Paizo’s fantasy roleplaying Pathfinder Beginner Box for Pathfinder second edition(affiliate links) is an excellent last minute gift for any gamer. Including everything you need to learn and play Pathfinder, the box represents countless hours of self-contained fun. I’ve said in prior posts that Paizo makes the best and most complete introductory role playing beginner boxes in the industry, and this latest edition maintains that tradition.
If you’re adventurous and can safely get to a local gaming store, support your local business, but if you need to order it, as of right now, you can still get a copy from Amazon and reportedly receive it in time for the holidays.
This box is jam-packed full with six polyhedral dice, a 72-page Hero’s Handbook explaining how to create and play characters, leveling them from 1st to 3rd level, an 88-page Game Master’s Guide, containing an introductory adventure, 20 pages of monsters, magic items, and guidance on building your own adventures, four play reference cards, four pre-made heroes, and blank character sheets for making your own! The box also contains a two sided gridded map and over 100 character and monster pawns and bases.
This is everything you need to play– except a pencil and maybe some scratch paper!
Unlike the first edition Pathfinder Beginner Box, this box uses unmodified second edition Pathfinder rules. Pathfinder second edition uses streamlined and consistent rules that maintain Pathfinder’s strength in excellent character customization, while keeping the rules simple. Once you’ve played through the contents of this starter kit, you can continue on by either purchasing the full blown Pathfinder Core Rulebook, utilize the online rules at Archives of Nethys (for free!), or just continue playing with the Pathfinder Beginner Box at low levels. Even if you move on from here to the full rules, the map, the pawns, and the dice can all move on with you.
Who’s the Pathfinder Beginner Box good for?
- Anyone new to role playing, looking to get into the action (Here’s your chance to be the best aunt or uncle ever!)
- Anyone who plays Pathfinder 1.0 or D&D and wants to see what Pathfinder second edition is all about
- Teachers/librarians that provide students access to games and gaming (I donated a first edition Pathfinder Beginner Box to my local school’s library.)
- They’re great for in an earthquake kit; stuck at home, play some Pathfinder! (After necessities of course!)
- An experienced Pathfinder player to use in recruiting new players
Again, Pathfinder Beginner Box does not dumb down the second edition rules, they make it an easy entry by including excellent explanations and a solo and group adventure that introduce the rules through a scaffolding approach. The beginner box also limits the number of choices a player needs to make for their first three levels. Instead of having to understand enough to decide between 12 ancestries, and 12 classes, players can choose their ancestry to be an elf, dwarf, or human and class as cleric, fighter, wizard, or rogue. The number of feature options for each class and ancestry are also cut down to reduce new-player confusion. Ready to advance beyond these choices? Go online to Archives of Nethys!
I have always loved the unlimited character customization of Pathfinder, often creating characters for fun– realizing whatever character concepts I can dream up. Each character can feel totally different, even if you’re playing the same base class. Second edition kept this tradition of character customization while streamlining the game, adding wonderful enhancements and removing baggage of past iterations of the game (Pathfinder was born as an offshoot of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5). Pathfinder is my fantasy role playing game of choice and the Pathfinder Beginner Box is an excellent gateway into this amazing hobby.
Again, if you can safely support your friendly local gaming store buy the it there. However, if your FLGS doesn’t have curb-side pickup, as of this posting, it looks Amazon can still deliver the Pathfinder Beginner Box in time for holiday shopping.
Want to see more, check out Paizo’s unboxing video.
Disclaimer: Paizo provided a ‘Pathfinder Beginner Box’ for review, though, I’ll likely buy a few for various reasons in the next few years!