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Pathfinder Rules

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1 Pathfinder Rules on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:04 pm

Mister Dicey

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Yellow Wizard
Pathfinder is essentially D&D 3.5 with a few extra rules to balance things out.  If you're familiar with any form of D&D, most of your knowledge will transfer right through.

For people who want to go the whole hog and learn all the rules, click here.  There are various other sites around the place that will have useful tools for the game as well.

If you want to know the basic mechanics of the game, read the Absolute Basics section. Otherwise, head directly to the Making a Character section.
Players just starting might be intimidated by the quantity of rules even for making a character. If so, just choose a class and race from the selection below and let the person running the game know.

For GMs, check near the end (I've put a ### for easy finding)

Absolute Basics:

If you want to do anything that isn't a very basic task (eg walking, breathing, eating, talking), you make a check.  This means that you roll a 20 sided die (d20 in the lingo) and add various modifiers depending on where you are, how good you are at the thing you're doing etc.  If the total is equal to or greater than some target, you succeed.

Examples of checks:
Skill Check: Tests your skill at something.  Jumping over a chasm, Knowledge of geography, riding a horse.
Ability Check:  Tests your inherent talent.  Breaking down a door, logic puzzles, juggling.

Things such as resisting negative effects or attacking are also checks.

Summary: Roll a d20 and add modifiers

Making a Character

I would recommend reading through the races and classes sections in the Core Rulebook section of the link at the top to get some idea of what choices are available to you.
For those too lazy to read, here's a summary:

Classes:
Fighter - Good at hitting things
Rogue - Sneaky and thiefy
Cleric - Healers.  Can hit things and cast some offensive spells, thanks to the gods.
Wizard - Casts offensive and detrimental magic spells.  Squishy and need time to prepare spells in advance
Barbarian - Good at hitting things hard
Bard - Provide support and raise morale.  Have a range of spells.
Druid - As cleric, but thanks to nature.
Monk - Martial artists. Aim to perfect themselves.
Paladin - Holy Warriors and paragons of virtue.  Good at hitting things and have some healing spells
Ranger - Good at hitting things.  Have grudges.  Some Nature based spells.
Sorcerer - As Wizard.  Doesn't need to prepare spells, but can't learn as many.

Races:
Human - You are one.  Versatile.
Elf - Think Lord of the Rings.  Smart and nimble, but fragile.
Dwarf - Stocky and live in mines.  Sturdy in both mind and body, but gruff.
Gnome - Tiny crazy people.  Hardy and likable, but not very strong.
Halfling - Hobbits.  Nimble and likable, but not very strong.
Half-elf - Offspring of humans and elves.  Less versatile than humans, but have some elven characteristics.
Half-orc - Have bad reputations.  Less versatile than humans, but have some special characteristics.


Pick and choose a Race and Class you want (Not all of them work, but some combinations work surprisingly well).  There are additional Races and Classes available, but this is a suitable selection for beginners.

For those who just want to play, this is enough.  Tell your Game Master (GM) your choices (and perhaps character concept) and they'll do the rest.  For those who want a little more customisation, read on...

Next, Ability Scores.  These reflect your innate abilities.  They are Strength, Dexterity (your nimbleness), Constiution (how healthy and hardy you are), Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma.  There are a number of ways to generate these, but unless your GM allows otherwise, use the Point Buy system (summarised below).

Abillity Score Costs:

Score.....Cost
7............-4
8............-2
9............-1
10...........0
11...........1
12...........2
13...........3
14...........5
15...........7
16...........10
17...........13
18...........17

The average game will give you 20 points to spend among your attributes.  If your race gives any modifiers to ability scores, you apply these after you have bought your points.

Next, you need to chose your skills and what you're good at.  There are too many to list here, so please refer to the link above and check out Skills in the Core Rulebook section.  You gain a number of skill points that depends on your class plus (your Intelligence-10)/2 (rounded down; this can be negative).  Clerics, Wizards, Paladins and sorcerers get 2; Barbarians, Druids and Monks get 4; Bards and Rangers get 6 and Rouges get 8.  Humans get an extra 1 skill point.

Wizards, Sorcerers and Bards get to chose 4 0-level spells and 2 1st level spells (Druids and Clerics know all their spells by default).  Wizards, Sorcerers and Clerics have additional class features to chose from that are best detailed under their respective class pages in the link above.

Next, choose you get to chose a Feat.  These represent out-of-the-ordinary training you've had.  Again, the list is far too long to put here, so please read the appropriate section in the above link.  All characters get to choose one feat that they qualify for, Fighters gain a bonus one for free, and humans also gain a bonus feat.

Finally, you get to buy equipment.  Take a look through the equipment lists in the above link and pick some things that appeal to you.  Your GM will take care of everything you need.  Keep in mind that you will have only a small cash supply initially.

Congratulations, you have now created a character!  As much as you need to know at least...  Inform your GM of everything you've picked out, and they'll take care of the rest.


###For GMs

Please note that you may get a lot of beginners asking you to do a lot of things for them (mostly thanks to the guide above).

Because of the unsupervised nature of a forum, unless you make the roll, you can't know for certain that they aren't cheating.  Therefore, important rolls should be done by you personally so as to be unquestionable.  These should include things like Ability Score Rolls, HP rolls and Gold Rolls.  Unless a player specifically asks to roll these, assume that the average roll occured.
For simplicity, assume beginners are putting their favoured class points as a point of HP.

To reiterate: If it is an important roll, do it yourself, don't let a player do it.

Otherwise, go and do good (or at least neutral) and run some games!  You're in charge!  Good "Luck"!


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