Paradigm Shift or Not? Pathfinder and D&D Traditions


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Spacelard wrote:


I think he means restrictions on levels and wasn't there a minimum stat for certain races?

Maybe, but in that case, the paradigm's been changing since BECMI when you didn't play an 'elven cleric' you played an 'elf'.


But I think we all can agree, that forbidding certain classes for certain races for the sole reason of enforcing archetypes has never been a good idea.
I see how it seemed cool to say, let's allow players to play a dwarf or an elf. And they soon realized that it makes much more sense to make characters that have a race and a class seperate from each other. But apparently at that point someone thought that the stereotypes of the elf class and the dwarf class should be preserved, which gave us class and level restrictions and we're still not entirely free of favored classes.

I'd say the only thing that ever deserved the term paradigm shift was to seperate race and class. Anything since then is just difference in how to realize said paradigm into rules.

Liberty's Edge

Chris Mortika wrote:
Derek, I was thinking about reasserting Greyhawk as the default campaign setting (sort of), and reusing the "example of play" from the first edition's DMG.

Oh, I know, and I agree somewhat. I was just goofing on how the rules played out and Monte's tenure at I.C.E. :)

Shadow Lodge

Frostflame wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Frostflame wrote:
jasin wrote:
Beckett wrote:
It doesn't. The Ranger was based off of Aragorn from LotR. Aragorn, (completely seperate from being a nomadic woodsman) was also uniquily adapt at fighting with two weapons as a character trait.
I don't think Tolkien knew this.
Well the movie Aragorn was based off the third edition Ranger, come to think of it maybe Legolas as well
Having been on set during film of the LotR trilogy I don't think Peter Jackson had any 3e connection in mind for any character...
Perhaps not but I couldnt help but notice certain mechanical similarities there were in Aragorn to the Ranger Class same with Legolas with all the archer tricks he was doing I found myself naming feats.

It was in one of those histories of D&D. Either Gygax or Anderson essentually based the Ranger clas off of Aragorn, partially because people wante the two weapon fighting and partially for the tracker, woodsmany fighter. I've never read the LotR books (not really interested), but I seem to recall the Legolas was more of a 1st Ed Elf class, able to use minor magic as well as fight. I'm pretty sure it was Legolas that summoned the water that stopped the RingWraiths in the first movie.


Beckett wrote:
Either Gygax or Anderson essentually based the Ranger clas off of Aragorn, partially because people wante the two weapon fighting and partially for the tracker, woodsmany fighter.

Certainly he drew on Aragorn for inspiration, but equally as much on Belphebe (from deCamp & Pratt's Complete Enchanter stories) and others as well.


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Beckett wrote:


It was in one of those historoes of D&D. Either Gygax or Anderson essentually based the Ranger clas off of Aragorn, partially because people wante the two weapon fighting and partially for the tracker, woodsmany fighter. I've never read the LotR books (not really interested), but I seem to recall the Legolas was more of a 1st Ed Elf class, able to use minor magic as well as fight. I'm pretty sure it was Legolas that summoned the water that stopped the RingWraiths in the first movie.

Big LotR fan. Read it a lot, particularly to my kids (Frodo and Sam have just set out from the gates of Mordor to head toward the crossroads as of last night's reading).

It's Elrond who causes the river to swamp the Ringwraiths (with some imagery from Gandalf). Glorfindel uses his elven mojo to help scare the horses into the river along with torch-wielding Aragorn, Sam, Pippin, and Merry. Legolas never shows any magical aptitude. He's pretty much a fighter all the way (though with good cross-class ranks in balance in 3e terms).

But there is absolutely no reference to Aragorn dual-wielding that I know of. That didn't even enter the AD&D class's formal concept until 2e, long after the inital ranger (first appearing in the Strategic Review) and revised in 1e could have been based on Aragorn.


Bill Dunn wrote:
But there is absolutely no reference to Aragorn dual-wielding that I know of. That didn't even enter the AD&D class's formal concept until 2e, long after the initial ranger (first appearing in the Strategic Review) and revised in 1e could have been based on Aragorn.

I've read the Lord of the Rings over a dozen times myself, since I first discovered it as a 10-year-old, and I concur, there's no sign of Aragorn doing anything remotely resembling dual-wielding. I don't think there's anyone who dual-wields in the books -- it's either one-handed weapon, one-handed weapon and shield, two-handed weapon (and this one is rare), or bow, as far as I can recall.

Liberty's Edge

Neithan wrote:

But I think we all can agree, that forbidding certain classes for certain races for the sole reason of enforcing archetypes has never been a good idea.

I see how it seemed cool to say, let's allow players to play a dwarf or an elf. And they soon realized that it makes much more sense to make characters that have a race and a class seperate from each other. But apparently at that point someone thought that the stereotypes of the elf class and the dwarf class should be preserved, which gave us class and level restrictions and we're still not entirely free of favored classes.Now there is a pleasant mental picture... Seems I remember clown pants and you remember being physically I'll - great times weren't they?!

I'd say the only thing that ever deserved the term paradigm shift was to seperate race and class. Anything since then is just difference in how to realize said paradigm into rules.

Why do you feel that all races should be all classes to all levels? In 2e Zeb explains somewhat why they are there and why they should remain. An example from 2e was the Elf. If they live so long and can get to all levels in all classes why isn't the world run by 20th level Elves? This is assuming they advance at the same XP/level as a human. It stopped Halfling armies of 20th level with 20 strength rampaging across the globe. Mechanically it may have taken away your "freedom" but I think it added to the feel of D&D, that is why I count that change as hugely significant. I'm happy to say that as Gygax himself backs me up in black & white print ;)

S.


The Demihuman Level Restriction rule was WRITTEN to be broken. There was no disagreement at the table when our DM struck it from the rulebook and I followed suit when I took over the mantle.

Level 20 2e Halfling Paladin? F yeah, I gots me one of those. DO summethin 'bout it!


Stefan Hill wrote:
Neithan wrote:

But I think we all can agree, that forbidding certain classes for certain races for the sole reason of enforcing archetypes has never been a good idea.

I see how it seemed cool to say, let's allow players to play a dwarf or an elf. And they soon realized that it makes much more sense to make characters that have a race and a class seperate from each other. But apparently at that point someone thought that the stereotypes of the elf class and the dwarf class should be preserved, which gave us class and level restrictions and we're still not entirely free of favored classes.Now there is a pleasant mental picture... Seems I remember clown pants and you remember being physically I'll - great times weren't they?!

I'd say the only thing that ever deserved the term paradigm shift was to seperate race and class. Anything since then is just difference in how to realize said paradigm into rules.

Why do you feel that all races should be all classes to all levels? In 2e Zeb explains somewhat why they are there and why they should remain. An example from 2e was the Elf. If they live so long and can get to all levels in all classes why isn't the world run by 20th level Elves? This is assuming they advance at the same XP/level as a human. It stopped Halfling armies of 20th level with 20 strength rampaging across the globe. Mechanically it may have taken away your "freedom" but I think it added to the feel of D&D, that is why I count that change as hugely significant. I'm happy to say that as Gygax himself backs me up in black & white print ;)

S.

I would add to this that the leveling speed of 1e was very much slower and that at level 9 you really were much more experinced and had done much more and seen more then you do in 3e. In three books in an AP you end up level 10, in all the the temple and slaver series combined you were not expected to get to level 9.

One fun artical I recall long ago was about how elven chain could not be enchanted because it was basically "invisible" to magic. Very old dragon artical.

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Loopy wrote:
The Demihuman Level Restriction rule was WRITTEN to be broken.

The original authors would indicate otherwise - but it's you "version" of D&D at the end of the day that counts.

So this would appear to be a paradigm shift...

S.

Liberty's Edge

Stefan Hill wrote:
Loopy wrote:
The Demihuman Level Restriction rule was WRITTEN to be broken.

The original authors would indicate otherwise - but it's you "version" of D&D at the end of the day that counts.

So this would appear to be a paradigm shift...

It's a paradigm shift that happened at the hands of the DMs and players. In nixing the level restrictions, 3E only reflected the game as played by many, many groups.

Scarab Sages

I love it when people say "Pathfinder is nothing but a collection of someone's houserules".

So was Blackmoor.


Jal Dorak wrote:
So was Blackmoor.

I love me some qullans! And ice toads, with frostman servants! Yeah!

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Stefan Hill wrote:


Why do you feel that all races should be all classes to all levels? In 2e Zeb explains somewhat why they are there and why they should remain. An example from 2e was the Elf. If they live so long and can get to all levels in all classes why isn't the world run by 20th level Elves? This is assuming they advance at the same XP/level as a human. It stopped Halfling armies of 20th level with 20 strength rampaging across the globe. Mechanically it may have taken away your "freedom" but I think it added to the feel of D&D, that is why I count that change as hugely significant. I'm happy to say that as Gygax himself backs me up in black & white print ;)

Considering that no one has an easy pass to 20th level, I never bought that elves would suddenly become magic-wielding demigods without level limits. From my perspective, a longer lifespan just means that elves have more ways to die before they reach old age.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Beckett wrote:
Either Gygax or Arneson essentially based the Ranger class off of Aragorn, partially because people wanted the two weapon fighting and partially for the tracker, woodsmany fighter.
Certainly he drew on Aragorn for inspiration, but equally as much on Belphebe (from deCamp & Pratt's Complete Enchanter stories) and others as well.

Not to mention Jack the Giant-killer (i.e., the hero of Jack and the Beanstalk).

BTW, Gygax and Arneson may have based the ranger (somewhat) on Aragorn, but 1st Ed AD&D rangers did NOT get two weapon fighting as a class feature. Even with the additional rules in the 1st Ed AD&D Unearthed Arcana (probably the last big Gygax contribution), rangers didn't get two weapon fighting; drow elves could attack with two weapons without penalty as a racial ability. As others have noted, it wasn't until 2nd Ed that rangers became two weapon fighters.

Note, this isn't a slam of Driz'zt. When he was first introduced, a surface-dwelling drow ranger (good aligned, by 1st Ed AD&D rules) that fought with two weapons was a "fresh" and unusual character concept. It's only after the army of imitators started showing up in droves that the backlash started. Similar boom-backlash cycles occur with other over-used character concepts (i.e., the 3.x spiked chain tripper).


I liked the old 1ed rule of certain races being limited in class level. It balanced all the cool abilities the other races got. It also played to stereotypes which isn't a bad thing, IMO.
I still find it hard to swollow that a dwarf can be a 20th level wizard, to me the bonuses to spell saves made it clear that dwarves had an issue with arcane abilities.


The big problem I see with the discontinued rule to cap classes depending on the characters race is, that it is apparently meant to get something like balance.
But if you are playing a game that never gets beyond 10th level, which apparently is the norm for "casual groups", it's as if the rule did not exist.
If the game goes well beyond the caps, the human character gains levels more and more, while everyone else doesn't get any XP anymore. What would be the fun of a game, when two players have characters at level 20, but the others are still at 12 or 14, havn't gotten any XP since two years?

And restricting classes from races is fluff. In the lands of Generica dwarves don't use arcane magic. Okay, but that's the setting. There's no reason to not have homebrew settings in which there are dwarven wizards.

I don't mean this to be an accusation of bad game design by the people who created these rules decades ago. But today D&D and RPGs in general are are mostly understood as a set of rules options on the one hand, and flashed out fantasy worlds on the other. And you pick the options from the rules, that you think represent the world best.
It obviously was different in the earlier years, but today there is no reason to put such restrictions into a Rule-Book, that is used by players and gms of many different settings. If you want to have them and enforce them with hard rules, this is part of the setting rules, not the basic rules.
And even if my homebrew setting has no wizards in orc society, that does not mean that orcs are physically incapable of arcane magic. The general rule for the whole race can remain, even if there is on orc in a far away country, who got taken as an apprentice by a wizard.


Spacelard wrote:

I liked the old 1ed rule of certain races being limited in class level. It balanced all the cool abilities the other races got. It also played to stereotypes which isn't a bad thing, IMO.

I still find it hard to swollow that a dwarf can be a 20th level wizard, to me the bonuses to spell saves made it clear that dwarves had an issue with arcane abilities.

The demihuman racial class and level limitations/restrictions would seem to also have been implemented for a variety of cultural/social reasons inherent to those races. Part of the reason elves, for example, did not conquer the world due to living literally one to three thousand years was that as they aged their ambition and drive to attain phenomenal cosmic power radically decreased.

During the latter days of 2e I seem to recall racial limitations/ability requirements were often altered, changed and/or outright discarded or ignored to reflect that race's cultural and social aspects in relation to game mechanical terms.

I guess, in short, one running a World of Greyhawk 3e/PRPG campaign could easily justify implementing a great many of the 1e standards for demihumans because the 1e expectations/limitations/restrictions are inherent to that game world/campaign setting.

Whether or not one would DO so is another matter ... :)

As far as racial limitations on classes due to racial traits, such as dwarven arcane casters, one could rule thusly:

"The dwarf's resistance to magic is both boon and bane. Dwarves who seek to master the arcane arts, whether by study or by tainted bloodline [wizard or sorcerer], suffer a decrease in the saving throw DCs of their spells equal to their racial bonus [or perhaps twice their racial bonus?] on saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities, save for dwarven bards."

I vaguely recall that the rare, often ostracized and outcast dwarf who had 'magic flowing in his veins' back in the day would - in 3e terms at least - effectively trade that resistance to magic for the ability to perform arcane magic at the full saving throw DC. The social/role-play elements of such a background is pretty potent, although I would not recommend doing so more than once every five or ten years as a player.


Turin the Mad wrote:


The demihuman racial class and level limitations/restrictions would seem to also have been implemented for a variety of cultural/social reasons inherent to those races. Part of the reason elves, for example, did not conquer the world due to living literally one to three thousand years was that as they aged their ambition and drive to attain phenomenal cosmic power radically decreased.

I just thought Elves were lazy...

I think that these cultural differences should still be part of the game. Agreed every culture would have clerics but I don't see every culture having Wizards, high level ones anyway, perhaps Hedge Wizards at best.
Actually I would prefer the Adept/Shaman NPC class be open to those without a culture of spellcasting instead.
If you *really* want to get bogged down in detail have the shorter life span races use the Fast Advance table and the longer living races use the Slow Advance XP table.

*goes back to making tikka masala*


Spacelard wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:


The demihuman racial class and level limitations/restrictions would seem to also have been implemented for a variety of cultural/social reasons inherent to those races. Part of the reason elves, for example, did not conquer the world due to living literally one to three thousand years was that as they aged their ambition and drive to attain phenomenal cosmic power radically decreased.

I just thought Elves were lazy...

I think that these cultural differences should still be part of the game. Agreed every culture would have clerics but I don't see every culture having Wizards, high level ones anyway, perhaps Hedge Wizards at best.
Actually I would prefer the Adept/Shaman NPC class be open to those without a culture of spellcasting instead.
If you *really* want to get bogged down in detail have the shorter life span races use the Fast Advance table and the longer living races use the Slow Advance XP table.

*goes back to making tikka masala*

Hrm ...

Half-orcs and humans fast, hobbits/halflings, gnomes, half-elves and dwarves medium & elves slow? (Using the 1e age charts)


Neithan wrote:

The big problem I see with the discontinued rule to cap classes depending on the characters race is, that it is apparently meant to get something like balance.

But if you are playing a game that never gets beyond 10th level, which apparently is the norm for "casual groups", it's as if the rule did not exist.
If the game goes well beyond the caps, the human character gains levels more and more, while everyone else doesn't get any XP anymore. What would be the fun of a game, when two players have characters at level 20, but the others are still at 12 or 14, havn't gotten any XP since two years?

The point is the level cap was there so to encourage people to play a human. Why play a human wizard when an elf wizard can do the same and more? Apart from RPing reasons.

To overcome that cap demi-humans either multiclassed (which was easy) or took a class which they could unlimited advance in, ie. Halfling Thieves.
Remember a 10th Fighter/10th Wizard Elf in PF is a CR20 critter. In 1ed it would have been classed as a 15CR critter (I think...maybe only 11th).
In PF or 3.5 multiclassing is the norm, well it is in 3.5 with all the splatbooks, so I can't see why a cap on level would mean a cap on character advancement.


Turin the Mad wrote:


Hrm ...

Half-orcs and humans fast, hobbits/halflings, gnomes, half-elves and dwarves medium & elves slow? (Using the 1e age charts)

Yes, it will pi$$ elves off but I don't like the pointy eared tree huggers much anyway! Strutting around thinking they own the place...Just because you can live for 2000 years...

*goes back to soak skewers so they don't burn*

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Spacelard wrote:


The point is the level cap was there so to encourage people to play a human. Why play a human wizard when an elf wizard can do the same and more? Apart from RPing reasons.

The reason I never bought this explanation was because thieves back in 1st edition had unlimited advancement for all races. By the logic above, there should never have been human thieves in an AD&D game when elves and halflings were objectively better at it. Yet I saw plenty of human thieves, and even played some. Even in 2nd edition, half-elves had unlimited advancement as bards. Why, then, weren't all bards half-elves? And why wasn't the world swarming with 100-year old, 50th-level half-elf bards?

Either way, looking back to the original topic, I don't think the class and level restrictions can be considered a paradigm shift in Pathfinder. Since those rules have been gone throughout 3rd edition, the paradigm shift would be if Pathfinder brought them back.


I ususally don't play humans. But I'm always surprised that I'm one of very few players who do. Most people I know always play only humans.


Neithan wrote:
I ususally don't play humans. But I'm always surprised that I'm one of very few players who do. Most people I know always play only humans.

Heh. In 1e we all played elves, because they were "obviously" better than the other races, in terms of a package of goodies. Come 3.0, and all the sudden everyone I knew was playing humans only. Funny how that works!


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Beckett wrote:
Either Gygax or Anderson essentually based the Ranger clas off of Aragorn, partially because people wante the two weapon fighting and partially for the tracker, woodsmany fighter.
Certainly he drew on Aragorn for inspiration, but equally as much on Belphebe (from deCamp & Pratt's Complete Enchanter stories) and others as well.

HERE is a link to the list of influences on Mr Gygax


Spacelard wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Certainly he drew on Aragorn for inspiration, but equally as much on Belphebe (from deCamp & Pratt's Complete Enchanter stories) and others as well.
HERE is a link to the list of influences on Mr Gygax

Aha! And there it is, proving my case: about 7 lines down:

Gary Gygax wrote:
de Camp, L. Sprague, and Fletcher Pratt. Harold Shea series

.

Woot!


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Spacelard wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Certainly he drew on Aragorn for inspiration, but equally as much on Belphebe (from deCamp & Pratt's Complete Enchanter stories) and others as well.
HERE is a link to the list of influences on Mr Gygax

Aha! And there it is, proving my case: about 7 lines down:

Gary Gygax wrote:
de Camp, L. Sprague, and Fletcher Pratt. Harold Shea series

.

Woot!

Nice to be right isn't it!

Have one on me!


Spacelard wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Beckett wrote:
Either Gygax or Anderson essentually based the Ranger clas off of Aragorn, partially because people wante the two weapon fighting and partially for the tracker, woodsmany fighter.
Certainly he drew on Aragorn for inspiration, but equally as much on Belphebe (from deCamp & Pratt's Complete Enchanter stories) and others as well.
HERE is a link to the list of influences on Mr Gygax

I am ashamed to admit many of those works I have not read, prehaps I will use it as a challenge to read a few just to get a better idea of his influences.

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Neithan wrote:
And restricting classes from races is fluff. In the lands of Generica dwarves don't use arcane magic. Okay, but that's the setting. There's no reason to not have homebrew settings in which there are dwarven wizards.

True but the focus of this thread was is there a paradigm shift or not. It could be argued that in Gygaxica Dwarves don't weild magic so if you are playing a Dwarven Wizard you are not so much playing D&D as playing a generic game based on D&D. I think it is hard to not see the paradigm shift. Gygax gave good reasons (in the text) as to why he did X and Y. Later editions just add on "all" the options without envoking anything other than - we wanted to be more generic and allow ANY setting to be played. D&D even without Greyhawk and the like WAS a setting and in that "setting" Halflings were 4th fighters, Elves didn't have Cleric etc.

Later authors added in "choice" that wasn't part of D&D, that is a paradigm shift...

S.


It's actually kind of eerie how few of those I haven't read:

Brown, Fredric.
Carter, Lin. World's End series
Derleth, August.
Farmer, Philip Jose. The World of the Tiers series, et al.
Offutt, Andrew J., editor. Swords Against Darkness III
St. Clair, Margaret. The Shadow People; Sign of the Labrys.

...and of those, I've read other stuff by Lin Carter and Philip Jose Farmer.

I need to get out more!


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Stefan Hill wrote:
Elves didn't have Cleric etc.

Technically speaking, 1st Ed AD&D PC elves couldn't be clerics. NPC elves could; their primary focus was (supposedly) supporting their community, however, so they didn't adventure. I always thought that was a bit of a cop-out, but the stricter role/rule ("stereotype") restrictions in 1st Ed AD&D were (IMO) in place to keep humans viable: they were the only race that could be any class and were not limited as to how high of a level they could reach (apart from the classes that had inherent level limits).


Someone posted on another thread which struck a cord.
I can remember playing a character for months and still be only second or third level. It would take us years to play a character to seventh level. Now it seems that you can play your PC for a night and *woosh* you have second level. In a few months your playing ninth levels.
This to me is one of the biggest shifts from old school to Pathfinder. To my mind it takes away the slow development of a character and shortens the play-span of it. I mean why go and really develop your PC if in a years time you hit 20th Lvl and the campaign grinds to a halt.
I was pleased to see the level progression tables had an in built variable but I still cut back on xps just to keep things going.
Old school MU needed 2501xps to hit second level, if memory isn't wrong and your orc was worth 5xps+1xp/hit point. To me that is happy days.

The other shift I note is in PC stats. You only started getting bonuses on stuff with a stat 14 or over, memory chip maybe wrong though. Take DEX for example 18 you got a +4 bonus to AC to 15 DEX to get a +1 bonus. Now any stat over 12 gives you a bonus with only 10-11 being a "dead" stat. And the ability to increase stats is so easy. Old school Fighter with 17 STR, 16 CON and 9th level was something to fear. +1 to hit and +1 damage with his longsword. He would be laughed at now! It all stikes me as a bit powergamerish. I don't mean to insult anyone by that but everything else has had to be ramped up to compensate.

Ramble over. Going back to pipe and slippers now.


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Spacelard wrote:
Old school Fighter with 17 STR, 16 CON and 9th level was something to fear. +1 to hit and +1 damage with his longsword. He would be laughed at now!

He was laughed at then by everyone who had managed to roll an 18 for strength. Anyone worried about stat compression to the higher numbers in 3e is forgetting the number of fighters who "rolled" 18/xx strength and the desireability of gauntlets of ogre power and girdles of giant strength.

I thought the change in stat bonuses, particularly the standardization of them, was one of 3e's strengths. It removed the tyranny of having to lock in a super high stat just to get some bonus out of it that put you above the normal man on the street. A 14 was as good as a 16 or more in previous editions.
AND the stats could be improved as you leveled (albeit, fairly slowly) without magic.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Spacelard wrote:
Old school Fighter with 17 STR, 16 CON and 9th level was something to fear. +1 to hit and +1 damage with his longsword. He would be laughed at now!

He was laughed at then by everyone who had managed to roll an 18 for strength. Anyone worried about stat compression to the higher numbers in 3e is forgetting the number of fighters who "rolled" 18/xx strength and the desireability of gauntlets of ogre power and girdles of giant strength.

I thought the change in stat bonuses, particularly the standardization of them, was one of 3e's strengths. It removed the tyranny of having to lock in a super high stat just to get some bonus out of it that put you above the normal man on the street. A 14 was as good as a 16 or more in previous editions.
AND the stats could be improved as you leveled (albeit, fairly slowly) without magic.

But the point I was trying to make was that an 18:00 STR was something very, very special and it got you +3 to hit and +5 damage. Now if you *haven't* got a +5 bonus on your main stat you're playing a deficient character or that is the impression I get. I grew up on a game were a character with an 18 as its primary stat (remember those!) was something to brag about. Now any dirty farmer can have a 15 as Str and not be too far behind our old timer with 18:00 Str.

Gauntlets of Ogre Power were *the* item every fighter wanted now you get a +2 strength bonus and doesn't seem like a big deal. A Girdle of Hill Giant Strength and the 19 Strength it gave you was the stuff of dreams!

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Spacelard wrote:

Someone posted on another thread which struck a cord.

I can remember playing a character for months and still be only second or third level. It would take us years to play a character to seventh level. Now it seems that you can play your PC for a night and *woosh* you have second level. In a few months your playing ninth levels.
This to me is one of the biggest shifts from old school to Pathfinder. To my mind it takes away the slow development of a character and shortens the play-span of it.

I would argue that Pathfinder actually shifts back toward older editions in this regard. The addition of a medium and slow experience track allows more slower advancement to get to the next level. Pathfinder also provides suggestions in terms of challenge adjustments and treasure placement for slower advancement or low-magic games, which I appreciate quite a bit.

Quote:

I was pleased to see the level progression tables had an in built variable but I still cut back on xps just to keep things going.

Old school MU needed 2501xps to hit second level, if memory isn't wrong and your orc was worth 5xps+1xp/hit point. To me that is happy days.

You forgot that every gp of treasure was worth 1 XP, though. Given the treasure placement in old modules, it was pretty easy to skyrocket through levels unless the DM tightened the reigns a bit.

Quote:
The other shift I note is in PC stats. You only started getting bonuses on stuff with a stat 14 or over, memory chip maybe wrong though. Take DEX for example 18 you got a +4 bonus to AC to 15 DEX to get a +1 bonus. Now any stat over 12 gives you a bonus with only 10-11 being a "dead" stat. And the ability to increase stats is so easy. Old school Fighter with 17 STR, 16 CON and 9th level was something to fear. +1 to hit and +1 damage with his longsword. He would be laughed at now! It all stikes me as a bit powergamerish. I don't mean to insult anyone by that but everything else has had to be ramped up to compensate.

I think high stats have always been a big goal in PC creation. Yes, the rulebooks said that even a character with 8s across the board was playable, but then they contradicted themselves by giving out ways of generating insane stats through stuff like Unearthed Arcana. And stats meant very little until you got to the super high end. In AD&D, for instance, you didn't get a bonus to hit or damage until you got a 16 Strength. By comparison, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the 3rd edition Player's Handbook for the first time and found that my 14 Strength fighter was finally decently strong.

I think the big shift in ability scores isn't that they got higher, because people have been cheating on their die rolls since 1974. I think the big change is that they now have a means of improvement. If your wizard only has a 14 Intelligence, it's not a huge deal anymore. You gain ability score increases and can craft items to boost your intellect. In AD&D, a 14 Intelligence wizard was someone who, barring a wish spell or a stat-boosting tome, would always be smarter than the average bear but duller than the average wizard. Whether that's good or bad depends on the perspective of the people playing the game.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Spacelard wrote:
Gauntlets of Ogre Power were *the* item every fighter wanted now you get a +2 strength bonus and doesn't seem like a big deal. A Girdle of Hill Giant Strength and the 19 Strength it gave you was the stuff of dreams!

I remember an AD&D game I ran that very nearly got wrecked because the party wizard found a girdle of cloud giant strength. When he wasn't nuking people with spells, he was tossing boulders. Even if someone closed to melee, he had something like a +9 to hit and +12 to damage, allowing to trash most fighters in a brawl. I had him face off against someone who had a girdle of storm giant strength and the battle ended up with them throwing each other through walls and trashing most of a city block. Good times.

Scarab Sages

pres man wrote:
I wouldn't put too much faith in an advertising poster as evidence of anything. Mona has said that the "thrives" was used primarily because it ryhmes with "survives".

3.5!

Got nine lives!

Errr....

3.5!
Now with chives!


Charlie Brooks wrote:
Spacelard wrote:
Gauntlets of Ogre Power were *the* item every fighter wanted now you get a +2 strength bonus and doesn't seem like a big deal. A Girdle of Hill Giant Strength and the 19 Strength it gave you was the stuff of dreams!
I remember an AD&D game I ran that very nearly got wrecked because the party wizard found a girdle of cloud giant strength. When he wasn't nuking people with spells, he was tossing boulders. Even if someone closed to melee, he had something like a +9 to hit and +12 to damage, allowing to trash most fighters in a brawl. I had him face off against someone who had a girdle of storm giant strength and the battle ended up with them throwing each other through walls and trashing most of a city block. Good times.

In 1st ed a wizard could not wear a girdle of cloud giant strength, though even if he could his bonus to hit would be +5 and a +11 to damage.

18(00) strength also gives +3 to hit and +6 on damage, some one above mentioned +3,+5. Close but even better.

One of my my favorite fighter types ever had a 17 strength thoughout and never felt worse for it. Gauntlets were rare, but not unseen in published adventures. Girdles of any giant strength were super rare, I can think of only 3 with one in them. Potions of giant strength were more common but did not give a bonus to hit only to damage, weird but still great to find. I know the only character I ever had that managed to get one was a cleric/mage....hit points of tissue, but hit like a brick in melee with an armor class to match. His spells were also subpar of course because he was a lower level caster then the rest of the party but he made a fine 5th man back then.


One more thing about 1st ed and stats. Back then not only did great stats make you a kick but, but it also meant in general you leveled faster. Many classes gave you a 10% bonus for having the right high stats.

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Snorter wrote:
pres man wrote:
I wouldn't put too much faith in an advertising poster as evidence of anything. Mona has said that the "thrives" was used primarily because it ryhmes with "survives".

3.5!

Got nine lives!

Errr....

3.5!
Now with chives!

3.5

Doesn't give you hives!


Azzy wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Loopy wrote:
The Demihuman Level Restriction rule was WRITTEN to be broken.

The original authors would indicate otherwise - but it's you "version" of D&D at the end of the day that counts.

So this would appear to be a paradigm shift...

It's a paradigm shift that happened at the hands of the DMs and players. In nixing the level restrictions, 3E only reflected the game as played by many, many groups.

Our group eased them some, but never removed them and didn't ease them a ton. Basically we eased them alot for single class characters with classes listed for them in the 1ed PHB, eased them very little for you if you multiclassed.


neoookami wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Truthfully pathfinder feels more like 2nd edition to me than 3.5. I know it's an odd statement but that's where it lands for me.
I'm thrilled I'm not the only one to kinda get that feel with the game...

ditto..i played A LOT of 2nd ed and i must say this get back to how i used to feel about the game. PF if the first RPG that i have been EXCITED about in a very long time.

on a side note i o not believe that the rogue or the fighter are over powered by any standard and the new powers for the sorcerer is a nice touch. the HP boost is nice and tying the HP dice to the BAB progression makes a lot of sense to me.
on a side note after playing a lot of 2nd ed and PF now i must say this. in comparison to the cleric vs wizard...why even use the wizard now..your cleric is much more powerful than wizard (ie free martial weapon from your god, armor use, no arcane spell failure from armor, better HD and better BAB, no to mention a lot for the wizards spells are available to the cleric AND as a cleric you can heal your self and others) but that a personal gripe from someone who played a lot of casters in his day.

Liberty's Edge

Spacelard wrote:

Someone posted on another thread which struck a cord.

I can remember playing a character for months and still be only second or third level. It would take us years to play a character to seventh level. Now it seems that you can play your PC for a night and *woosh* you have second level. In a few months your playing ninth levels.
This to me is one of the biggest shifts from old school to Pathfinder.

Um, again this was a change from 2E to 3E, so it really can't be attributed to Pathfinder. If anything, PF added in alternate XP charts that allow for slower progression.

Spacelard wrote:
The other shift I note is in PC stats. You only started getting bonuses on stuff with a stat 14 or over, memory chip maybe wrong though. Take DEX for example 18 you got a +4 bonus to AC to 15 DEX to get a +1 bonus. Now any stat over 12 gives you a bonus with only 10-11 being a "dead" stat.

That's only true of AD&D, in D&D bonuses started at 13 and were more evenly spaced. Personally, I feel the current method is better game design as it makes the differences in ability scores more meaningful.

Spacelard wrote:
And the ability to increase stats is so easy. Old school Fighter with 17 STR, 16 CON and 9th level was something to fear. +1 to hit and +1 damage with his longsword. He would be laughed at now! It all stikes me as a bit powergamerish. I don't mean to insult anyone by that but everything else has had to be ramped up to compensate.

Compare with the Cavalier...

At least all classes are on an even footing with stat increases instead of it being limited to just the cavalier group.

Liberty's Edge

Thurgon wrote:
Azzy wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Loopy wrote:
The Demihuman Level Restriction rule was WRITTEN to be broken.

The original authors would indicate otherwise - but it's you "version" of D&D at the end of the day that counts.

So this would appear to be a paradigm shift...

It's a paradigm shift that happened at the hands of the DMs and players. In nixing the level restrictions, 3E only reflected the game as played by many, many groups.
Our group eased them some, but never removed them and didn't ease them a ton. Basically we eased them alot for single class characters with classes listed for them in the 1ed PHB, eased them very little for you if you multiclassed.

I don't mean to speak for every group. Accecdotally, however, every group I've played in has ignored the level restrictions (and weapon speed, and AC modifiers from weapons, etc).


Azzy wrote:
Thurgon wrote:
Azzy wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Loopy wrote:
The Demihuman Level Restriction rule was WRITTEN to be broken.

The original authors would indicate otherwise - but it's you "version" of D&D at the end of the day that counts.

So this would appear to be a paradigm shift...

It's a paradigm shift that happened at the hands of the DMs and players. In nixing the level restrictions, 3E only reflected the game as played by many, many groups.
Our group eased them some, but never removed them and didn't ease them a ton. Basically we eased them alot for single class characters with classes listed for them in the 1ed PHB, eased them very little for you if you multiclassed.
I don't mean to speak for every group. Accecdotally, however, every group I've played in has ignored the level restrictions (and weapon speed, and AC modifiers from weapons, etc).

Depending on the crowd we used varrying parts. We used weapon speeds for things like breaking intative ties in some groups, I actually played in only one that used the 1st ed AC modifiers, most just ignored that rather complex system. I can say though in all honesty I never played with a group that completely ignored the level restrictions. Different strokes for different folks. I think they added something fun to the game, but I can see how they might get in the way too. In extremely long running games most GMs eventually came up with ways to allow characters at the level caps to increase the caps some.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Quote:
In 1st ed a wizard could not wear a girdle of cloud giant strength, though even if he could his bonus to hit would be +5 and a +11 to damage.

True. Now remembering it, it was a multi-classed caster. The stat bits were going off of memory, but that girdle still nearly killed the game.

Quote:
I don't mean to speak for every group. Accecdotally, however, every group I've played in has ignored the level restrictions (and weapon speed, and AC modifiers from weapons, etc).

My experience with level limits was that I used them as written until one day when a game I was running actually hit the limit. Then I used the optional slow advancement rule from 2nd edition, which lasted about one session. Then I scrapped it all and removed level limits, giving humans a +10% XP bonus to compensate.

The level limit rule was also something the game started shifting away from well before 3rd edition. 2nd edition raised the ceiling and added two optional rules to allow further advancement for those who had hit the limit. The BECMI Rules Cyclopedia had an optional advancement system that did away with level limits for demihumans entirely.


All I can say from reading this last several posts is that I play a lot of deficient characters... I'm sure that will be cold comfort for my DMs.


Abraham spalding wrote:
All I can say from reading this last several posts is that I play a lot of deficient characters... I'm sure that will be cold comfort for my DMs.

i am a deficient charter....dose that count?

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