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|Tough crowd, tough crowd.|
6 Crucial Tips for New Pathfinder Players
Being new to the world of tabletop gaming can be intimidating; but every gamer from the casual hobbyist to the 30 year Dungeons and Dragons veteran had to start somewhere. If you're starting with Pathfinder then bravo! You’re immersing yourself in a world of lore and adventure, where the unthinkable can (and most likely will) happen. Listed below are a few tips for new players; following these tips will make for a rich and enjoyable experience. These tips apply to more than only Pathfinder players, though. Any player new to role playing can find some critical advice below.
- Don’t forget the back story!
This is one a must for all role players; most role playing games are as much a story as they are a game. A character that has a history organic to the world you play within is always more developed and rounded than one who is not. This is also critical to giving life to the character you’ve created.
Example: Raya Nesus is a level 1 Human Sorceress. That’s rather bland in itself, no? Where does her flavor come from? Perhaps she was born an orphan, was a victim to the slave trade, or her one true love abandoned her. A back story with detail will help create your character’s attitude, quirks, and motives in the campaign at hand.
- Make sure that your Game Master (or GM to-be) knows that you are new or inexperienced.
When you alert the GM you're new you're not making yourself look dumb or making yourself a target. What you are doing is making sure that he/she is willing to move slowly for you, and help you along during gaming sessions. The vast set of rules within the world of Pathfinder can be intimidating, and it can be easy for new adventurers to become overwhelmed quickly.
Example: “Hey, Joe! I’m new to Pathfinder, and I just wanted to double check that it’s okay if I need a bit of help during the gaming session on Saturday.”
- Start Small!
As I’ve stated before, Pathfinder can be incredibly intimidating to new players. In order to minimize the effect this has on your experience, start small. That means that you’re better off starting with core classes, and core races. These are the classes and races presented within the Core Rulebook, all of which are simple and to the point (though still customizable).
Example: A Half-Dragon Wayang Wizard 2/Two Weapon Warrior 4/Celebrity 1/Scout 1?How about a Human Fighter 8?
- Accept the inevitability of character death
Characters, like people, die. The inevitability of death in our world is real enough, but in the dangerous world of Pathfinder it should be expected. Many gamers get angry or frustrated when a character dies, and that’s okay, but it shouldn’t negatively impact your gaming experience. The duration of a character’s in-game life is nothing compared to the quality of his adventures and personality. Sometimes things have to fall apart to make way for better things.
Example: ”Maximus Awesomus is dead! Agh, *insert angry slurs here*, he was my favorite character! Well, at least I had a blast playing him, and he was super memorable. Now, time to write up Maximus AwesomER…”
- Keep Yourself Involved in the Role Playing!
As stated earlier Pathfinder is as much of a story as it is a game, and your character is a protagonist of that story. How many protagonists sit back and end up having absolutely no interaction with the world around them? None, duh! It’s easy to get distracted during a long session, but making sure you stay involved is important. Don’t forget that YOU are helping to write the story, and you should have fun doing it! Not to mention, it makes for a more memorable and flavorful character.
Example: As the party sits in a tavern, you decide that your Orcish Bard is going to get himself a wench. As he goes around the bar, he asks women if they’d like to play his…flute. With disgusted faces, they all turn away or run. Poor Gronkl begins to tear up, he doesn’t understand why everyone dislikes him so.
- Last But Not Least, Have Some Fun!
Nobody plays a Role Playing game in 100% seriousness. Pathfinder is about having fun, and maybe escaping reality for just a bit. It’s okay to be caught up in the gameplay and mechanics, but when push comes to shove you should be having fun. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and make sure that your actions make the game enjoyable for everyone.
Example: “I can’t believe we actually did it! Best session ever!”
So here you have it, 6 simple, but critical tips for anyone new to Tabletop Gaming or Role Playing. With these tips in mind, your foray into the world of Pathfinder should be painless and easy. Trust me, you’ll find yourself enjoying the game in no time. Until next time, happy gaming!