Advice for a new player.


Advice

Liberty's Edge

Hi, Im new here.

*Waves*

Anyhow, Does anyone have any advice for someone who dont really know how to play pathfinder? I was invited to play but I have no idea how. Ive seen the rules.. Scary. 500+ pages worth?

So, do I just not show up? Will I be too much of a burden on the group if I have to learn all the steps involved in how to play?

How complicated is this exactly?

Should I get the beginners kit? How will it aid beginners? What do I need to play?

Shadow Lodge

Honey Cat wrote:

Hi, Im new here.

*Waves*

Anyhow, Does anyone have any advice for someone who dont really know how to play pathfinder? I was invited to play but I have no idea how. Ive seen the rules.. Scary. 500+ pages worth?

So, do I just not show up? Will I be too much of a burden on the group if I have to learn all the steps involved in how to play?

How complicated is this exactly?

Should I get the beginners kit? How will it aid beginners? What do I need to play?

ok here is what you do. take your favorite movie, video game, anime,book, what ever, then post it on the forums.

mine is riddick from chronicles of riddick the movie.

then we can help you make that character.

the reason why i suggest this way of doing it to new players is so they have a comfortable place to roleplay from. i know how riddick acts in that movie so i can pretend to be like him. making the RP more fun for me.

also you double posted on the forums

Liberty's Edge

First, don't stress, its just a game.

Second, if they were worried about you slowing the game down or being a burden they wouldn't have invited you. Everyone is new at some point so we've all been there.

Also, its as complicated or as not as you want to make it. The basics needed to play in a fun and relaxed manner can be explained in a very short amount of time. If you want to know every in and out of the game perfectly, well that's significantly more difficult, and probably impossible.

My advice, try it with your friends first. If you enjoy it, then you can worry about how to invest money. If you'd like to look over stuff now, the prd on this site (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/) has pretty much everything you'll need to play.


Honey Cat wrote:

Hi, Im new here.

*Waves*

Anyhow, Does anyone have any advice for someone who dont really know how to play pathfinder? I was invited to play but I have no idea how. Ive seen the rules.. Scary. 500+ pages worth?

So, do I just not show up? Will I be too much of a burden on the group if I have to learn all the steps involved in how to play?

How complicated is this exactly?

Should I get the beginners kit? How will it aid beginners? What do I need to play?

Most groups, give newbies, help and a little leway, the game from my point of view is yes at the beginning it is intimating, but as you get familiar with the rules it becomes easier.

The Beginners Box has simplified rules and options and is recommended for new players.

The only things you need to play are a set of dice (d4,d6,d8,d10,d12,d20,d90(like a d10)) a character sheet, a pencil and an eraser, that is if the Gm or players will let you access to the source books, otherwise you'll need a core rule book, (Note last 3 chapters are for the GM).

The polite thing to do, if you plan to bow out is to tell them ahead of time.

and I agree with ShadowcatX on all his points

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Beginner Box looks like something that will help you greatly in learning the game...

Liberty's Edge

The game is very simple to get into, in order to avoid being a 'burden' I would suggest you get familiar with the basic rules - namely what dice to use. I have no issue with people being unfamiliar with rules, needing advice and guidance and help during a game, but what grates me is when a player asks 'which diceis that?' for the 15th time.

To avoid asking that question all the time, you need to be familiar with the basic mechanics of thegame. Pathfinder is a D20 system, that means, ultimately 90% of the time the dice you need to roll is a D20.

Below is a list of the following that your DM will ask you to roll for and what dice to use:

Roll To Hit (During combat you attack a monster):
D20

A monster casts a spell, roll for a Reflex/Fortitude/Will save against it:
D20

You want to see if you can climb a wall, you must make a skill check:
D20

I am sure you see a patern. Basically, the only time you roll something else is when you succeed in hitting a monster with either a spell or a melee attack. This means you roll your damage die (which diceyou roll depends on what weapon/spell it was, but commonly will either be D4, D6, D8 or D10)

With that understood, you will already have a better session than some I have dealt with.

With the dice sorted, the big challenge is understanding the modifiers.
On your char sheet you will have a long list of skills such as Acrobatics, Climb etc. You will likely have a number by them for the total modifier (there are also other numbers which are a break down of how you end up with the total, but htese can be ignored). When you make a skill check such as Climb, you roll the D20 (as mentioned above) then add your modifier to it.
Conveniently, the skills are listed alphabetically, so if you want to find your Climb modifier, it is going to be fairly near the top of the list.

Rolling to Hit a monster has a modifier, as do saving throws etc. all of your modifiers will be conveniently and clearly written on the char sheet, so learn the sheet well so that you know where to look for the relevant modifier.

Finally, try reading the combat chapter to get a basic understanding of how things work - don't worry about some of it making no sense to you, if you have read it, you will find as you play, the things you did not understand start to make sense quite quickly


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So the good news, you dont need to know all 500 pages of the rules in order to play. In fact you only have to commit to memory a very tiny fraction of them.

Essentially take a look at a standard character sheet, 2 pages of information. You have to be able to know whats on that sheet and what it means. Seems alot more attainable now right?

Like others have said, we were all new at one point. In fact every person on these boards, every person who is playing now, and each and every staff member on the paizo team once stood where you do now. All of us without exception have taken a look at one of these tomes and said 'How on earth am I going to learn all that?'. And for most of us, it took years to master the system (and some still havent but thats ok).

You're friends know you'll need help. The fact that you are trying to limit that by coming here will be more then enough encouragement for them to help you get through the growing pains.

Like others have said, the first thing you have to do is make a character. You will need help with that the first time, thats ok. Once thats done then you can focus on learning the rules that apply to only that character, which is a very small fraction of the overall rules.

Once thats done, you will be surprised how easy the game is to pick up in the end.


Listen to everyone above, they are all giving great advice. I'm wondering, were you invited by the GM of the group or the players? Or is it a situation where everyone takes turns being the GM? The reason I ask, is that before anyone new (by this I mean new to roleplaying) joins one of my groups I like to have at least one one-on-one session with them to take a look at character concepts, basic mechanics, figure out what their goals are, get to know them as a person/player, and also usually run them through a simple encounter so they have an idea of how that works. It might be worth your while to hit up whomever is going to GM this group and ask for such a meeting. I'm sure they would have no problem getting together with you mono-y-mono to help you feel more comfortable once you join the full group.


Honey Cat wrote:
So, do I just not show up?

Never, ever do that in ANY situation ! Seriously bad habit, turning down invitations without good reason, exspecially if you don´t actually turn it down...;)

They (player/gamemaster?) invited you, knowing that you don´t know Pathfinder, right?
Have you played any kind of roleplay before, even when its not D&D?

Most groups will propably just tell when to roll what dice and go from there, a short introduction is usually all it takes for starters. Then you can still decide if this is for you or not.

Liberty's Edge

RedPorcupine wrote:
Honey Cat wrote:
So, do I just not show up?

Never, ever do that in ANY situation ! Seriously bad habit, turning down invitations without good reason, exspecially if you don´t actually turn it down...;)

They (player/gamemaster?) invited you, knowing that you don´t know Pathfinder, right?
Have you played any kind of roleplay before, even when its not D&D?

Most groups will propably just tell when to roll what dice and go from there, a short introduction is usually all it takes for starters. Then you can still decide if this is for you or not.

Ok, I was making sure that I could actually play w/o knowing everything. Im not sure I could even make a character at this point. :p

I will go and try my best. Hopefully I wont embarrass myself.


Yea. I agree with RedPorc's comments. I wouldn't worry about trying to learn everything ... Just skim through the races and class descriptions, read through "how combat works" in the combat section (anything within that heading that you don't understand, look up in the combat section and/or glossary or use the search function in the PRD of this site)
If you are supposed to make a character before-hand we can help, you can just keep posting in this thread when questions come up. But you should probably get an idea of race and class you would like to play at least. I see on your profile you have halfling ninja ... that's a pretty good combo.
The more you can tell us about: at what level the game is starting, your previous experience of RPGs if any, what books you are allowed to use, and how much prep work is expected of you - the more we can help.

Liberty's Edge

The best way to learn is to play.

There's all sorts of advice and tips and rule and so on that all of us here could throw at you, but the above is really all you need to know. Go in with an open mind and have fun.

Don't worry about not knowing what's going on - let the guys who actually know what they are doing manage the rules. Odds are there's at least one person in the group who really enjoys knowing the rules, and will happily explain things in far more detail than you need to know right now.

The best way to learn the game is to show up, tell the group the general sort of character you want to play, answer their questions, play what they make for you, and have a blast killing things and taking their stuff. After a few sessions, once you've got some idea of what's going on, start by looking at your character and trying to figure out why they picked "X" instead of "Y", and what the difference is. Work outward from there.

Above all, play the game.

Shadow Lodge

No one should expect you to know everything about the rules yet. Heck, I'm a 20+ year veteran of D&D/PF and I'm still blindsided from time to time.

Here's what I do when introducing the game to others (assuming they know nothing of RPGs at all):

First, describe the basics of the world. It's a fantasy world with elves, dwarves, and all that. You're someone who goes around doing things--you're an adventurer. Think of all the movies you've seen and stories you've read about people going around from place to place. It's like that.

Second, let's make you a character. Before we start looking at all the rules and stuff, Let's stop a moment and think--what do you want to be in this world? Do you want to be sneaky? Magical? A big hulking brute? Come up with some idea of that, what you'd like to be, what you'd like to do.

A quick word on how the mechanics work: for stuff that you can do without worrying about failure, like walking, talking, picking things up, you just do them. The big thing to keep in mind is that for most tasks that you'll want to do but might not be successful in, like jumping over a pit, convincing a duke for a favor, or lifting a heavy stone, there will be a die roll. In most cases, you'll roll a die with 20 sides (it's the roundest one with triangle faces, often called a "d20") and add a bonus based on your character's capabilities. Let's say you're trying to pick up the stone. If you're Conan, you've got a high Strength, so you'll have a higher bonus. If you're Frodo, you've got a low Strength, so you'll have a low--or even negative--bonus. Your roll plus your bonus is how good you are this time; if it is high enough, you succeed, if not, you fail.

Combat is much the same way, but it will be divided into turns so that everyone has a chance to do something in order. We'll discuss those details later.

Let's go back to your character concept. I'll (or, in truth, your DM or someone knowledgeable in the group will) help you make the character for you. Don't worry right now if you don't know why you're getting certain numbers in Strength vs. Intelligence vs. Charisma, it will all make sense in time. The goal of this exercise is to give you someone that matches up with what you want. It's possible that the character made isn't as powerful as what you dream, but that's okay--your character will get better with time. During this process, the expert will be driving. You can just let the expert design all the mechanics of the character for you right now, or you can ask for a couple choices that can be used to make a character like what you want. In the end, you'll have someone who has the capabilities you're looking for.

For combat, there are three numbers you want to keep in mind the most: your attack bonus, your Armor Class, and your Hit Points. Your attack bonus is the number you'll add to a d20 roll when you attack someone. It can be different for different weapons, and sometimes you might not need to roll to attack (such as if you cast certain spells). Your Armor Class is the number someone needs to roll+bonus when attacking you, to hit you. So you'll roll and add your bonus, trying to meet or beat their Armor Class (or AC), and they'll roll and add their bonus, trying to meet or beat your AC. When someone hits, they'll do damage, and roll some other dice (it all depends on the weapons used). This number is subtracted from the victim's Hit Points. When someone's Hit Points reach zero or go negative, they fall and are out of the action. You have to reach a low negative number (equal to your negative Constitution score, but don't worry about that right now) before you actually die, but you're unconscious and can't do anything anymore.

That's enough to get you started. Don't worry, people will help you through the challenges of the rules when they come up. In the meantime, relax, live in the moment, and just simply be in the fantasy world!


I agree with Bob, the best way to learn is to just play.

If the group knows you've never played before they will surely be prepared to walk you through what you need to get started.

Honestly I prefer having inexperienced players in my game as opposed to veteran gamers. They generally have less gamer baggage and you can teach them how to play to your style. Plus they don't know all of the monsters like the back of their hand. Stuff like Trolls and Rust monsters are so much cooler when the players don't know what they do.

So, what I'm saying is, don't worry.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I merged the duplicate threads on this topic.

Liberty's Edge

"ok here is what you do. take your favorite movie, video game, anime,book, what ever, then post it on the forums.

mine is riddick from chronicles of riddick the movie.

then we can help you make that character.

the reason why i suggest this way of doing it to new players is so they have a comfortable place to roleplay from. i know how riddick acts in that movie so i can pretend to be like him. making the RP more fun for me.

also you double posted on the forums"

I would most likely enjoy playing as The girl from Leon the professional. A young female assassin. Is that valid?

Liberty's Edge

Sorry about the double posts guys. Computers acting up. -_-

Dark Archive

Honey Cat wrote:


"ok here is what you do. take your favorite movie, video game, anime,book, what ever, then post it on the forums.

mine is riddick from chronicles of riddick the movie.

then we can help you make that character.

the reason why i suggest this way of doing it to new players is so they have a comfortable place to roleplay from. i know how riddick acts in that movie so i can pretend to be like him. making the RP more fun for me.

also you double posted on the forums"

I would most likely enjoy playing as The girl from Leon the professional. A young female assassin. Is that valid?

Mathilda is a solid concept. She would be in a fantasy sword and sorcery setting like Pathfinder either a Rogue or a Ninja as far as classes go. The ninja is from the latest Pathfinder hardcover book so the group may or may not have it.

But as others have said the book is huge and it takes awhile to play it. But it is really not that bad. For one even if you wanted to read all the parts. only pages 1-170 really is needed plus the combat chapter which is about 25-30 pages long. Of that 170 pages you don't need to read all the classes for example only the one you plan to play. So really there is not nearly as much reading you would do as you think.

Plus you can access the rules online for free to read the parts you need. Then if after playing the game a few times and you decided you like it. Then go get the book and you can read the rest in small chunks.

As other's have said the group should help you out with stuff and they will know you don't know stuff. So they won't care if you are lost at times and slow. We was all new and that way once. If you are interested in trying just go and do the best you can and try to have fun. If you decided you don't want to go, then call them and let them know you can't come and give them at least a few hours notice if not a couple of days notice.

I am sure many here on the forums would be happy to help you make a character. Of course we would need to know what all books your GM would allow if it is just the character options from the Core book or some of the other books that have some more options.

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