One of the good/bad things about a crunchy game like pathfinder is that you have to have an inventory. Now it’s fantasy so aaaallll the details aren’t handled, but there’s still lots of opportunity to go hungry.
The thing is, it’s impossible when you first start to buy everything you might need. My suggestion? Don’t. Buy the absolute, always gotta have stuff, and stop. Wait for the adventure to start, find out where you are and what’s going on, then buy what you need.
See, the thing is almost every first level adventure starts with an intro. Even if it’s “your all sitting in a bar and in walks…” it’s an initial setting.
No, let me be a bit clearer. You start in one of two situations. Either you are running in medias res or someone hires you – whether paying by money or fame or karma there’s someone telling you of a problem and asking you to fix it.
And the neat thing about someone hiring you is that sometimes – surprisingly often if someone remembered to be diplomatic – you can get part of your goods provided or a little more cash up front.
Because you’ve got money, if you suddenly need fancy clothes or a trip to the coastal city of Beachview or anything else you can afford it.
Now there’s the chance your GM will start with “you’re in a tavern, and in storms a troll. Roll for initiative.” In medias rens, in the action. So you can’t just stand there in your free set of clothes and say, “let’s go.” You have to have some minimums.
You want a knife – a dagger. You want a sling. And you want a club. If you’re a caster you want your caster component(s). In this case buy two – one you have easily available, one tucked inside your jacket for when you get a nasty GM who claims your pockets have been picked just before the game began. (doesn’t happen often, and those GMs are either a lot of fun or deserve what players do to them. Or both.)
Armor? Yes, because if you can’t be wearing it in that situation the GM will say so, while it’s impossible to wear it if you don’t have it. I recommend leather – studded leather if you must. It’s inexpensive enough that you can afford better if the situation permits, but tough enough to make a difference if you start with a bang.
If it makes you nervous only having a club and a dagger for melee, get a morning star. Relatively cheap, good damage that’s both B and P. If your character will live and die by the bow, wait anyway.
If you’re a melee type add a morningstar. It’s a simple weapon so can be wielded by almost everyone of that sort, yet it does a surprising amount of damage. Ranged? stick with the sling for now, but pick up a bundle of bullets. Trust me. Because if you’re in the thick you can’t do ranged anyway, and if it’s not in the thick you might negotiate for enough more to get a better bow.
Add some chalk and string to a pocket. Flint and steel in another. Put an empty pouch on your belt. Now put all but 5 gold into another pouch that you put inside your jacket, right next to the spell components if you have them. That 5 gold gets broken into miscellaneous change and split between your pockets and external pouch.
And that’s it. The minimum necessities, a couple of useful odds and ends, and your money. Then stop to hear what is really going on to decide what you need. That’s what the beginning player gets at first.