The holiday season is an excellent time to post Part Two of my shopping suggestions for parents of kids who like Pathfinder RPG!
This is the mother of all Pathfinder RPG books, my friends, and in more ways than one. First of all, it is MASSIVE at 576 pages, and the reading level is pretty advanced for middle schoolers. But on the other hand, it goes beyond the Beginner Box and has 7 races, 11 character classes that go up to 20TH LEVEL (and 10 prestige classes), and hundreds of spells! Kids will want to digest much of this book because of the sheer number of new options it presents.
Second, all the other Pathfinder RPG rulebooks “sprout” from and expand on this set of rules. So this also is an extremely well-organized reference — other rulebooks expand on player options or give game masters more monsters to throw at players, but this book is where a player will find 90 percent of the rules used during a typical gaming session that uses the full rules.
Still, I highly recommend that younger players start with the Beginner Box to learn the basics of the rules first. (Also, it isn’t required for kids to have the Core Rulebook to be able to keep up in The Guild.)
This has over 300 monsters that will awaken the imagination and give kids the creatures they need to think up their own adventures or even just improvise battles with friends. The monsters range from crawling vermin to the world-ending tarrasque. Many of the creatures can be used easily even if someone has just the Beginner Box.
Kids love to imagine their characters getting more powerful or want to “craft” their own items. This has hundreds of pages of magic items, many of them illustrated, that kids’ characters in The Guild can (eventually!) find, buy, or craft. The items range from waffle irons to unique artifacts to items that stop time or allow travel across dimensions. If they decide to “game master” their own adventures, they can use some of the items from this book.
Paizo, the company that makes Pathfinder RPG, was known first for writing great fantasy material, first in Dungeon and Dragon magazines, then later in their fully-realized fantasy campaign setting of Golarion. The Inner Sea World Guide is a gazetteer of the world of Golarion, with maps and entries describing a wide variety of nations that includes urban metropolises, vast jungles, magical wastelands, and even the demonic worldwound. It also has cultural information on the religions, the Golarion calendar, and other stuff. All the pre-made adventures that Paizo publishes for game masters to run take place in Golarion. This is great for those who like to immerse themselves in fantasy worlds.