What games are like Pathfinder / 3.5e with training wheels?


Other RPGs


I want to teach new players how to fantasy wargame and role play. Whats a good system to start with? Preferably something easy to GM easy to create characters for, and with much fewer rules systems to master.

Does anyone have any recommendations?


Archomedes wrote:

I want to teach new players how to fantasy wargame and role play. Whats a good system to start with? Preferably something easy to GM easy to create characters for, and with much fewer rules systems to master.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

Pathfinder did come out with a Beginners box. That is meant for new/young players.


you said games like PF so this probably belongs in the Other RPGs section..and my response would be Dragon Age.


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Archomedes wrote:

I want to teach new players how to fantasy wargame and role play. Whats a good system to start with? Preferably something easy to GM easy to create characters for, and with much fewer rules systems to master.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

The Beginner Box is an awesome introduction to roleplaying along the lines of PF/3.5 (ie a complicated game with quite a few rules, presuming that's what you mean). If they go that route, there's the follow on product: the transitions document to assist with moving from the Beginner Box to the full Pathfinder rules, if that's where you think they'll ultimately head.

I quite like the Old school games for quick character generation and ease of use (ie a lot of the rules can be summarised as "just make something up") and my personal favorite is Swords and Wizardry - the print book is showing as out of stock, but they've just reprinted a new version so hopefully it will be available again soon. There's also a free PDF of the core game (containing a lot of the rules in the complete version) which you can download here to see what you think.

I believe that there are some more modern, simple games (like Fudge, I think?) but I havent played them so can't really speak about whether they're a good introduction or not.


if you can work from pdf then the 1981 basic D&D rules are a good option that you can actually buy.

I also like the swords and wizardry rules but have never run it.

Shadow Lodge

I'll also throw my support to Swords & Wizardy. The new edition may not be here on Paizo yet, but you can order it from the Frog God Games website here. They also have a couple of very large monster books for the game: Monstrosities and Tome of Horrors Complete.


Dungeon World is a good one. Very simple game, character creation is very easy and done entirely on the character sheet. It does a good job of capturing that old school feel. It's very easy to grasp for new players IMO, including neophyte role-players.

Jaws of the Six Serpents is another relatively light game. It's more a traditional swords and sorcery game where magic users are villains. The system is simple and it has one of the more interesting damage systems I've come across IMO.

There are other games using the same base system, like Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies, which is much more fantastical and high flying (figuratively and literally).

13th Age is very similar to PF, but drops a bit of the complexity. It doesn't require a battlemap, but certainly plays well with one (you don't have to track movement by squares or the spacing of area of effect spells). It's a little bit of a cross between 3.5 and 4th, but really narrows in on the sweet spots from each IMO, while adding in some new ideas that are very cool. It's actually my preferred fantasy game by a long shot right now.

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