Technical blog and writings by Micah Webner.

Blogrimage 2014 Day 2: Pathfinder Beginner Box

I never really heard of Pathfinder until Friday night. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is an evolution of the 3.5 rules set of Dungeons & Dragons. Apparently there were some changes in D&D version 4 that existing players didn't like, and Pathfinder was one of the spin-off products released under the Open Game License. I was told that this game would probably more like the old First Edition AD&D I'd played back in the 1980's than current D&D.

I got home Friday night and unpacked the box. I was immediately impressed by what I found inside. Since this is an introductory package, the first item was a clear, concise, single glossy sheet explaining how to get started. This is a group game, but the publishers realized that a new player might want to check out the game before delving into the books, so they included a short self-guided adventure that a new player can read through while learning some basic concepts like decision-making, combat and more. I zipped through this adventure in about 10 minutes, reacqainting myself with the environment and getting a feel for the writing.

By the end of the night, I'd led my younger daughter through that short adventure (getting my first taste as Game Master) and we rolled up her character.

On Saturday, I read through most of the Hero's Handbook, ran the short adventure for my older daughter, and got characters rolled for her and my wife. I'd also been to the Beginner Box website (which contains a 10-minute intro video, if you're interested) and grabbed all of the free downloadable content. It was time to sit down and really study the Game Master's Guide.

Again, I was immediately impressed by the packaging. Along with the option of working my way through the entire 96-page book, there's an adventure that you can start playing immediately using the included pregenerated characters, or (of course) the characters we'd created.

I'd really planned to study the materials and get to know the guide before setting out on our first adventure, but this packaging was so enticing that after just a little bit of prep time, we sat down at the table to play.