Just Got Pathfinder And I'm Pissed


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Malachandra wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Angry Adventurer wrote:
Paizo listen. Your book may read well to veterans of 3.5, but my friends and I never played the thing! What you should do, if you haven't, is MAKE A GUIDE (that isn't this horrid core rulebook) that shows step by step how to make a character and what stats to fill and when. It is nonsense telling me how a skill works at level 3 on my druid when I don't even know what to do at level 1! Then placing a table in the middle of the text and having to read what s!*$ means AFTER you've passed the table. Come on! I still don't have a full character sheet made, and I still don't know how to play your game. I'm totally turned off at this point and 4e sounds more appealing.

Paizo does indeed publish such a guidebook:

Pathfinder Strategy Guide

The title is misleading. This book should be called the "Pathfinder New Player's Guide."

It should be EXACTLY what you're looking for!

Geez, I don't know why I didn't think of that. Ya, the Strategy Guide has a much better layout, is more beginner friendly, and goes through everything that is really important. And it's a good jumping off point for the Core Rulebook.

Malachandra: Those of us who post on the boards regularly tend to forget about this book entirely. It's not intended for veteran players and contains no new PC or GM options. It's just a user-friendly guide to the Core Rulebook.

Note that you still need the Core Rulebook. The Strategy Guide is not in itself a complete set of rules.


I have to completely agree with the OP. There is no easyjumping in point for this game except by buying a beginner's box that's not the real deal. Why would I buy I cut down version of the rules? And then have to pay for the full rules later on? Why would you release s player's guide instead of sorting out the core rules? I'm not mad, this game looks really cool and I'm getting there with perseverance but to try and pitch it to a fence sitter is going to be a tough sell. I've seen a few people who mention the how to generate a character at the start of the book and the issue is that it just doesn't. It starts talking about stats and things and then hits race and bails. I found a guide online that was great but truth be told I shouldn't have to.

It doesn't help that on top of all the rules to learn, you come to sites like this one where most of the posts talk about optimum builds or how X or Y is unplayable.

Honestly a clear cut intro would be nice. And something to demonstrate the power of different builds. Nothing kills a game like this quicker than turning up for your first game only to find that you build isn't optimum and therefore your either going to suck or be obselete.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Pathfinder 2e is going to address this issue.


For the beginner box.. I actually have a reason to buy it outside of the watered down rules....

its pretty much a full game kit including a nice map, a bunch of pawns, and a set of dice in a neat box. I mean, I sometimes do need to teach new players, but for the MOST part, it's just a cheap pawn/map combo lol


Sohlon wrote:

I have to completely agree with the OP. There is no easyjumping in point for this game except by buying a beginner's box that's not the real deal. Why would I buy I cut down version of the rules? And then have to pay for the full rules later on? Why would you release s player's guide instead of sorting out the core rules? I'm not mad, this game looks really cool and I'm getting there with perseverance but to try and pitch it to a fence sitter is going to be a tough sell. I've seen a few people who mention the how to generate a character at the start of the book and the issue is that it just doesn't. It starts talking about stats and things and then hits race and bails. I found a guide online that was great but truth be told I shouldn't have to.

It doesn't help that on top of all the rules to learn, you come to sites like this one where most of the posts talk about optimum builds or how X or Y is unplayable.

Honestly a clear cut intro would be nice. And something to demonstrate the power of different builds. Nothing kills a game like this quicker than turning up for your first game only to find that you build isn't optimum and therefore your either going to suck or be obselete.

I'm personally not a HUGE fan of d20/3.x/pathfinder for pretty much this reason. The rules are extremely intense and complicated and I've actually been playing it for 8 years now and other rpgs for closer to 25... and I still feel that way.

Why would you want to buy a beginner box and then need a 'full game' later? Because you're a beginner. There's certainly no shame in that. Everyone starts somewhere, and a game like this a 'bare bones' edition was a great idea AND it's fully playable as is. There will always be more rules... but you don't really NEED them to play. Beginner box is a good first step, then if you decide want more meat and options... start getting into those. The strategy guide was also a good idea... though poorly named.

The issue is that rpgs are by nature complicated. You can jump into a random board game or card game or even things like the old Heroquest with just a few pages of introduction... but rpgs quantify a LOT of minute details... and Pathfinder/D20 goes overboard on rules.

The fact is... that this 'game' has what? 10 years and 30+ books of rules, options, classes, archtypes, optional rules and a bazillion other things... Nobody can be expected to hit the ground running with that.

That's a big part of the 2nd edition they're working on... and there's D&D 5E that's less rule intensive that may be a better fit. We run both in our group.

As for a build guide in the core?? The core is already 577 pages long and overwhelming as it is. There are 11 core classes that play very differently from each other... and over 40 classes in the Pathfinder game in general. MOST of those guides that talk about optimizing... is pulling from a LOT more than just the core rulebook. Some things would be nice... but honestly, it just isn't feasible. I never read them, but I suspect that D&D was doing that in 3rd edition where each class got it's own hardcover book... and I really don't like that idea either...

Still, it could be worse. The updated New World of Darkness books were the absolute WORST set of rulebooks I've ever tried to muddle through. Pages of pages of fiction mixed in with the rules that reference things that were never talked about for 4 more chapters and scattered all around the book. It was INSANE...

Pathfinder at least TRIES to be organized.


I recommend the Pathfinder Strategy Guide for building characters from the core rulebook [CRB], and for discussion of play strategy/conflicts/style overall.
Things I like: spells listed for the classes specified; recommended abilities [particularly simple feat selection] and skills for the classes; suggested starting equipment purchases; simple level up information.
Deficiencies: classes from other books would need to be built similarly to their core counterparts [e.g. Hunter class {from Advanced Class Guide} creation would be like a Druid]; options [feats] mainly for Fighter from Weapon Master's Handbook / Armor Master's Handbook aren't there; my favorite Ranger spells are in the Advanced Player's Guide, not CRB.


Angry Adventurer wrote:
And in regards to the more snobby posts. I have played 4E, Warhammer, LOTRSBG, Hail Caesar, Lion Rampant, Dark Souls, and more tabletop games. Believe me, this s!@& is unique when it comes to learning it.

There's a reason the Core book is this obtuse. It wasn't written to help and guide newcomers to this game - it was made to appeal to disgruntled players of version 3.5 of Dungeons & Dragons, which was being superseded by (a much different) version 4. New players were not the Core rule book's main audience at all.

Paizo succeeded spectacularly with Pathfinder, but unfortunately this meant that their main entry point to the now very successful game was made with D&D veterans in mind. And this has been the state since 2009, with various band-aids being applied to this problem such as the Beginner's Box or the Strategy Guide.

I know this won't help you make heads or tails of the Core book, but sometimes it can make an experience less frustrating if you understand why it is like it is. And, as you can see above, the Pathfinder community is mostly a great and very helpful bunch of people indeed. Disregarding the (quite few, IMO) snobby posts :-)


I haven't read the whole thread, but I want to address the topic of "snobby posts" in brief.

When the opening post starts of "Just got Pathfidner and I'm pissed" and then proceeds to be angry and contain vitriol towards something that others are very fond of, sometimes it garners bad reactions from people. Which can include people responding in a "snobbish" manner.

If the opening post had started off "I bought Pathfinder and boy am I confused about stuff!" people might have reacted very differently.

Anger begets anger. How you present your thoughts and self can make a big difference in how people respond. Just food for thought.


Another thing to think about, which has been true for myself, my usual gaming group, and anyone else that we've gotten to play with us: There's really no better teacher for playing the game than actually playing the game. You can spend all the time you want reading to learn the rules, you're still not going to be able to fully internalize anything until you start using it.


Pantshandshake wrote:
Another thing to think about, which has been true for myself, my usual gaming group, and anyone else that we've gotten to play with us: There's really no better teacher for playing the game than actually playing the game. You can spend all the time you want reading to learn the rules, you're still not going to be able to fully internalize anything until you start using it.

That's a good point. I found some rules didn't make sense until I played a situation that the rule applied to. And some feats/abilities seemed useless until we actually started playing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Of course, if you're looking for a rules-light swords & sorcery RPG with D&D flavor, where everything you need to know to play the game is printed on your two-page character sheet, I would have to recommend Dungeon World.

My group has converted our Pathfinder game to DW. I'm still running in the Golarion campaign world, and am converting things to DW on-the-fly.

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