsters, rules for building your own adventure, and magic items.
  • Four premade characters so you can jump right into the action and four blank character sheets if you want to make your own hero.
  • Over 100 character and monster pawns to use on the full-color double-sided adventure map.
  • Four game reference cards to help players remember their actions.
  • A complete set of polyhedral dice, including a d20, d12, d10, d8, d6, and d4.
For a glimpse of what’s to come, check out the Starfinder Beginner Box.

Adventures Ahead!

Aaron Shanks,
Marketing and Media Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Pathfinder Beginner Box Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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rainzax wrote:
Let me just "mine" for a few more pythagorean solids?

I think they mean dice with custom symbols instead of numbers. FFG like to use them for their games.

You don't need regular polyhedrons as long whatever shape you used produces a uniform distribution. You can find irregular dice on math geek websites.


I have no problem with them, but for some people, it's an insurmountable obstacle to get them to even try the game. Same with Dungeon Crawl Classics' zocchi dice. FWIW, I think non-RPGers would find any non-D6 die to be an odd object, whether it has numbers or symbols on it. We RPGers have sort of internalized that the Pythagorean solids are perfectly normal dice shapes.


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krobrina wrote:
I am surprised more RPGs haven't changed to custom dice. Those things are a license to print money.

Unless there's actually a reason you can't do this with a normal die (like the Warhammer scatter die), this seems like poor form. Like if all you're doing is "it's a normal die, but some of the numbers are replaced by sigils" you're just going to make people do extra mental work by having to map "okay, 1 is the skull, 8 is the explosion, etc." when they use the dice they already have.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Unless there's actually a reason you can't do this with a normal die (like the Warhammer scatter die), this seems like poor form. Like if all you're doing is "it's a normal die, but some of the numbers are replaced by sigils" you're just going to make people do extra mental work by having to map "okay, 1 is the skull, 8 is the explosion, etc." when they use the dice they already have.

You wouldn’t use them that way. An example might be a d6 with one blank, 4 sides showing a hit, and one side showing a crit. Your game would need to be designed around such a mechanism. Substituting for numbered dice would be cumbersome as you correctly say.

Liberty's Edge

Moppy wrote:
You wouldn’t use them that way. An example might be a d6 with one blank, 4 sides showing a hit, and one side showing a crit. Your game would need to be designed around such a mechanism. Substituting for numbered dice would be cumbersome as you correctly say.

Speaking as someone who's played several games using funny dice with just normal dice...it's really not that hard to do. You get used to the translation real quick, honestly. Or at least you do unless there are huge numbers of different types of them, and that just gets annoying.


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I mean what's the difference between "4 sides show a hit, one side shows a crit, one side with a miss" and "roll a d6, on a 1 you miss, on a 6 you crit"?

Using special dice for that sort of thing just seems like an excuse to sell more plastic gewgaws. I have several sets of extremely nice dice, so I would prefer to just use those. "This game uses proprietary dice" sort of signposts "play a different game."

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean what's the difference between "4 sides show a hit, one side shows a crit, one side with a miss" and "roll a d6, on a 1 you miss, on a 6 you crit"?

Using special dice for that sort of thing just seems like an excuse to sell more plastic gewgaws. I have several sets of extremely nice dice, so I would prefer to just use those. "This game uses proprietary dice" sort of signposts "play a different game."

Eh. FATE and most Modiphius Games use special dice, and both are excellent and easy to use normal dice for if you want. I wouldn't say that it means you need a different game...just that you don't need special dice to play them.

Both also use a set of outcomes that are not available with conventional dice, for example Fudge Dice, used in FATE, have three results, a -1, a 0, and a +1...you roll four of them for everything, and that results in a probability curve that just cannot be readily duplicated with conventional dice, y'know?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

*side-eyes Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars games*

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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FATE and Modiphius Games are the ones which I can tolerate, where special dice are concerned. I've pretty much sworn to never play any of Fantasy Flight Games RPGs at this point, solely due to their custom dice.

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah, Fantasy Flight has the problem that they use something like seven different kinds of unique dice, often multiple ones in a single roll, which makes on the fly conversion basically a non-starter.

They're definitely the ones I was thinking of when I was talking about huge numbers of different types of custom dice.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Unless there's actually a reason you can't do this with a normal die (like the Warhammer scatter die), this seems like poor form. Like if all you're doing is "it's a normal die, but some of the numbers are replaced by sigils" you're just going to make people do extra mental work by having to map "okay, 1 is the skull, 8 is the explosion, etc." when they use the dice they already have.

For some games, you can easily substitute regular dice. For example, Mutant Year Zero uses D6:es, but with the sixes replaced with a success symbol and, on some dice, the ones replaced with either a bio-hazard or breakage symbol. The main limitation there is that you would need dice of three different colors, as the effects of ones are different depending on what kind of die you roll.

But in a game like Star Wars or Genesys, things are different. Genesys has six different kinds of dice: three good dice reflecting character abilities and beneficial circumstances, and three bad dice reflecting inherent difficulty and detrimental circumstances. The good dice have three different kinds of symbols on them: success, advantage, and triumph, and the bad dice have the opposite: challenge, disadvantage, and despair.

Success and challenge symbols cancel out, and if you have any success symbols left you succeed in the task. Extra successes make you perform the task better – you deal more damage, do things faster, know more things, and so on.

Advantage and disadvantage symbols also cancel out. Left-over advantages do things that help you in ways not directly related to the main task. If you're shooting someone, you might destroy their cover, or you provide covering fire that makes it harder for them to shoot back, or you can use a weapon special ability. If you try to hack into a system to find out information, you find information on something else at the same time. Extra disadvantages do the opposite – they hinder you in ways not directly related to the main task. In a fight, you might expose yourself and become an easier target next round. If you're hacking into a system, you might set off an alarm. If you're exploring a jungle, you might lose something valuable.

Finally, triumph and despair act like successes and challenges, plus that they create beneficial or detrimental circumstances. The circumstances created by triumph and despair tend to be stronger than the ones created by advantage and disadvantage, plus that they don't cancel out in the same way. I could in theory make a roll with two net successes, one net advantage, and a despair - I would succeed with a small side benefit, but I'd also get a really bad side detriment.

Anyway, these symbols come in different proportions on the different dice. The triumph and despair symbols come by themselves, but the other symbols can show up either by themselves, as two of the same symbol, or as one of each. For example, a Boost die (reflecting a beneficial circumstance) has six sides. One is a success, another is an advantage, one has an advantage and a success, and another has two advantages (and two are blank). That's much harder to do with numerical dice.

So, you might ask yourself: "What's the point of these fancy symbols?" The point is that they create a two-dimensional resolution system. Instead of just being a matter of success and failure, with possible crits on either side, you can have success with good or bad side effects, and failures with good or bad side effects.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean what's the difference between "4 sides show a hit, one side shows a crit, one side with a miss" and "roll a d6, on a 1 you miss, on a 6 you crit"?

Using special dice for that sort of thing just seems like an excuse to sell more plastic gewgaws. I have several sets of extremely nice dice, so I would prefer to just use those. "This game uses proprietary dice" sort of signposts "play a different game."

That's exactly what it is. I bet they've sold millions of dollars of custom dice. Limited edition prize dice (issued as prizes by tournaments) are even worse; they're $100+ on e-bay for X-Wing.

However there is a thematic and mechanical benefit.

The thematic benefit is that it changes the feel of the game. You aren't rolling numbers, but hits or misses. So my archer shoots, it rolls 3 attack dice: hit, miss, crit!

The mechanical benefit is that not everyone is smart enough to translate dice symbols all the time. The number of basic errors you see in X-Wing tournaments after 12 hours of matches and you haven't eaten because your last 2 matches went to time.

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