In a couple of weeks, we are going to start a Pathfinder Beginner Box mini-campaign that may (or may) not lead into a longer running campaign. Most of the players are, without at doubt, more on the casual side. They are not rules-lawyers (I’m lucky if they read any rules). They are not interested in min-maxing and character optimizing (with, perhaps, one exception). They are not the most tactically minded and, while they don’t mind combat, I don’t think it (particularly a system of highly tactical combat) is really what they’re interested in. Most of the players, and they can correct me if I’m way off base, don’t have the time or the interest between sessions to memorize rules, scour character optimization forums, or anything of the like. They just want to come over on Saturday nights, share some beer, and have fun playing some D&D.
Although the Pathfinder Beginner Box (PBB) is self-described as an intro to rpgs and Pathfinder in particular, it is also a nice basis for a rules-lite version of Pathfinder. That’s how we’re going to be using it. I may even strip it down a bit more (e.g., dropping standard, move, and free actions and just replacing them with an action per round and a free move a la Savage Worlds). I may add in some conversions of other races and classes (such as the ones over at EdOWar’s Blog). Not quite sure on all that yet as I want to keep things pretty simple as far as the rules go.
Combine this with Paizo’s reputation for publishing fun and interesting (if a bit railroady) adventures and it also frees me up from doing lots of prep for a campaign (prep that often goes unused for various reasons). It still gives the players what I think they want…a fun and interesting adventure. In fact, I think most of my current players would be better served by a campaign that is a little more structured than sandbox. This will probably come as a surprise to many of my players but I might just try using one of Paizo’s Adventure Paths…I swore off running an adventure path after a big fail with one a few years ago. But I think, given the time constraints that everyone has, something like that is going to be a better option to go with.
And that’s where Fat Rat Games is at right now.