I. WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!
So, you have no idea what you are listening to. You hear “roll this” or “roll that” and then we all burst out cackling about someone rolling a 1 or immense cheering when someone rolls a 20. (There's a TL;DL at the bottom for Matt)
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!?!?!???!?!
Well, this page is to help you out.
When you were a kid, did you play games with other kids? Maybe cops and robbers or cowboys and indians or some version of make-believe play where there was a winner and a loser? If not, hopefully you at least understand the concept. I remember using a toy pistol to pretend-shoot my kid brothers and their response was always, “Nuh UH! I shot you first!” Bah. Everyone knows I won, even when they won’t admit it. So Pathfinder is like that, but we have rules to determine who shot first, (it's always Han) and to determine who connected and what the consequences are.
Pathfinder is best defined as a cooperative storytelling adventure. It is also sorta like a board game without the board. The difference is, rather than aiming to crush your opponents and induce someone to flip the game board therefore declaring victory, as in Monopoly, the goal of Pathfinder is to tell the best and most entertaining story possible...together. That’s what we’re striving for in the Called Shot Podcast.
II. What do all these letters mean?
RPG stands for Role Playing Game. Each player takes on a character or a “role” and makes decisions in the game based on what that character would do. It's a lot like an actor in a movie, but without lines written by some screenwriter. It is a difficult job, but my players are awesome.
TTRPG just stands for Table Top Role Playing Game. We play with pencils and paper, sometimes with computer aids when available, but we sit at a table to do it. Har.
PC stands for Player Characters. These refer to the characters the players are portraying while at the table. It is not your personal computer, though you may use a computer to keep up with all the fun stats you get to pick.
DM or GM is Dungeon Master or Game Master. In our game Wes is the DM. While the players only take on one character to play and make decisions for, the DM typically has to play every other role in the universe. The DM reads or writes the information for the adventure the characters are going to go on and then passes on as much information as possible to the players. He can take on the role of an irate shop-keep or a mighty magical dragon bent on destruction of the world. Or Barnabas Harrigan, who is nearly as scary.
NPC is Non-Player Character. This acronym typically refers to any character in the game not directly controlled by a player. The decisions of a NPC are nearly 100% decided by the GM. Kind GMs like Wes will sometimes allow good players to take control of a NPC when it is appropriate.
DnD or PF is Dungeons and Dragons (80’s le gasp!). PF is now one of the market leaders in TTRPGs and it stands for Pathfinder. There’s some history we can get into later, but for many of us Pathfinder picked up where DnD left off and has been the game we’ve played for nearly a decade now. Pathfinder uses a lot of the same rules DnD did from the early 2000s, but has become the go-to setting for a lot of RPGers. (That’s role playing gamers)
III. What do you need to play Pathfinder?
Adam! Bring in the Pictures!
Pencil and Paper
Pathfinder has a ton of rules to follow so everyone stays on the same footing. Everyone will make mistakes, but learn from them. Be kind to your fellow players and GM.
But sometimes the GM has to follow:
The Rule of Cool
Pathfinder does have a ton of rules, but sometimes it is better if you just ignore one. If it can make sense and not ruin the adventure, let the PCs at least attempt a dice roll. Every GM is different, but that's how Wes attempts to run the table.
A wizard on top of a mast?! Impossible! But it's really really cool.
But the #1 rule to Pathfinder is:
Have Fun - Lots of fun. Pathfinder is a game: laugh and joke with friends. If you forget a rule, make one up that works and look it up when it is convenient. Tell an awesome story. Then visit our Facebook Page and tell us all about it: https://www.facebook.com/TheCalledShotPodcast/
The Pathfinder core rulebook is 400+ pages long and sometimes quite confusing for the new crew. Don’t let it scare you! Ask questions, watch a Youtube video, listen to our podcast and you’ll pick it up pretty quickly. The best is a know-it-all friend that understands all the rules and can help you sort it out. Our email is also available, or use the form on this website to send us a question.
Just bring an idea of the character you want to portray whether its Jayne from Firefly or Papa Smurf.
IV. That sounds fun, but what's the deal with 1's and 20's?
To decide what happens in this game, whether it is firing a loaded crossbow or Chad trying to talk Grok into all the things, we roll a d20:
The D20 is on the far left.
That roll is then modified by different stats and skills and some other environmental effects. Usually that roll needs to be equal to or higher than a number the GM has set as the DC or Difficulty Class. Whether the PC or NPC succeeds or fails, the scene then plays out accordingly. Once you grasp this concept, 90% of TTRPGing is in your hands.
If you want to know more More MOre MORe MORE! about one of the best games ever developed, please visit:
Some rules are also available at www.d20pfsrd.com
If you think you’ll enjoy the game, support the company that makes it and buy the Core Rulebook from www.paizo.com or from your local gaming store. Please support your local game store, without our money, they can’t exist!
Or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org We’ll do what we can to set you on a grand adventure!
TL;DL: Roll d20, add modifiers, succeed or fail: tell an awesome story.