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Why PF over D&D 3.5


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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I have played a little 3.5 and never played PF, but I have been interested to give it a try. So why do you prefer PF over D&D 3.5? Is it because it is in print? Do you think the system is superior? Other reasons?


Why do I have to prefer Pathfinder over 3.5? Can't I like and play both?

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Do you like having everything collected in one or two books? Play Pathfinder.
Do you not want to have to learn a new system? Play 3.5.


1. Pathfinder is "in print"; that is, it is currently supported. It's easy to find new first-party material
2. The quality of that material is generally very high, usually higher than the material produced by WotC itself for 3.5.
3. I really like the organized play campaign.
4. The rules are somewhat better.

Osirion

I'm enjoying it mostly because Paizo have done just enough to make the game feel fresh and new again without reinventing the whole system.

The two biggest changes in my experience are:

1) The core classes seem to be better balanced against one another, and have more interesting options and just more things going on in general.

2) The combat maneuver system makes it relatively straightforward to adjudicate things like grapples and such.

There's also the fact that the system is being actively supported by Paizo with new material and such.

Cheliax RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

fjw70 wrote:
I have played a little 3.5 and never played PF, but I have been interested to give it a try. So why do you prefer PF over D&D 3.5? Is it because it is in print? Do you think the system is superior? Other reasons?

Yes, I do think the system is superior. The skills have been simplified by "trimming the fat" and getting rid of redundant skills as well as abolishing the often-abused but often-forgotten synergy bonuses. Grappling, bull rushing, tripping, etc. has all been codified under a single "combat maneuver" system that uses an easy-to-follow formula much like attack bonuses. Spellcasting in combat has been made slightly more risky (especially without Combat Casting). Several classes have received much-needed power-ups as well as a host of new options and abilities. Many "overpowered" feats and spells from 3.5 have been normalized (such as Power Attack) while combat options have been expanded (new feat trees such as Vital Strike, which allows a melee character to deal bonus damage on a single blow by sacrificing their iterative attacks).

If you didn't play much 3.5, many of the "fixes" that PF brings may not be readily apparent to you. For veterans of the system, however, I think that PF brings a whole lot of welcome changes.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

1) it is in print, which makes it easier to find people to play with. For now it is not a big issue but as more time past the more true that will be. I loved old world of darkness but it has been out of print for 10 years and it is very hard to find enough people to want to play it and all but impossible to get books for.

2) 3.x was not perfect, with nearly 10 years of play. Some flaws and other things showed up. many of them common house rules etc. Pathfinder addressed many of those issues and fixed them. While I didn't like all the fixes I liked the vast majority of them. All and all Pathfinder improved on 3.x DnD IMHO and made it a tighter game.

3) Paizo has very talented writers. The new stuff they add is well balanced and well done. Their books are often a good read just to read.

4) Because I am a big fan of the new stuff and the changes they made. Not to mention their adventures and stuff. I buy Pathfinder to support a company I like.

Those are my main reasons for picking PFRPG over 3.x. They are not in order of whats most important to me. That would be 2, 3, 4, 1 as far as order goes.

Andoran

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Do you not want to have to learn a new system? Play 3.5.

It's not that different that you have to re-learn an entire new system. It's just changing and tweaking a few things. Nothing too major.

Taldor

Most of the above, PLUS :

- GOOD ADVENTURES ? Seriously ? Who would want anything WOTC after that ?
- Grapple/disarm/Sunder/your other boredom moment in the game solved in ONE die roll ?

Hey, YMMV, but that works for me !

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Madclaw wrote:
It's not that different that you have to re-learn an entire new system. It's just changing and tweaking a few things. Nothing too major.

If you can recite 3.5 rules from memory like I can, yes it is major. Because there is very little that wasn't changed in some small way. So I'll be playing it like 3.5, then read the rules and realize Pathfinder changed it from what I remember. E.G. giants can now be affected by Charm Person.


System is superior as in things like nimble moves to take a 5 foot step in difficult terrain makes reach weapons in difficult terrain a lot more fun. Toughness got better and other good changes.


I am honestly liking the flavor of the classes more in Pathfinder then in 3.5

See, 3.5 felt too.. boring to me in alot of ways. Fighters were basic as hell (even when I tried to make super intellegent fighters and other varients) and I never ever wanted to start at 1st level.

4th Ed feels too computer gamey to me (and I played it for a while since its come out).

Pathfinder feels like a happy medium between the two honestly. And I like that :)

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

This probably isn't helpful given that you're coming at it with only a little experience with 3.5, but it is a very similar level of change to 3.5 as 3.5 was to 3.0. Both serve to tighten and improve upon the existing rules set, mostly clearing up inconsistencies and adjusting power levels slightly to make things more balanced.

I'd say the biggest reason to stay 3.5 is the legacy/memory issues TOZ describes. If you haven't committed the 3.5 materials to memory, I'd switch to PF. It's a little better balanced, runs a little smoother, and provides new/interesting options for the base classes within the core rules.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
fjw70 wrote:
I have played a little 3.5 and never played PF, but I have been interested to give it a try. So why do you prefer PF over D&D 3.5? Is it because it is in print? Do you think the system is superior? Other reasons?

I don't prefer it. It fixed some warts. It has some other warts of its own. It has some nice features. It has way too many minor changes. I don't think it is an inherently better system. But, being in print is huge.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder is still in print.

Pathfinder has an active organized play community with a good presence in my area.

I find the extra archetypes and classes added in the APG better balanced and more interesting than the contents of most 3.5 splatbooks.

All Pathfinder material is OGC and posted to its SRD for easy online access, no groveling through 4 printed splatbooks to build a character.


Pathfinder is free and available on the web. There are enough class choices to keep you busy for a long time. In addition, everyone has access to the same rule set (web), which in my opinion, is the most important. Therefore, you don't have to worry about third party products, or obscure 3.5 references players bring to the table.


Pathfinder is the logical extension of D&D 3.5, call it 3.75 if you like. I played the beta and haven't looked back since.


Biggest reason for me to switch (but not the only) was to play a living system. It is in print, new material is being release for it, and it is being supported with adventures and an active community.

That and I like the majority of the changes pathfinder made. Things are a little simpler without losing the feel of 3.x. I also like the changes to the way classes are designed and with the addition of archetypes I like the potential for variation pathfinder provides. It is also supported by a host of 3rd Party companies puting out lots of good material that I can cherry pick from for things I want for my game.


The simplifications are really nice.

The biggest thing for me is that it keeps the feel of 3.5 (by far my favorite system out of many systems I have tried), but is trimmed down for the moment. Later on, it will grow to match 3.5 in terms of the amount of books people have access to while building a character, but for now it is simplified in that there are only a few main books to go through for character options.

Eventually, bloat will happen, as it did with 3.5. But for now, it's great to ask a fellow player, "Where is that feat/spell/ability from?" and get an answer from (for the most part) a set of 4 or so books. It's not like in 3.5 when you would ask the same thing of a fellow player and their response would be the title of some book you didn't even know existed.


Having started with 3.0 I find that the main reason I prefer pathfinder is it's supported and the neat options they built for the classes. Having said that I remain a fan of D&D even in it's 4th ed, while I'm not actively playing it, my main problem with 4th ed is the lack of monetary system. I mean, why shouldn't I be able to make my equipment for less than buying it, should the blacksmith be able to make the armor better and for more less money, sure, should I only be able to make it for the same as buying it, no.

So while I still love D&D even when it comes to 4th ed, pathfinder is the superior system.


I don't even think of them as different. The points on which they differ are small compared to any other system.

Pathfinder is in-print, and the books are supported. The rules work with APs and paizo modules, which are really high-quality and worth it.

It's not really an either-or question, though. I still use a lot of my 3.5 books with Pathfinder.


fjw70 wrote:
I have played a little 3.5 and never played PF, but I have been interested to give it a try. So why do you prefer PF over D&D 3.5? Is it because it is in print? Do you think the system is superior? Other reasons?

I don't have a strong preference for PF over 3.5 D&D, other than the fact that PF still has some of that "new car smell" to it. They're about equally good (although one is in print and the other isn't, as you note).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Why?, errr Why NOT?, afterall everything got better.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I really wish they had never called it "3.5" to begin with. It was more like "3e, Service Pack 1." Major fixes, some significant changes, but still the same game underneath.

Pathfinder I think of as Service Pack 2. Same game, just with more fixes, patches, and upgrades.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

PF is 3.5 made sexy. Never looked back.

Perhaps, maybe, if I were in a middle of some massive campaign involving dozens of 3.5 splatbooks and couldn't stand the fact that color spray got changed, maybe. But I used so many houserules with 3.5 that adapting PF was a matter of adapting a new bunch of small changes, most of whom (skill condensation, for example) I used before anyway.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber

I am sure it has been said before, I think that Pathfinder is a “tightening” up of 3.5

I like some of the little things like getting 10 feats over 20 levels as opposed to the 7 feats you would get in 3.5

I also prefer the Channel Energy to the 3.5 turn undead system. I also like that with a minimum amount of work, I can still use my 3.5 stuff.

I prefer Pathfinder to 3.5

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Because Paizo listens to their community.


fjw70 wrote:
I have played a little 3.5 and never played PF, but I have been interested to give it a try. So why do you prefer PF over D&D 3.5? Is it because it is in print? Do you think the system is superior? Other reasons?

I don't. I prefer 3.5 over Pathfinder.


Less feat starvation. Skill system is less ridiculous. Multiclassing is both less complicated and less broadly beneficial. I approve of 90% of the class changes. And last but not least, my characters can feel a little more like snowflakes in a way that doesn't actually make them overpowered or infringe on other people's roles.


I feel like PF is better for customization without having to own 1000 splatbooks (exaggeration).

As a player I like the feel of PF, it feels cleaner. I like that the prestige classes (with an exception or two) feel prestigey rather than tacked on(obviously exceptions to this).

I like archetypes. I like the changes to the base classes. I like the feat cleanup, like Power Attack and Dodge. Basic feats that make a little more sense and feel less 'newbie-trappy'. I love that the new classes feel balanced with the core classes.

Everything feels like it was exhaustively worked on. Some of the 3.5 stuff felt rushed, I don't get that feeling with PF.


Actually learning PF coming from a 3.5 background is a bit difficult if you were very intimate with the 3.5 rules. My friends who I play with often make mistakes, since they keep confusing the 3.5 rules with PF. Whereas I, who never played 3.5, don't have the same problem.

Anecdotal evidence sure, but it's not like much scientific studies have been published on the topic.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Because Paizo listens to their community.

Could not have said it any better. 3.5 seemed to me to be all about quantity over quality. What we really wanted was a quality game. That's what I get from Pathfinder

Contributor

JJJ wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Because Paizo listens to their community.
Could not have said it any better. 3.5 seemed to me to be all about quantity over quality. What we really wanted was a quality game. That's what I get from Pathfinder

Exactly. As a GM, I don't find I have to cherry pick with Pathfinder. The basic rule is, if it came from a Pathfinder book, it's good to go.

3.5? There were a number of things I simply didn't want to introduce to my games for balance issues or because it skewed the worldview too badly.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Arnwyn wrote:
fjw70 wrote:
I have played a little 3.5 and never played PF, but I have been interested to give it a try. So why do you prefer PF over D&D 3.5? Is it because it is in print? Do you think the system is superior? Other reasons?
I don't. I prefer 3.5 over Pathfinder.

+1

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:
fjw70 wrote:
I have played a little 3.5 and never played PF, but I have been interested to give it a try. So why do you prefer PF over D&D 3.5? Is it because it is in print? Do you think the system is superior? Other reasons?
I don't. I prefer 3.5 over Pathfinder.
+1

I think you meant "I prefer my heavily housruled 3.5" here. :)

Taldor

I could quote nearly everything from 3.5, but I didn't find the transition to PF at all hard. Part of that reason is because their ruleset incorporated 99% of my 3.5 house rules anyway. Small changes tripped me up and still, occasionally, do; but mostly the transition was smooth.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
I think you meant "I prefer my heavily housruled 3.5" here. :)

People played 3.5 without houserules? O.o

Taldor

Yep, we played without any houserules, straight from the rulebooks, bu were limited to complete books, mm's 1-4 and that was it...

As for why PF over 3.5, simply, it is a much much better system. It has ironed out most of the stuff that bugged me in 3.5. I enjoy playing it, and more on the point, my two friends who gave up on RPGs because of 3.5 returned to my weekly game when i showed them Patfhinder.

And yess, the staff listens to players and it is in print.


Hama wrote:

Yep, we played without any houserules, straight from the rulebooks, bu were limited to complete books, mm's 1-4 and that was it...

As for why PF over 3.5, simply, it is a much much better system. It has ironed out most of the stuff that bugged me in 3.5. I enjoy playing it, and more on the point, my two friends who gave up on RPGs because of 3.5 returned to my weekly game when i showed them Patfhinder.

And yess, the staff listens to players and it is in print.

Why would 3.5 make them give up, but they play pathfinder? To me it is not that different that I would like one, but not the other. If it was all the splat I as a player would just ask the DM could we not use as much.

I am not defending 3.5 since I like Pathfinder better, but I am curious.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hama wrote:
Yep, we played without any houserules, straight from the rulebooks, bu were limited to complete books, mm's 1-4 and that was it...

So your monks took the -4 nonproficiency penalty to their attack rolls? 8)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
So your monks took the -4 nonproficiency penalty to their attack rolls? 8)

I'm sorry, but where in the rules is that from?

PHB wrote:
A character who uses a weapon with which he or she is not proficient takes a –4 penalty on attack rolls.

Unless I missed the part where the rules declare "fists" a weapon, everyone can strike unarmed without penalty.

Edit: Not that it would have mattered in my games. I can't remember the last time I saw someone playing a monk.


As a dirty min/max-ing type of person, if I'm in the confines of the Pathfinder system, I feel like I can maintain my sanity. Not having to scour over a dozen books to find every dip into a prestige class and unbalanced feat makes things easier. xP

...and what everyone else said: its a streamlined version of 3.5. CMB and CMD instead of whatever the heck the old system was, vastly improved and simplified skill system, more feats, (Well, not counting the ridiculous number of ways you could get feats, things like Otyugh Hole, Prestige Classes, flaws...) and less cheese.

This may not be seen as an improvement, but core classes are now effective from 1 to 20. Multiclassing hasn't really taken a hit, its just that choosing to stick with 1 class has gotten a boost.

I remember a somewhat optimal build that went something like Ranger 2/Fighter 1/Swashbuckler 1/Duskblade 1/Order of the Bow Initiate x. Or at least I think that's how it went. Don't expect stuff like that to work out well for you in Pathfinder.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I think you meant "I prefer my heavily housruled 3.5" here. :)
People played 3.5 without houserules? O.o

I still play it complete and RAW (added rules inspired by DMG and dragon magazines to save XP for crafting, that's all).

OP: Pathfinder is a very good system. Is supported, is inspired and quite well made. The amount of good stuff/page is very high. I have my reservations about specific cases, but I strongly recommend it.

You can import stuff from PF to 3.5 too almost effortlessly.

(in case you wonder, I run 2 campaigns now one full 3.5 with PF bits and one full PF hardcovers).


I use bits and pieces from all d20 variants. Pathfinder has some nice bits and pieces (reduced skill list, more feats) and some not nice bits and pieces (cmd/cmb, sod), based on my preferences. But that's to be expected. What's nice about it is that they're still producing materials and that's all that really matters to me. More bits and pieces to swipe into my games with little or no tweaking required.


deinol wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
So your monks took the -4 nonproficiency penalty to their attack rolls? 8)

I'm sorry, but where in the rules is that from?

PHB wrote:
A character who uses a weapon with which he or she is not proficient takes a –4 penalty on attack rolls.

Unless I missed the part where the rules declare "fists" a weapon, everyone can strike unarmed without penalty.

Edit: Not that it would have mattered in my games. I can't remember the last time I saw someone playing a monk.

An unarmed strike is a simple weapon. Monks were not proficient with simple weapons, and there is not rule listing unarmed strikes as an exception. It is an oversight, but it is still RAW.


Kaiyanwang wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I think you meant "I prefer my heavily housruled 3.5" here. :)
People played 3.5 without houserules? O.o

I still play it complete and RAW (added rules inspired by DMG and dragon magazines to save XP for crafting, that's all).

OP: Pathfinder is a very good system. Is supported, is inspired and quite well made. The amount of good stuff/page is very high. I have my reservations about specific cases, but I strongly recommend it.

You can import stuff from PF to 3.5 too almost effortlessly.

(in case you wonder, I run 2 campaigns now one full 3.5 with PF bits and one full PF hardcovers).

Do dead characters still get to take actions?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
An unarmed strike is a simple weapon. Monks were not proficient with simple weapons, and there is not rule listing unarmed strikes as an exception. It is an oversight, but it is still RAW.

If unarmed attacks are simple weapons (I know, they are listed in the weapons table for convenience) then why do they have special rules to note that they "count as" light weapons for weapon finesse and "count as" weapon damage for things that affect them? If they were intended to be counted as a light simple weapon for all purposes, those rules would not need to be specially called out.

I doubt there is a single group that ever decided monks really were non-proficient in fists.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Then you doubt there was a single group that played the game by RAW.


wraithstrike wrote:


Do dead characters still get to take actions?

If you want to talk about chain-gated solars, I'm here.

If you want to talk about asinine stuff, I'm pretty much going to ignore you and quit the thread.

Have a nice day.


deinol wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
An unarmed strike is a simple weapon. Monks were not proficient with simple weapons, and there is not rule listing unarmed strikes as an exception. It is an oversight, but it is still RAW.

If unarmed attacks are simple weapons (I know, they are listed in the weapons table for convenience) then why do they have special rules to note that they "count as" light weapons for weapon finesse and "count as" weapon damage for things that affect them? If they were intended to be counted as a light simple weapon for all purposes, those rules would not need to be specially called out.

I doubt there is a single group that ever decided monks really were non-proficient in fists.

They are actually in the light simple weapons area on the weapon chart so I don't see that as a special rule, and if it is called out when it is listed that way in the table is something I can not answer.

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