Introducing New Players - good campaign to run?


Advice


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Hi! I'm a newish GM and I'm running a session in a few weeks to introduce some friends to tabletop gaming. I got the Humble Bundle so preferably something in that, but I'm happy to buy other modules if they're better for newbies.

I was thinking of just running the beginner box scenario, as it's simple, but I'm worried it's almost too simple, with too much combat and not enough role playing to give them a good idea of what to expect if we did a longer campaign. If running the beginner box - would it work for five players? And five players not using any class they choose - I've allowed them to create characters from any of the available books, though knowing them there probably won't be more than one advanced class.

And finally, what would be a good adventure to go on from after their first session if they enjoy it?

Thanks guys!


I ran the beginner box for 6 people. I ran it with increased goblin numbers and the black dragon from the gm book rather than the one in the scenario. That increases difficulty enough.

You can add roleplay however you want. Make the characters talk to each other in town before they leave. There are a lot of puzzles and interesting things like statues that you can use to trigger RP. My group spent like half an hour faffing with the statue outside the cave.

From there i started doing my own adventures. I through in some of the Falcons Hollow aps and they were great fun for the group. I cant remember what the aps were called. I think it was 'Hollows last hope'.

Be careful of the advanced classes. They can have lots of mechanics that can be difficult for new players to pick up. I suggest sticking to core rulebook classes or their unchained variants


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Price of Immortality trilogy (Crypt of the Everflame, Masks of the Living God, and City of Golden Death) is written specifically as an introduction for beginner players, and is designed to give a good mix of combat and non-combat encounters to get people used to how everything works. If you're ready to sign up for a longer series, the Rise of the Runelords adventure path begins in the town of Sandpoint, so your players could even bring in the same characters.


Rennaivx wrote:
The Price of Immortality trilogy (Crypt of the Everflame...

I just wanna say that Crypt of the Everflame was the most boring game I ever ran. As soon as you leave the town it's just non-stop combat, which is great if you're into that, but I'll play Skyrim when I want a fantasy game directed by Michael Bay.

The Exchange

If you want to do PFS scenarios:

1) Confirmation
2) First Steps
3) Crypt of everflame
4) Quest for perfection (Part 1)
5) Quest for perfection (Part 2)
6) Quest for perfection (Part 3)
7) Before the Dawn (Part 1)
8) Before the Dawn (Part 2)
9) Feast of Ravenmoor
10) Carrion Hill

Eh, crypt of everflame has some puzzle and yakkity moments even in the dungeon. I like that adventure quite some. Didn't like masks of living god, city of golden death that much.

I'd say I'd do the first 3 on the list to teach players mechanics of the game, before going into any long term campaign.


Just a Mort wrote:


Eh, crypt of everflame has some puzzle and yakkity moments even in the dungeon. I like that adventure quite some....

I liked it in theory before I ran it, but the game was effectively dead before I got to the puzzles (puzzles are pretty hit or miss anyway).

Maybe I'm just terrible with premade material. Not that it matters, it takes longer to read and understand a premade than to just make something up for a setting you know, in my experience anyway.

The Exchange

Might be a difference in generation, but if you asked me to come up with something, I wouldn't know where to start. Premade material is so much easier for running, and I feel more fair on a whole.


Just a Mort wrote:
Might be a difference in generation, but if you asked me to come up with something, I wouldn't know where to start. Premade material is so much easier for running, and I feel more fair on a whole.

I find the trick is to be fluent in a setting. Then pick a believable problem to occur that the PCs could/should want to fix (orcs stole the baker). More than half the time it snowballs itself into more problems, or you've gotten enough time to think of more problems.


In terms of an adventure path, I'd say Rise of the Runelords is the gold standard. Unfortunately, it wasn't included in the humble bundle :/

Hell's Rebels is supposed to be quite good, but possibly a bit more advanced than I'd suggest for new players.

But you can't go wrong with the beginner's box.


Beginner's box is a good start. Best AP to start with is Rise of the Runelords. You can get the hardcover anniversary edition that has all the parts combined as well.


I would recommend Rise of the Runelords, but I only played the old one to any decent length (the group split after the end of book 2) and it had some pretty nasty fights which could cause a TPK for a new party. Did the anniversary edition change the boss encounters?


The Shaman wrote:
I would recommend Rise of the Runelords, but I only played the old one to any decent length (the group split after the end of book 2) and it had some pretty nasty fights which could cause a TPK for a new party. Did the anniversary edition change the boss encounters?

Yes, some of the bosses were made easier to deal with esp. the one boss at the end of I think book 2 that was a nightmare to deal with in the old edition.


Personally, I'd start with something like Master of the Fallen Fortress, which was basically designed as an introductory module (so it has a little bit of practically everything). It's a good way to help people get used to the system and all the different things they can do. ^^

Lantern Lodge

Dragon's Demand is a nice module that takes players from level 1 to 7. It is a bit railroady but that's really good for beginners.

There are some cool DMPCs that you can use to tweak difficulty, or let additional players join the regular group for a time.

I ran this for a group of four who created their own characters, and for one of the dungeon delve sessions, we let a guy hanging around the gaming shop join in and play one of the NPCs the party befriended. These were experienced players and they were seldom challenged. The overall difficulty seems tuned for a beginner group. Specifically, there is gear discovered in the course of the adventure that renders the final encounter much easier than it normally would be. This is a good thing, as it rewards exploration and preparation.

The Exchange

Never played dragons demand, but I'd probably test the waters for interest before starting on a really long term campaign(with a few short scenarios). The Free of Charge route would be to substitute Master of fallen fortress with Confirmation. Unfortunately, Crypt of Everflame isn't free, and I know no modules that give a level of xp that are.

Also helps if players have the gameplay mechanics down pat when they start going into a campaign proper. At least session 0, players have an idea of what they want to play when they create their characters.

Liberty's Edge

Having played Dragon's Demand (PFS), I recommend it for new players, provided you can get the party to level 6 before they play the third part.

I am now part of a group playing Kingmaker, and I also recommend it for new players. There is plenty of opportunity for role plying, and the party is presented with a number of tasks.


Thank you all so much for the advice! Given me lots of food for thought. Great to know the community here is so helpful, makes me look forward to my future on Paizo. :)

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