How to introduce someone to Pathfinder (or tabletop RPGs in general)


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I want to somehow introduce my girlfriend to Pathfinder, but I don't wanna force it on her. I've mentioned it a few times (with her affectionately calling me a nerd, even though she's one as well.)

So what's the best way to see if she'd be interested in it?

Sovereign Court

Organize a game and have her watch it. If she wants to join, have a ready character pre rolled.


Any classes you recommend for beginners?


Uhm, how about asking her?


Ceres Cato wrote:
Uhm, how about asking her?

Like I said, I don't wanna force it. Although I guess there could be a way to ask that doesn't seem like forcing it.


Okay, I think I don't understand this correctly. Why exactly is it forcing if you just ask her if she would be interested in playing a Tabletop RPG?

Otherwise, maybe you want to mention how much you enjoy RPGs and how much more you would enjoy spending time with her playing said RPGs? I don't know, what kind of nerd is she? Does she like fantasy novels, or computer RPGs or stuff like that?


Ceres Cato wrote:

Okay, I think I don't understand this correctly. Why exactly is it forcing if you just ask her if she would be interested in playing a Tabletop RPG?

Otherwise, maybe you want to mention how much you enjoy RPGs and how much more you would enjoy spending time with her playing said RPGs? I don't know, what kind of nerd is she? Does she like fantasy novels, or computer RPGs or stuff like that?

Well I mention it quite a lot, but just saying that I'm working on Pathfinder stuff. But I don't want to feel like I'm pressuring her into it by mentioning it too much.

She likes anime,The Sims,Spore, and Supernatural.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
SoulDragon298 wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:

Okay, I think I don't understand this correctly. Why exactly is it forcing if you just ask her if she would be interested in playing a Tabletop RPG?

Otherwise, maybe you want to mention how much you enjoy RPGs and how much more you would enjoy spending time with her playing said RPGs? I don't know, what kind of nerd is she? Does she like fantasy novels, or computer RPGs or stuff like that?

Well I mention it quite a lot, but just saying that I'm working on Pathfinder stuff. But I don't want to feel like I'm pressuring her into it by mentioning it too much.

She likes anime,The Sims,Spore, and Supernatural.

Ask her what her favorite Anime character is and design a PC around them.

Sovereign Court

How is "Honey, would you be interested in playing Pathfinder?" forcing someone?

Some simple class. Something martial.


Hama wrote:

How is "Honey, would you be interested in playing Pathfinder?" forcing someone?

Some simple class. Something martial.

Ok, nvm, don't know why I was saying that. XD

So good old "I hit it with a sword." fighter? :D


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SoulDragon298 wrote:
Hama wrote:

How is "Honey, would you be interested in playing Pathfinder?" forcing someone?

Some simple class. Something martial.

Ok, nvm, don't know why I was saying that. XD

So good old "I hit it with a sword." fighter? :D

It's definitely one of the easier classes, and a good intro. Bards can be good too, because there's very few situations where bardic performance isn't useful in some way, making it an easy choice on what to do.

Back in 3.5 I'd have said warlock if they wanted a magic sort of class, as they were quite simple to play. Limited list of spammable utility invocations and a basic blast attack they can use all day without worrying about running out of juice. Used to love using all the different blast shape invocations, particularly Doomblast (I think it was called that anyway). Turns the eldritch blast into a 20 foot burst.

Sovereign Court

Or any variant of fighter thereof. Maybe try one of the hybrid classes from ACG? Slayer or Brawler?


Any chance you can lay your hands on Hunter: The Vigil (World of Darkness)? Because Supernatural is very, very similar.


To get her interested, definitely ask what kind of character she'd like to play and work with her on it. Sit down with her and explain the basic rules.

I think Sorcerer or Witch might be a good option if she'd prefer to play a caster class. Not everyone wants to hit things.

If she does, Fighters don't really get enough skill points. Slayer might be better because it'd allow her to better participate in RP as well as combat.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
SoulDragon298 wrote:
Ceres Cato wrote:
Uhm, how about asking her?
Like I said, I don't wanna force it. Although I guess there could be a way to ask that doesn't seem like forcing it.

Try sharing some of HER interests as well.

The Exchange

Fabius Maximus wrote:
Any chance you can lay your hands on Hunter: The Vigil (World of Darkness)? Because Supernatural is very, very similar.

I second this. If you can't get her interested in playing a tabletop version of a show she loves, you'd be hard pressed to manage it with a normal fantasy game. The key to introducing people to new things is finding an entry point that would feel comfortable to them. In this case, start from a genre she already appreciates.


While this may be somewhat counter-current, I would not reccomend using pathfinder as one's first RP experience. It's a complicated system that can get frustrating for beginners. Still, in pathfinder, there are a few ways to simplify, as other have indicated (though avoid non-core classes, many get elaborate fast).

There are however other options.I have been using Dungeon World as a way of introducing neophytes to the TRPG hobby. The rulebook is SUPER cheap, the system is very straightforward and is much more focused on narrative (making it easier to focus on imagination rather than rules), and setup is super quick. On top of that, there are a bunch of free oneshots on the website. Offer to organize a game for her & her friends and you might get a lot more people interested than you thought. Having her with her friends can make it easier than with a group of strangers.I've done that for my little sisters, and a variety of friends who have never tried before. You never know who loves smashing things as a barbarian.

Anyway, hope this can be helpful. I've had decent success introducing people to TRPGs this way, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Good luck for your own endeavors!


The first trick step is to get her interested in even picking up the dice, so to speak.

Once she's on board, Beginners Box is a good, fun, rules-light(er) system. It will actually be harder for you than her because of your existing PFRPG knowledge.

Good luck!

Shadow Lodge

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Play a game or two when she's there. Preferably with another female player in your group. For some strange reason quite a few women think pencil and paper RPGs are a guy thing; so women seeing women having fun playing Pathfinder is a big deal. When she sees everybody having fun she'll be more inclined to be interested. Then ask. Nothing works better than asking somebody if they want to try it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
how to ask wrote:
"My love, I would like to share my hobby of Pathfinder RPG with you, would you be willing to give it a try?"

Best case: she's interested and you explain stuff and build a character together, making sure she picks things from a short list you can point out to her.

Worst case: she says no.

Another option is to gift her the book: Confessions Of A Part Time Sorceress by Shelly Mazanoble if you think she's put off by pen and paper RPGS being something for (male) nerds. It's an awesome read.


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Tinkergoth wrote:


Back in 3.5 I'd have said warlock if they wanted a magic sort of class, as they were quite simple to play. Limited list of spammable utility invocations and a basic blast attack they can use all day without worrying about running out of juice. Used to love using all the different blast shape invocations, particularly Doomblast (I think it was called that anyway). Turns the eldritch blast into a 20 foot burst.

I don't remember if it was called Doomblast or not. My particular favorite was the Eldritch Chain. At higher levels that could get nasty and fun. I loved my warlock.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Liranys wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:


Back in 3.5 I'd have said warlock if they wanted a magic sort of class, as they were quite simple to play. Limited list of spammable utility invocations and a basic blast attack they can use all day without worrying about running out of juice. Used to love using all the different blast shape invocations, particularly Doomblast (I think it was called that anyway). Turns the eldritch blast into a 20 foot burst.

I don't remember if it was called Doomblast or not. My particular favorite was the Eldritch Chain. At higher levels that could get nasty and fun. I loved my warlock.

I loved my orc vampire fighter/warlock with an acid blast channeled through a power-attacking greatsword strike. I was the GM, I got to use all the toys.

ETA: But that's getting off topic. I don't see what's wrong with you telling her "I'm playing Pathfinder tonight... would you like to come along and play with us?" From your previous post, telling her you're working on PF stuff and her teasing your nerdity could be subtly fishing for an invitation. Bite.

ETA: Don't actually bite her.


maybe you must consider what to use int the whole campaign.

Much rules could be a very intimidating thing, so, i suggest Core Rule book only, with core feats, spells, skills, races, and classes, and Bestiary 1 with a party of level 1 or lower. maybe at some point you can escalate the rules as your GF assimilate the other ones (at some point, introduce her the traits system, the hero points, show her the Base Classes, one or two Advanced classes, Advanced Races, maybe one mythic encounter)... but for the fisrst two or three levels CRB and B1 could fit the best.

Show her the game the way that you would loved the way to be showed to you.


I would trick her into it.

Ask her some help with character ideas. Friends love to help each other with creative endeavors. I guarantee she will have lots of ideas and freely share them thinking it's for you.

Then flip it telling her they are great ideas and she should make a character just for kicks. Then you sit down and together you craft her vision.

Once that is done you can easily transition into playing the character.

Making characters is a such an important part of the RPG experience. I don't think PreGens work well to excite new players.

-MD


I ran some one off games and asked my GF if she wanted to play. I then made her a character that was simple to understand but could be very helpful, she was a barbarian. She loved it and kept playing, mostly barbarians.

Liberty's Edge

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First off I would make sure to be with a girlfriend/wife significant other who is accepting of the hobby. Too often I hear horror stories of those in the hobby who get in a relationship keep gaming a secret with bad results. They are afraid of being alone and keep their hobby secret. I know one player who kept it hidden from his girlfriend now wife who dislikes his hobby. He has to always make a case as to why he plays the hobby as she does not think it's a worthwhile hobby. The "if I don't like your hobby then you should not be doing it" kind of person.

Or at the very least willing to tolerate your hobby. Otherwise it's going to be a waste of time even introducing a significant other to the hobby. And no tricking her or she is not a good idea. Check to see if their is some interest. If not don't push the issue. Sometimes people don't like one hobbies and vice versa.


I'd suggest a short fun module like We be Goblins.

Webstore Gninja Minion

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Changed the title to remove "my girlfriend"—the question is pretty universal. :)


Liz Courts wrote:
Changed the title to remove "my girlfriend"—the question is pretty universal. :)

Hey, how'd you get that title?

EDIT: The gninja minion I mean.

Shadow Lodge

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The Indescribable wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Changed the title to remove "my girlfriend"—the question is pretty universal. :)

Hey, how'd you get that title?

EDIT: The gninja minion I mean.

Liz works for Paizo. (That's also how she got the Golem symbol to the left of her name.) Paizo employees get their position as a title. Some of them have a bit of fun with it.


Hmm. you know, i've been wondering about that symbol, wasn't sure what it was supposed to be, so thank you for answering the question I asked and the one that I didn't.


I thought it was a fancy ribbon...


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My pitch goes like this:

"Hey. What kind of shows have you been watching lately?"

I listen to them name off some shows, I'll usually hone in on the show with the most fantasy elements.

"Cool. So imagine that instead of watching Game of Thrones once a week, you and your friends hung out together, each played a character in a story told by one friend, and basically write an episode of a weird fantasy show together..."

If I have a d20 on hand, I'll hand it to them and ask them to improvise a concept for a fantasy-setting character "like in Lord of the Rings or something". I'll then give an opening description of the scene and tell them why the character is there and what their goals are.

The person tells me what they want to do. I explain to them that, in many role-playing games, your success at doing something is determined by a dice roll with an added bonus based on how skilled your character is at doing the thing. They roll, I set an arbitrary DC in my head, and then describe to them their character's success or failure. Rinse and repeat for a few more actions. I introduce them to a simple combat encounter with a simplified version of a d20 combat system. I throw in some social encounters too, and we improvise some fun dialogue and banter together.

This usually gets them interested. When I invite new players like this to a game, I usually encourage them to take a learn-as-you-go approach. Instead of them learning what they "can and can't do" from the rulebook, I like them learning through play where they ask me questions as I go.

"Can I kick that goblin in the crotch?"
"Can I jump on the dragon's back?"
"Can I use my two daggers to climb up a wall?"
"Can I pick up that goblin and use it as a shield?"

This helps them learn the rules as they go, while still enabling them to imagine their actions cinematically instead of strictly in terms of game mechanics.

That's just my approach, anyway.

Shadow Lodge

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Liranys wrote:
I thought it was a fancy ribbon...

I did at first too =) Don't feel bad. I didn't realize it was the Paizo Golem until someone pointed it out to me.


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Good approach, imho.

Shadow Lodge

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Splode wrote:
That's just my approach, anyway.

I like it. ANOTHER!


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Liz Courts wrote:
Changed the title to remove "my girlfriend"—the question is pretty universal. :)

Thanks Liz, Now my advice to ask her to join the game after a heavy makeout session just seems weird. :P

Silver Crusade

Ah, the usual post-coital nerdtalk. We all know it, we all love it.

Regarding what character: Not a druid. Never a druid. Had two players now who loved the concept and grew more and more frustrated when they couldn't figure out how to play it. The one changed to ranger and loves it (high perception and high damage - she does not care for the rest) and the other one played a witch in PFS (and loved it) and wants to change to oracle in our campaign. So, never, ever a druid.

Wizard is also tricky - we all know how powerful a wizard in the right hands can be, but it can be overwhelming for a newbie. Plus, low-level wizards suck. I remember a PFS scenario (which lasted 5 hours) where my first spell was completly saved against, my second spell went off after the combat was over and my third spell...what are you talking about, what third spell? Somebody not used to that will become VERY frustrated.

But all that is completly useless if you do not talk to her about it. It's not pressuring if you ask her if she'd like to try it out. If you ask her over and over again - sure. But not every nerd likes the same stuff, and as long as we respect each others nerdy hobbies everything should be fine, right?
I for my part really made my girlfriend curious because I loved telling her everything that happened in the last session my group played when she asked me how my evening was.

One more thing: A friend's girlfriend wanted to try out a role playing game, the rest of the group wanted to try out Pathfinder, so I set up a quick one-evening one-shot (which was cheesy and illogical and pretty much a dungeon crawl with lots of undead). This is probably better than pushing her right into a campaign. ;)

Shadow Lodge

If she's a big anime fan, then perhaps an RPG that is anime/manga based would be a better gateway drug.

Big Eyes, Small Mouth would be my suggestion, but there are others like Maid, Tenra Bansho Zero, or OVA.


Kthulhu wrote:

If she's a big anime fan, then perhaps an RPG that is anime/manga based would be a better gateway drug.

Big Eyes, Small Mouth would be my suggestion, but there are others like Maid, Tenra Bansho Zero, or OVA.

I do have Big Eyes, Small Mouth d20, so could try that although it looks complicated.


I would suggest Feng shui, you pick an archetype, make a few key choices, then you're ready to go mow through packs of minions. so long as you don't overthink things character creations is 15 minutes or so.

Liberty's Edge

SoulDragon298 wrote:

I want to somehow introduce my girlfriend to Pathfinder, but I don't wanna force it on her. I've mentioned it a few times (with her affectionately calling me a nerd, even though she's one as well.)

So what's the best way to see if she'd be interested in it?

Run a different system for just you and her that would allow you to include one of her interest (anime, Spore, Supernatural, etc.). After she has played a few sessions, ask her if she likes it and if she would be willing to give the Pathfinder session a chance. You may have to run two different sessions indefinitely if you want to play with her and the other folks, though. You should keep that in mind.

Irrie.

Scarab Sages

This will of course take more time, but I strongly recommend you give her the proper cerebral background before plunging her in. She sounds like the sort who needs it.

Have her start with literature (myth and legend, Tolkien, Lovecraft, Zelazny, etc), then move her up to a few computer games (believe me, the D&D computer games are a great way to acquire a firm grasp of how the rules actually work, but have her play more than one vein of fantasy computer game so she doesn't develop too narrow a view of how it "should" work - no MMOs, their heyday has passed, to say the least), then to proper tabletop gaming.

As you said, you don't want to force it on her; if she's not open to acquiring this background, then gaming's probably not for her.


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

This will of course take more time, but I strongly recommend you give her the proper cerebral background before plunging her in. She sounds like the sort who needs it.

Have her start with literature (myth and legend, Tolkien, Lovecraft, Zelazny, etc), then move her up to a few computer games (believe me, the D&D computer games are a great way to acquire a firm grasp of how the rules actually work, but have her play more than one vein of fantasy computer game so she doesn't develop too narrow a view of how it "should" work - no MMOs, their heyday has passed, to say the least), then to proper tabletop gaming.

As you said, you don't want to force it on her; if she's not open to acquiring this background, then gaming's probably not for her.

I disagree. I think MMOs are fine as long as you only do the quests and fight PVE (in other words avoid all PVP and interaction with non-NPC characters). If you do that an MMO is just the same as say, Single Player Diablo or offline Baldur's Gate as far as most gameplay goes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
memorax wrote:

First off I would make sure to be with a girlfriend/wife significant other who is accepting of the hobby. Too often I hear horror stories of those in the hobby who get in a relationship keep gaming a secret with bad results. They are afraid of being alone and keep their hobby secret. I know one player who kept it hidden from his girlfriend now wife who dislikes his hobby. He has to always make a case as to why he plays the hobby as she does not think it's a worthwhile hobby. The "if I don't like your hobby then you should not be doing it" kind of person.

Or at the very least willing to tolerate your hobby. Otherwise it's going to be a waste of time even introducing a significant other to the hobby. And no tricking her or she is not a good idea. Check to see if their is some interest. If not don't push the issue. Sometimes people don't like one hobbies and vice versa.

You just described my marriage. :P

--

Regarding the opening post: Try to introduce your girlfriend to your gaming pals in a non-gaming context. She's more likely to sit down at a table with a group of people she already knows socially than a bunch of total strangers.

Shadow Lodge

mikeawmids wrote:
memorax wrote:

First off I would make sure to be with a girlfriend/wife significant other who is accepting of the hobby. Too often I hear horror stories of those in the hobby who get in a relationship keep gaming a secret with bad results. They are afraid of being alone and keep their hobby secret. I know one player who kept it hidden from his girlfriend now wife who dislikes his hobby. He has to always make a case as to why he plays the hobby as she does not think it's a worthwhile hobby. The "if I don't like your hobby then you should not be doing it" kind of person.

Or at the very least willing to tolerate your hobby. Otherwise it's going to be a waste of time even introducing a significant other to the hobby. And no tricking her or she is not a good idea. Check to see if their is some interest. If not don't push the issue. Sometimes people don't like one hobbies and vice versa.

You just described my marriage. :P

Which paragraph?

Scarab Sages

Liranys wrote:

I disagree. I think MMOs are fine as long as you only do the quests and fight PVE (in other words avoid all PVP and interaction with non-NPC characters). If you do that an MMO is just the same as say, Single Player Diablo or offline Baldur's Gate as far as most gameplay goes.

You're not entirely wrong about that, but that's a bit hard to do (and the depth of most MMOs doesn't hold a candle to digital literature like Baldur's Gate).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Orthos wrote:
mikeawmids wrote:
memorax wrote:

First off I would make sure to be with a girlfriend/wife significant other who is accepting of the hobby. Too often I hear horror stories of those in the hobby who get in a relationship keep gaming a secret with bad results. They are afraid of being alone and keep their hobby secret. I know one player who kept it hidden from his girlfriend now wife who dislikes his hobby. He has to always make a case as to why he plays the hobby as she does not think it's a worthwhile hobby. The "if I don't like your hobby then you should not be doing it" kind of person.

Or at the very least willing to tolerate your hobby. Otherwise it's going to be a waste of time even introducing a significant other to the hobby. And no tricking her or she is not a good idea. Check to see if their is some interest. If not don't push the issue. Sometimes people don't like one hobbies and vice versa.

You just described my marriage. :P
Which paragraph?

Pretty much everything applies to some extent. I don't hide my hobby, but my wife hates it and hates the people I game with, because they share my interest in dice and goblins. :p

She would much rather I spend my evenings watching The Only Way is Essex or some such garbage on MTV. No thanks. :s


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Liranys wrote:

I disagree. I think MMOs are fine as long as you only do the quests and fight PVE (in other words avoid all PVP and interaction with non-NPC characters). If you do that an MMO is just the same as say, Single Player Diablo or offline Baldur's Gate as far as most gameplay goes.

You're not entirely wrong about that, but that's a bit hard to do (and the depth of most MMOs doesn't hold a candle to digital literature like Baldur's Gate).

WoW actually has a really in depth story line. But most don't. And it's easy to avoid personal interaction in WoW if you really want to. I do it all the time. :P

Shadow Lodge

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mikeawmids wrote:
Orthos wrote:
mikeawmids wrote:
memorax wrote:

First off I would make sure to be with a girlfriend/wife significant other who is accepting of the hobby. Too often I hear horror stories of those in the hobby who get in a relationship keep gaming a secret with bad results. They are afraid of being alone and keep their hobby secret. I know one player who kept it hidden from his girlfriend now wife who dislikes his hobby. He has to always make a case as to why he plays the hobby as she does not think it's a worthwhile hobby. The "if I don't like your hobby then you should not be doing it" kind of person.

Or at the very least willing to tolerate your hobby. Otherwise it's going to be a waste of time even introducing a significant other to the hobby. And no tricking her or she is not a good idea. Check to see if their is some interest. If not don't push the issue. Sometimes people don't like one hobbies and vice versa.

You just described my marriage. :P
Which paragraph?

Pretty much everything applies to some extent. I don't hide my hobby, but my wife hates it and hates the people I game with, because they share my interest in dice and goblins. :p

She would much rather I spend my evenings watching The Only Way is Essex or some such garbage on MTV. No thanks. :s

Ouch >_<

It probably goes to show how disconnected I am from "normal" popular culture that I have no idea what that is.

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