Welcome to Rolling Dice, the tabletop RPG podcast which examines a new game system in each episode, with the help of a rotating cast of both experienced and new players, in order to discuss the system’s mechanics and how they affect collaborative storytelling.
A tabletop roleplaying game, or RPG, is a collaborative storytelling game. Each player takes on the role of a character in a fictional universe. The players work together to tell a story in which those characters overcome challenges. RPGs can be run with as few as two players, but groups of 4-7 are more typical. Players usually have a character sheet, a piece of paper that describes their character’s abilities, strengths and weaknesses through the use of numbers. Dice are typically used to resolve success or failure when attempting certain tasks with the character’s abilities, making the player more or less likely to succeed on certain tasks. One person takes on the role of the gamemaster (GM) and is responsible for setting the scenes, advancing the storyline, and adjudicating rules. In addition, the GM typically controls any other characters [or non-player characters (NPCs)] the players run across from the helpful town shopkeeper to the dangerous dragon. The GM is not the player’s opposition, but works with them to help tell the best story.
In this first episode, we play the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box from Paizo Publishing. Pathfinder is a fantasy RPG in which players take on the roles of heroes to form a group (or party) to set out on adventures. Our panel discusses the introduction of new players to their first RPG, the fun of roleplaying with goblins, the pros and cons of the d20 system, the deadliness of dragons, and where to go to continue your adventure beyond the Beginner Box.
Gamemaster: Jason Enright (FBC Senior Contributor, Darby Pop Publishing)
Players: Barbra Dillon (FBC Managing Editor), Sam Rhodes (FBC Creative Director), Kristine Chester (FBC Senior Contributor), and Shannon Cabeen
Starting Your Own Pathfinder Game
Are you interested in starting your own game of Pathfinder? What you need to start are some basic supplies like pencils and paper, at least one set of polyhedral dice, which are a special set of gaming dice that contain dice with different sides: four sides, six sides, eight sides, ten sides, twelve sides, and twenty sides. Polyhedral dice can be found at your local game store or ordered online through websites like Amazon.com.
In addition, you’ll want to pick up either the Beginner Box if you’d like to play through the adventure we ran in this episode or a copy of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, which contains all of the necessary rules to build characters and run the game, and the Pathfinder Bestiary, which contains hundreds of monsters and threats for the GM to pit the players against. Both of these books can be found at your local game store, many of the big retail book stores, Amazon.com, or ordered directly from the publisher at Paizo.com.
Some helpful documents, including character sheets and a rules reference page, can be found at paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/resources.