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10 things you love and hate about PF

Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was thinking we could create a list were we post the top ten things we think is great and the top ten things we think should be fixed with the Pathfinder system. Here's my list.

Things I love about Pathfinder:

1. The monsters
2. Channeling rules
3. Archetypes
4. The style feats from UC
5. 3.5 Compatibility
6. Favored class system
7. The classes
8. The races
9. Production value
10. Artwork

Things I dislike about Pathfinder:

1. The item creation system
2. The way the intimidate skill works
3. Spells, powers and effects that grant absolute immunity to something
4. Paladin's smite (OP in my opinion)
5. No love for finesse based martial characters
6. Maneuvers cost to much for to little gain
7. Monsters are to weak
8. Raising someone from the dead is way to easy
9. People getting hurt has no consequence unless you go below 1 hit point
10. The firearms rules

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Love: It's based on d20 rules
Hate: It's based on d20 rules

Frogboy wrote:

Love: It's based on d20 rules

Hate: It's based on d20 rules


And one thing that I both love and hate simultaneously: I have a player that says "It's too similar to 3.5, and I've done everything with 3.5." I love it because maybe he'll bow out of any Pathfinder games I run (which would allow other members of the large group to shine more), and I hate it because his "done everything," doesn't even include every class, let alone race, and doesn't allow for their to be 2 characters of the same race and class that are not actually the same character...

Things I love about Pathfinder.

1. The Artwork
2. How easy it is to run adventure paths
3. The fact my group wants to play it
4. No dead levels
5. Feats (a lot of them are much better than 3.X)
6. Skills (the old cross class thing was horrible)
7. Alternate abilities for races and classes great customization need more
8. Did I mention the artwork, it's what made me pick it up at all
9. The world is kinda cool for a big kitchen sink type thing
10. The new basic set thing looks cool

Things I hate about Pathfinder.

1. That it is not encounter based resource management, it's daily.
2. Vancian magic system
3. Full attack actions
4. The fact that players make and buy magic items, christmas tree effect
5. Casting times longer than one standard action
6. Random hit points and stat generation
7. That they didn't just make ninja and samurai archetypes
8. Alignment
9. Stupid choices are traps for newbies
10. That success/failure ends up needing a 20 to hit or missing on a 2

11. That monsters are not more simple, characters should be complex and intresting, monsters should be quick, easy and fun.

The reason I run Pathfinder is that well I run the game so the adventure paths make it easy and my group of long time players don't want to give other fantasy games a chance. Plus after over a decade of playing d20 based games it is comfortable.

Frogboy wrote:

Love: It's based on d20 rules

Hate: It's based on d20 rules

When I read the title of the thread, immediately this is what I thought.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Things I love about Pathfinder
1. It's based on the 3.5 D&D d20 rules.
2. Combat Maneuvers were simplified.
3. Wayne Reynolds' Artwork an other great artwork.
4. Simplification for skills.
5. General improvements to the classes.
6. Item creation system (it's been working for me since 3E, I still love it).
7. Rebalanced races.
8. Polymorph-school fixes.
9. Simplification of cross-classing.
10. It stealth-nerfed casters in a lot of good places.

Things I hate about Pathfinder
1. A lot of the splat material is useless or unusable (antagonize, vow of poverty, firearms, etc).
2. A lot of splat material is poorly balanced (bestow grace springs to mind, but there's a cleric spell that gives the powers of a Paladin too).
3. Unneeded nerfs in the core rules (spiked chains spring to mind).
4. Mindless creatures with alignments that aren't subtyped.
5. Shoddy mechanics for stuff like Stealth and Invisibility.
6. Inconsistencies or missing information in the rules (mostly 3.5 to PF editing errors).
7. Poor FAQ (WotC had this issue too).
8. Fanboys/girls (seriously the fanboys suck).
9. Gunslinger and Firearm rules.

Yeah, that's 10 vs 9, but I don't have a lot of issues with PF. :P

Love/Hate? Hmm...

1. Simplified skill ranks, and none of that synergy crap.
2. Some feat fixes. Power Attack's number crunching always annoyed me.
3. The rate of feat gain. I had houseruled 3e this way for a few years, nice to see it being used.
4. Some of the skill mergers. Notably 'Linguistics.'
5. Allowing precision damage against more creatures just makes sense.
6. The polymorph spell school seems both functional and balanced. WotC's polymorph 'fix' was pretty terrible.
7. All the rules to play are in one book. No need to look into another book for companion stats or item creation rules.
8. Bards are legit spellcasters right from 1st level.
9. Decent amount of feats for Fighters right in core.
10. Paladin spellcasting is finally Cha-based. Another one of my houserules surfaces.

1. Retained 3e layout. I think the information could be sorted out much better than it is.
2. Item creation feats grant too big of a boost for too little investment.
3. Some of the skill mergers. Notably 'Acrobatics,' as jumping really should be Strength-based.
4. All the player race mechanics. 4/7 races have a +2 to Perception! 3/7 get a +2 ability bonus of their choice just because! Ugh...
5. Favored Class. Used to be a class members of your race could dip into or out of easily, now it's just another bonus to track.
6. Grappling is nerfed...?! Surreal.
7. Paladin 'Smite Evil' is both too good and feels too much like a curse instead of a proper smite.
8. Due to various rules changes, Rogues are even more unimpressive than they were in 3e.
9. At-will cantrips/orisons.
10. The large swath of unaltered 3e problems. Didn't expect PF to be a silver bullet, but...

Alright... I'll Bite.

1. Power Attack and Deadly Aim. This, and the all around boosts to most 3/4 BAB classes allow all of them to do great in combat.
2. The art.
3. The iconics, especially the chapter openings in each of the RPG line books practically have me squeaking with delight every time. I love the little blurbs. I just wish the other books could have these as well. :P
4. More goodies all around, Bards are amazing, smoother skill system... The core rules hold up fantastically well, and I cant think of a single class that doesn't pull its weight.
5. The APs are solid-gold. I love these to bits. I'd run RotR a hundred times over, if I could.
6. These boards. The fact that the devs have such a presence here and still fuss over the system is awesome, really. Hearing about Lisa's Runelords game while I run it, the Stealth overhaul in the blog at the moment. And of course, James Jacobs' enormous question thread. (And his "Ask Merisiel" thread which I'm checking religiously for updates.)
7. Boosts to the races. I come from a group of human supremecists, so reasons to play a half-elf are much appreciated.
8. Attention to the little things in the major rules books, like vehicle combat and alternate rules (I dig the called shots) and fluff for binding outsiders. These're great.
9. Combat Manuevers. They're not perfect by any means, but the little clause that doesn't restrict you to the default manuevers makes it a great "catch all" mechanic.
10. Actually having skill points to spare. It's beautiful.


Dislike how...
1. Weapon damage doesnt scale. Monster hp does. It's why #1 above is such a big deal. Characters have to jump through a lot of hoops to start seeing a change.
2. Splatbooks. I'll get excited and pour through the options, but I think the core rules are good enough. New feats dont bring much to the table when you've got such a long list of core feats that're necessary... Part of me dies a little when I find I'm GMing a group of a Synthesist, a Witch and a cheezed out Barbarian for my LoF game... I'd rather stick with the Core rules and mil the campaign setting line...
3.More hour/level spells would be nice. I dont like turns wasted on buffs.
4. Sneak attack is impossible if the foe has concealment. You cannot stab somebody in a dark alley without bringing a torch...
5. Ninjas. Mainly the fact that Rogues don't get Death Attack as an advanced talent to go with their new HiPS ability...
6. I'm starting to miss Prestige Classes...
7. Some of the nerfs to spells such as Polymorph just make them... boring. They were worse in 3.5, but all the same...
8. Negligable and conditional bonuses all over the place that just arent worth remembering.
9. The grappled condition being easier to maintain than a pin...
10. Crossbows. Come on guys. A little love?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In no particular order:


1.) Pathfinder continues the best edition of D&D
2.) Vancian magic
3.) Great artwork
4.) Interesting classes
5.) Archetypes
6.) Developers interact a ton with their costumers and actually listen to complaints and do something about them
7.) Still uses alignments
8.) The adventure paths are mostly extremely well done
9.) The production value of the books is very good
10.) CMD + CMB
11.) Skills much better than in prior editions. Still needs an "Athletics" skill for the physical skills nobody likes to take ( Climb and Swim ), though


1.) The item creation system favors quick campaigns over long campaigns, forcing GM's to have their story be a timed race against players getting overpowered
2.) The christmas tree effect is the only way to play the game, there should be an alternate system of magically enhancing the person, not only his items.
3.) The Monk is the only MAD class left, at least when you don't want to play Arnold Schwarzenmonk. The base class needs a strong revision, like the Stealth skill is getting right now.
4.) In the same vein, finesse based characters are still not well supported.
5.) And again in the same vein, there still is no Swashbuckler base class, but there is strange stuff like the Summoner.
6.) Dervish Dance inexplicably only available for the Scimitar
7.) Fey Foundling feat ( from Inner Sea World Guide ) strongly overpowered
8.) Exotic weapon proficiency is mostly a wasted feat
9.) Nigh unbeatable DC's for SoD or Save or Suck spells still easily do-able by optimizers. Almost no defense for GM's against this (especially when running AP's), only "fudging rolls"

I think writing eleven good and nine bad things about PF fulfills the requirements of the thread, yes?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber


1) Character traits: An excellent and elegant way of linking players to the campaign.
2) The AP's: Pure refined awesome.
3) Dev's who actually post on the boards.
4) CMB & CMD
5) PFS
6) The production qualities (seriously first class)
7) Inquisitors
8) The skills system: Much better than 3.5
9) Archetypes and alternate racial traits
10) Golarion

Hate (more of a dislike really):

1) Crafting rules: A waste of time
2) The christmas tree effect
3) The grapple rules (still don't understand them)
4) Lack of support for finesse fighters
5) The Antagonise feat (yuk)
6) Terrible Remorse (double yuk)
7) Ninjas and Samurai in the Inner Sea
8) Raise Dead being easy (always hated this)
9) Lack of cool prestige classes (the red headed stepchild of PF)
10) Edition wars on the boards (getting old now)

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You guys are house-ruling all those "hates" right?

No need to suffer what you can change.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
stuart haffenden wrote:

You guys are house-ruling all those "hates" right?

No need to suffer what you can change.

Doesn't mean that we don't want the official product to be even better.


1. CMB and CMD
2. Grapple Rules
3. Upgrades to the classes
4. OGL
5. Minimal learning curve from 3.5 to PF
6. Compatible with all my old 3.5 books
7. It's not 4e
8. The Artwork
9. The physical quality of the books
10. It's based on the d20 rules


1. Crafting
2. Henchmen
3. Useless feats
4. The campaign world (not my cup o' tea)
5. DMG being a part of the PHB
6. Monk
7. Rules are to easy to abuse
8. Explaining the math to players
9. Explaining which bonuses stack to players
10. Some monsters are to weak.

1)Archetypes-customizing a character is the best.
2)Orisons-Very nice to be able to cast something in time of need
3)Skills-combining skills is such a saver for those 2+int guys who hate having to figure the ones they need.
4)Monk-no more 2 weapon fighting + flurry cheese. Now they dont stack together.
5)Fighter-more love for the fighter (bravery, weapon/armor training)
6)Cleric- channel energy is a great mechanic, kudos for the change.
7)Feats-Cleave,dodge and few feats being updated to be better is always great.
8)Races-now all races have some draw to choose, and I actually have to decide on race when before there were only 1 or 2 that was worth it.
9)CMD/CMB- great change makes it so much easier to do specials.
10)Gunslingers/Alchemist/Witch/Summoner- the best classes I have seen in a long time.

1)Orisons-Keeping detect magic level 0 and create water becoming level 0 way to powerful unlimited times per day.
2)Skills- Craft skills still are broken and make no sense. The whole system needs a major upgrade much like the Spes Magna Games tried when they put out Making Crafting Work. but something official should have been made.
3)Magic Items- again like skills, the craft feats and the magic item prices have always seemed to be drawn from thin air the way they came up with price system. I love 2E I love the magic item creation from there. Magic items are so commonly easy to get and such low cost that it ruins the lore of magic items. They should be rare and ancient not common and sold in every market. (potions/scrolls/wands are fine, this rant is directed at wonderous/armor/weapons/staffs/rods/rings)
4)Gunslingers- while a great class, the problems with black powder and craft and cost of everything makes this seem like they knew it was going to be fun to play so they did what they could to "balance" it.
5)prestige classes-same old junk, why even have them
6)Alignment-classes like barbarian and monk still being held to alignment restrictions to me feels cheesy. The idea that either of these classes wouldnt exist in another alignment is aggrivating. Clerics and Paladins because of diety is one thing but for monks and barbs, I think the alignment should been dropped.
7)rules- too many rules appear to be missing and this leads to builds that are too unbalances. (IE: Prone- no way to get up except suffer an AOO, that is why trip builds are common. An oversight that can agrivate GM or if being used against players can easily kill group) To easy to abuse.
8)Races- Would have loved subraces, I loved 2e because I could play and elf and had about 8 different elves each with minor adjustments to stats so that if 2 elves in party they were not same cookie cutter elf. Same went for all the races including humans.
9)Too slow to errata or Faq suggestions and fixes. When people are abusing a combination, dont just leave it up for the players to house rule it. I would like to see them actually erratta and fix these issues in a timely manner.
10)Not enough Undead- I think undead make for the best fun in the game (my opinion). I would love to see something similar to GhostWalk settings come out for PF. More creatures/spells/feats/classes and defintly races that deal with undead.

Sovereign Court

stuart haffenden wrote:

You guys are house-ruling all those "hates" right?

No need to suffer what you can change.

And if you want to play PFS then you have to suffer through them.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
stuart haffenden wrote:

You guys are house-ruling all those "hates" right?

No need to suffer what you can change.

I try to compromise with my players to find a suitable house rules for the issues. I still haven't found a suitable replacement system for the item crafting and Christmas tree effect rules however.

Mostly like the general updates to every class. Instead of a sorcerer being "you get a familiar... now have fun waiting for your spells," I get bloodline powers and whatnot. Same with fighter and other classes.

Archetypes are nice, keep you from having to take PrC's or multiclass. At the same time, Archetypes take the fun out of some old PrC's and multiclassing >.>

Scout, for example, was one of my favorite classes in 3.5. In my gaming group we allow old classes, any archetype, and any PrC (after conversion).

For example, if a monk wants to go Drunken Master archetype, no problem. If that same monk would rather go base monk and Drunken Master PrC from 3.5, also no problem.


1. Gunslingers. I have no problems with firearms in a fantasy settings, and those guys reek of cool.
2. The Antagonize feat. Yes, I went there.
3. Inquisitors
4. The art
5. The APs
6. CMB / CMD
7. Traits
8. Way skills are handled (no more of that half a rank crap)
9. No dead levels
10. The campaing world


1. The fact that general erratas seem to be made with organized play in mind. Just update the PFS rules and don't errata something if it's not to fix an obvious mistake or typo.
2. That many APs seem to be "On a timer"
3. Weapon list of the Inquisitor
4. Crossbows
5. Crafting rules
6. System sometimes require lots of math to pull out moves (iterative attacks + TWF + power attack (and off hand) + special situations, like enlarge or such)
7. Lack of APs that bring the PCs to level 20
8. All the forum discussions considering optimisation for a character at level 20 taking #7 into account.
9. The fact that magic items are so much part of character advancement that you need a "Character wealth by level" table.
10. Unclear magic item creation rules for new items, while everything else seems to be so standardized.

1. Archetypes (most of them)
2. APs (all)
3. Core Classes (don't miss prestiges classes)
4. Azlanti origins
5. No Drizzts/Elminsters
6. Wayne Reynolds
7. Nex. Love what he did, love his war with Geb, love the mystery of his disappearance.
8. Cayden Cailean. Best god I've ever heard of. Became a god on a drunken dare? Sold!
9. Brevoy. Westeros in Russia? Sold!
10. Shackles. Werewolf pirate ships, Druid pirate Captains...

1. Varisia. Ok, you love that region. But come on, how many more APs are gonna be around it...
2. Tengu. They don't exist in my Golarion.
3. Useless feats.
4. The fact that Paul S. Kemp was supposed to write PF Novels, but nothing came out of it.
5. Gunslingers, Samurai, Ninja.
6. Preferred the tome look of 3.5 books.
7. Editing errors.
8. Terrible writing of final boss of Carrion Crown. I'd go so far to say that I think it's rude that Paizo didn't inform the DMs earlier than final chapter that they'll basically have to do the most of the work concerning the finall boss themselves.
9. Inquisitors. They do it all.
10. Archetypes and Prestige Classes written for NPC. Assassin for example.

Toadkiller Dog wrote:

4. The fact that Paul S. Kemp was supposed to write PF Novels, but nothing came out of it.

Did not know that... Now I'm slightly depressed. Kemp is one of my top 3 authors (a list that does not include Salvatore)

Not making a list, but rather a simple wish from a guy that came from 4e.

The character creator that wizards of the coast uses to help put together a character is very handy. A lot of players in my group found character creation to be tedious, difficult, confusing, etc.

So I would love a way to streamline character creation.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ayrphish wrote:

Not making a list, but rather a simple wish from a guy that came from 4e.

The character creator that wizards of the coast uses to help put together a character is very handy. A lot of players in my group found character creation to be tedious, difficult, confusing, etc.

So I would love a way to streamline character creation.


I love Hero Forge for 3.5. The PF versions of Hero Forge are not quite there yet. I would be great if PF came out with a comprehenisve character generator.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Twigs wrote:

Alright... I'll Bite.

** spoiler omitted **...

About the crossbows, maybe you could take a look at my crossbow houserules and see if it might work for you.

Aloquis wrote:
Toadkiller Dog wrote:

4. The fact that Paul S. Kemp was supposed to write PF Novels, but nothing came out of it.
Did not know that... Now I'm slightly depressed. Kemp is one of my top 3 authors (a list that does not include Salvatore)

Agreed. Erevis Cale Trilogy is one of my favorite series. It was announced way back. When there were no further info, I asked Paul about it on facebook and he said he won't be working with Paizo... Can't remember the reasons, though.

stuart haffenden wrote:

You guys are house-ruling all those "hates" right?

No need to suffer what you can change.

I don't mind banning a few things that especially offend me, but I am not interested in providing 20 pages of supplemental rules to my players that most of them would never read. I'm not even interested in writing them.

1. The use of the D20 structure with all the further refinements such as CMB and CMD
2. The quality of the books; absolutely magnificent artwork, and with a few excpetions, well written
3. The presence of a familiar core ruleset with optional rules outlined in additional books that can be used or ignored as need and desire dictate.
4. Archetypes; not all of them are as good as they could be, but the concept is a good one, and allows prestige classes to truly be a prestige

1. The use of D20 structure and its poor layout and things that have been passed from edition to edition simply for its history and nothing else
2. The entire magic system. The vancian system works fine for prepared casters like clerics and wizards, but breaks down for spontaneous casters and metamagic. The words of power are promising, and ideally, I would keep the vancian system for the prepared casters, and refine the words of power for use by the spontaneoous casters. Also, I would make low level magic a bit easier to access by default, but higher magic that much harder. That way people can still play with magic, but the powerful magic truly feels powerful.
3. Arcane vs Divine; emphasize it less, and ideally get rid of it, the current assumption that all divine casters will want to cast these spells, and not those, and all arcane casters will want to cast those spells, but not these, doesn't really work for me. The alternative is to emphasize it more, and create more divisions than arcane and divine to account for the wide range of classes that can now cast spells. Either way, I really don't like the current method.
4. The Christmas Tree effect; the concept of magic items is great, and I don't particularly care for 4E's approach any more than PF's, as it tends to devalue them a bit too much, but finding some middle ground would be nice.

Grand Lodge

Toadkiller Dog wrote:
2. Tengu. They don't exist in my Golarion.

This sparked my curiosity. Why do you hate Tengu?

1) Simplified Skill system
2) Mostly (see dislike) balanced things
3) New class abilities like rage feats, rogue talent and bloodlines
4) The fact that you can rule a game with only one awesomely-build book
5) The PDF (see dislike though)
6) The big up they did on lower levels, making level 1-2-3 way funnier than they were
7) Making class Archetype instead of 3800 classes and prestiges classes
8) The new power attack
9) The Pathfinder GM's screen. He's awesome. Not too high, solid, and got a bunch of really precious informations.
10) The fact that each new book is not a way to enhance your character in a more powerfull way, but a bunch of new options making you bite your nails when creating a character because everything looks so nice and is very well balanced.

1) Paladin Smite Evil, seriously.
2) Way DR Works. Too easy to by-pass
3) Barbarian Invulnerable archetype. A PC should never have such a DR that is impossible to by-pass.
4) Death. It's way to hard to die, and way too easy to come back with nearly no consequence at all.
5) The fact that divine spell deals less damage than arcane spell of the same level.
6) The point that the CoreBook PDF was terribly well constructed, but each new PDF loose some of the great feature the previous had. (Link to complete description for spells/feats, more complete tabs...)
7) Full-attack action with two-handers. There's no single monster in the whole game that can survive to my actual group more than one round. Barbarian + TH Fighter + Paladin who shares smites => Blows up around 5-600 damage in a round easy bypassing any DR. And if you're lucky and not evil, well you might have *only* ~400damage/round. The sorcerer disintegrate is less dangerous than leave any of these tank make a full-attack action.
8) Any spells that make another completely useless. True Seeing and Globe of Invulnerability being the worsts.
9) The new way shapechange works. Easier than it was for sure, but druid's terrible shapechanges is now a thing of the past. Druid is also the only character in the whole game that get nerfed instead of up beside all core class from 3.5th.
10) The fact that attack bonuses grows terribly faster than AC, and that at a point, AC is just useless for both party (PC and DM)

EntrerisShadow wrote:
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
2. Tengu. They don't exist in my Golarion.
This sparked my curiosity. Why do you hate Tengu?

Uh, don't know where to begin. :D

First of all, Golarion has a distinctive human feel to me. Ok, not really human feel, but human/elf/dwarf/halfling/gnome/half-orc feel. While playing 3.5 in Faerun, I could not imagine a game without a tiefling, genasi or some other planetouched or weird race. Air Genasi Rogue was my first 3.5 character and I loved their fluff and thought they're a great addition to the setting. But in PF... I don't know, I don't feel like they belong there. Anything aside core races sticks out (in a bad way). Of course, exceptions are made for Tieflings in Cheliax, or Dhampirs in Ustalav and stuff like that, but I wouldn't play (or allow one in my game when I DM) anything else.

Second of all, I'm one of those who dislike asian culture in fantasy settings. Of course, I'm not saying that it shouldn't exist, but if it does, let it have its own continent, like Tian. Let Ninjas, Samurais, Tengus and the rest stay in Tian Xia.

And lastly... Antropomorphic animals. Don't like the idea (aside from lycanthropes of the landbound kind. Werebat is the silliest piece of art I've ever seen in PF) and can't take them seriously and can only see them as a comic relief. I really can't understand people who are begging for a catfolk or any other furry kind of race...

So when you combine my dislike of non-core races, my dislike of Asian culture in Inner Sea and antropomorphic animals, you can see where my distate of Tengus come from. :D

Paraxis wrote:

Things I love about Pathfinder.

4. No dead levels

The cleric would like to have a word with you about this.


Forum participation both with the players and the employees.

Rules set is familiar (it should be after so long)

That familiarity makes "hacking" the system easier.

The game functions best when you approach it from a character view as magical realism. Pro, these people see demons, angels, elementals and holy badgers all the time. This approach makes knowledge checks to identify creatures work it dosen't seem gimmick-y to operate in that fashion.


"If it's cinematic/ descriptively cool/ a combat related action it must be a feat." NO, NO, NO. This is bad development. Along with this is power attack, combat expertise and others being a feat rather than a combat option. This means that you have only cut half of the 3.5 bloat issue (prestige classes). Smaller feat chapters and bigger combat chapters with revised action type / provoke charts for new actions would be more fulfilling to me.

The fact that most of the "hacking" of the system is not to play in a different genre or themed game but to make cinematic fantasy function.

The game functions best when you approach it from a character view as magical realism. Con: This means that the "OHHH's and AHHH's" for finding a magic item, or a barbarian that can rage and lift tons of weight over his head, or a monk that can jump dozens of feet at a go do not occur cannot occur as these elements are commonplace for adventurers and a large portion of urban dwellers. Granted the villager may only see gobbo's and orcs and the holy badger that the cleric or druid summons to dig out a new root cellar.

Better but still unresolved C-M D.

There’s too much to like about Pathfinder to restrict me to ten things, so I took it up to eleven. (Also, some of my dislikes are heavy hitters, so I only came up with nine, even though they cropped up in other people’s lists.)


1. It’s based on d20.
2. Backwards-compatible! I have the option to use the six metric tons of 3.x material I already own! At this point, conversion is pretty easy for me, and having all those books still be regularly used is awesome.
3. Adventure Paths. 80% solid gold, 20% great ideas/material to build off of. There’s no bad path, and no path I wouldn’t run, only parts that I’d tweak (the middle of Serpent’s Skull for example).
4. The aesthetic and production values. The 3.5 “rusty tomes dungeonpunk” didn’t do much for me. Pathfinder’s art (Wayne Reynolds!) and the art direction is top notch, particularly the adventure path themes. The new World Guide is one of the best looking RPG books.
5. Few dead levels means there’s a reason to play the core classes. When you can actually play a Paladin or Ranger past level 6, you’ve done something right.
6. Archetypes mean less pres-class bloat! They’re an all-around awesome idea for customizing the core classes, which (see #5) helps emphasize the core classes as being more playable than they were in 3.5.
7. CMB and CMD. Why have multiple systems for combat maneuvers when they all fit under one simple mechanic?
8. Simplified skill system. There’s no reason in the world to have three skills, two passive and one active, to determine your awareness.
9. Forum participation. When I browse through a thread and see the adventure’s author, James Jacobs, and a handful of other Paizo people posting… that’s just plain awesome.
10. Open Beta. The new stealth one is a great example. Instead of just throwing ideas around behind the scenes, Paizo is pretty open about getting customer (err, player) feedback. Great business model, plus the fans feel their input is valued.
11. Bestiary 2. Probably the best monster book for d20 that I’ve bought, and the most-used, barring Advanced Bestiary. And there’s Bestiary 3 on the way…

I can go either way on:

1. It still feels like D&D. Vancian magic, dungeons, tactical combat, iconic save-or-suck spells (sleep, color spray), etc. I’m kind of meh on most of that, but they’ve been a part of the game for so long that it doesn’t feel like D&D without them.
2. Some of the nerfs on 3.5 “power” features. Namely Druid’s wildshape, spiked chains, and the lower-level sor/wiz spell nerfs (glitterdust, web, et al). Casters definitely needed a balance tweak, but it didn’t really solve caster supremacy, it just pushed it back until after the sweet spot. And spiked chain abuse was talked about more than actually used in play.

Hate: (or, strongly dislike)

1. It’s based on d20.
2. De-emphasizing templates and monster advancement. Yes, it was horribly bloated in 3.5, and I can still use my 3.5 material, and there are always munchkins with half-dragon half-demon half-shoggoth robot ninja pirates. But as a GM, modifying monsters on the fly is the best part of d20. (The paths regularly tap the excellent Advanced Bestiary, so it’s not like Paizo has a blanket-ban on them. Come on, publish more!)
3. The UC classes. Ninja and Samurai are archetypes that escaped their boundaries and somehow became classes; also, they’d work a lot better in a Tian world guide, since they stick out like a sore thumb in Golarion. Gunslinger is awesome, up until you get to the firearms rules. (Ranged touch, fast BAB, seriously?! Low range increments do help, as does ammo capacity and price, but it’s still a bit overpowered.)
4. Instead of pres-class and template bloat, there’s other bloat flavors: archetype, feat and spell bloat. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem, until it’s combined with…
5. Balance or lack thereof, particularly in how a chunk of UM/UC, and parts of the APG, don’t feel like they got the playtesting or editing they needed. And I’m not just singling out Antagonize, Terrible Remorse, etc. Parts are just badly worded or underpowered. There’s a lot of badly balanced material in those three books which needs errata or clarifications, but hasn’t got any yet.
6. Actually, the splatbooks in general. Don’t get me wrong, I really, really like parts of them. The parts I don’t like make me grind my teeth, and are the parts I remember (because people want to use them). Despite the relatively slow output compared to WotC, the above bloat and balance issues make me see 3.x all over again. Which sucks, because Paizo did so well balance-wise for so long, and the adventures/APs haven’t had a dip in quality control.
7. Monks are either broken gods of awesomeness, or are completely and utterly useless. And from experience, usually fall into the latter category.
8. Christmas tree effect still very much alive. I actually think it’s cool that you can make magic items, yet I’ve never seen anybody do it. Instead, they just go out and buy/upgrade their existing stuff to the point where the First Vault gets jealous.
9. Fanboys and edition wars. Seriously, it’s getting old. Compared to the other game systems I run, Pathfinder and 4e are all but identical.


1. Adventure paths - They support the hobby for those of us who have lives, and can't take time to make all of our own adventures. And they're good!
2. Skill system - simplified and better.
3. Beefed up all the core classes with new powers and faster feat progression. Everything is playable now, with no prestige classes really necessary.
4. CMB & CMD - Finally, grapple rules that make sense!
5. Completely compatible with 3.5. This is vital.
6. Kingmaker - deserves mention all on it's own.
7. It's still D&D!

1. New classes - for the most part - lame. Yes, I know, you can build really awesome..whatevers, and it's not Paizo's fault. The good optional classes were sopped up in 3.5 splat books, and were not OGL. I'm pretty sure that if the Swashbuckler, the Beguiler, and the Duskblade had been available, we'd have seen them instead.
2. The summoner - it too deserves mention all on it's own. What a stinker!
3. Adventure paths end at 16th level, just when they are getting good. Need to go to 20+!
4. No psionics yet.
5. No epic yet.
6. Small and large weapons. Stupid. (I know, 3.5 had it too). If a halfling wants to carry something like a longsword, he uses it two handed. 'I carry a small longsword'. Please!
7. Weird XP chart. (Again, I know that the easy one was not OGL, so they had to come up with something different).

Dark Archive

Paraxis wrote:
9. Stupid choices are traps for newbies.

A thread dedicated to expanding upon this would be interesting to read. :)

hate list
1:not being allowed to have NG padins.
2: cavaliers
3: the vanician spell casting system
4: the arcane archer
5: the mystic thuerge

like list:
the classes
the cultures in golarion
let me get back to you

The Exchange

Things I hate about Pathfinder:

1. Lack of good organized play.
Living Grey hawk with its fan contributed content was WAY preferable to PFS.
PFS mods suck. WAY too easy.

2. Balance
Pathfinder duplicated the mistake of Dnd 3.0 by letting all the player characters advance at the same pace, this ignoring for the sake of ease of arithmetic one of the best mechanisms for player class balance.

Once wizards hit fifth level game balance moves inexorably in their favor (as it should in a fantasy environment).

I *liked* the idea that wizards took a great deal more experience to advance. Liked the idea that they had to find magical items, or learn things. Like parties that were of mixed levels - and frankly found that game balance was much better in those circumstances.

3. No mind flayers, no thought eaters, in fact no psionics at all. I liked the idea that demons could be beaten by psionics. Or players controlled by it.

4. Skill system. First - let me give kudos where it belongs. The general smplification of the skill system is a good thing.
However, eliminating class skills WAS A TERRIBLE idea.
Formerly, you could only add skills in a native class (or 1/2 skills in a non native class).

The skill system almost completely eliminates the rogue class. A one level dip on rogue lets ANYONE be just as good as a dedicated rogue. And if its just going to be a one or two level dip - why not just make it a feat based choice.

But I digress from my point.

Skills frankly suck. The d20 system varies WAYYY too much to reasonably approximate skill.
EG: a rogue with a +5 stealth vs a dog with a +3 perception. The result has WAY more to do with luck than it does with skill.

Second example. You are one of the most perceptive people in the world - you are level 20 - and so you have 20 ranks in perception.

Even so random luck counts as much as the 20 levels (years?) of experience...

5. Splat book Fluff. No one reads the crap, so why take the time and the expense to write it, publish it. We know its crap. You know its crap. I buy your books to get legitimate access to the 2-3 feats or 3-5 spells that book contains. I curse every time I have to look through another fluff description of the orcs in Golarion to find my feat.

6. REALLY poor FAQ. Hell the fans are making it easy for you. If you just answered the top 10 questions every two weeks it would be a start.

7. Lack of involvement in the pathfinder world.
Invite people to jason buhlman events more often.
have a regular chat session where fans and developers can mingle.
have a better GM training session.
Do more to promote good GMs and good players.

8. Shoe horning. Avoid the need to shoe horn everthing into a d20 roll. Avoid balancing by adjusting the #of times per day. Developing other mechanisms (like the summoner's point buy system) is great.

9. Classes.
I am not a level 3 programmer o r a level 5 camera installer. Why in heck do we feel compelled to continue an artifact from a system 30 years ago. Come up with something better.

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

Likes: in no particular order

1) The Skill system: streamlined but not made simpleminded
2) Archetypes: helps build concepts
3) The classes: I want to play them all the revisions and the new ones are great.
4) Golarion and the steady stream of books
5) The fact that novels, APs, and the organized play take a back seat to the actual game.
6) It is based on is what 4th ed should have been
7) CMB and CMD
8) Tghe revisions to magic items and spells
9) The new Casting defensive DCs and the feats to disrupt it
10) The revisions to the races.
11) The option books...3 to 4 a year....not the whole 2 books a month
12) The fire arms rules
13) the fact the ninja and samurai are archetypes or alternative classes of prexisting classes
14) the classes are not forced into Roles
15) lots of magic items...or as some call it it 'the x-mas tree' effect
16) I like the APs( and that is saying alot as I hate modules for the most part)
17) The designers being active on these message boards.
18) The expect and encourage DMs to make ruling based on their group

Dislikes( the few and rather minor)

1) Magic item crafting...way too easy. Either the DC should be higher...or it should cost alot more.
2) Mundane item crafting system: Needed to be replaced
3) PRCs: there alot of generic PrCs that need to be done.
4) I could do with a little less Lovecraft influence on Golarion
5) 3 Bestiaries...might be pushing it. The 4th probably will.

I know I broke the rules and way over on the likes list...and shorted on the dislike list....but hey I really like PF...and really only see minor things that need improvement(the biggest is the crafting rules)

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
cp wrote:
5. Splat book Fluff. No one reads the crap, so why take the time and the expense...

This confuses me. I don't see almost ANY fluff in the APG, UM, and UC. Just the gods. Could you explain that?


1) Easy to learn
2) Nostalgia (It's how I got into gaming)
3) Artwork
4) More choices than 3.5
5) Lots of resources
6) Revamped fighters
7) Templates
8) Distinct and unique classses
9) Oracles
10) Helpful community (generally)


1) Restrictions of d20 system
2) Comparatively more character concept restrictions than other systems
3) Poor editing
4) Poor FAQ
5) Too much love for wizards, not enough for martial classes
6) HORRIBLE crafting system
7) Alternate classes weaker than the core classes
8) Everything seems a bit rushed and undigested
9) Arbitrary weapon stats
10) Cheesy monsters

1. Customization. We have played games where everyone was the same class, but we were all so different that we all had different roles in and out of combat. Great selection of feats, menu talents, pool powers, archetypes, and even prestige classes and you can pretty much do whatever you want.
2. Power. A 15th level PF class feels like a 20th level 3.5 class.
3. CMB and CMD. Whoever came up with that is my hero.
4. The new classes. PF has covered pretty much every legendary type of hero and made them effective and customizable.
5. The artwork. The atmosphere. The "feel" of Pathfinder. It's unique and the first thing that got me to look at the CRB at the bookstore.
6. Support. Open-playtesting? Actively answering questions? It's almost like Paizo is made of *gasp* real people who *gasp* love RP games.
7. PDFs. I want my book now and I want it for a fraction of the cost of a hardback. This is the only reason I own every book.
8. The Magus. I would make babies with this class if I could.
9. Animal Companions and Familiars were finally done right.
10. That excellent D20 compatibility. If I see some splat that I like, by gods I can use it.

1. Death in Pathfinder. Dying is rare. Staying dead is actually more challenging than any other aspect of the game. We house-rule the HELL out of this.
2. Animal Companions - Big Cats. Is this just a test to spot the min-maxers? If so, it works.
3. Worthless stuff in the books. I sometimes get the feeling that they just want to fill up space. Still, I only pay $10 for the PDF, so I feel like I get my money's worth. I'd feel cheated if I paid $40 for the hardback.
4. Races. Many will disagree, but this is the only thing that 4th Ed does better, IMO. At the very least, give me more races and more race-specific feats. Hopefully, this will be addressed soon in Ultimate Races, but I'm not holding my breath... (although, I can hold my breath for like, 60 rounds.)


1. Combat maneuvers.
2. d20 system compatibility
3. Skills.
3. Reworked base classes.
4. Artwork.
5. Adventure Paths.
6. Paizo staff activity on the boards.
7. Classes are not forced into roles.
8. Races (except half-orc)
9. Monsters revisited series
10. Less power creep than 3/3.5


1. Death is a very easy problem to solve. It shouldn't be so.
2. Golarion. Too much of a kitchen sink / theme park. Not believable enough to me and it feels like a disassociated world into which every fantasy cliche is implemented for the sake of having it there.
ie - This is the land of the faeries and brave knights, next to is the land of gothic horror and somewhere nearby is the land of super science from outer space. Sorry, but I just don't consider that a pinnacle of fantasy world design.
3. Last few splatbooks (UM and UC) are honestly not good enough. Most of the material is either boring or not worth considering, unlike APG which was excellent.
4. Overall even more bloated than 3.5 in some cases. Archetypes are getting old fast.
5. Many whiners on the boards. ;)

Cathedron wrote:

2. Animal Companions - Big Cats. Is this just a test to spot the min-maxers? If so, it works.

Oh, not just the big cats. Look at the Small Cats for a Ranger Choice. 3 Primary Attacks, Trip, Sprint. Compare them to, let's say... a Dog, who has one primary attack. And that's about it.

I went through every AC choice from CRB and classified them into categories (roughly) and it goes about like this:

1. Small animals, whose size increase to medium at 4th lvl and their total stat increase is +4 (combination of +4 to one score, +2 to another, -2 on the third)

2. Small/Medium/Large animals whose size doesn't change. Those are the more utility animals (hawks for Perception, Horses for mounted combat etc) and their advancement is +2 on two stats.

3. Medium animals who advance to large and gain ridiculous amount of stat boosts (+8 to one, +4 to another and -2 to third).

Now, for Rangers, Wolf is a pretty much obvious choice. More capable in combat than any other choice. Why would anyone bother with a dog, when the can have idiotically more powerful wolf (actually, I have one in Kingmaker AP that I'm playing, but mathematically it doesn't make sense)? If your reason would be that wolves are large and can't move around that easily, then go with a small cat! It even has trip also, but only the triple number of attacks that a standard animal companion is getting.

So, even within those categories there are VAST differences between choices, which should just not exist. I know it's logical for a wolf being stronger than a dog, but my critic is towards animals being way more different in the above categories. If Small Cat has two additional abilities ASIDE from having three PRIMARY attacks, why no love for Dogs or Boars? Hell, even it was some style-over-substance ability, let's say, Man's Best Friend that gives the Dog a +2 bonus on saves vs. fear. Wouldn't come much into play but it's better than nothing that they're currently getting (which is nothing). Or Powerful Charge for Boars, or bonus on Grapple for Bears... Like I said, anything to justify it as an equal choice.

Dark Archive

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

I don't like most of the traits. The only ones I like are rich parents and heirloom wepon. If I can't use those traits, then I don't want any.

Grand Lodge

Chris Ballard wrote:
I don't like most of the traits. The only ones I like are rich parents and heirloom wepon. If I can't use those traits, then I don't want any.

I honestly hate rich parents. It essentially published the most cliched, obnoxious back story in role-playing and gave you a benefit for making it.

HansiIsMyGod wrote:


9. Monsters revisited series

How could I miss this? I love em.

Now, I definately agree that traits are a problem. Many of them are great, but the conditional bonuses (+1 to confirm critical hits, +1 on perception checks to listen, +1 to AC in Bankok on a wednesday evening) are just utterly pointless to keep track of, and just end in unnecessary headscratching.

I usually houserule these problem traits as flat bonuses if I dont make my own trait list. But this doesn't make Reactionary any less overpowered.

Terrible traits are my biggest Pathfinder pet-peeve.

And Heirloom Weapon before the nerf was essentially handing a level one character Weapon Focus, Exotic Weapon Prof and 300 gold at the cost of a trait.

Now its beyond worthless.

There should have been a happier medium.

Twigs wrote:

But this doesn't make Reactionary any less overpowered.

I think that there are other traits that grant the +2 initiative too, but why do you object to this trait more than the various +1 to a save traits?

lordfeint wrote:

And Heirloom Weapon before the nerf was essentially handing a level one character Weapon Focus, Exotic Weapon Prof and 300 gold at the cost of a trait.

Now its beyond worthless.

There should have been a happier medium.

It's really not. Compared to what it was, it is beyond worthless. But I think it's a good choice for a... Let's say a Rogue who wants to wield a greatsword. It's easier to take Heirloom Weapon then to dip into fighter or waste a feat on Martial Weapon Proficiency.

Also a good use of that trait if you want to be specialized in some combat manouver and max it out. +2 on Trip attempts for example, is nothing to sneeze at.

Toadkiller Dog wrote:

It's really not. Compared to what it was, it is beyond worthless. But I think it's a good choice for a... Let's say a Rogue who wants to wield a greatsword. It's easier to take Heirloom Weapon then to dip into fighter or waste a feat on Martial Weapon Proficiency.

Also a good use of that trait if you want to be specialized in some combat manouver and max it out. +2 on Trip attempts for example, is nothing to sneeze at.

Corrected I stand.

I guess that does beat Thrown-Together Fashion.

Scarab Sages

Oooh... This should be fun.


1. Core classes that are worth taking to 20.
2. Non-SRD classes (witch, magus, summoner, alchemist, cavalier, and oracle). I really feel like Paizo got to streach their creative legs a bit with fabulus results.
3. I can convince people to play Pathfinder.
4. Graphic Layout / Art. Five Star from day one.
5. Supperior support. APs once a month, companions, and other supplements keep the game from being stagnant.
6. Traits are neat.
7. Organized Play. Means that if my schedule goes kablam I can still hope to get in playtime.
8. Conditions. Having a unified set of conditions makes for easy to abjugate rules.
9. Archetypes. I love being able to say that a chracter is an Archeologist (bard) from level 1 forward.
10. Goblin Songs.

1. Alignment! If I had my way I'd strip every mechanical effect of alignment from the game.
2. Ability damage. Too hard to heal and too penalizing.
3. Fanboys, especially the rabid varity.
4. Some difficulty issues. It feels like the CR goal chart for monster creation is a bit off. Seems that monsters can almost never hit PCs and PCs always hit their tirciary attacks on a 2. I would like the game to be a bit harder.
5. Action type confusion. I'm looking at you Vital Strike. Am I intended to use you on a charge and a spring attack? I think so, but RAW you don't work that way.
6. Gunslinger's guns misfire.

Let's get the dislikes out of the way first (no order):

- Alignment having a mechanical effect.

- The divine and arcane divisions of magic. Magic is magic and casters shouldn't have to take a divine class just to get good skill choices.

- Per diem spell slots (I don't want to call it Vancian, because I've never read any of Vance's books and I think it's unfair to associate an author with a magic system I hate). Mages should not just run out of fuel; this is the most absurd concept I've ever heard of in my life. Cooldown times? Fine. Reasonably reduce damage/effects? Okay. Anything but an arbitrary spells-per-day limit. I cannot find the words in any language to accurately express my utter hatred of this approach to spellcasting.

- The assumption that every setting has a magic shop right around the corner selling whatever the player wants.

- Metamagic feats and rods. Both are still wacky and never see use in my games. The only metamagic feat I've seen that makes sense was Combined Spell from the newest Kobold Quarterly; it contained a section on synergistic magic, which entails mixing spells for new effects. Something like this should replace metamagic entirely (along with many high level spells too open to abuse).

- Power Attack and Weapon Finesse as feats instead of simply integrating them into the rules.

- Allowing Knowledge: Religion to identify undead...why?. This really makes no sense whatsoever. There should be a sort of anatomy knowledge skill that can be used for this purpose.

- The Heal skill doubles as a method to identify diseases illness and skill at surgery. This skill needs to be split into two or three new skills.

- Wish, Limited Wish, and Miracle spells.

- Finally, the biggest issue I have with Pathfinder RPG (and 3.5) is spell components and foci. I'm in favor of doing away with components in favor of psionic displays and dropping (non-affected) foci alltogether.

Next, the things I love about Pathfinder RPG:

- easy skill allocation
- combat manuever mechanics (CMB/CMD)
- class improvements
- moving beyond Middle Earth with every book
- archetypes
- alternate classes
- few prestige classes
- no more level adjustment
- rules for firearms, vehicles, and siege engines
- undead and constructs vulnerable to critical hits

Ultimately, my biggest issue with Pathfinder RPG (and 3.5) is with how magic and spells are handled.

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