My Hypothetical Pathfinder Beginner Box Campaign

I say ‘hypothetical’ because I’m not sure I’d ever get the chance to run it.  But if I did, I think these are some of the houserules I’d use:

  • Use Pathfinder Beginner Box as the base rules
  • It would be an ‘E5’ style campaign, meaning level 5 is the highest any character could ever get.  However, they’d still be able to pick new feats every 5,000 or 10,000 xp after level 5, so the characters continue to grow but the power curve is leveled out considerably.
  • It’d be a fairly sandbox-ish campaign, maybe using a modified version of the original Outdoor Survival Map, something like this:

  • I’d do away with the critical hit confirmation roll.  Just another bit of complexity to slow the game down.  I’d probably also change the scimitar to have a critical hit range of 19-20 instead of 18-20.  Other than that, let the blood flow.
  • I’d use 4E style movement, meaning each square costs 1 point of movement whether moving in a straight line or diagonolly.
  • This means square fireballs too, but I’m fine with that.  Trying to figure out the blast radius of a fireball in Pathfinder is annoying and just another impediment to fast gameplay.
  • I’d also use a houserule from our current PF core campaign:  just roll once for initiative at the beginning of combat.  The turn order remains the same for the rest of the battle, unless someone does something to change their order, such as holding an action.
  • Naturally, I’d use all my Beginner Box class conversions. 😉
  • Every magic item, save the consumable stuff (potions, scrolls, wands) and the +1 armor and weapons, would be unique.  That means only one bag of holding in the entire world; only one boots of elvenkind; only one +2 longsword.  That makes magic something a little more special.  The +1 weapons and armor would be mastercrafted weapons made of special materials…rare and valuable, but not unique (and probably not magical either, though their exceptional quality would be evident to even the untrained eye).
  • If a character dies, the new character starts over at level 1 with 0 x.p.  Heck, it’s only 5 levels and the rest of the party can help out by donating equipment, magic and money.
  • I think I’d start with the original Caves of Chaos.  Lets see how the PFBB stacks up against the ultimate low-level adventure.  If the PCs die a lot, I’ll let players run two characters each, at least until one of the characters manages to make it to level 2.

My current gaming group has shown virtually no interest in playing any of the OD&D retro-clones, but maybe I can get them to give the PFBB a try.  Well see.  Cheers.


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7 Responses to “My Hypothetical Pathfinder Beginner Box Campaign”

  1. Jesse Rodriguez Says:

    This sounds Awesome. I’m playing in a regular Pathfinder campaign (Kingmaker, actually) but would love to give something like this a whirl. I purchased the BB for my son and had the same basic idea in mind for us, but figured I’d use the E6 rules.

  2. edowar Says:

    Thank you.

    E5, E6…basically the same thing. I just went with E5 because I’m lazy. 🙂 That way I don’t have to spec out a 6th level for every class. Not that it would be that hard to do, especially if you’re only using the four base classes in the BB.

    Hope you have fun with your BB game.

  3. trukulo Says:

    Very interesting 🙂

    Love the idea of E5 with PFBB.

    And your added classes are awesome.

    Can you make too Basic Classes the same format? And have all of them in just one PDF, that would be quite cool.

    • edowar Says:

      Thank you, I’m glad you like the class conversions.

      I suppose I could add the base classes in the same format, but they would not be a priority right now. And I can consolidate all the classes into one PDF once I’ve finished all of them…it’ll probably be a couple of months though.


  4. S'mon Says:

    This is basically exactly what I am planning (campaign starts 12th February at the London D&D Meetup!), except I’ll be using Yggsburgh for the ‘Beginner Box E5’ setting.

  5. David Smith Says:

    I had this idea today and google led me here. I’m happy I’m not the only one. I’m an OSR guy, but upon realizing it is all about style, it hit me that the BB is tailor-made for a stripped down E5(6) gritty swords and sorcery experience. It looks like a blast, good luck with yours.
    PS> Great job on the classes. I wouldn’t mind allowing some Prestige Classes, even if it would end up only being one or two levels.

    • edowar Says:

      Thank you. I haven’t given much thought to Prestige classes, and actually don’t know much about them yet. Maybe something I can look into once I’m done with the core class conversions.

      Good luck with your campaign!

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