Need help advising first time player on which class to take


Advice


My wife and I have a mutual friend that has never played Pathfinder or any d20 role playing game. She is a huge fan of fantasy in general but never could find anyone to play role playing games with before she became friends with us.

So we are starting a new campaign with at least four players plus the GM and essentially all of us are holding off on picking our classes until she picks what she wants. While we will support any class she wants to play (this is a home brew campaign, only rule is that all paizo official books and rules are to be used, it is not PFS) we also want to make this as gentle a learning curve as possible.

The only two things she said she definitely wants to do is play an Elf and play some kind of magic using class. I was thinking of her playing a magus with the hexcrafter archetype but I gather from another conversation we had is she wants a pure or close to pure magic user.

I will self admit that despite playing AD&D since the 80's I have never played a pure magic using class so I'm not the best judge on what is a good learning class to recommend.

Appreciate any and all advice. It isn't too often our little group of Pathfinders can add a new member and we're hoping she will have enough fun to fall in love with it as we have. Thanks in advance for any assistance.


"Pure" magic-using class and elf? I haven't played it yet, but I think an arcanist might be a good choice. The exploits can give her a combination of reliable abilities like flame arc, icy missile, and so forth, as well as some special effects she can play with. The combination of spellbook, preparing spells, and casting them spontaneously gives her a lot of flexibility for stretching her legs. She won't have the sorcerer's limited spell selection, and she won't be shackled by the wizard or witch's need to plan ahead ("OK, I'll prepare two .. no three ... no one ... fireball.") Add the Scribe Scroll feat, and the arcanist may be the perfect arcane spellcasting class.

Grand Lodge

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Pure full casters tend to be of the hardest to play properly. Sure she can go at it mediocre like but come late in the campaign full casters eill sky rocket in power and to get the most out of that power the player has to be familiar with all the spells, feats, skills, and strategy.

Magus can be confusing to a new player even at level 2 with spellstrike.

What I recommend is an elf witch. Hexs are pretty straight forward and is something to fall back on when the new player doesnt conserve and use proper resource management.

Next would be a sorcerer but elf racials make for a bad sorcerer.

Arcanist can use elf racials well and seems to be pretty straight forward.

Lastly is the Wizard. This class takes patience, planning, and full knowledge of the game to be good at. The first 5 levels are the worst for a wizard and she probably would loose interest. But it is still the most powerful class in the game at later levels.


I wont claim to have the answer to your question , but i do play with new people to pathfinder from time to time, personally i think a very important question would be:

How much do you want to influence on her PC?

I ask this because usually from what i have seen the amount of spells added up to the rest do make up for a harder learning curve.

Will you use her general idea to build the PC? Or will you ask her spells/feats...?

I have seen new players that just tell more or less what they want and the GM makes the entire sheet for example.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

My first question would be does she have any experience with any type of RPG but IMHO (based on her never playing any type of table-top RPG) as a long time DM who has taught/trained many to play AD&D and Pathfinder I wouldn't give her any type of magic user.

A new player can often become intimidated with the (perceived) pressure of learning the game's rules (especially combat rules) and the spotlight of playing a role in front of others. Add in many DMs and players, eager to share their love of the game, can overwhelm the new players with options and complicated storylines/strategies while they are struggling with the basic game. Thus a new player can easily become disheartened and give up on the game (I have lost a few players like that in the past).

If you don't (as a DM) expect a certain level of roleplaying for being an elf (I usually have new players play a human) I would let her be an elf and then strongly (but gently) advise her to be a fighter or maybe a rogue. In my experience they are the simplest class to play as their role n the party is simple, obvious and relatable. Any one that is a huge fan of fantasy knows how to bash things with weapons or how to be sneaky.

If she resists compromise and say after she has a good grasp of the game she can multiclass or roll up a new magic-using character.

Hope this helps


Nox Aeterna wrote:

I wont claim to have the answer to your question , but i do play with new people to pathfinder from time to time, personally i think a very important question would be:

How much do you want to influence on her PC?

I ask this because usually from what i have seen the amount of spells added up to the rest do make up for a harder learning curve.

Will you use her general idea to build the PC? Or will you ask her spells/feats...?

I have seen new players that just tell more or less what they want and the GM makes the entire sheet for example.

That is a great question. I have a tendency per my wife to kinda be too earnest in helping people at times in situations like this by presenting them a full level by level breakdown of feats, spells, skills etc. I am trying to avoid that with her but she has asked for our advice because she knows from playing with us in another role playing game (Star Wars Edge of the Empire which is not a d20 game) how important roles are in a group and she doesn't want to build a character the wrong way.

I don't think we will try to pick out everything for her but we don't want her to pick something and build a character that just doesn't work because of her not understanding the rules and mechanics.


Kalin Agrivar wrote:

My first question would be does she have any experience with any type of RPG but IMHO (based on her never playing any type of table-top RPG) as a long time DM who has taught/trained many to play AD&D and Pathfinder I wouldn't give her any type of magic user.

A new player can often become intimidated with the (perceived) pressure of learning the game's rules (especially combat rules) and the spotlight of playing a role in front of others. Add in many DMs and players, eager to share their love of the game, can overwhelm the new players with options and complicated storylines/strategies while they are struggling with the basic game. Thus a new player can easily become disheartened and give up on the game (I have lost a few players like that in the past).

If you don't (as a DM) expect a certain level of roleplaying for being an elf (I usually have new players play a human) I would let her be an elf and then strongly (but gently) advise her to be a fighter or maybe a rogue. In my experience they are the simplest class to play as their role n the party is simple, obvious and relatable. Any one that is a huge fan of fantasy knows how to bash things with weapons or how to be sneaky.

If she resists compromise and say after she has a good grasp of the game she can multiclass or roll up a new magic-using character.

Hope this helps

This is great advice. I may be biased in saying that because it is exactly what I recommended to her when she first brought up wanting to play. I firmly believe a fighter should be any new players first character because of the ease of the mechanics while also letting the new player absorb what other PCs do to get some kind of knowledge of how other roles in a group work.

But in this case she strongly wants to play a magic using class. And playing as an elf. So that's why I'm asking for some advice because I've always played the meat shield, rogue, melee/magic hybrid or cleric but never a pure casting class.


Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
Next would be a sorcerer but elf racials make for a bad sorcerer.

Easily fixed by taking the Sage wildblooded archetype, which makes intelligence the sorceror’s casting stat.

I too would recommend sorcerer, with some guidance on spells known.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think witch is a very good choice. You have a lot of magic spells, but if you prepare the wrong one or have used them wrong the hexes give you something else to fall back on (assuming you don't just go with hexes first most of the time.) They are a strong class, which is good because a new player playing a weak class can feel really useless, and they are good for gradually learning about how magic works as they can learn new spells.

The only thing really complex about them is the spell casting (which would be true of any class that casts spells) and they will always have something useful to do every turn.

Silver Crusade

For a full caster that is the easiest to learn Sorcerer hands down. She will need help with the blood line and picking spells. With the fewest spells to learn, and static blood line powers. This makes it one of the easiest full casting classes to learn. I recommend going with the Wild Blooded Sage. So she can use her Int for casting.

For a full caster that can preform in multiple roles. I recommend the Witch (Hedge Witch) Patron : Healing. This lets her be a full caster and act as a main,or back up healer for the group. Depending on what the other classes end up being.

It all depends on what she sees the character doing in the game really.


If you are starting low level, it should be no problem to play an elf wizard. The class is simple at low levels and she can pick it up as you level. The great thing with starting new folks off as wizards is that you can set them up as an apprentice to a person or institution that controls how broad a spell selection they have. A mentor who knows what the apprentice is likely to need and teaches them spells to meet those needs is a boon at early levels. It also makes finding a spell book with new, unapproved spells a huge deal. Best of all, it can be an in-game RP thing instead of a mechanical, " here are the spells you can choose from" experience, which is where some new folks get overwhelmed.

The only problem with low-level wizards is having interesting things to do when the spells run out. In my games, new wizards start with a staff of minor arcana because it is supposed to be a right of passage symbol.

Liberty's Edge

Sorceror, followed by Witch, and then Wizard.

Arcanist and Magus are complicated with additional resource tracking and rule sets that may be prohibitive to the enjoyment of a novice player. Even archetypes may be a little dense, as not only do you have to learn a whole new set of rules, but then toss some out and add new ones. Speaking from experience with novices, that can create problems.

Sorcerors are fun, easy full casters who sling spells like a drunk sailor spends coin. With a little advice on the best spells she'll be exploding things all over and enjoying it.

Witches are full casters with great flavor and hexes are just too useful to ignore.

Wizards are the most challenging base class to do right, but starting at low-levels, it's hard to go too wrong.

Give her options, let her pick. Once she has made her base decision, give her more options, and again, let her pick. This is her character, so let her decide how it works.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would say Sorcerer or Arcanist.

The thing is you want to start them out with a small collection of spells to choose from and avoid situations where they feel like there is nothing they can do. This generally means a spontaneous caster. The Arcanist is nice because it would allow her to try other spells out without getting into a situation where she feels trapped because of an earlier choice.

Don't worry so much about the attribute adjustments of the race, especially in a home campaign she should be able to survive just fine without having to optimize DCs and everything else.

Elf is a nice choice since that also allows her the option of shooting a bow when she decides it isn't worth using a spell.


Go alchemist.

It's magic, but she can just take all the self-buffing spells and cure spells she likes. She doesn't have to worry about how her spells fit into the party dynamic. Her attacks are cool elemental bombs. You can suggest good discoveries that are nice and simple (precise bombs, wings, etc.), and it's an amazing class for an Elf. Plus, with high skills per level you can introduce her to the non-combat stuff in the game.

That's what I'd do. Otherwise play a fighter. Everyone likes rolling crits with an Elven Curve Blade.

Sovereign Court

witch has a nice collection of both arcane and divine spells. They also have hexes that work often when spells run out. Id suggest the witch to her.


I'll put a vote for Witch as well.

If you think selecting spells is too complicated, maybe allow her to use Arcanist spell-casting. As a 1st time player, I doubt she'll be min-maxing anyway...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
BretI wrote:

I would say Sorcerer or Arcanist.

The thing is you want to start them out with a small collection of spells to choose from and avoid situations where they feel like there is nothing they can do. This generally means a spontaneous caster. The Arcanist is nice because it would allow her to try other spells out without getting into a situation where she feels trapped because of an earlier choice.

Don't worry so much about the attribute adjustments of the race, especially in a home campaign she should be able to survive just fine without having to optimize DCs and everything else.

Elf is a nice choice since that also allows her the option of shooting a bow when she decides it isn't worth using a spell.

I agree with Bret on this one. Sorcerer is fairly easy to learn, and the DCs won't matter in a home game. Make wands and scrolls easily available later on, and everyone has fun.

Sage wild-blooded is okay for using int, but I'd suggest the following bloodlines for fun:

1) Arcane -- you get a familiar!

2) Sylvan -- you get a tiger that can fight for you!

3) Rakshasa -- If you're playing a spy.

Give her a few fun bloodlines to look at, and let her choose how she wants to flavor it.

Hmm

Silver Crusade

Go through them and ask her which one sounds the most fun.

In the end it's not the mechanics that hook most players, it's the flavour of the class. Ask her a few questions about how she sees her character, is she civilised and book learned? Wild and dangerous? Cunning? Clever? Resourceful? Calm? Passionate?

Get an idea of how she sees her character then fit that to the most appropriate class.


Elf Sorc. Fits all requirements. Just help her on choosing spells.


Would she consider a Cleric? She would have lots of spells available in addition to being able to fight in melee if required. It might give her an opportunity to experience both aspects of play. Later on if she wants to focus on more magic, she could multiclass into Empyreal Sorcerer (using WIS as casting stat).


I'd throw in a vote for Sorcerer, second Witch, and third Cleric.

...but I must point out the obvious Bard, too. Being able to play many roles, she wouldn't have trouble trying to "fill a niche" as much as learning how to adjust her play style on cue.
The Bard has access to decent spellcasting that stays useful even mid to late game, has 3/4 BAB and d8 HD to hold their own in combat, requires very little in feats, and amazing skill bonuses (she might enjoy rolling EVERY knowledge skill).
And while the elf isn't the best of Bards for racial abilities (I'd suggest half-elf...), there's no penalty! The class can use all the Core traits, even the bonus on CL checks vs SR.

Otherwise, Sorcerer for spell simplicity (I remember my first time reading spellcasters' "How to" - so confusing!) and access to all the great "mage spells" like Fireball and Magic Missile.
Witch would be great for the Hexes, a simple concept that can be re-applied in every combat (hex that guy, cackle, rinse and repeat) but gets confusing again with the spells.
Cleric is pretty easy, as long as you're starting everyone at 1. Wear armor, carry a weapon, cast spells... no need to pick spells from every level for your spellbook - just pick the ones you need that day! And free scribe scroll teaches the basics of metamagic!

TL;DR- Don't forget the Bard!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Grond wrote:

So we are starting a new campaign with at least four players plus the GM and essentially all of us are holding off on picking our classes until she picks what she wants. While we will support any class she wants to play (this is a home brew campaign, only rule is that all paizo official books and rules are to be used, it is not PFS) we also want to make this as gentle a learning curve as possible.

I will self admit that despite playing AD&D since the 80's I have never played a pure magic using class so I'm not the best judge on what is a good learning class to recommend.

Appreciate any and all advice. It isn't too often our little group of Pathfinders can add a new member and we're hoping she will have enough fun to fall in love with it as we have. Thanks in advance for any assistance.

I think many of the posters have missed the OP’s original question, he asked for a good learning class with as gentle a learning curve as possible.

Generally, any “pure magic using class” (which seems to mean a wizard-like class) have these disadvantages at the beginning levels(I’m assuming you know the advantages of being wizard-like and that the character will not be some ultimately optimized-power monger-munchkin kind of character):

- Really low HP, to the point they may be one-shotted on a non-crit
- The worst AC in the party
- No real combat (melee & ranged) skills
- Very few skill points
- A very limited amount of spells with the real risk of “Nova-ing” all their power in the first couple conflicts
- If they have a familiar then that is another vulnerability (especially for the witch who needs their familiar to regain spells)
- A high dependency on the rest of the party to protect them

With a new player with 0% RPG experience using a wizard-like class could quite easily end up in an early death unless the DM fudges dice, the players shield her or everyone at the table helps her play her character.

As the Vazt poster remarked, is that a low level wizard can run out of spells very easily leaving the player with nothing to do....in fact even without spells a low level wizard-like class may end up having little do with the lack of front-line ability or the proper skill point
allocation.

Early character death or inability to participate in the action of the game meaningfully are two big red flags that could discourage a new player.

I think a cleric would be a good idea for a better “involved spellcaster” but I think I would suggest her being a paladin *ducks* It is a class with high offence and defense abilities, mystical/magic powers to heal and to harm and will gain a limited spell selection, a good “training” for future spell casting classes. And don’t freak her out about the LG alignment BS everyone goes on about, just tell her all she needs to do is act as an honest, decent caring person that always tries to the right thing for other people and she’ll be good

I disagree with StrangePackage’s point that “Give her options, let her pick. Once she has made her base decision, give her more options, and again, let her pick. This is her character, so let her decide how it works.”

As a new player she doesn’t have the knowledge or experience to know the consequences of those choices, to go that way you might as well pre-generate the character for her since, as the DM, you will know what will fit in your game the easiest.

The idea, if she absolutely has to be a wizard-like class, that she is someone's apprentice (an experienced player also playing the same class)isn't a bad idea, it lets the experienced player to "train" her with the class in and out of the game


Definitely appreciate all the help guys and gals. I will advise her to try a witch or sorc since that seems to be the safest bet.


You might also ask your GM to allow a 1st level retrain. In PFS, right before you go to second level, you can completely rebuild your character. That's probably a bit much, but being able to retrain makes it easier for new players to correct mistakes before they are committed in the game.


DrDeth wrote:
Elf Sorc. Fits all requirements. Just help her on choosing spells.

I agree here. It is the easiest choice.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Sorcerer is a great choice.

Sage Sorcerer is good mechanically, whilst remaining simple.

Help her with spells.

When going for spell choice, suggest a theme.

Like "enchanter" or "blaster" or "summoner".

It's fun to have a theme, and it allows her to focus, and limit the number of magic rules she needs to learn.


Being a person who hates to dump INT for the sake of skills, I agree with the Sage Sorcerer. Sorcerer gets so few skills anyway, having a high INT will give her a few extra to work with. A beginner can feel quickly disappointed when they suck at every skill check.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

For a first-timer, I'd suggest a sorcerer that focuses on buffing spells. That way she doesn't necessarily have to remember everything about what her spell does; it becomes the other players' job.

Sovereign Court

With Witch or even wizard its a little more complex but gives the player flexibility to play the game and find out what they enjoy. I wouldnt reccomend focusing too much on the simplistic approach at the cost of variety. Witch/wizard also give more skill points to try out without having to take some Sorc archetype or trait that wanders from the original class. This first timer deserves a chance to try out the game and find out what they enjoy about it. Support classes like witch, Bard, Inquisitor are great for this since they are spread out in ability/skill/magic. Just my two copper.


My advice would be to keep her away from classes that have a limited number of spells they are capable of learning. My first time playing Pathfinder, I played an Oracle, and was constantly frustrated by the lack of versatility my spell selection inflicted upon me. Basically, my spells were either useful and relevant, or not. And when they were not, I felt useless. Heck, the only reason that character stayed relevant was because she had +4 to Cha from the get go and I took Divine Protection at level 5.

My advice would actually be to put her on either a Bard, Wizard, Cleric, Witch, or Arcanist. Wizard is probably the easiest thing to place her on, since she can learn spells and add them to her book as she goes. Just make sure you coach her on what spells to learn, and how useful spells are that lack saves. My group currently has a newbie who really didn't understand that and he misses a lot due to either poor rolling or high saves. Which is also frustrating for newer players.


Keep Calm and Carrion wrote:
Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
Next would be a sorcerer but elf racials make for a bad sorcerer.

Easily fixed by taking the Sage wildblooded archetype, which makes intelligence the sorceror’s casting stat.

I too would recommend sorcerer, with some guidance on spells known.

Consider this seconded. Sage Bloodline is so nice to have as an option. Between Sage and Empyreal blood-lines, just about any race can pull off a sorcerer of some variety.

Alternatively, I think having her be one of the 1/4 casters (Paladin, Ranger, Bloodrager, etc.) might be a good idea. She'll have a few levels of having the simplicity of a martial, but then start getting spells.

And lastly, the people who are pointing out that as a home-game you don't have to worry as much about DCs, I agree with them on that, but many of the other non-intelligence casters have other complicating factors that make them new-player unfriendly.

Druids have wildshape and animal companions along with full casting, which is quite likely overwhelming. Clerics have to choose their god and their domains and can be split in the matter of also being a back-up melee character. Inquisitors have much the same issue as clerics with regards to gods and inquisitions/domains. Oracles, while they avoid the need of selecting a deity, have the Oracle Curse, which can turn away new players quickly. (Nothing says 'don't touch me' than a class feature with negatives.) The Hybrid Class casters also get complicated simply by virtue of how their spell lists are compiled.

My final verdict, Sage Bloodline Sorcerer, make sure she picks up a damaging cantrip and one 1st level blast spell so she feels useful, and have her invest in knowledge skills so she can feel really useful when she's the one that figures out the imp has DR/Silver or Good.

Grand Lodge

I ment what I said about elves being bad racials because I was not going into any archetypes for a noob. Too much to grasp at first to throw more complexity at them.

I was keeping to vanilla classes in my suggestions.

Vanilla witch would be a great class giving her something to do every combat and learn about casters with learning to prepare her spells and pick from a little smaller of a list then the full wizard list. It is less overwhelming. Not to mention elves make awesome witch's.


I'm going to say Cleric or Druid. You don't lock yourself into a set of spells. A sorcerer really locks up their spell choices on leveling up, and a wizard needs to go out of their way to drastically change spells. Every day she can try new spells and if it doesn't work out she doesn't have to use them again.

Witch with the hexes to fall back on seems a fine option to, but Cleric and Druid are still the top picks here.

If she's intimidated by the spell list, limit her to CRB spells for a level or two, after that she should be used to the system enough to toy with all other sources you have available.


StrangePackage wrote:

Sorceror, followed by Witch, and then Wizard.

Arcanist and Magus are complicated with additional resource tracking and rule sets that may be prohibitive to the enjoyment of a novice player. Even archetypes may be a little dense, as not only do you have to learn a whole new set of rules, but then toss some out and add new ones. Speaking from experience with novices, that can create problems.

Sorcerors are fun, easy full casters who sling spells like a drunk sailor spends coin. With a little advice on the best spells she'll be exploding things all over and enjoying it.

Witches are full casters with great flavor and hexes are just too useful to ignore.

Wizards are the most challenging base class to do right, but starting at low-levels, it's hard to go too wrong.

Give her options, let her pick. Once she has made her base decision, give her more options, and again, let her pick. This is her character, so let her decide how it works.

+1.

Magus really isn't any easier to play than Wizard, because they're melee focused. Melee is tougher and tends to be more rules intensive than ranged combat. On top of that add in Spells, DC's, areas of effect, spell combat, swift actions, arcane pool points, and having to keep track of different constantly fluctuating bonuses and types of damage, and it'll make a newb's head explode. And that's before we get to rules about charging, threatened areas, flanking, attacks of opportunity, grappling, power attacking...

An archery ranger's one of the better ways to go for a beginner, IMO. If she's not having it then I say let her play a Wizard or an Arcanist. A low-level Sorcerer may be "easier" to play, but there's a potential for a newb to get really bored casting the same two spells for more than one session.

"I cast Mage Armor. Whee."

"I cast Grease. Again. Whee."

What's the rest of the party?


Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:

I ment what I said about elves being bad racials because I was not going into any archetypes for a noob. Too much to grasp at first to throw more complexity at them.

Just because a race doesn't have a +2 in it's prime stats doesnt mean it's "bad". Not everyone is a Powergamer. Not that being a Powergamer is bad, but to many RPing is more important.

Many Elf abilities are quite nice for a Sorc:
Low-Light Visio.:
Elven Immunities.

Elven Magic: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. In addition, elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft skill checks made to identify the properties of magic items.

Keen Senses.

Weapon Familiarity.

Arcane Focus: Some elven families have such long traditions of producing wizards (and other arcane spellcasters) that they raise their children with the assumption each is destined to be a powerful magic-user, with little need for mundane concerns such as skill with weapons. Elves with this racial trait gain a +2 racial bonus on concentration checks made to cast arcane spells defensively. This racial trait replaces weapon familiarity.

Lightbringer.

And if you pick the right Bloodline, the FC option is not bad.


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joeyfixit wrote:

A low-level Sorcerer may be "easier" to play, but there's a potential for a newb to get really bored casting the same two spells for more than one session.

"I cast Mage Armor. Whee."

"I cast Grease. Again. Whee."

I use my Bloodline ability.

"Minute Meteors (Sp): At 1st level, you can summon a rain of tiny meteorites as a standard action to fall in a 5-foot column, 30 feet high, with a range of 30 feet. The meteors inflict 1d4 points of fire damage + 1 per 2 sorcerer levels. A Reflex save negates this damage. The save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 your sorcerer level + your Charisma modifier. You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier."

I shoot it with my Longbow.

I fire a Acid splash on it.

As versus the Fighter- "I hit it with my sword" or
Ranger= I shoot it with my bow."


DrDeth wrote:
joeyfixit wrote:

A low-level Sorcerer may be "easier" to play, but there's a potential for a newb to get really bored casting the same two spells for more than one session.

"I cast Mage Armor. Whee."

"I cast Grease. Again. Whee."

I use my Bloodline ability.

"Minute Meteors (Sp): At 1st level, you can summon a rain of tiny meteorites as a standard action to fall in a 5-foot column, 30 feet high, with a range of 30 feet. The meteors inflict 1d4 points of fire damage + 1 per 2 sorcerer levels. A Reflex save negates this damage. The save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 your sorcerer level + your Charisma modifier. You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier."

I shoot it with my Longbow.

I fire a Acid splash on it.

As versus the Fighter- "I hit it with my sword" or
Ranger= I shoot it with my bow."

Right. You can have all that plus have to think about what spells to memorize today, which for me is the meat-and-potatoes of playing a caster and a fine way to introduce someone to magical classes. Personally, I'd go Wizard or Arcanist. Depending on which way the player goes, we'll find out if the player wants to be a spammer or a thinker.

Also, I see no reason to poop on martial classes. A melee fighter can decide whether he wants to bull rush, charge, trip, grapple, overun, intimidate, power attack, stand in front of caster and ready an action to cut apart the first enemy that approaches, drink a potion of Enlarge...


Sage Sorcerer. She can get help with spell selection, and you can give her some leeway to change spells if she isn't satisfied with them.

At level 1 an Elf sorcerer could use a longbow if they want something with more potential damage than a cantrip. If she tries both she may find cantrips hit more often since they are ranged touch attacks.

Silver Crusade

If she's looking at an elf, ask her if she's interested in doing nature magic. If she is, the best bet is a druid with a nature themed domain. Avoids the pet, which can be tricky.


As a GM that has had many first timers join up, I'd push an archer ranger. I'd also write down the cover and concealment rules on a card for them. They can get spells at level 4. I'd also probably push the no-pet option.

Basically, keep it simple with first timers, unless you actually have somebody that will read the rulebook before they play, which I have personally never seen happen.

Every first timer that I've seen demand and try to play a caster has botched it so badly that they get frustrated, and usually dead.


DrDeth wrote:
joeyfixit wrote:

A low-level Sorcerer may be "easier" to play, but there's a potential for a newb to get really bored casting the same two spells for more than one session.

"I cast Mage Armor. Whee."

"I cast Grease. Again. Whee."

I use my Bloodline ability.

"Minute Meteors (Sp): At 1st level, you can summon a rain of tiny meteorites as a standard action to fall in a 5-foot column, 30 feet high, with a range of 30 feet. The meteors inflict 1d4 points of fire damage + 1 per 2 sorcerer levels. A Reflex save negates this damage. The save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 your sorcerer level + your Charisma modifier. You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier."

I shoot it with my Longbow.

I fire a Acid splash on it.

As versus the Fighter- "I hit it with my sword" or
Ranger= I shoot it with my bow."

True Strike might be a good option, if she's planning to shoot things with a bow.


joeyfixit wrote:


Also, I see no reason to poop on martial classes. A melee fighter can decide whether he wants to bull rush, charge, trip, grapple, overun, intimidate, power attack, stand in front of caster and ready an action to cut apart the first enemy that approaches, drink a potion of Enlarge...

True, good point.

Liberty's Edge

Kalin Agrivar wrote:

I disagree with StrangePackage’s point that “Give her options, let her pick. Once she has made her base decision, give her more options, and again, let her pick. This is her character, so let her decide how it works.”

As a new player she doesn’t have the knowledge or experience to know the consequences of those choices, to go that way you might as well pre-generate the character for her since, as the DM, you will know what will fit in your game the easiest.

If she doesn't make those choices and then learn the consequences of them, then she's not really learning anything.

Learning to make your own character is kind of a big deal in this game.

Getting handed a pre-gen and having to have someone constantly explain it to you because you have no familiarity with the choices that went into creation is basically dooming your new player to eternal novice status.

She will make mistakes. We all did. That's how we get better at things. To quote a wise dog, sucking at something is the first step to being kinda good at something.


What's the rest of the party?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The rest of the party is undecided until the new player has chosen: the plan is for the other players to fit into other roles.

I'd also agree with Sorcerer. And a theme. And to help with spell selection, just print out the 1st level Sorcerer spell list with the one-sentence descriptions from the spell index, and offer suggestions on which ones to pick. The entire list can be intimidating, but saying "colour spray is great for winning fights with multiple enemies" and "charm person has great utility", and things like that can guide a new player into making their own choices. Worry about the mechanics of how the spells actually work once you're at the table.

For race, elf is a really good pick, if for nothing but weapon familiarity. Once the spells run out, being able to fight with a good melee or ranged weapon can be invaluable.

Speaking generally, guide, don't tell.

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