As a completely new game master, I decided I needed all the help I could get for my first session. I grabbed my Pathfinder Beginner Box and read through the short dungeon detailed in the GM guide. I had only one problem here – the dragon. I didn’t want my players to be chasing after the escaped dragon in later sessions, when I knew I wanted to run Rise of the Runelords. So I replaced the dragon with some more goblins. After all, the first session was just to get my players, who were new to Pathfinder, used to the system and their characters.
I also decided to pregenerate characters for my players, both to save time in the first session, and also to make it easier for the new players. I’ve found that character creation can be pretty daunting when you have no clue how the game or the system works. My very first DnD character was a bit tragic, as I had no idea what I was doing when I created her, and as a result, I don’t think she was as awesome as she could have been. Creating the characters myself also gave me a chance to look up spells, feats and class features so I wasn’t surprised during the first combat!
The Pathfinder Beginner Box really is fantastic for new players and game masters alike, and everything ran rather well. I must admit that the lack of a dragon as the final boss made the ending a bit anti-climatic, but for my first session, I thought things went pretty well. One thing that makes the Beginner Box a bit difficult is the huge amount of treasure that the characters find in the dungeon, so I made a few adjustments there, but still ended up giving the characters more powerful items than I would have liked.
All in all, the Beginner Box was definitely the right place to start. Now, if only my second session could have gone so smoothly!