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D&D 3.5 vs Pathfinder


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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I'm currently playing in a D&D 3.5 game and our group has mentioned the idea of possible switching to Pathfinder. I'm just kind of curious on the differences between the two, mainly because I don't want to shell out $60 (cdn) for the core rule book unless my group decides for sure about switching over.
I would like to hear pro's and con's as well as just simply stating what the differences are in rules and classes/monsters.


First thing that you should do is obtain a copy of the Pathfinder Conversion Guide.

http://paizo.com/products/btpy89m6?Pathfinder-Roleplaying-Game-Conversion-G uide


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Look up all the rules on the Pafinder SRD, they are all there although the fluff is lacking and the nice artwork. The PDF of the core rulebook is only US$10.

Briefly: a lot of the minor issues with 3.5 are dealt with. Spells that were OP get nerfed, as does Wildshape. Combat classes like fighters and paladins get a BIG boost to their power. Feats come every odd-numbered level, not every third level. Casters get minor abilities that mean they can do real magic at low level, not just a bit now and then, without actually making them more powerful. CoDzilla isn't so easy to do. Overall it runs smoother and easier.

Pathfinder characters tend to be a tad more powerful than in 3.5. Favoured classes work by a carrot, not a stick. Capstone abilities make it more likely players will stick with a class all the way through, and every level you take gains you a spell, feat, ability or similar. There are no 'dead levels' where a class just gains +1 BAB and a hit dice.


For me, alot of confusion got cleared up. There is less of a need to multiclass to make certain classes effective. People will now take fighters from level 1 through to retirement.

Drawback: the books presume too much regarding 3.5 experience thus it is harder for players who are new to D&D/Pathfinder to learn the rules. The books could be laid out a bit better on rules indexing etc.

Another thing is that while pathfinder is mostly compatible with 3.5 it is not identical in many rules large and small. This will cause confusion for awhile.

IMO it is well worth the upgrade.

Check the PRD for more information. You can basically preview the majority of the system before you buy.

- Gauss


pro: - newer (newer is always better)
- better balanced (not hard)
- awesome classes (every class gets new material in further books)
- streamlined from 3.5, grapple is way easier to handle and skills got mixed together (no more spot&listen, perception)

con: - not as much material out (duh?!)
- new for you, needs a bit of training to get into (but not much, it's very close to 3.5)
- there are a few imbalances, but you'll see them from a mile away (advanced firearms sometimes, 2-3 feats like antagonize)

differences:
instead of tons of prestige classes, every class has archetypes that swap a few abilities out, makes staying in one class more natural
the core rules are free and open, and there's a free document somewhere here to convert 3.5 to PF that will explain most of the changes, if not all.

And I saved the only real con for last:
The bestiary might have many new original cool monsters, but no squidheads that drain your brain, or big round eye thingies that shoot rays, psst, don't use their name or the wizard from that place near the water comes to you.

Oh and did you know that D&D works on their "next edition", 4E seems to be over before it got to anything close to 3.5. (no this is not to start an edition war)

Qadira

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

First of all, my disclaimer that as a Venture-Captain, I'm strongly biased in favor of PF, but I came to it because I loved 3.x D&D.

Second, welcome to the Paizo boards!

One of the main benefits of PF vs. 3.5 at this point is that PF is an ongoing concern. Paizo is continuing to publish new material and adventures, and there's an active support community here on the Paizo boards. The developers, staff, and owners of Paizo are active here, too, which means you get excellent support if you have questions about the game or just need some customer service. Everyone here loves the games and I've always felt like the company respects their customers.

That said, most of the material for PF is compatible with 3.5 rules with minor tweaks.

Lisa Stevens (the Paizo CEO) plays PF regularly.

The PF base classes tend to be more powerful than their 3.5 counterparts.

PF uses more archetypes (variants of the base classes) than prestige classes.

Mechanically, most of the rules changes are covered in the Conversion Guide for 3.5 players, which is a free download if you want to peruse it.

Finally, you can pick up the Core Rulebook in PDF format for US $10.


Pros:

Base classes get something at every level (most of the time)
Cross-class skills go away
Additional equipment slots (head and headband)
Grapple, Disarm, Bull Rush, Overrun, etc are all tied to the same mechanic: Combat Maneuver
Hit Dice size increase

Cons:

De-emphasizing Prestige Classes (at least some consider it a con)

Just Different:

Except for Barbarian and Dragon Disciple, BAB and size of hit dice are tied together. Full BAB = d10, 3/4 BAB = d8, 1/2 BAB = d6

Some of the skills got merged. Goodbye, Hide and Move Silently! Hello, Stealth!


Zarathos wrote:
Conversion Guide

Kerok, you and your friends can freely see the system on Official PRD site and Unoficial PFSRD site before switching.

Be warned, however. There are lot of small changes here and there, especially when it comes to skills, class abilities, feats and spells. When you want to use some ability or combination from 3.5 better check it if it works the same.

Grand Lodge

You can also go here to see the Pathfinder rules online.

There are a lot of small/subtle differences. I've recently made the switch, and I think Pathfinder is a much better system. One of my biggest complaints with 3.5 was too much complexity in the skills (some seemed redundant, and the whole class, cross-class, untrainable seemed wonky) and combats took way too long. Pathfinder addressed both of these successfully. Here a few highlights of differences off the top of my head:

Skills - There is no such thing as cross-class skills. You have class skills. You can put ranks in ANY skill, no matter your class. The cross-class skills give you a +3 miscellaneous bonus when you put at least one rank in them. You can only have a number of ranks in a skill equal to your hit dice (as opposed to level + 3 for class skills and half that for cross-class skills in 3.5). There are still some skills you can't use untrained (like use magic device), but you can train ANY skill.

Feats - You now get a feat every other level.

Hit Dice - There are no longer d4 hit dice. Wizards have a d6 hit die, and Rogues have a d8.

Favored Class - You don't have to worry about keeping your classes at similar levels when multiclassing. Instead, you pick one class at character creation that is your favored class. Every time you level up in this class, you get one extra hit point or skill point, your choice.

0 level spells - You no longer have "spells per day" for 0 level spells. You're still limited by how many you can prepare (or know if you're a spontaneous caster), but those you've prepared you can cast an infinite number of times.

XP and gold track - There are now 3 different xp and gold progressions, slow, medium, fast. The fast progression is the same as 3.5.

Combat Maneuvers - Paizo greatly simplified combat maneuvers like grapple, sunder, trip, disarm, etc. There is now one system for all these maneuvers.

Skills - the list of skills was trimmed down by combining certain skills. Eg, Hide and Move Silently were combined into a skill called Stealth. Search, Listen and Spot were combined into a skill called Perception. Tumble, Balance and Jump became Acrobatics. Know Language and Decipher Script became Linguistics. Open Lock and Disable Device became Disable Device.

Dead Levels - The powers of some of the classes were tinkered with so that you no longer have levels where you don't get anything beyond more hit points.

Wizard Familiars - Wizards still have familiars, but instead of a familiar they can choose a bonded object. This can be a weapon, wand, ring, etc., and the wizard begins play with a masterwork version of the object. He can also enchant this one object without having the item creation feats. The object lets him cast any one spell from his spellbook without having it prepared once per day.

Specialist Wizards - specialists now get special powers in addition to the normal benefits of specializing. Check it out on the PRD.

Sorcerer Bloodlines - the source of your power as a sorcerer is now defined by a bloodline you choose that gives you certain powers. Check out the PRD.

There's a lot more, but that gives you a taste. :)


One other thing about Pathfinder which hasen't yet been mentioned is the capstone abilities at level 20. One the one hand if you stick it out as the same class for 20 levels you will be rewarded, but on the other it sort of discourages multi-classing. That said multi-classing can work very well.

Overall Pathfinder is a nicer, fairer system IMHO. Been using it for a year now and it's so much clearer than 3.5 with regard to some rules such as polymorphing,grappling and other things.

Plus all the new core class abilities make it a lot more fun to level up, rather than having huge gaps (e.g sorcerors now getting bloodlines). You won't regret the switch trust me ;)


Thorkull wrote:


The PF base classes tend to be more powerful than their 3.5 counterparts.

Well, except the Rogue who is not more powerful technically (since they nerfed grease, stables to denying dex at low levels).

Osirion

Random points that haven't been covered, hopefully from a neutral perspective:

If you adopt Pathfinder, you are looking at a default high-magic setting.

The spell nerfs work, but feel arbitrary.

Very little (aside from changes to Constitution and some fighter-only feats) has been done to address the fact that spells are quick and easy to cast (your opinion on this may vary).

Monster changes add more flavor to encounters, for instance the dragon special abilities.

Item crafting allows more flexibility for both DMs and players.

CR system is still inconsistent.

Returns to some 3.0 rules.

T-Rex is now Gargantuan!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Richard Leonhart wrote:
con: - not as much material out (duh?!)

This is not really a bad thing. Less rules bloat, and a lot of the 3.5 material was simply unbalanced garbage.


Thank you all for your help in this matter. It seems like most of the few changes I enjoyed from 4E are what pathfinder fixed but without the changes that I really did not like from 4E.
Either way I will definately check out those links first before purchasing the book.

As I'm still very new here has Paizo mentioned what their long term plans are for this system? I really would hate to start spending hundreds of dollars into a system just to find out 5 years from now they are going to completely overhaul the system like some other large company with the wizard from that place near the water.

Richard Leonhart wrote:
The bestiary might have many new original cool monsters, but no squidheads that drain your brain, or big round eye thingies that shoot rays

I imagine that there would be some sort of conversion table to convert these unnamed monsters for personal use only. ;)


Regarding the 'default high magic setting' statement made earlier. Pathfinders default normal magic setting has a higher GP value than 3.5 did (between 10-30% higher depending on level). However, since the power levels are universally higher this is only appropriate.

Compared to other game systems and non-3.x versions of D&D it is indeed a higher magic setting.

- Gauss


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kerok wrote:
As I'm still very new here has Paizo mentioned what their long term plans are for this system? I really would hate to start spending hundreds of dollars into a system just to find out 5 years from now they are going to completely overhaul the system like some other large company with the wizard from that place near the water.

Paizo sell Adventure Paths. They have produced Pathfinder RPG to support those adventure paths, not the other way around. To keep old adventure paths selling, they won't be changing the system very much. There may one day be a Pathfinder 2.0, but I wouldn't hold my breath.


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I am 3.5 holdover (still running 3.5 games, currently Second Darkness) and am currently playing in a PF game. My impression is that PF is too much. Frankly, looking over the classes, I often feel like there is just too much stuff for the classes, too many features. I know people love to see dead levels disappear, but ultimately it starts to feel just a bunch of stuff tossed on top that the average player just isn't going to bother with.

Don't get me wrong, it is a good system, I'm playing in a group that is running it after all. But if given the choice to stick with 3.5 or go with PF, I would have preferred sticking with 3.5 (which is why the game I run still uses it).

If your group goes PF, I wouldn't get a book until you are sure you want to stick with it. You can get some pdfs of all the rules online, almost everything is OGL (tip of the hat to Paizo for that). So you can get started with basically no cost if you have a laptop or other pdf reader.

I've been debating getting an actual book, but after borrowing the ones at the table, I don't really like the lay out so I think for the time being I'll stick with my pdf of the PRD.


The main differences I've noticed in playing Pathfinder is that the grapple/trip/bullrush etc rules have been nicely and easily redone and the power level of both the PCs and Monsters is drastically increased. So you get to feel like a badass more.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
pres man wrote:

I am 3.5 holdover (still running 3.5 games, currently Second Darkness) and am currently playing in a PF game. My impression is that PF is too much. Frankly, looking over the classes, I often feel like there is just too much stuff for the classes, too many features. I know people love to see dead levels disappear, but ultimately it starts to feel just a bunch of stuff tossed on top that the average player just isn't going to bother with.

Don't get me wrong, it is a good system, I'm playing in a group that is running it after all. But if given the choice to stick with 3.5 or go with PF, I would have preferred sticking with 3.5 (which is why the game I run still uses it).

If your group goes PF, I wouldn't get a book until you are sure you want to stick with it. You can get some pdfs of all the rules online, almost everything is OGL (tip of the hat to Paizo for that). So you can get started with basically no cost if you have a laptop or other pdf reader.

I've been debating getting an actual book, but after borrowing the ones at the table, I don't really like the lay out so I think for the time being I'll stick with my pdf of the PRD.

Wait...PF is too much, so play 3.5?

O_O

Hey, as long as you're having fun, right?

Sczarni

Kerok wrote:
As I'm still very new here has Paizo mentioned what their long term plans are for this system? I really would hate to start spending hundreds of dollars into a system just to find out 5 years from now they are going to completely overhaul the system like some other large company with the wizard from that place near the water.

As far as I'm aware -- I being a nobody with no inside knowledge whatsoever -- there are no long-term plans for any sort of major overhaul.

I've never heard a Paizo staff member make any sort of comment suggesting something like that. And they are generally very open about their publishing plans on these boards.


I agree with blahpers...huh? 3.5 = power stacking combos from many prestige classes. Pathfinder has (at least in part) corrected for this by making the original classes alot more interesting to play.

- Gauss


PF has some pros like fixing the Paladin class and giving a purpose to Half-Elf and Half-Orc, but IMO the cons FAR outweigh the pros. Many rules are less clear than in 3E (I'm having a debate in another thread right now because paizo left out the sentence that tied skill checks go to the one w/ the highest modifier) and many of the changes make balance problems WORSE than they were in 3E. For example: tumble is severely nerfed making skirmishing suicidal; spellcasters all get freebie concentration skill; Monk was shockingly nerfed in every which way from speed bonus to flurry to unarmed base damage from Imp. Natural Attack despite already being the weakest class in the game even in 3E; casters get a ton of awesome class features to dissuade them from the multiclassing they'd never do anyway while melee options got nerfed (Intimidate can't fear stack with anything, maneuver feats cost more feats for the same effect [caster feats are unchanged] and often require a 3 feat +6 BAB investment just to get bennies that you got completely untrained in 3E like Bull Rushing a foe making him provoke AoOs; combat maneuvers are MUCH harder to pull off; Fighter-replacement spells like Divine Power got BUFFED and polymorph spells you used to be able to drop on the fighter are now often personal-only; you can no longer sneak attack from blinking nor while the foe is balancing unless you ready an action nor with splash weapons... and so forth *sigh*). Melee classes also got more class features, but they pale in comparison to the awesome stuff casters get -- guess which class gets Pounce the earliest? You got it - Summoner! Air Wizard has perma-flight at level 10...how many examples do I need?

It's just...a much less polished, much more unbalanced game. I'd suggest looking over all the free content and porting over the good changes to your 3E game.


Trinite wrote:
Kerok wrote:
As I'm still very new here has Paizo mentioned what their long term plans are for this system? I really would hate to start spending hundreds of dollars into a system just to find out 5 years from now they are going to completely overhaul the system like some other large company with the wizard from that place near the water.

As far as I'm aware -- I being a nobody with no inside knowledge whatsoever -- there are no long-term plans for any sort of major overhaul.

I've never heard a Paizo staff member make any sort of comment suggesting something like that. And they are generally very open about their publishing plans on these boards.

Actually the Paizo staff HAVE commented on it. They mentioned something about a rediculous timetable..I think maybe it was 50years. As in Pathfinder 2.0 will happen in about 50 years.

This doesn't mean they wont change things in the meantime. As of last fall they were playtesting a revision to the stealth rules. But they can make changes like that without overhauling the entire system.

- Gauss


Ok so leaving aside the worth of changes, which is debatable even without considering the dynamic of your particular group, the main difference is that you trade the current breadth of 3.5 material for continued support. However one thing to consider is that you can't unspend money. And so I would suggest perhaps trying out the new system before investing to be sure that your group is satisfied.

Now this changes if your group is willing to convert material between editions. However conversion can go both ways and if your group is willing to convert material I would propose the following. Stick with 3.5 and borrow any stuff that your group wants from pathfinder. This avoids the problem of having to relearn all the fiddly little things that were changed in the new system and keeps out any changes that your group doesn't like while still garnering the benefits of any changes that your group thinks are good.


Gauss wrote:

I agree with blahpers...huh? 3.5 = power stacking combos from many prestige classes. Pathfinder has (at least in part) corrected for this by making the original classes alot more interesting to play.

- Gauss

3.5 base class (less complex than) PF base class (less complex than) 3.5 uber optimized character using multiple base and prestige classes

In 3.5, you could have just stuck with a base class or even just the base classes and avoided much of the complexity. In PF, you don't really have that choice for most base classes.


pres man, your premise is correct. However, the reason most people multiclassed in 3.5 is because with the exception of a few classes there was ZERO reason to stay in your original class. Fighters, Clerics, Sorcerers, and Wizards were the worst on this. Rogues were not far behind. Even the most basic non-uber builds involved multiclassing.

The whole premise behind 3.x has been options, options and still more options. But in 3.0/3.5 those options broke the game half the time. I feel that with a few exceptions most of the options in PF are better.

Honestly, 3.x is not a game to play if you want things simple. At least, not IMO.

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

Here's how I see it my friend, Pathfinder is what 3rd edition should have been from the start. It's the most balanced and in depth sword and sorcery RPG I've played and I adore the changes they've made.

To put it in the simplest terms Pathfinder is everything that 3.5 is, only better :)


Kerok wrote:

It seems like most of the few changes I enjoyed from 4E are what pathfinder fixed but without the changes that I really did not like from 4E.

I'm going to have to second this, speaking as someone who made the jump to Pathfinder last year after three very dissatisfied years of trying to convince myself 4e was for me. Pretty much all of the gripes I had with 3e by 2007/2008 that left me looking forward to 4e (grapple rules, the "half" races being underpowered, spellcasters having to fall back on crossbows at low levels, non-magical classes becoming dead weight at high levels, save or dies, the overcomplicated skill system, and a few others I'm probably forgetting right now) have been addressed wonderfully in Pathfinder, without any of the entire host of new problems 4e introduced. Essentially, Pathfinder is the game I wanted 4e to be - addressing some long-standing oddities in the 3e rules, while remaining mechanically and thematically compatible with what came before.

On top of this, the material Paizo's published since the Core Rules, such as the Advanced Player's Guide, has shown that there's still plenty of new room to expand and explore within the current ruleset, which is always a good thing too.


Oh, one of the greatest selling points to Pathfinder for me? That the developers take an active part on the boards, listen to the players (on the whole) and are basically very very involved in their player base. This can be contrasted with another company we all know where even their current playtest for their next edition comes with a hoard of restrictions on what you can or cannot discuss etc.

+1 for open companies like Paizo.

- Gauss

P.S. Yes, paizo doesn't always get it right...but who does?


3.5 started off fairly balanced, but ended up very much not.

Pathfinder started off even more balanced, and is still being published, so we don't know how bad it is going to get.

Paizo has worked hard to keep the rules of the game fairly limited. 3.5 had a much bigger rule base by this time in its life cycle.

But, Pathfinder isn't perfect. The game designers have stated that they aren't concerned about game balance and it shows.


I have actually heard that 3.5 core is actually the most unbalanced of the rules put out under the system. The expansion books actually were more balanced overall.

@gauss: Well there is simple and then there is simple. Also one of the best things about options is that they tend to be optional. If you toss on the complexity of multiple classes on the base classes and just say it is simpler because it is one book instead of three, I'm not going to buy that entirely. In 3.5 I could choose to go after 3 bases classes and 5 prestige classes if I wanted or not. In PF I don't really get that choice, I get the complexity of those without the option of just sticking with a plain base class (ok, that is a bit of an exaggeration).

Cheliax

Don't worry about all the balance talk. The game is inherently unbalanced. (EX:) A meleer should never equal a caster and visa versa... They both fill thier rolls perfectly. pathfinder did a great job boosting the base classes. The best part is it is all compatible, so take a look at the PF SRD and do some reading.

As with any game everyone has likes and dislikes, just depends on your RP style. Example opposed rolls PC vs NPC is almost gone aka... Trip, grapple, disarm etc....

If you were a Min/ Max guy in 3.5 you will find all you need and want in PF. If you want RP the adventure Paths are awesome + 3 rd party modules rock as well. My group been together 8 years, before that we were all Original DnD guys and 2nd. I initially voted against PF but have since come around as I love powerful characters and PF has that ability.

Enjoy a good read, check out the rest of forums and make decision as a group.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gauss wrote:


This doesn't mean they wont change things in the meantime. As of last fall they were playtesting a revision to the stealth rules. But they can make changes like that without overhauling the entire system.

When they do patch the system, they don't require you to buy a new book. You can download the latest errata for each book for free. Further, if you buy a PDF copy, your download gets updated to the latest version automagically.

I have a 1st printing of the Core Rulebook, but I don't really use it -- just the PDF copy on my iPad (at the table) or on my PC (when prepping).


Pathfinder has a few problems:

  • The combat manuever system is a little awkward. While it is nice that Pathfinder tried to standardize how all of the various combat manuevers function by making them all use the same roll (CMB against CMD), it raises some issues, primarily breaking down with Tiny or smaller creatures and Huge or larger creatures. For example, a stirge has an touch AC of 16. It also has a CMD of 9. That means it is 35% easier for a PC to grapple a stirge and wrestle it to the ground (with an additional +5 bonus on the roll to maintain the grapple and achieve a pin) than it is to touch the stige in the first place (which one would assume that touching the stirge is involved with wrestling with it unless you're one of the X-Men).

  • The binding on my first printing of the CRB was absolutely terrible and has almost completely fallen apart at this point, so if you decide to play Pathfinder, I would recommend sticking with the PRD, the d20PFSRD, and/or a PDF copy of the book. I don't know if the binding on my copy was merely poor and a fluke as far as the majority of the books go or if the quality is genuinely that terrible (and if it was if the quality has improved with later printings/books), but I was far from impressed. My 3.5 PHB has seen far more use and remains in far better condition.

  • Pathfinder is primarily copied and pasted from the 3.5 PHB, but with a handful of new rules added, changing many minor details. These often aren't spelled out clearly as a change and you often must cross reference various sections of the book to find the answers you are looking for. The layout could be improved, though is not completely terrible.

  • The quality controll/proof-reading before going to print seems a bit either rushed, lax, or non-existant. A lot of material that is confusing (DCs to craft magic items), overpowered (Antagonize), or useless (Prone Shooter) slips through.

  • Pathfinder has inherited 3.5's issue of printing material that often invalidates existing material, leading to wasted bloat in the books. Examples of this include the magus more or less removing the need for the eldritch knight and arcane archer prestige classes and the ninja basically being the super rogue.

Pathfinder brings a lot of good to the table too:

  • The artwork throughout the books is simply wonderful and top-quality.

  • The Golarion campaign setting is vibrant and vast (even if it could use a Mexico-analogue and some better nature deities). It is inclusive toward sexuality as well as being inspired of many ethnitices. Easily my favorite campaign setting (other than my own).

  • The Paizo team are active on the boards.

  • The adventure paths and modules are some of the best I've ever seen.

    Honestly, though, while I use Pathfinder on occasion, most of the pros for me are system neutral (like the art and campaign setting), so I stick with a houseruled 3.5 (though I often set games in Golarion).

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Do you know 3.5 well? Stick with 3.5

Do you want print support and don't mind learning the multitude of changes? Buy PF.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

The only people left playing 3.5 are hipsters, 'cause Pathfinder is too mainstream.


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My character? Level 20 Monk of the Healing Hand. You've probably never heard of him.


Or you can wait for D&D Next and see how it goes. :)

Having played both 3rd E and Pathfinder, I can tell you that both systems are really close and that for everything Pathfinder fixes, it brokes something else. I never played with munchkins, so while I understand the complaints about 3rd E bloat, I never suffered from it as a GM or a player. Here's a quick list about what I like/hate about Pathfinder:

What I like:
- new balanced rules for shapeshifting and polymorphing;
- feats are gained more often (you always need more feats);
- alternatives for slower level progression (if you want);
- half-elf is now a playable race;
- ranger is now a playable class;
- combat maneuver system works well during the lower levels;
- skill system is more streamlined;
- clerics are no longer proeficient with heavy armor;
- rogues get 1d8 hp/lvl;
- monoclassing is now rewarded (instead of punishing multiclassing).

What I hate:
- 0-level spells can be cast all-day long;
- spiked chain is no longer a reach weapon, but it still require EWP;
- combat maneuver system is broken from mid to high levels, unless you fight mostly medium-sized humanoids;
- some classes are more complicated than their 3rd E counterparts, often uselessly so;
- combat maneuver feats were nerfed;
- domain powers;
- channel energy;
- wizards and sorcerers received gifts that were not needed;
- the cavalier;
- lots and lots of inconsistencies within the rules (3rd E had that too).


Gorbacz wrote:
The only people left playing 3.5 are hipsters, 'cause Pathfinder is too mainstream.

Hipsters are becoming mainstream here in Quebec city and this is awful! D:


all in all, I like Pathfinder IF you stay to core and use the FAQ judiciously. The game has gotten worse since it first came out. But, the core is pretty good and if you like 3x, you should really like PF.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Quite simply, take the game you prefer, and tweak it until you're happy with it.

For Kirth, Pathfinder became Kirthfinder. For me, 3.5 has become 3.Tri.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Pathfinder? Puh-leaz. I played Continuum before/after/sideways it was cool.

Andoran

Kerok wrote:
I would like to hear pro's and con's as well as just simply stating what the differences are in rules and classes/monsters.

This summary and the following posts is a decent start on some things that are different between the two editions.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

Quite simply, take the game you prefer, and tweak it until you're happy with it.

For Kirth, Pathfinder became Kirthfinder. For me, 3.5 has become 3.Tri.

I would have thought that would have been Tri.5 :D

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

...I may have to edit the page heading now.


I was a huge 3.5 fan and had doubts about Pathfinder, I love what they did to the classes, it puts them on equal level(if not better) with 3.5 Prestige Classes. PrC from 3.5 are still easy to use with Pathfinder. A house rule I like to use with PrC - if you multiclass into PrC with a single core class you continue get favored class bonuses, if you have to have 2 core classes to gain the prestige class you get your favored class bonus every other level(fighter/wizard/eldritch knight), unless you have have 2 favored classes(half elf).

I don't think classes are more confusing if you start at 1st level and know your character, along with GM, its all on paper. Alot of the abilities you see at various levels are a continuation of a previous ability.

I read a post that said theres less material then 3.5 and thats true, but you get alot more crunch in a PF Rulebook by far then a 3.5. They organize so much better and leave the fluff where it belongs, in campaign books.

Shadow Lodge

As a DM that has ran custom home-brewed worlds in 3.5, Arcana Evolved, and Pathfinder, I love Pathfinder. Compared to the 80 books I needed for everyone to play what they wanted, when they wanted, I have the Core Rulebook, the Advanced Player's Guide, the Gamemastery Guide, the Ultimate Combat and the Ultimate Magic books and two bestiaries. That's seven books.

Compared to what I needed in 3.5: The Player's Handbook, the DMG, Complete Arcane, Complete Divine, Complete Champion, Complete Scoundrel, Complete Warrior, Races of Destiny, Races of Eberron, Races of Faerun, Races of Stone, Races of the Dragon, Races of the Wild, Savage Species, and four bestiaries. That total's to 18 books.

Seven books vs eighteen books. You do the math. Also, when confronted with new to newish players, I only have to convince them to buy one $50 rulebook as opposed to spending $80 to buy their own copies of the PHB and the DMG.

The conversion guide (which has been previously mentioned), plus the conversion sub-forum hosted here is immensely helpful. As DM, I've flatout ruled that unless it comes from the core rules from Pathfinder, it's banned. If you want something from an older book, I'll work with you and either find the Pathfinder equivalent or work with you to convert the feat, spell, etc.

I believe James Jacobs said that Pazio wasn't going even consider upgrading Pathfinder for 10+ years and that was a year ago. They feel they're system is fine and won't upgrade it unless it's needed. New editions don't fund their company. As also previously mentioned above, the Adventure Paths fund their company. So you don't have to worry about new rules every four to five years.

All in all, I give Pathfinder five out of five stars. It's everything I wanted from the 3.5 edition ruleset. There a few things I wish they would have taken from Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved, but I can deal with out those features.

My two coppers.

Shadow Lodge

The forum is acting wonky and won't let me edit...

The final feature I wanted to touch on was the cost of PDFs vs Print. I love the fact that every book comes out in PDF. I rarely buy any of the companion books in print, but have got them all in PDF.

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