Pathfinder-D&D 3.75?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For the record - if Paizo made Pathfinder a major departure from 3.5, we would probably now be still in the first printing of the book with people unhappy about how far did the game go away from 3.5e. IOW, we would have a second Fantasycraft - too close yet too far away.

Now, if Paizo builds up a customer base over the coming years, I hope that they will be strong enough to release PF 2.0 which will shake some foundations of the system. But I am aware that you need a market position and customer loyalty on a very high level in order to keep the business afloat despite making sweeping changes to your core product.

Also, you need to handle that transition carefully in order not to isolate or insult your existing customers.

Wait, which company didn't learn that lesson ? Oh, it's WotC with 4E !

Contributor

I don't think of it as 3.75; I think of it as an alternate new edition. It's compatible enough with 3.5 that you can get most things to work, just like you could get most 1st edition stuff to work with 2nd edition, but otherwise enough is different that it functions like the new and better game that it is.


It's not 3.75; it's not like there's an evolutionary path from 3.5 to 4th Edition that Pathfinder is on the path to. Pathfinder is D&D Type III, Third Edition.

The problem, of course, is the lack of systematic naming, because of various marketing and trademark issues.

"D&D Type I, First Edition" was the original D&D.
"D&D Type I, Second Edition" was Holmes Basic.
"D&D Type I, Third Edition" was original AD&D.
"D&D Type I, Fourth Edition" was AD&D 2nd Edition.

"D&D Type II, First Edition" was Moldvay/Cook B/X.
"D&D Type II, Second Edition" was BECMI.
"D&D Type II, Third Edition" was Rules Cyclopedia.

"D&D Type III, First Edition" was D&D Third Edition.
"D&D Type III, Second Edition" was D&D 3.5.
"D&D Type III, Third Edition" is Pathfinder.

It's easy to convert material between editions of the same type, although compatibility of course isn't perfect. It's moderately trickier to convert between volumes, but it's still doable, if only for non-PC material. It's much more difficult to convert material between D&D and not-D&D; usually you have to do the translation on a conceptual level rather than a mechanical one.

One could theoretically call 4th Edition "D&D Type IV, First Edition", but I think it's really questionable whether it's mechanically compatible enough to count as a D&D type instead of a different fantasy RPG. Compare, say, the current edition of the Palladium Fantasy RPG, which is arguably "D&D Type P, Second Edition"; it's not hard to add a Monsters & Animals dragondactyl to any of the above games with relatively few adjustments.


A few reasons why I jumped on the Pathfinder wagon.

1. It was backwards compatible.

The idea was they were offering an upgrade to an already popular and heavily accepted system to D&D while still making it their own. Not a lot of us wanted to chuck out our 3.5e books. We were having fun with them, but we were left high and dry with lack of new material for our games when WotC gave a ton of us the finger and welcomed the youthful MMO-crowd, as if their fancies ever mattered in the market when they have things like World of Warcraft, MtG, and Call of Duty.

2. Paizo is publishing the material.

From their debut in printing Dragon and Dungeon Magazines, and their current roster of famous freelancers and game designers formerly of TSR or WotC, I trust the work that they do with their products and can count on them being of extremely high quality. I was stunned by their continous improvements to those magazines, right before WotC pulled the rug from under them.

3. I like new toys.

Sure, many games suffer from glut. Many complain about it. Many also seem to be braindead in simply saying "No" to material they don't want in their games. Call me crazy, but I am one of those extremely rare DMs where I allow tons of material (once I review them and deem fit which is proper for my games, of course). There isn't one thing I banned. I love variety and new things to tweak my games with, so books like the APG, Bestiary 2, and Ultimate Magic are a godsend for me. To see WotC completely abandon 3.5e for the 4e garbage, I felt they abandoned both their real supporters and the spirit of the game entirely. They could've easily continued supporting a little of 3.5e while supporting 4e, but multitasking (for a corporation, which I find strange) seems to be something they can't ever manage.


Razz wrote:
welcomed the youthful MMO-crowd, as if their fancies ever mattered in the market when they have things like World of Warcraft, MtG, and Call of Duty.

You realize you're offering direct insult to the Paizo staff with this, right? James Jacobs has said several times in response to this sort of drivel that WoW is well-played among the people at the office, and I believe I've seen mention of Starcraft 2 as well. I'm sure they play their fill of various CCGs as well.


You know, ranting and foaming at the mouth about how much you hate 4e doesn't give your argument strength; it saps it away.

Also, I'm lolling in real life that someone who likes 3e is complaining about another edition being "video gamey." 3e was literally called Diablo Edition when it came out by the hardcore 2e fans. Man, must be something about Blizzard ;p


Razz wrote:
multitasking (for a corporation, which I find strange) seems to be something they can't ever manage.

Because it cuts your market in half and doubles your overhead.

I don't prefer 4e to PF in the slightest, but it certainly wouldn't make sense for WotC to fracture their market to no gain. Either you will produce two shoddy products, which will drive customers from both products, or you will double your staff and costs, while your two products compete with each other.

Reminds me of what WotC did do with their DnD minis. I can't remember what game it was, but I worked at a gaming store at the time, and it was a dismal failure. Some other fantasy mini game that used different rules than DnD minis, weren't scaled to the same size as DnD minis, and only split the already dwindling mini market between the two games. If you ask me, WotC's 4e only stance made sense from the perspective of avoiding that again.


ProfessorCirno wrote:

You know, ranting and foaming at the mouth about how much you hate 4e doesn't give your argument strength; it saps it away.

Also, I'm lolling in real life that someone who likes 3e is complaining about another edition being "video gamey." 3e was literally called Diablo Edition when it came out by the hardcore 2e fans. Man, must be something about Blizzard ;p

Don't you know? WotC idolizes Blizzard and steals from them as much as they can get away with :P

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Hey kyrt. :)


kyrt-ryder wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:

You know, ranting and foaming at the mouth about how much you hate 4e doesn't give your argument strength; it saps it away.

Also, I'm lolling in real life that someone who likes 3e is complaining about another edition being "video gamey." 3e was literally called Diablo Edition when it came out by the hardcore 2e fans. Man, must be something about Blizzard ;p

Don't you know? WotC idolizes Blizzard and steals from them as much as they can get away with :P

Given that Blizzard has the only private money-printing factory in existence (AKA World of Warcraft), that's probably not a bad thing for a corporation ;)


Kain Darkwind wrote:
Razz wrote:
multitasking (for a corporation, which I find strange) seems to be something they can't ever manage.

Because it cuts your market in half and doubles your overhead.

I don't prefer 4e to PF in the slightest, but it certainly wouldn't make sense for WotC to fracture their market to no gain. Either you will produce two shoddy products, which will drive customers from both products, or you will double your staff and costs, while your two products compete with each other.

Reminds me of what WotC did do with their DnD minis. I can't remember what game it was, but I worked at a gaming store at the time, and it was a dismal failure. Some other fantasy mini game that used different rules than DnD minis, weren't scaled to the same size as DnD minis, and only split the already dwindling mini market between the two games. If you ask me, WotC's 4e only stance made sense from the perspective of avoiding that again.

But yet here we have an Essentials line? >.> Just saying.

And, no, it would actually gain profit and customer loyalty, which is one of the factors that increases market. By appealing to 3.5 and 4e fans you'd gain than lose. A small group crafting a few short 3.5e works is more than enough, while the majority of their resources go to 4E. You'll keep both sides satisfied and maybe even get the two to mingle (think 3e versions of 4e paragon paths, monsters, etc. and vice versa). It's what they should've done from the beginning. By focusing on one demographic, you just end up losing all of your old ones (unless they're a considerably small demographic...but the 3.5e folks are just as large as the 4e folks, and let's not compare it to a culmination of 1e through 3.5e folks combined) and maybe gaining as many new ones, and if so, you're back at breaking even anyway.

Anyway, this is about Pathfinder=3.75, I didn't go on a 4E tirade, I was pointing out WotC's flaws compared to Paizo's genius.


Zurai wrote:
Razz wrote:
welcomed the youthful MMO-crowd, as if their fancies ever mattered in the market when they have things like World of Warcraft, MtG, and Call of Duty.
You realize you're offering direct insult to the Paizo staff with this, right? James Jacobs has said several times in response to this sort of drivel that WoW is well-played among the people at the office, and I believe I've seen mention of Starcraft 2 as well. I'm sure they play their fill of various CCGs as well.

It's fine to be inspired by it, there is no harm. There is harm in completely emulating it, however.


Razz wrote:
Zurai wrote:
Razz wrote:
welcomed the youthful MMO-crowd, as if their fancies ever mattered in the market when they have things like World of Warcraft, MtG, and Call of Duty.
You realize you're offering direct insult to the Paizo staff with this, right? James Jacobs has said several times in response to this sort of drivel that WoW is well-played among the people at the office, and I believe I've seen mention of Starcraft 2 as well. I'm sure they play their fill of various CCGs as well.
It's fine to be inspired by it, there is no harm. There is harm in completely emulating it, however.

That isn't what you said, however. You said that people who play WoW, MtG, and CoD do not matter to the market. Considering that Pathfinder is designed by people who play WoW, at the very least, and that Pathfinder's sales are doing quite well by all indications in the market, I'd say your invectives are quite far off-base.


Razz wrote:

But yet here we have an Essentials line? >.> Just saying.

And, no, it would actually gain profit and customer loyalty, which is one of the factors that increases market. By appealing to 3.5 and 4e fans you'd gain than lose. A small group crafting a few short 3.5e works is more than enough, while the majority of their resources go to 4E. You'll keep both sides satisfied and maybe even get the two to mingle (think 3e versions of 4e paragon paths, monsters, etc. and vice versa). It's what they should've done from the beginning. By focusing on one demographic, you just end up losing all of your old ones (unless they're a considerably small demographic...but the 3.5e folks are just as large as the 4e folks, and let's not compare it to a culmination of 1e through 3.5e folks combined) and maybe gaining as many new ones, and if so, you're back at breaking even anyway.

Anyway, this is about Pathfinder=3.75, I didn't go on a 4E tirade, I was pointing out WotC's flaws compared to Paizo's genius.

Explain to me how much 2e DnD was supported after 3.0 came out? How much was 3.0 supported when 3.5 came out?

You are making things up without any actual reality to back them. I agree WotC blundered with 4e, but they wouldn't have had better financial luck doing it your way. The problem is that they released the wrong game at the wrong time. 3.0 was the right game at the right time.

It made them heroes and the saviors of Dungeons and Dragons in 2000. Same approach. Cut off all support for the previous edition, move on. Force the rest of the market to keep up, or let them play the previous game if they liked it so much.

Paizo stopped their 3.5 support once they got PF off the ground. It is just the way things are done. I'm almost certain no company does with success what you say WotC should have done.


ProfessorCirno wrote:

You know, ranting and foaming at the mouth about how much you hate 4e doesn't give your argument strength; it saps it away.

Also, I'm lolling in real life that someone who likes 3e is complaining about another edition being "video gamey." 3e was literally called Diablo Edition when it came out by the hardcore 2e fans. Man, must be something about Blizzard ;p

That seems a much less fair comparison. The only similarity I can think of is the feats to the powers tree in Diablo.

By comparison, 4th ed really does have a lot more in common with WoW, and I am not treating that as a negative, after all WoW is a massive, well designed and very popular game. Ideas like powers with cool downs rather than vancian casting was a really interesting approach(for spell casters atleast), you have marking, and so on. None of that was bad. I just wasn't an evolution of the game that third edition had made, but rather a new game based around the same IP.

Editions done well are(usually) a gradual evolutions of a game, not earth shattering changes. 3.0 leads naturally into 3.5 which in turn has more in common with pathfinder than 4e, because pathfinder is an evolution of the 35 system, while 4e is a new game built on a few of the same concepts and with the same IP.


I have to agree, that revolution breeds another revolution and that this also happened when 4E came out. Gradual evolution would have worked fine. If it was more like SWSE I doubt that there would be so much fuss about everything.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
Editions done well are(usually) a gradual evolutions of a game, not earth shattering changes. 3.0 leads naturally into 3.5 which in turn has more in common with pathfinder than 4e, because pathfinder is an evolution of the 35 system, while 4e is a new game built on a few of the same concepts and with the same IP.

Going to say nuh uh here too.

3.0 to 3.5 is an upgrade of the same edition. 2e to 3.0 was a huge paradigm shift. And it worked great.

The changes 4e made and the approach WotC took was absolutely the same as previous successful transitions. And to be honest, 4e probably represents a successful (financial) transition as well. I heard they are doing as well as Pathfinder!

What 4e failed to do was fully capture the market they were tapping with 3e. While there were reasons for this, I feel that it is largely due to 1) 3e was by and large the first DnD net generation, so the community had a large public venue to air its opinions. Flames fed each other. 2) 3e (possibly due to the afore mentioned net generation) was still alive and kicking when 4e was announced. 2e was not at all in the same shape when 3e entered the market place.


Kain Darkwind wrote:

I'm almost certain no company does with success what you say WotC should have done.

Sony still makes PS2's.

Shadow Lodge

Sizik wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:

I'm almost certain no company does with success what you say WotC should have done.

Sony still makes PS2's.

Hell, Sony just recently stopped making PSOnes.


Kthulhu wrote:
Sizik wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:

I'm almost certain no company does with success what you say WotC should have done.

Sony still makes PS2's.
Hell, Sony just recently stopped making PSOnes.

I'm unaware of any new games coming out for either of those two systems, however. I doubt you'll see any peripheral accessories produced for the PSOne or 2.

The equivalent would be continuing to print/sell the core 3 and not making any new books...for instance, no Fiendish Codex III, or Liber Gigas or what not.

If the core 3 rulebooks (or any 3e product) were still selling with the demand for the PS2, WotC would have no reason not to keep printing them. There is no cost for development going into them anymore, so producing a supply to meet a demand is simply good business.

That is very different from sinking money into developing new material to support the old system, and I'm sorry if my earlier point didn't make that clear.

Shadow Lodge

It's too bad that WotC clamped down on PDFs. Then again, I think it's possible that the fact that they clamped down on PDFs as well probably helped make Pathfinder into the success story that it is today.


Kthulhu wrote:
It's too bad that WotC clamped down on PDFs. Then again, I think it's possible that the fact that they clamped down on PDFs as well probably helped make Pathfinder into the success story that it is today.

This is possible. I know a LOT of people who had PDF's in online storage with WotC, and (irresponsibly) trusted the company to hold onto them for them, lost those PDF's they paid for, and swore off WotC forever.

I realize they should have kept their data backed up themselves, but regardless that was a pretty cheap move by Wizzos.

Shadow Lodge

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
It's too bad that WotC clamped down on PDFs. Then again, I think it's possible that the fact that they clamped down on PDFs as well probably helped make Pathfinder into the success story that it is today.

This is possible. I know a LOT of people who had PDF's in online storage with WotC, and (irresponsibly) trusted the company to hold onto them for them, lost those PDF's they paid for, and swore off WotC forever.

I realize they should have kept their data backed up themselves, but regardless that was a pretty cheap move by Wizzos.

Well, I wasn't even talking about that...I was talking about the fact that WotC pretty much axed even the ability to provide retroactive support for the previous editions of the game.


I must say that measuring the girth of the basic rulebook and saying it's not just "old stuff" is misleading. They did put in several chapters corresponding to chapters in the old DMG in there, apart from the stuff from the PHB. Naturally, they did rework the chapters, and made needed changes, leading to a good update, but the amount of text in the rulebook just about corresponds to PHB + rule-heavy parts of DMG.

And 3.0 WAS Diablo edition. They got the barbarians, Whirlwind attack, the entire feat concept, and so much else from Diablo. They even printed a Diablo board game, and three Diablo books, the Awakening (Diablo I), to Hell and Back (Diablo II story) and a book about how to design Diablo characters (Resurrection? Can't remember now.). These were all for 2nd edition AD&D. If you really look, you can even find their StarCraft supplement for Alternity.

It's not strange, is it? Everyone played Diablo II back then. It was a HUGE hit. For a few years, every gamer played it to shreds, and discussions went high on what should be done with the Frozen Orb, how Assassins and Druids were over- or underpowered, and so on. Ignoring that when trying to make a new edition of D&D would have been foolish. By a similar token, ignoring WoW when making 4th edition would have been equally silly. The only problem is that they never came close to approximating WoW, mainly because their Points of Light setting ignored the setting's role in making WoW a hit. Neither did they provide any setting that people could take to heart, just blurting out a campaign book and a players' book and one adventure does not a setting make, whether it's Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, or something else.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Okay trying to put my own rants and prejudices aside...

I think using the term D&D 3.75 to describe Pathfinder can be useful in context, and its not something that I would think is insulting.

When I say "useful in context" I means when explaining Pathfinder's relationship to D&D 3.5. The 3.75 moniker indicates that it is close, but not exactly the same rules system. If there hadn't been a D&D 4e I would actually say Pathfinder being D&D 4th ed would be more appropriate as .5 to .75 doesn't really indicate the level of change that took place IMHO.

Having said that I think Pathfinder should be taken on its own merits and become its own game. And while I think it is doeing that slapping the "3.5 OGL Compatible" logo on products such as APG isn't helping in this regards and is even misleading - seeing that logo someone not familiar with PF could think that book would be useful in a 3.5 game, but a lot of it won't be.

As for backwards compatibility I think when people talk of BC it is in regards to two distinct types of products:

Most seem to talk about scenarios and NPCs - can a GM use the monsters in a 3.5 book or scenario and run them in a PF RPG game? In this instance with only a few simple tweaks the answer is likely yes - however whether that monster, NPC or trap presents the same type of challenge in PF as it would in 3.5 may differ and as long as the GM is ok with that cool, otherwise a bit more conversion work may be needed.

In terms of stuff for characters - feats, prestige classes etc - then because this sort of stuff is going to affect the game for more than just a single encounter a GM may need to do a bit more analysis and conversion in order to make it work appropriately (mechanically and balance-wise) in Pathfinder. It is for this reason we see so many threads about converting classes such as the Artificer and Warlock.

So for the former, backwards compatibility is faily easy, for the latter not so much.

All IMHO of course :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Backwards compatibility was pure marketing, nothing more.

No.. people read more to the statement that Paizo made then it was intended. Backwards compatibility was mainly to earlier Pathfinder adventures, secondly to core SRD rules, and to everything else, a distant third.


3.5 literally had a full World of Warcraft setting book.

I mean, come on.

Also, 4e has just as much in common with older editions then 3e does, it's just pretty different from 3e.

Monsters not having the same rules as PCs? That's been in every non-3e edition.

Hybrid classes serving as the multiclass? Distinctly closer to 2e's MCing then 3e's.

There's plenty of more examples to pick from. I started with 2e. 4e is just as "radical" of a departure as...oh say, 3e was.


One other change has happened in the last year or so. Things seem to have changed from "3.5 compatible" to "Pathfinder compatible."

Now that's a mark of success.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
3.5 literally had a full World of Warcraft setting book.

I think 3.0 also had Warcraft campaign setting. 3.5 was the update to WoW.

Also makes extensive use of epic rules.

Shadow Lodge

LazarX wrote:
No.. people read more to the statement that Paizo made then it was intended. Backwards compatibility was mainly to earlier Pathfinder adventures, secondly to core SRD rules, and to everything else, a distant third.

This. I've seen way too many people claiming that backwards compatiblity doesn't exist because some random obsure d20 supplement doesn't fit well with Pathfinder, or because stuff that was overpowered or otherwise broken in 3.X is STILL broken in Pathfinder. Pathfinder is backwards compatible with 3.5. That doesn't mean it magically makes all your old supplements good when they never even achieved mediocrity under the previous system.

Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
One other change has happened in the last year or so. Things seem to have changed from "3.5 compatible" to "Pathfinder compatible."

I've been very pleasantly suprised at how many 3PP have offered Pathfinder support. While it's good to know that I can use my older 2.X/d20/OGL stuff with Pathfinder, it's even better to know that it's going to get continued support designed specifically for it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kain Darkwind wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
3.5 literally had a full World of Warcraft setting book.

I think 3.0 also had Warcraft campaign setting. 3.5 was the update to WoW.

Also makes extensive use of epic rules.

The 3.0 version game was called Warcraft D20. the followup 2nd edition was titled World of Warcraft and it was under the OGL license as opposed to bearing a d20 moniker. It changed a few things... i.e. Wisdom became Spirit, Dexterity became Agility, to bring it to line with the MMORG names as well as significant 3.5 flavor changes to classes and class structure.

It predicted the Wrath expansion quite nicely, save for about the 25-33 percent that Blizzard changed their minds about.


I was a 3.0 player from launch until a little bit after 3.5 came out. (I resented the release of 3.5. Too soon.) Then I took time off from table-top gaming for several reasons. 3.0 served its purpose well, but there were things in the game that I felt were to exploitable and broken.

When I got back into tabletop roleplaying about a year ago, I picked up GURPS -- because I wanted to do non Sword and Sorcery. When that urge died out I was considering whether to use GURPS or find another RPG system.

Having been a fan of Kenzer and Co. I looked into their newest edition of Hackmaster. Anyway, I settled on Pathfinder when it was described to me as D&D 3.75 that fixed a lot of the previous issues. For me that was a very helpful description. But then I was coming back after a short absence. I'm sure the "backward compatability" was an effort to attract 3.5 fans.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Riggler wrote:


Having been a fan of Kenzer and Co. I looked into their newest edition of Hackmaster. Anyway, I settled on Pathfinder when it was described to me as D&D 3.75 that fixed a lot of the previous issues. For me that was a very helpful description. But then I was coming back after a short absence. I'm sure the "backward compatability" was an effort to attract 3.5 fans.

Pathfinder was built for 3.5 fans. But from the get go the designers laid it clear out that they weren't just redoing the Mongoose reprints of the SRD. They saw an opportunity to market a reformed game based on 3.5 and take it into new directions.

And for the most part, it's worked. I don't know how much of the 3.5 base they've attracted but due to thier lower overhead costs it seems to be enough to keep them in the black.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:

For the record - if Paizo made Pathfinder a major departure from 3.5, we would probably now be still in the first printing of the book with people unhappy about how far did the game go away from 3.5e. IOW, we would have a second Fantasycraft - too close yet too far away.

Now, if Paizo builds up a customer base over the coming years, I hope that they will be strong enough to release PF 2.0 which will shake some foundations of the system. But I am aware that you need a market position and customer loyalty on a very high level in order to keep the business afloat despite making sweeping changes to your core product.

Also, you need to handle that transition carefully in order not to isolate or insult your existing customers.

Wait, which company didn't learn that lesson ? Oh, it's WotC with 4E !

There really doesn't seem to be a scenario that will ever necessitate a Pathfinder 2.0.

Actually WOTC wasn't looking to keep grognards who weren't buying thier new books anyway, they were looking to expand to new customers with a bigger market, or answering the folks that WANTED radical changes from d20. And for their purposes it seems to have worked. If you tick off 4 old customers to gain 12 new ones, then you're coming out ahead.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
4e is just as "radical" of a departure as...oh say, 3e was.

I'm surprised that you specifically don't think 4E is more of a departure in that it's really the first edition of the game to take that narrative power away from the casters.

I'm not arguing whether that's a good or bad idea, incidentally.


LazarX wrote:
Actually WOTC wasn't looking to keep grognards who weren't buying thier new books anyway, they were looking to expand to new customers with a bigger market, or answering the folks that WANTED radical changes from d20. And for their purposes it seems to have worked. If you tick off 4 old customers to gain 12 new ones, then you're coming out ahead.

Where I think they somewhat miscalculated is that, generally speaking, grognards like having giant bookshelves in their basements full of gaming books, whereas many of their new "customers" think having books (and possibly buying books) is silly.

(This does not constitute an endorsement of piracy. I just think it's more of a problem for 4E revenues than it was for 3.X revenues.)


Dire Mongoose wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
4e is just as "radical" of a departure as...oh say, 3e was.

I'm surprised that you specifically don't think 4E is more of a departure in that it's really the first edition of the game to take that narrative power away from the casters.

I'm not arguing whether that's a good or bad idea, incidentally.

Well, there's how much 3.x gave to casters ;p

Don't get me wrong, 4e is a huge and radical departure. But consider the idea of monsters having the same rules as PCs, which was also a rather radical change. Or the completely freeform leveling system that really broke down the concept of character class (and tried, so very valiantly, to kill Class-As-Character). Or the item creation rules being significantly easier and, well, actually doable. There's also a lot of things 3e introduced that stay in 4e but were competely new at the time, such as feats and skills.

Overall, I'd say 3e was a radical change to 2e, and 4e reversed some of those radical changes, kept some, and added some more of their own.

Liberty's Edge

ProfessorCirno wrote:
Or the completely freeform leveling system that really broke down the concept of character class (and tried, so very valiantly, to kill Class-As-Character).

This is the main reason I have difficulty identifying 3.x as D&D. Many other system developed over the years wanted to be different from "D&D" by having a skill based system. Then 3e comes along and in a few little rules destroys the idea of a class is a class and makes classes no more than 'skill packages'. All of my nightmares as a DM has stemmed from the pick'n'mix multiclassing rules - I still wake up in sweats over the Dragonborn Bard/Something/Something who ruined my campaign. Wouldn't have been so annoying but he was just using the rules as presented. Pathfinder took the next step that 3.x started - a Manga generation Mega-hero game. In Pathfinder I accept this, in D&D I do not. So Pathfinder isn't under my definition D&D 3.75. Pathfinder, rightly, stands on it's own merit and just happens to borrow some mechanics that in my opinion should never have been included in D&D.

I'm sure many agree that iterative attacks was not the smartest way to attempt to make the fighter more relevant at higher levels. And meta-magic feats were obviously thought up over one or two too many beers...

S.


Stefan Hill wrote:
Then 3e comes along and in a few little rules destroys the idea of a class is a class and makes classes no more than 'skill packages'. All of my nightmares as a DM has stemmed from the pick'n'mix multiclassing rules.

The question is, what's the better alternative? 1E/2E's dual classing broke down much worse than 3E's multiclassing does, even though I think it certainly has its share of its own/new flaws.

Contributor

DigitalMage wrote:


Having said that I think Pathfinder should be taken on its own merits and become its own game.

That's a good point, and I don't just mean the rules, which are themselves distinctly different than 3.5. When I think of Pathfinder, I really don't think about mechanics, or how I can work in beholders, displacer beasts, and mind flayers. Instead, I think of Denizens of Leng, goblin dogs, and Karzoug. I look at Golarion, which is its own unique and interesting world, which is different than Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, or Eberron. I think of the Red Mantis, Cheliax, Hellknights, and Runelords.I ponder the mystery of Aroden, how disgusted I was when I first read Sean's article on Zon-Kuthon, and the way one of my best friends/players would cries out "For the glory of Iomedae" before charging into battle. I also can't help but occasionally think about what sort of adventure to build around Graveknights.

In other words, yeah, Pathfinder is its own thing, with its own tone, and I love it for what it is. I also still dig Forgotten Realms, and Eberron, and would actually consider using the Pathfinder rules with them the next time I get the itch to run a game in those settings. But for the most part, I'm happy running Pathfinder without looking back and caring a lot about how it's different or the same as 3.5.


Dire Mongoose wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Then 3e comes along and in a few little rules destroys the idea of a class is a class and makes classes no more than 'skill packages'. All of my nightmares as a DM has stemmed from the pick'n'mix multiclassing rules.

The question is, what's the better alternative? 1E/2E's dual classing broke down much worse than 3E's multiclassing does, even though I think it certainly has its share of its own/new flaws.

Establish prerequisites for multiclassing. Make sure they have at least shown an interest in the new class (skills, feats, RPing) before they launch into it. I have, and my players don't seem to mind having to plan ahead a little and spend some skills / feats / time doing it. Of course, I'm sure some would scream about it. The idea of a barely literate Barbarian suddenly launching into a career as a Wizard was always a bit much. Have them hang out / study... take Spellcraft, learn a language etc. It isn't any different than having prerequisites for prestige classes.

I've probably just committed heresy of course, but oh well...

Liberty's Edge

Dire Mongoose wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
Then 3e comes along and in a few little rules destroys the idea of a class is a class and makes classes no more than 'skill packages'. All of my nightmares as a DM has stemmed from the pick'n'mix multiclassing rules.

The question is, what's the better alternative?

1E/2E's dual classing broke down much worse than 3E's multiclassing does, even though I think it certainly has its share of its own/new flaws.

Not sure I agree that 1e/2e multi-classing was worse. Personal experience as a DM is what I base this on. Other DM's will differ in opinion of course. Of course under OD&D this wasn't an issue - and that was still a fun-arsed game.

R_Chance wrote:
Establish prerequisites for multiclassing

This is what I think is missing. In 1e a dual-class human was required to have exceptional stats. Bring this back. Current multi-classing rules are game destroying in my opinion. How can the game designers be expected to balance classes when faced with the vast combinations of classes possible?

The fix? That would be a good new thread - How would you fix multi-classing?

S.

Liberty's Edge

R_Chance wrote:
I've probably just committed heresy of course, but oh well...

Kind of heresy I would love to see implemented in the rules :)


Currently in PF, players are really, really encouraged to stay in the current, single class. A lot of effects are class level based, not PC level based, and high level stuff is generally appealing.

Since MADness is considered a great weakness in this game, I wish to point out that penalize more multiclass characters could be too dire.

I'm actually curious how multiclasses can wreak the game - old casters PRC could, exspecially the Forgotten Realms ones - but multiclass?

The Barbarian Wizard above... if seems too odd, why not ask the player to multiclass into a more fitting Witch-Doctor (the Witch class?).

A little bit of care, planning, and at worst, a little compromise (Witch Doctor), goes a long way.


Stefan Hill wrote:
R_Chance wrote:
I've probably just committed heresy of course, but oh well...
Kind of heresy I would love to see implemented in the rules :)

Yeah, my game started with OD&D. The ease of multi-classing in 3.0 took a bit of getting used to. Some good, some not so good to it.

I didn't want to eliminate multi-classing in the game, just put the brakes on it. PF has helped that with capstone abilities worth having. A few speed bumps are a good thing too. It's kept my game from being overrun by multi-classed characters who dip a level here and a level there which is a complaint I've heard about 3.x often enough.


Kaiyanwang wrote:

Currently in PF, players are really, really encouraged to stay in the current, single class. A lot of effects are class level based, not PC level based, and high level stuff is generally appealing.

Since MADness is considered a great weakness in this game, I wish to point out that penalize more multiclass characters could be too dire.

I'm actually curious how multiclasses can wreak the game - old casters PRC could, exspecially the Forgotten Realms ones - but multiclass?

The Barbarian Wizard above... if seems too odd, why not ask the player to multiclass into a more fitting Witch-Doctor (the Witch class?).

A little bit of care, planning, and at worst, a little compromise (Witch Doctor), goes a long way.

Level dipping and illogical class combos taken strictly for advantage or just to be a pain. Not as much of a problem with PF as it was with 3.0 / 3.5. And, as you say care / planning / compromise help. I just have some guidelines that help with the care and planning bit. I have good players and I haven't had to worry about it too much although I know other DMs have. Your experience with it may be different depending on the DM, the players and what was allowed in the game.

*edit* The Barbarian / Wizard combo I'm thinking of goes back to 3.0 when Barbarians were illiterates who, iirc, weren't too fond of magic much less pouring over thick books full of arcane stuff (or was that older edition). Damn. Memory is not always as good as it should be...


Power wise, multiclassing "punishes" the PC from the (meh) "optimization" standpoint.

If the PC by low levels wants to play a diverse character I would let him do it.

Moreover, what about "double" prestige classes (eldricht knight, arcane trickster)? How could I have ccess to them with even more severe multiclass rules?


Kaiyanwang wrote:


Power wise, multiclassing "punishes" the PC from the (meh) "optimization" standpoint.

It does now to an extent. There were combos of classes taken back in the bad old days to gain specific abilities. There wasn't as much of a downside to it before PF.

Kaiyanwang wrote:


If the PC by low levels wants to play a diverse character I would let him do it.

I don't mind it if the characters skills / feats, experience and RPing justify it.

Kaiyanwang wrote:


Moreover, what about "double" prestige classes (eldricht knight, arcane trickster)? How could I have ccess to them with even more severe multiclass rules?

It might be harder to do. But Prestige Classes already have some built in prerequisites that provide more of a barrier than multi-classing base classes. Which is odd when you think about it. Why should it be easier to combine 3 base classes with the amount you have to know for them than a base class and two prestige classes you have to qualify for?

Curiosity, how long and what editions of D&D / PF have you played?


BECMI 4-5 years

AD&D 2ED for 3-4 years

3.0 --> 3.5 from the beginning to the end, and more (running currently 3.5 gestalt campaign, ran a level 1-40 campaign in past years and several minor ones)

PF fanboy ;) (currently running campaing with homemade campaign using OGL hardcovers).

I moslty GM but in BECMI and 3.0 I've been a player too.


Kaiyanwang wrote:


BECMI 4-5 years

AD&D 2ED for 3-4 years

3.0 --> 3.5 from the beginning to the end, and more (running currently 3.5 gestalt campaign, ran a level 1-40 campaign in past years and several minor ones)

PF fanboy ;) (currently running campaing with homemade campaign using OGL hardcovers).

I moslty GM but in BECMI and 3.0 I've been a player too.

You've done the rounds then. And avoided the level dipping power player. I salute you!

I don't think multi-classing should be impossible (that's one of the nice things about 3.x) just a bit logical / orderly. And the ease of multi-classing core / base classes with no prerequisites has always made me wonder. You spend years prepping to be a first level what-ever and have to meet prerequisites to do prestige classes... why shouldn't there be some requirements for doing a second / third / etc. base class? Those prerequisites might vary by race to reflect background (and maybe by traits now as well) but there should be some in-game level of interest to hop into a new base class. Imo, of course.

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