Total Noob...sort of

Beginner Box

I played D&D in the 80's and was told that PF was eerily similar and that I should hop in and swim.

Well, I went and bought the Beginner's Box and have been doing a lot of research online, including YouTube videos, and have become a bit familiar with the game again.

My 13 year-old and I are trying to play the adventure in the GM book that came with the box, and I made a character that he could control and I am the GM. Not a perfect set up, but it's still pretty fun for us. We are actively recruiting some of his friends, who seem interested, but we just got the game last week.

Since we haven't played it much yet, (about 5 hours) we still run back to the rule book a lot. I try to make the choices fun for him, and invent consequences for re-trying things. For instance, when he got to the glowing fountain, he took a drink, like the result, so he drank again. I then instituted a -1 penalty to each consecutive attempt. I also prompted him that he didn't need to fight everyone all the time and that talking could work. (With only two charactes, those 5 goblins would be difficult to beat!)

I was wondering if there are any quick reference sheets out there that I could print off that show all the choices that characters have when entering a room, combat, or post-combat. Typically, we just use perception and hope for the best, but I know that there are other things that can be done, but it's bothersome to keep heading back to the rule book. Combat options and the different saves and their applications on a card would be handy, too.

Basically, I'm looking for an assortment of quick reference cards that would speed up our play.


P.S. As GM, is it allowable to 'assist' characters when they are under-manned? My son is only using two characters, one of which is an elf-rogue, and I think they will not survive to the end. Can I adjust the AC of the creatures to give him a better chance, or is that not allowed?

Hello Turf--welcome back into the fold!

Reference Sheets:
- Honestly I'm not familiar with any per se. Perception is always a key skill when deciding what actions to take.

Typically if there is anything interesting to discover it is written in the information for a particular module. If there is nothing in the room though, it usually doesn't provoke any investigation or action.
However, that is not to say that you, as a DM, can't adlib or throw in some GM fiat to enhance an encounter on the fly.

For instance if there is a strange blood-red iron pot in the center of the room or mystical etchings on the walls, these interesting items will almost always draw attention and prompt investigation. If you really want to have fun, put a bunch of levers on a wall and have them made loud clicking sounds and thunderous booms in the distance when pulled--even if *YOU* as the DM have no intention of the levers doing anything. OR go-ahead and make them do-something, like rotate a nearby room or open and close doors.

Before you run an existing module (or make you're own), you can add your own minor details like these to make an encounter more interesting. Check out a site like John's D&D tools to generator random sounds, odors or trinkets to appear in your game for your players to check out.

Assisting players/characters:
You can absolutely assist your players/characters in various ways, but you may not want to always do it. If you know before hand that an adventure is made for 4 PCs, but you only have 2, then its normal to reduce the number of monsters or weaken them a bit.

It's also okay to occassionaly "fudge" a roll behind the screen to reduce a fatal blow or have it miss entirely or otherwise have some fortutious event happen like a ceiling collapsing on a group of monsters that are overwhelming the PCs.

However, you want to make sure you don't destroy the illusion of control or remove the threat of character death that makes the game exciting in the first place.

It's all about having fun, so whatever works best for you and your players is the "RIGHT" way to play.

Good luck with your new group!

I came up with some spell cards for Clerics and Wizards. Basically the player has the cards that are available to him/her and chooses what's available to cast. When a spell is cast, the card is discarded. I've found it really helps to keep things moving.

The Cleric cards are posted online at That's a personal site where I'm posting my pathfinder beginner box stuff that I come up with for others to use.

Hey folks,
Thanks for the great ideas, and also for that neato site with the spells and the adventure. I look forward to trying them out soon!

Scarab Sages

Regarding quick reference sheet, I recently stumbled across this Reddit Thread containing a combat flow-chart.

Thanks guys!

One more question: on the Paizo site, it lists the characters that can cast spells, but the beginner box has Rogues and Fighter, which are not listed.

Can these guys cast spells? If so, what limits/bonuses do they have?


@ Turf

Fighter, Barbarian and Rogue are non-caster classes.
In other words Rogue, Barbarian and Fighter classes do not have spells.

Thanks for the speedy reply!

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