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Pathfinder - How to Play

Introductory Adventure

The Pathfinder Beginner Box includes a great single-player adventure which you can play completely by yourself, and which touches on some of the basic concepts of Pathfinder's rules. Naturally, I was unhappy with this solo adventure and wrote my own. If you're new to Pathfinder, check this out:

Trouble at The Tonesvale Fair - A solo adventure for players new to Pathfinder

The Rules

Learning a new roleplaying game is hard, especially if this is your first time roleplaying. This guide is intended to be a comprehensive but simple introduction to the rules of Pathfinder. The rules of Pathfinder are complex, so take your time reading this guide. If you have questions, ask your fellow players or email me.

This section is frequently changing. Not because the rules are changing (not much at least), but because I am constantly attempting to find better ways to explain the intricacies of the rules without making them overly complex. If any parts of this section are confusing, missing, incorrect, or just generally bad, the core rulebook is always the first place you should go to learn the rules.

  1. What is a Role Playing Game?
  2. What is Pathfinder?
  3. Ability Scores
  4. Skills
  5. Feats
  6. Equipment
    1. Armor and Shields
    2. Weapons
    3. Adventuring Gear
  7. Alignment
  8. Combat
  9. Magic
    1. Spell Descriptions
    2. Casting a Spell
    3. Concentration
    4. Resisting a Spell
    5. Counterspells
    6. Arcane Spellcasters
    7. Divine Spellcasters
    8. Special Abilities
  10. Example of Play
  11. Appendix 1: Game Glossary - Rules Terms
  12. Appendix 2: Player Glossary - Terms used by players

Beyond the Rules

Now that you knows the rules, it's a good idea to have a more conceptual understanding of Pathfinder and DnD-style games. Check out my collection of Player Resources articles for a collection of articles and resources which may help you at the table.