I am playing through a slightly modified version of the Pathfinder adventure Rise of the Runelords with a group who are all brand new to any form of RPG.

After around ten sessions, I still haven't covered magic with them - my fault as a GM but the adventure path hasn't really called for it yet...

There are a Druid and a Bard in the party, so obviously it will benefit us all greatly, but I'm trying to think of a way of working in teaching about magic after ten sessions and not just say "OK, by the way, you can cast spells, I'll take you through it".

I'm thinking maybe an NPC can teach them?

  • \$\begingroup\$ How have they handled healing without magic? Healing is something every group needs and both the bard and the druid can provide through spells. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2019 at 11:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean you haven't mentioned that magic is a thing in Pathfinder, or that you haven't explained how the spellcasting rules work yet? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2019 at 11:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry - they know magic exists, but they haven't had the rules explained to them yet. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2019 at 11:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NameDisplay They haven't been significantly tested in combat yet, and have recovered HP by resting (1HP per level per night) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2019 at 11:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is an interesting problem to solve, now that I have read through it again. We ran into it in Original D&D with my magic user getting to level 2, due to the "how spell casting works" not being in the rule book, but in a Strategic Review article that none of us high schoolers had. Do all of your players have access to the rule books that have the details of their character classes?s As I understand your challenge, you are trying to solve this "in game via role play" rather than "out of game" by discussing rules and rule books. Do I have that right? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2019 at 12:42

2 Answers 2


An NPC is a good way to go about it, but if i could offer a bit of advice, make it develop into something more than the npc just explaining. otherwise you may as well just do so yourself. I've actually encountered a similar situation in a previous game of D&D i took over DM'ing because the previous DM/GM was a first timer and felt very uncomfortable running the game, though this was not as many sessions in. i handled it with an npc that they encountered basically being a wizard that could feel an aura of magical energy and kept popping up, watching and glaring down specifically the ones with magic capabilities. they eventually approached him to basically ask what his deal was. he explained that he was once an apprentice to a more powerful wizard, but left and quietly went into exile in this town after disagreeing with some of the wizards more questionable magical experiments. after feeling their magical aura, he thought they might be disguised or new apprentices of this wizard, come to hunt him down. After observing them for a while he was pretty sure they weren't a threat and offered to teach them how to use their gifts. soon after, an actual apprentice of the wizards showed up and was a good chance for them to use their magic for the first time.

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    – Akixkisu
    Jun 23, 2019 at 17:26

Just a suggestion or two about that: Talk to the Druid player about what magics they think the character would already know (I am assuming this is still very early in character development, even 10 sessions in). The player chose a druid character, they must be aware that the character uses magic. Suggest that the in-game calendar has a night of importance coming up and that a ritual performed could unlock their potential to do magic. For the bard, I would have more fun. Have a magical side effect to something they do beyond what they were expecting. Don't tell any of the players about your plan in advance, after all, you should be able to revel in reaction.

Following your own thought, an NPC could point out that one or even both could use magic and then act completely surprised that they seem unaware of that fact.


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