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You need to play it to see how smooth it is. It is great for dungeons and for dragons.you can get through a dozen fights in a 4 hour session if you wishLevelling up is quick and doesn't need herolab
Most of all it is built on game theory one year ago, not 15 years ago.if u start now you are getting in on the ground floor. If u joined a long term PF group it may all seem overwhelming!
The chassis for 5e, and one of the reasons it is popular with a lot of older gamers, is built on game theory from thirty-six years ago. It feels like a modernized version of the AD&D game, as if third were more closely tied to the style of play promoted by AD&D rather than a revamp based on the same nomenclature, but with a lot of Rolemaster and Magic:TG grafted to the class and level system.
3x really changed the way D&D was played in a lot of ways. Character creation is so involved that high fatality can make the game a chore. 5e's focus on "at the table" play and quick character creation allows for an older style of play (more fatalities, less focus on "story" driven death, more game than cooperative story telling) without taking away the more story driven, scripted style.
3x focuses on "positive rights" so to speak (skills and feats define what you can do, and hard character abilities almost define what you cannot do), whereas 5e focuses on "negative rights" (skills and feats enhance what you can do, but nothing really defines what you cannot do, outside of class limitations (e.g. fighters don't cast spells, wizards don't wear full plate, etc.)).
Different games for different purposes, and neither does what the other does best well at all, to be frank.