What are the main elements of Pathfinder that has made high level play better?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


I am part of the group that found level 14+ cumbersome time consuming and ultimately swingy in 3.5. What do people see as the 'fixes' in Pathfinder beyond seeking to largely remove save or die effects?


Dispel magic being streamlined is another big one. A lot of the really strong buff spells were nerfed (polymorph, divine power, righteous might, etc). Scry and Fry is harder now (scry only counts as vague knowledge for teleport now so there's a significant failure chance).


The changes to Scrying and teleport (Scrying does not give condition to teleport) helps... polymorph and wild shape changes helps too...


Zurai wrote:
Dispel magic being streamlined is another big one. A lot of the really strong buff spells were nerfed (polymorph, divine power, righteous might, etc). Scry and Fry is harder now (scry only counts as vague knowledge for teleport now so there's a significant failure chance).

gotta admit not a fan of the new dispel magic- 1 roll seems a bit hit or miss.

The nerfing of buff spells seems to be offset by the other 'buff' abilities (ranger/paladin/fighter classes buffed up) bard sing giving competence + good hope = +5 to attack & damage to all etc (though we never used polymorph/wild shape as it seemed too munchkin)

Is that the main stuff to fix it then, in your opinin?


Mostly, Pathfinder has gone and added swingy abilities to all classes.

In 3.5, casters could save-or-@#$%'d everything. Now, with the criticalling chain of feats, fighters can save-or-@#$%'d everything too.

That's pretty much it. They also removed some blatant rules abuses, but the fundamental problems are still around.


Crosswind wrote:

Mostly, Pathfinder has gone and added swingy abilities to all classes.

In 3.5, casters could save-or-@#$%'d everything. Now, with the criticalling chain of feats, fighters can save-or-@#$%'d everything too.

That's pretty much it. They also removed some blatant rules abuses, but the fundamental problems are still around.

Spoken like someone who's never played a game of 1st Edition.

There's a game, it's called Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, and it's been out for over 30 years. People still play it.

If you were to play 1st edition at level 15, you would find fighters that could move and attack 4 times at their full attack bonus, and wizards had a slew of spells that had none of the more modern restrictions.

Oh, did I mention that you stopped gaining hit points six levels ago?

High level play has *always* been a game of rocket tag. It is sort of irrelevant because you had the resources to recover after that fight.

All Pathfinder did was level the playing field. *Now* you can play any class at high levels. Not just spell casters. That's a big fix.

I'm just confused by your complaint about how they modeled their fixes after a game that works (and has worked) for years. I'm much *much* more comfortable running and playing in a Pathfinder game than in 3.x

As far as "Pretty much it", You are neglecting the dozens of fixes they've made to class abilities and spells and grappling and combat that effectively remove nearly all of the 3.5 edition cheese.

Perhaps the best method of seeing what they've done is purchasing the book and reading it.

Dark Archive

nexusphere wrote:
Perhaps the best method of seeing what they've done is purchasing the book and reading it.

Perhaps the best way of finding out how exactly Pathfinder met the alleged aim of "increasing the playaybility" of high level play in 3.5, short of buying the game and running a high level campaign for ten sessions, is to start a thread like this one and ask someone who's just done exactly that to share his experience in a preferably informative and detailed manner.


Windjammer wrote:
nexusphere wrote:
Perhaps the best method of seeing what they've done is purchasing the book and reading it.
Perhaps the best way of finding out how exactly Pathfinder met the alleged aim of "increasing the playaybility" of high level play in 3.5, short of buying the game and running a high level campaign for ten sessions, is to start a thread like this one and ask someone who's just done exactly that to share his experience in a preferably informative and detailed manner.

Yes, you could do that. You could just listen to what they have to say without your own reasoning ability becoming involved.

I prefer primary sources myself.


Nexus, did you read the original poster's post?

He commented that high-level combat was swingy + time-consuming, and asked if Pathfinder had done anything to change this.

Pretty much, they haven't. If anything, the critical chain of feats has made things more swingy + time consuming.

Pathfinder did a nice job bringing all the combat maneuvers under CMB and removing the really obvious/easy to fix rules problems from 3.5. But all of the underlying issues (swingy, takes a long time, casters have better/more options, ridiculous duration buffs) of high level play are still there. No need to get angry at me for stating the obvious.

-Cross


Werecorpse wrote:
I am part of the group that found level 14+ cumbersome time consuming and ultimately swingy in 3.5. What do people see as the 'fixes' in Pathfinder beyond seeking to largely remove save or die effects?

I was just wandering, what could they possibly do to reduce how swingy combat is after lvl 14?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Remove all SoD/SoS's. Require everything to go through HPs.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Remove all SoD/SoS's. Require everything to go through HPs.

4th Edition provides a good model of how things play when you go this way. (Everyone has 3-5* their listed hit point totals, and all classes do approximately the same damage.)

I found it grindy to the point of boredom. YMMV


Crosswind wrote:

He commented that high-level combat was swingy + time-consuming, and asked if Pathfinder had done anything to change this.

No, I did miss the word swingy in the *original* post.

I just guess some people don't want to play D&D. ;-p I assumed everyone understood that it was version 3, but one where you could play all the classes.
-Campbell

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
nexusphere wrote:

4th Edition provides a good model of how things play when you go this way. (Everyone has 3-5* their listed hit point totals, and all classes do approximately the same damage.)

I found it grindy to the point of boredom. YMMV

He asked for possibilities. I gave one. I offered no opinion on the viability of it.


Crosswind wrote:

He commented that high-level combat was swingy + time-consuming, and asked if Pathfinder had done anything to change this.

Pretty much, they haven't. If anything, the critical chain of feats has made things more swingy + time consuming.

Au contraire, Speaking as a DM and player in multiple high level 3rd edition and 3.5 games, and having DM'd through a high level game during the Beta, I can point out quite a few places where they've made small changes to speed up high level combat.

Probably the biggest single change is the simplification of -x/+x feats, like power attack. Fussing over the exact bonus/penalty to take in 3.5 absolutely killed the free flow of the game in 3.5, and led to frequent mistakes in exactly what your bonuses added up to, with the new rules it's much easier, just a binary option of this.. or this.

The new combat maneuver rules also help to speed up combat for melee types, since they typically only require one to two rolls, instead of an attack roll, a check, an opposed check, and yet one more check should the opposed check fail (all interrupted by looking up exactly what the various modifiers were to each check for each opponent) etc. etc. (I'm not entirely sold on Combat Maneuvers as they stand, I still think Grapple should be an attack replacement, not a standard action, but I do have to admit they speed up the flow of combat.)

Crosswind wrote:
Pathfinder did a nice job bringing all the combat maneuvers under CMB and removing the really obvious/easy to fix rules problems from 3.5. But all of the underlying issues (swingy, takes a long time, casters have better/more options, ridiculous duration buffs) of high level play are still there. No need to get angry at me for stating the obvious.

Meh, I didn't consider swinginess to be a huuuuge issue. Admittedly, at a certain point it does get to be too much... so I'll give you that one.

Casters have a lot of options still, but on the other hand, there are some really interesting options for non-casters now as well, and some of the worst caster "I win" buttons were nerfed, so it's at least a step in the right direction.

Buffs are still around, but happily most of the worst offenders either had their effects weakened or had their bonus types changed to avoid them stacking.

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