Just Starting Out


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Hey guys,

So I have a group of 5 friends who want to start playing Pathfinder.

Around 6 months ago I purchased the Beginners Box, Core Rulebook and Rise of the Runelords.

We played through the Beginners Box and had a great time, even tho we had no idea what we were doing.

I'm just starting my preparation to start the Runelords campaign but I am wondering - we are all brand new to roleplaying games - should I be starting with PF1 or PF2?

Cheers


You should probably start with 5th edition D&D since it's a more rules light system. By extension to that, PF2 is easier/simpler to get into than PF1, but PF1 is a deeper yet more mechanically complex game. For that reason I would say it also creates more interesting characters but I'm sure someone would argue with me on that.

So if your group is only casually getting into tabletop rpgs recently then go 5e/PF2 or PF1 if y'all are pretty experienced with D20 systems.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

PF1 is full of trap options which don't work mechanically but the game doesn't warn you about it because it was written with 3.5 veterans in mind and the assumption that everyone knows that multiclassing Monk with a Rogue is a terribly bad idea.

PF2 doesn't suffer from that problem nearly as much.


PF1
Pros: Enough content for 30 or so years of play, finished system, basic rules archetypes and options are all online, though not always easy to find. Tons of options, you can make a workable approximation of almost any character concept in pf1. They wont all be equally good at adventuring but approximating almost anything you can think of is doable within the rules. Its not hard to incorporate anything from d+d 3.0 or 3.5 to it, the conversions are pretty simple.

Cons: Your gm has to work at maintaining balance. System mastery can make one player wildly outperform the others. Theres a class disparity that gets very noticeable at high level. There are so many options new players can kind of get "choice paralysis" when the time comes to level or create characters.

PF2
Pros: Easy to build characters, balance between classes is closer than in PF1. New system so there isn't even 1/20th the material to buy just yet and you're in a timing position to be able to buy as it releases rather than hunt old out of print supplements.

Cons: Nowhere near as many builds, some classes underwent a wildly different feel in the transition. It doesn't really have backwards compatibility.

D+D 5th ed
Pros: Its the big dog in the room and it isnt going anywhere any time soon. More content than pf2 but not anywhere near the array of pf1 yet. Brand recognition makes it easier to get new players. System seems simpler than pf1, fewer fiddly rules bits. Tons of incidental support, swag and side options for the game.

cons: Its more complex with more options than pf2 by virtue of being out longer, but its coming out with new stuff at a similar pace. It has nowhere near the same character building potential pf1 has. It also doesn't really have backwards compatibility.


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TheSlipgate wrote:

Hey guys,

So I have a group of 5 friends who want to start playing Pathfinder.

Around 6 months ago I purchased the Beginners Box, Core Rulebook and Rise of the Runelords.

We played through the Beginners Box and had a great time, even tho we had no idea what we were doing.

I'm just starting my preparation to start the Runelords campaign but I am wondering - we are all brand new to roleplaying games - should I be starting with PF1 or PF2?

Cheers

I'd start with PF1, because you already own the book, and Rise of the Runelords is written for PF1 (assuming the Anniversary Edition). It would take a fair bit of work to adapt RotRL for PF2, which I wouldn't recommend trying as a new DM. Personally, I prefer the PF1 system to PF2 or D&D5 anyway, but that's a matter of opinion...


Thanks for the advice everyone.

Greatly appreicated!


If you want customization, PF1.
If you want simplicity, PF2 or D&D 5e.
If you want both, Basic Fantasy Roleplay


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Yeah, since you are brand new, I'd start with PF2e. As much as I love PF1e (it was the first roleplaying game I learned) it took a lot of time to do so.


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If they've already played the beginners box, I feel like they cleared the first hurdle of PF1. Playing full PF1 isn't that much of a jump.

Ultimately, you may want to choose the one that's easiest to game master and I've heard that's 5E. Both versions of Pathfinder are pretty bad about sending you to multiple chapters and books to figure out how a single thing works. That saves a lot of page space, but isn't good for readability.


There is no wrong or right answer here.

You have already learned to read a set of rules and apply them them to a system that allowed you to play. Any material printed for any of the RPG ( D&D, Pathfinders, Heros) games can be used you are only limited by your imagination.


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One of the best quotes I ever got from a GM is "the role-play is what you bring to the game". Basically, don't worry about mechanics. Once you've learned a system well enough to have a framework, just play. Even 4e D&D was fun with the right group, and that is NOT a popular opinion. Pathfinder 1 does give you the most laid out versatility. But in a home game you have more freedom to play with flavor. You can build just about anything in any system. Their are exceptions, but a lot of effects that look/fee/sound different are mechanically the same. So have fun in whichever system feels most natural to you.

Shadow Lodge

I would offer a different take on the three systems listed:

D&D 5e. This game is designed for the masses. It is tabletop roleplaying for casuals. Designed to be easy to get into, and not require much investment from the players. RPG lite. If you get hardcore into roleplaying games, you will quickly find yourself bored/frustrated by the game's limitations. That said, it is what I would recommend as a starter game, especially for kids, or those with only a passing interest in gaming. A game of 5e can function fine if only the game master knows the rules.

PF1. This is a complex game, built on a foundation developed over 20 years ago. This is hardcore RPG, where you can spend hours pouring over rules to assemble powerful characters. It requires more investment, and rewards you for investing in it. This game is designed from a previous era, with different sensibilities than other more modern games. Those who prefer the modern style may find the rules get in the way of the imagination at times. It expects everyone playing to be into it enough to read the rules for themselves. The other two systems still work ok if you have casual players who aren't willing to invest the time to learn how to play, pf1 not so much.

PF2. This new game differentiates itself greatly from the previous edition. It is a product of modern times, with different focus on importance. It lands somewhere between pf1 and 5e in complexity of rules, and is similarly designed to be easy to get into like 5e. While the game does reward some amount of investment, you will quickly find the ceiling. It does have more variety than 5e, less limitations, and so takes longer to get bored with. PF2 players need to know the basics to get started, but don't have to have read the whole rulebook.

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