Hello! I am a dad who's been looking for a non-competitive/work-together game to play with my 10y/o and 7 y/o kids who are of course the greatest kids, but are extremely competitive (read: get in fights all the time when we play any "win/lose" type game). I played AD&D in my early teens with an AMAZING DM, so I thought I'd give D&D a try. My local gaming shop filled me in on the history of D&D and turned me on to Pathfinder. Needless to say, I walked out the door with the Beginner's Box under my arm. So here I am!
After spending a couple hours getting familiar with the game and rolling up characters with my two kids (fighter and cleric), we played the Beginner's Box adventure. It was a blast and they loved it!!!
My question is...what's next? What do you suggest?? What modules do you recommend for a younger audience and someone who is new to GMing??? Do I need to invest in the Core Rulebook or Bestiary? I'm also struggling with keeping up with the rules of play as I weave the story of what's happening in the game to my kids. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance! -Oz
If your kids are geeking out on the the multitude of build options their characters have, pouring over pages and pages of feats, skills, spells, class features and discussing the minutia of them, then you should definitely get the full version of the game. I'd imagine you could use the two side by side and let your kids decide when to make the full switch.
If you are having trouble keeping up with the rules during play it may be a good idea to run another adventure or two using the BB rules. They don't need to be to in depth or anything, just have the town of sand point need help from a minor wolf infestation caused by skeletons invading the forest for some reason or a minor plague where they need to venture out to gather the ingredients for the medicine. If you check out the free PDFs paizo has they should give you some good ideas.
After your comfortable with the rules, whenever the kids think they want to switch over to core rules should be a good time, and you can casually familiarize yourself with them in tr meantime. I suggest using http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ to get used to the core Rulebook without buying it.
If you are comfortable with the rule in the beginner box, then there is no need to rush to something more complex. I drop any rules that slow down the fun when playing with my kids. Have them read the rules and they can help decide what to keep.
I ran Dragon's Demand with my kids and they liked that a lot. I had them make summoners so they had a party of four. The adventure has a great starting town with a map and good npcs. I picked up the deck for it as well so they had some visuals and prop pieces to hang on to. I recommend starting there.
I would pick up the core rules and bestiary for sure. Most adventures don't include stats for things that are not unique to them. The core rules will set you up for when they are ready for more complexity.
There are a number of free modules on paizo's site that are supposedly quite good. In particular are ones in which the players are Goblins and get to run about doing goof goblin things.
Another option is, of course, the modules that cost money. Also very good and a great price to value ratio.
Lastly are adventure paths. They are complete adventures spanning 6 books and going from levels 1 to the high teens. However, I'm not sure how good they'd be for a pair of young kids, both in maturity of content (Carrion Crown may not be a good choice here) and difficulty (they are meant to be a challenge for a party of four players using the full rules). Of course, if you have enough time on your hands, you can modify the books.
I also recommend these here Beginner Box forums. Lots of people express the same desire to find things beyond the Box. There are links to the various free modules as well as 3rd party adventures meant to be used with the box's rules-lite version. You'll find additional class writeups too! Plenty of people play the Box with kids, so you can probably find things that worked for those parents.
Well, think back to your own earliest days of D&D (I'm assuming for the sake of argument that you started as a kid, not in college or something.) Something as simple as "you find a map that reveals a secret staircase to more dungeon" can keep the kids interested (just make sure that the kinds of monsters down there don't need to go outside).
I remember buying the D&D Expert box and discovering to my surprise that you could actually leave the dungeon and go to other dungeons (to say nothing of wilderness exploration, strange kingdoms, all that stuff). The overland maps were a revelation and Isle of Dread was a game-changer. (If you can find a copy of that classic module, by the way, it's one of the most kid-friendly classic adventures. I can prove it in one word: dinosaurs. You'll even find stats for most of the monsters in that module in the Pathfinder Bestiary.)
When and if you feel they're ready to make the jump to full-on Pathfinder, I recommend using one of the level 1 modules with pregenerated characters. Many such modules come with pregen stats; alternately, you can find them in the NPC Codex.
My personal recommendation is We Be Goblins! It's a ton of fun, especially for kids. It's free, it works right out of the box, the rules are straightforward, and the pregens are both easy and fun to play. Plus you and your kids get to chant goblin songs. "We be Licktoads! You be food!"