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What PF changes from 3.5 tripped you up?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Okay, I am getting back into PF so that I can play PFS. I plan at some point to read the PF RPG core rules cover to cover - but that won't happen for a while.

So until then I will be reading just the rules I need for my character but I am interested to hear what changes Pathfinder made to 3.5 that tripped you up or that you didn't realise straight away.

E.g. I have only just realised Swim doesn't seem to suffer double the normal Armour Class Penalty like it did in 3.5.

So what things should I keep an eye out for?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Read carefully the rules about light, concealment, and stealth. There's a lot of subtle changes of definition and effect.

Review the poison rules carefully.

... dammit, I know I'm forgetting something to do with either combat or spellcasting and it's going to bug me.


DigitalMage wrote:


So what things should I keep an eye out for?

The one I struggled the most with were the spells -- you really almost have to reread that whole section. Generally speaking, almost everything that was one of the really really good spells of 3.5 is less so in PF in some way.

Entangle, Glitterdust, Solid Fog and its variants, Fire Seeds, Animal Growth, Divine Power, Righteous Might, nearly every spell that kills or completely incapacitates on a failed save, Disjunction, all of the form-changing spells and features like Wild Shape that are based on them, etc. etc. etc.

A few other things: point-buy stat generation has different values. Clerics aren't proficient in heavy armor. Power Attack and Combat Expertise are fairly different. The Concentration mechanic is similar but the skill is gone.

Cheliax

Paladins kicking ass ;p

But yeah, skills changed a bit (for the better). Our last session had people scratching their heads over concentration being gone..good riddance. Was lame knowing that every sorcerer was going to have his skills already chosen for him.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

One of the standard tropes of D&D is "evil cleric with undead minions". Double-check those in Pathfinder; the evil cleric can heal them of damage, but needs to buy a Feat in order to command undead.

Double-check actions in which a character attacks versus attack actions, because Pathfinder treats them differently. Double-check spells which affect things in an area versus spells with an area effect.

Bardic knowledge and bardic performance behave differently.

And Aarontendo is right: skills changed substantially. (A fighter can use Appraise to detect magic at will, for example.)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

The funny thing is, while reading the PF Core Rulebook I had several instances of following:

Oh, they changed this in PF ! I wonder what's the difference compared to 3.5
*flips PHB*
Oops, looks like I was playing it wrong for the whole 3.5 :)

So, reading the book can be a good idea ! I would take care to check out Concentration rules (big change compared to 3.5 concentration).


Cleave and great cleave have changed, so that great cleave is useful at higher levels (before people start saying I'm dumb and crazy, I didn't see great cleave being useful at high levels unless u used certain tactics.)

Skills also tripped me up but they are ten times better and easier.

CMB and CMD.

Class abilities. Make sure u reread all the class u are interested in since they have changed a lot.

No more turn/rebuke undead. THANK GOD!

Athletics and tumble have been condensed into Acrobatics. Listen, search, and spot are now perception. Gather information is now diplomacy.


Gorbacz wrote:

The funny thing is, while reading the PF Core Rulebook I had several instances of following:

Oh, they changed this in PF ! I wonder what's the difference compared to 3.5
*flips PHB*
Oops, looks like I was playing it wrong for the whole 3.5 :)

I've had several of those too!

My big one so far is the rules for casting defensively; through all of 3.5 we played that if you failed your check, you still got your spell off (although you would take the AoO). Apparently, you should have lost the spell and not taken an AoO. I like our way better though :)

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:
One of the standard tropes of D&D is "evil cleric with undead (A fighter can use Appraise to detect magic at will, for example.)

Wow! Yes, that is the sort of thing that may make me stop in my tracks when I see a player ask to do that. A standard action DC25 to identify whether an item is magical - that is the sort of thing that was rolled into Arcana in 4e, which made sense, but Appraise - I wouldn't have expected that!

Keep them coming!

Taldor

Fighters finally have profession as a class skill, that's a big change!


Grappling something no longer makes you both flat footed to outside attacks. I believe you must now pin your target to make them flat footed.


Its usually tiny things like.. a couple of words omitted in that you just assume are there.

Like paladin being immune to mummy rot. You read their description and it just never triggers in your brain that the sentence is gone.. but it is.. and so you just rather assume they are immune to it out right until its pointed out.

There are quite a few small things like that sprinkled throughout the books.

Examine spells and class abilities very very closely..

-S

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Thundergawd wrote:
Grappling something no longer makes you both flat footed to outside attacks. I believe you must now pin your target to make them flat footed.

That was one I picked up on pretty quickly (though technically n 3.5 you weren't flat footed either, you just lost you dex bonus to defence), because there was a discussion on sneak attacking a grappling character and it seem you could do it in 3.5 but not in PF unless one party was pinned (in which case both parties lose dex bonus).

Mind you the attack modifiers table in PF still indicates you lose Dex bonus if grappling - I assume this is errata.

Andoran

I'm in the process of making the switch. I'm DMing a game in 3.5 and playing in a game in PF.

While the general feel of the game is the same, I stopped trying to keep track of all the little changes. There are enough of them to keep me off balance. One of the major reasons I'm involved in the rules discussions here is to get up to speed.

Some additions to the player side of the list:

I didn't notice change in death/stabilize mechanic above.

Not only do evil clerics not bolster undead, but good clerics don't turn without a feat.

Cantrips/Orisons are at will.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Selgard wrote:
Its usually tiny things like.. a couple of words omitted in that you just assume are there.

There are some subtle changes, that's for sure.

For example, in 3.5 there is a difference between a "move action" and a "move-equivalent action". They both take the same amount of time to execute, but a move action means the creature is moving and therefore doesn't get a 5-ft step in the same round, while a move-equivalent action isn't counted as movement so a 5-ft step is still allowed.

The MEA has been removed in PF. If you look at "Standing up from Prone" it's a move action, which means a 5-ft step shouldn't be allowed. Yet "Drawing a Weapon" is also a move action!

Oops! Somebody screwed up by simplifying the wording, IMO! But there's no practical way to go back to the 3.5 wording for defining action types. :(


azhrei_fje wrote:
Selgard wrote:
Its usually tiny things like.. a couple of words omitted in that you just assume are there.

There are some subtle changes, that's for sure.

For example, in 3.5 there is a difference between a "move action" and a "move-equivalent action". They both take the same amount of time to execute, but a move action means the creature is moving and therefore doesn't get a 5-ft step in the same round, while a move-equivalent action isn't counted as movement so a 5-ft step is still allowed.

The MEA has been removed in PF. If you look at "Standing up from Prone" it's a move action, which means a 5-ft step shouldn't be allowed. Yet "Drawing a Weapon" is also a move action!

Oops! Somebody screwed up by simplifying the wording, IMO! But there's no practical way to go back to the 3.5 wording for defining action types. :(

Are you sure about that ?

I think that you can still make a 5-ft step as long as you didn't MOVE in the same round (move actions that don't move your character around don't prevent you from making a 5-ft step).

Maybe I should re-read this section...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Maerimydra wrote:
azhrei_fje wrote:
Selgard wrote:
Its usually tiny things like.. a couple of words omitted in that you just assume are there.

There are some subtle changes, that's for sure.

For example, in 3.5 there is a difference between a "move action" and a "move-equivalent action". They both take the same amount of time to execute, but a move action means the creature is moving and therefore doesn't get a 5-ft step in the same round, while a move-equivalent action isn't counted as movement so a 5-ft step is still allowed.

The MEA has been removed in PF. If you look at "Standing up from Prone" it's a move action, which means a 5-ft step shouldn't be allowed. Yet "Drawing a Weapon" is also a move action!

Oops! Somebody screwed up by simplifying the wording, IMO! But there's no practical way to go back to the 3.5 wording for defining action types. :(

Are you sure about that ?

I think that you can still make a 5-ft step as long as you didn't MOVE in the same round (move actions that don't move your character around don't prevent you from making a 5-ft step).

Maybe I should re-read this section...

You are correct, Maerimydra. The PRD (linked to your left under Links) says

PRD under Miscellaneous Actions wrote:


Take 5-Foot Step

You can move 5 feet in any round when you don't perform any other kind of movement. Taking this 5-foot step never provokes an attack of opportunity. You can't take more than one 5-foot step in a round, and you can't take a 5-foot step in the same round that you move any distance.

Emphasis mine.

A Move Action and Movement are not the same thing (never have been). "Movement" is any time a character leaves one square and enters another via walking, running, flying, etc. etc. etc.

There is also a clarifying statement that a MOVE (which is one of many possible "Move Actions") prevents you from taking a 5-foot-step (which itself is and always has been a Miscellaneous Action).

PRD under Move Actions wrote:


Move

The simplest move action is moving your speed. If you take this kind of move action during your turn, you can't also take a 5-foot step.

So you can still do any of the following Move Actions and still take a five foot step: draw or sheathe a weapon, direct or redirect a spell, manipulate an item, mount/dismount a steed, ready or drop a shield, or even stand up from prone (because you're not leaving your square).

On another subject, it was the new death/stability rules that I'd forgotten about (that you die at a negative number of hit points equal to your Con score).

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
PRD wrote:
You can take a move action in place of a standard action. If you move no actual distance in a round (commonly because you have swapped your move action for one or more equivalent actions), you can take one 5-foot step either before, during, or after the action.

Pretty sure you can pull out a weapon and 5-foot step still...


You can no longer trip flying enemies.

In 3.5, according to "rules of the game", you could trip a foe if the foe used some appendage to fly (so you could trip a manticore but not a beholder).

This one quite disappointed me.

Grand Lodge

Charge is now a full-round action. No moving and then charging, the entire movement (up to 2x speed) has to satisfy the rules of charge (straight line, no broken ground, etc.)

And yeah, grappling... read all the combat maneuvers, since if you don't use them, they'll probably be used on you...

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Lamplighter wrote:
Charge is now a full-round action. No moving and then charging, the entire movement (up to 2x speed) has to satisfy the rules of charge (straight line, no broken ground, etc.)

I don't think that is a PF change...


Lamplighter wrote:

Charge is now a full-round action. No moving and then charging, the entire movement (up to 2x speed) has to satisfy the rules of charge (straight line, no broken ground, etc.)

And yeah, grappling... read all the combat maneuvers, since if you don't use them, they'll probably be used on you...

Yeah guy, charging has always been a full round action. Hate to burst the bubble.

Cheliax

DigitalMage wrote:
So what things should I keep an eye out for?

Clothes add to your load, likely making most wizards medium load.

Darkness spell only takes the light level down one level.

Detect evil (etc) only detects level 5+ normal folks who are evil.

Touch spells - cast, move and touch in one round.

Ability damage applies a -1 penalty to the stat for every 2 points taken.

Many minor spell changes eg: Glitterdust save every round, Web needs anchor points (Create Pit is the new Web), Identify is free and usually unnecessary.

Perception 25 to identify potions.

Criticals affect everything with a body including corporeal undead.

Certain TSR claimed monsters missing

Andoran

Lamplighter wrote:
Charge is now a full-round action. No moving and then charging, the entire movement (up to 2x speed) has to satisfy the rules of charge (straight line, no broken ground, etc.)

Charging was a std action in 3.0, but was a full round action in 3.5. It is back to std action in 4e, but remains as a full round action in PF. If you were charging as a std in 3.5, you didn't notice the rule change from 3.0, prolly.

Alizor wrote:
Pretty sure you can pull out a weapon and 5-foot step still...

You can draw a weapon as a move action and 5-foot step. You've never been able to draw a weapon as free action via BAB+1 during a 5-ft step. (not sure which you were saying)

Kaiyanwang wrote:

You can no longer trip flying enemies.

In 3.5, according to "rules of the game", you could trip a foe if the foe used some appendage to fly (so you could trip a manticore but not a beholder).

This one quite disappointed me.

If you accepted this rule in 3.5 there is no reason to say it doesn't work now. Is there some PF exclusion of it? If not...still made as much sense then as it does now.


ZomB wrote:

Ability damage applies a -1 penalty to the stat for every 2 points taken.

That is no different from how it was before.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Are wrote:
ZomB wrote:

Ability damage applies a -1 penalty to the stat for every 2 points taken.

That is no different from how it was before.

Not exactly. In 3.5, you pretty much applied ability damage and drain directly to the stat. Loss of 2 points of a stat was guaranteed to inflict a -1 penalty to the current stat modifier, yes. But if you had an even stat, 1 point of ability loss would inflict it as well. Now, instead of whittling the ability down and readjusting the bonus/penalty accordingly, what you're doing is counting the damage up and calculating the penalty applied based on the damage done.

It's a relatively subtle difference but one that your players with even stats will notice if you inflict a single point of ability loss.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Biggest changes are in Classes and Spells; you need to read both carefully.

Bard music and Barbarian rage powers are very different; every Sorcerer has a bloodline with new feats n' powers, and every Wizard has a school with more powers or feats, even the non-specialists. Cleric domains have changed and add different powers, channel energy heals or hurts everyone within 30 feet of you, and also clerics are no longer proficient with heavy armor. Fighters get new abilities with armor and weapons and can swap out feats as they advance. Paladin and Monk abilities have changed a lot, so read those carefully. Rangers and Druids work their animal companions quite differently than before, and Druid wild shape is also very different. Rogues get rogue talents every other level.

Everyone gets feats every other level instead of just every 3rd level. As I mentioned above, Fighters can change out their feats as they go up in level, as long as they don't ditch their prerequisites. Feats themselves have been changed or tweaked, so read those carefully too.

Skills work the same as they did before roughly, but you get less of them to start. To make up for this, you get a +3 to any skill which is a class skill with at least 1 rank in it, and many skills were combined into one skill -- like Hide in Shadows and Move Silently have been combined into Stealth, which does both. Listen, Spot and Search have been combined into Perception; Jump, Tumble and Balance are combined into Acrobatics, etc. There is no such thing as skill synergy bonuses anymore. Many classes have changed which skills are class skills for them.

Combat maneuvers are resolved differently and there are almost no opposed checks anymore, you just work against the opponent's CMD (combat maneuver defense) score instead, like an AC or DC you are trying to hit. Grappling rules have been clarified... again. Some combat actions have been changed regarding what kind of action it takes to do it (Charge, I'm looking at you). Critical hits are more useful now because less creatures are immune to them, according to RAW. For instance, you can critical hit tangible undead and most constructs now.

Spells are so different that you really need to read each spell which might be used in your game. 0-Level Spells can be used all day, every day, once memorized.... so a 1st-level Cleric could fill an Olympic swimming pool with continuous casting of a Create Water spell in about an hour of casting. (That's an estimate, I didn't actually do the calculations to figure how many rounds it would take to fill a pool at 2 gallons a round. If you're curious, let someone else do the math... the point is that he could do it easily and still have all of his spells for the day... and then fill up another pool.) Many spells have been nerfed, others ramped up, and most have been tweaked in some fashion.

In no way is that a comprehensive list of the changes, but it will give you the groundwork to start checking up on the items that are most likely to come up in your game.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh, almost forgot my biggest peeve: you can fully identify magic items with a Detect Magic cantrip and a successful Spellcraft check. Identify, Arcane Sight, and similar spells no longer needed or even useful unless your caster has very low skill points.


Whatever combat maneuver you are trying, you take a penalty to the roll based on the damage the AOO does to you. Didn't realize that at first (or, if it's even different from 3.5).


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bill Dunn wrote:


Not exactly. In 3.5, you pretty much applied ability damage and drain directly to the stat. Loss of 2 points of a stat was guaranteed to inflict a -1 penalty to the current stat modifier, yes. But if you had an even stat, 1 point of ability loss would inflict it as well. Now, instead of whittling the ability down and readjusting the bonus/penalty accordingly, what you're doing is counting the damage up and calculating the penalty applied based on the damage done.

It's a relatively subtle difference but one that your players with even stats will notice if you inflict a single point of ability loss.

And a big enough difference (at least for myself) to help decide not to take Ray of Enfeeblement for my Sorcerer. The other reason in now being a saving throw for half.


Use it on enemy mages. They tend not to have high Fort saves so you can still make them unable to move thanks to load.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Maybe for a Wizard. But for a Sorcerer, not worth it due to his very limited known spell list. The only real reason I had used RoF in 3.5 was against the strong fighter types or strong monsters, and it worked very well.

To take that away, does not make it worthwhile for a Sorcerer to make part of his known spell list. And really, I can't see a Wizard wanting to use a spell slot for the day towards it, unless you are using it for a specific purpose.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I always forget undead are no longer immune to critical hits. My players are always quick to remind me though :)

Andoran

Pan wrote:
I always forget undead are no longer immune to critical hits. My players are always quick to remind me though :)

Well, clearly it is time to ask if they want to run a campaign where they are undead.. :P

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