Pathfinder RPG and Paizo in the Face of 5E


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

FoxBat_ wrote:

I'm sure there will be many things in 5E that don't trace to previous editions, but it looks like the focus is definitely on bringing 3E and 4E players together. They may have resigned themselves to the fact that the wider audience can only be caught with video and board games that will not be the flagship roleplaying product proper.

If "useful" speculation were possible instead of edition warsing, it would be looking at the gaps between 3E and 4E, and how to bridge them. Instead of highlighting the fact that yes, indeed, they are gaps.

I was thinking about this, and they risk alienating somebody if they leave anything from 3e or 4e out...the 3.5 fans who abandoned 4e due to lack of things like druids and gnomes want them back in 5e "core" (by which I mean original release, not the ever growing amoeba of 4e core), but 4e fans will be expecting their dragonborn and warlords as well.

Basically, I don't see the sets of "games liked by people that like 4e" and "games liked by people that disliked 4e enough to leave it for another game" as having a lot of intersection. The designers really have their work cut out for them if that is the case.


sunshadow21 wrote:
From many player's perspective, the game was indeed very incomplete, not because of an absence of any given race/class, but because the book was skewed toward damage dealing combat, with very, very few options to do anything else, other than play 20 questions with the DM. Rituals, the only other real player option spelled out, took too long to cast to matter in combat, which was and still is the default focus of the game, and were too expensive to boot. That is what made it an incomplete game to many. I know that I picked up the book, and was completely underwhelmed by the classes because of these reasons. There were a couple that looked ok, but none that really excited me. The 3rd edition PHB did a much better job supporting a wider variety of character concepts.

See, this strikes me as the opinion of someone who started in 3e.

The idea that everything needs to be codified in the rules is a bizarre 3e-ism. It wasn't present in any other edition of D&D.

I see a lot of people who talk about what D&D should be and then list a lot of stuff that didn't exist in D&D. To reiterate - if you want total rules codification, you want GURPS.

I'd say that 3e Core didn't support a wider variety of character concepts. It made the illusion that it did, when in reality most of those concepts were not very supported in the slightest. Coming off of 2e, neither of my two multiclassed characters felt supported at all once I actually got into the game.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
ProfessorCirno wrote:
AlecStorm wrote:
A real improvement of play would be modular classes (every level you buy abilities, hp, spells, combat abilities, etc with points).

You want GURPS.

There are so many here that want GURPS.

Indeed. I'm certain people would buy a point buy version of d20. They just want point buy tied to mechanics that don't suck. ;)

I kid, I have a ton of GURPS books. They make supplements that are interesting enough even if you don't play the game. On the other hand, while I find the system serviceable, there are many other games with mechanics I prefer to it.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
AlecStorm wrote:
A real improvement of play would be modular classes (every level you buy abilities, hp, spells, combat abilities, etc with points).

You want GURPS.

There are so many here that want GURPS.

"Why, why in the name of all that is unholy does anyone want GURPS?"


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ProfessorCirno wrote:

See, this strikes me as the opinion of someone who started in 3e.

The idea that everything needs to be codified in the rules is a bizarre 3e-ism. It wasn't present in any other edition of D&D.

I see a lot of people who talk about what D&D should be and then list a lot of stuff that didn't exist in D&D. To reiterate - if you want total rules codification, you want GURPS.

I'd say that 3e Core didn't support a wider variety of character concepts. It made the illusion that it did, when in reality most of those concepts were not very supported in the slightest. Coming off of 2e, neither of my two multiclassed characters felt supported at all once I actually got into the game.

Cirno, I know you play it and thus don't seem to hate it, but your posts come off as quite different... possibly for the same reason I seem to idolize 3.X and hate 4E (i.e. it comes along with the territory of expressing our opinions and thoughts). That makes it strange to see posts like yours, knowing you're currently in a 3rd edition game. I suspect that I, and others, are reading a contempt into it that is not actually there, due to other posts you've made showing apparent contempt (whether intended or not, and whether present or not) toward others. So I apologize for misreading you, if that's the case.

3.X, for all the flaws that it had, at its height was super-popular.

Beyond any polls (as you say, they may be questionable) or anecdotal data that we have, the strongest proof of this is 4E's attempts to backpedal - magic missile errata (which I must say isn't well thought out or implemented, and its reasoning is obtuse) and adding in spell schools (a move I'm not personally certain about, yet) for wizards as two examples that come to mind. Such changes ignore fundamental aspects of how 4E presented itself when it came out, and they were changed due to outcry for it to feel that way. Again, as more books come out, 4E has felt more and more finished, but it didn't start out that way. Monte's hiring seriously seems like a maneuver toward the 3E crowd/mindset. I've had several people on my other commonly-haunted forums despair at the possibility that he's going to take 4E in a 3.X direction. On this thread the same feeling can be found. He's strongly associated with 3.X, and for good reason - he helped build it. It's hard to disassociate him from the 3.X mindset and hiring him seems like a maneuver WotC is making toward that mindset.

Again, 3.X functioned well enough and was extremely popular - otherwise something like Pathfinder couldn't continue forward. Yet it has continued forward and, as a result, has become a powerful presence in the gaming world. At my local Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million, I see as many Pathfinder books as I do Dungeons & Dragons. That never happened before 4E, even when I worked in B&N - it was almost all D&D with a small smattering of WoD or Warhammer 40k, and that summed up the roleplaying section. I've noticed the same trend in game shops that I've visited, though I've not been a frequenter of said shops for quite some time. But that's just me... and at least a several other posters in this thread. Add our various anecdotal evidences to WotC changing elements of 4E to reflect some 3.X concepts, and (as you say, informal) polls pointing to the strong power of Pathfinder, compared to, say, 4E, and you have a visible trend toward a 3.X-style game.

So, 3.X was popular. Considering it's popularity, several things became core, iconic elements. Thus, dismissing something that had become core as "not part of D&D" is incorrect. Other people who've come out of older editions to 3.X who "Hey, yeah, 3.X feels like D&D to me, but 4E doesn't." that they're wrong is also incorrect.

I do agree with you in that Gygax didn't like 3.X, but he didn't like it (from what I can tell) because for one, it had too much emphasis on magic items (humorously a flaw many point out about 4E); and for two, he wasn't part of the game system creation process anymore. He did, however, personally prefer a system of greater complexity in which the game rules could handle more situations. That's something 3.X did, compared to 4E. So it is closer to his vision than later versions. Dismissing people as wrong because he didn't like certain aspects isn't really a valid way of arguing your point. Kind of like arguing Greenwood doesn't care about anything beyond the Graybox Set for Forgotten Realms. :)

To clarify, what I don't want to see, for their own sake, is WotC just throwing everything they've done in 4E away. I don't like much of the shift, I've made that clear, but I also play (and House-Rule the daylights out of) 4E. The magic missile errata, for example, is just confusing and silly, makes no sense in the greater scope of the system, and is yet another aspect of arbitration before consistency. WotC isn't made up of klutzes and jerks, and 4E is clearly getting better, but then again, that's kind of the point: it had a lot of room to go "up" from. What I'd love to see in any 5E is WotC allow people transitioning from 4E with their character concepts and elements supported well enough to get the concept, if not the exact experience. It was, in fact, impossible to make a one-to-one transition from 2E to 3E... but you could make a pretty good one, well enough, for most concepts, despite all the system changes. Transitioning any character to any character beyond vague naming elements was impossible from 3E to 4E. Further, fully half the the "core" classes (that WotC had made core) were dumped in favor of a few different ones instead.

I did feel the transition worked well enough, because from my perspective it did. I suppose I am proven wrong by your experience. So, it seems that 3.0 wasn't exactly the complete system it seemed to be to me at the time. However, building off of that, to say "well they didn't do it well before" doesn't invalidate that they didn't do it well again, and, while 3.X allowed a host of character options, 4E paired those down considerably.

One other thing to note/think about in the discussion of "whether or not there is 5E under development": it's interesting to me that 3.X gained a lot of life and new ideas just before 3.5 came around, and again before 4E came around. That's kind of interesting because a lot of new ideas are entering 4E. I wonder if it'll be 4E continued, 4.5E, or 5E. Regardless, it's interesting, and I don't want WotC to ignore their fanbase. I'm still not going to plop down much more money in 4E, just because it's not as strong a system for me, and Paizo is, to my tastes, better.

Similarly, I don't want Paizo to ignore their fan base when developing their new system.

So, that's a long "blarg", and I hope it helps give some alternate perspective. I'm sorry for rambling. I seem to tend to do that.

One other point: I would say that 3.5 was reaching the end of its lifespan, at least as a WotC-only concept. I don't think that it was there yet, but the much-maligned Book of Nine Swords was a sure indicator that WotC was moving away from the 3.X base concepts (Note: I'm not bashing it, as I don't have much experience with it, but in my experience it is oft-maligned and does seem to take significant strides away from many 3.5 base concepts from what I know). Similarly, the Tome of Magic, Complete Scoundrel, Complete Champion and other similar expansion books stepped further and further away from the way 3.5 presented itself. Then 4E occurred. I don't believe 3.X was quite done, however. It was euthanized, so to speak (which was another element of contention - how rapidly it seemed to end).

I believe that Pathfinder has breathed new life into it. Paizo obviously has ideas of where to take 3.X, and I enjoy them immensely. It's a semi-new system - it's not exactly 3.5, but then 3.5 wasn't exactly 3.0, either. But that's fine. I can still be backwards compatible, and I like that. I can still use my 3.0 stuff, too! That's one game system that's not just continued strong past its supposed "shelf life", and it's impressive. It seems they cast the Reincarnate spell and rolled up "Paizo's awesome" on the chart. Whenever the time comes, I'm interested to see if they can do it again.

Shadow Lodge

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If so many want GURPS, why does everyone I talk to say it sucks?


ProfessorCirno wrote:

See, this strikes me as the opinion of someone who started in 3e.

The idea that everything needs to be codified in the rules is a bizarre 3e-ism. It wasn't present in any other edition of D&D.

I don't think that's any reason to dismiss the viewpoint. As I'm becoming increasingly fond of saying, 3rd edition happened. A bunch of players picked up the game there, a bunch developed attachments to that edition's foibles, and a bunch of new expectations and tropes were injected into the convoluted DNA of D&D.

ProfessorCirno wrote:

I see a lot of people who talk about what D&D should be and then list a lot of stuff that didn't exist in D&D. To reiterate - if you want total rules codification, you want GURPS.

I'd say that 3e Core didn't support a wider variety of character concepts. It made the illusion that it did, when in reality most of those concepts were not very supported in the slightest. Coming off of 2e, neither of my two multiclassed characters felt supported at all once I actually got into the game.

I think it'd be better to say 3rd edition didn't support a lot of concepts well. I mean, looking back it's far easier to see all the problems that iterative attacks and the entire base attack bonus system caused, how sharply differentiated scaling skills struggle with the limited granularity a d20 roll offers and just how awful it feels to be entirely stripped of relevance by CoDzilla, but that those are problems with the system, doesn't mean that the underlying basis couldn't be salvaged. I'm sure that no small part of the initial backlash against 4e came from players who were expecting that sort of change, not a return (or emergence depending on one's perspective and understanding of old-school D&D) of different underlying design principles.

Personally, I was absolutely thrilled for 4e when I heard it was going to make ToB style melee classes the norm. If every class had a spell-like adjustable power system with different recovery mechanics, I would be ecstatic. Of course, I was expecting increased complexity and options relative to what ToB offered and needless to say, was not thrilled with what I got.

While it seems to make the retro crowd want to spit fire, I really think that heavy rules codification ala 3rd edition can claim a piece of the D&D pie without judgement at this point. There's plenty of players who expected that sort of design from their fantasy gaming and use it as a litmus test for "D&D/not-D&D" and that's a reasonable perspective to hold if you came in at 3rd. Any holistic consideration of the entire D&D fanbase across all editions is going to have to consider them too.

That all being said, I don't really think there's anyway to simultaneously make them and everyone who doesn't give a damn about strictly codified objective rules (or actively dislikes them) happy. That's pretty much a binary design choice that someone will have to make early in 5e's development, and someone is going to get screwed. It's why I'm not holding out any hope for 5e as a grand reconciliation.


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ProfessorCirno wrote:

See, this strikes me as the opinion of someone who started in 3e.

The idea that everything needs to be codified in the rules is a bizarre 3e-ism. It wasn't present in any other edition of D&D.

I see a lot of people who talk about what D&D should be and then list a lot of stuff that didn't exist in D&D. To reiterate - if you want total rules codification, you want GURPS.

I'd say that 3e Core didn't support a wider variety of character concepts. It made the illusion that it did, when in reality most of those concepts were not very supported in the slightest. Coming off of 2e, neither of my two multiclassed characters felt supported at all once I actually got into the game.

You seem to forget that most people coming into 4E started in 3E, not something earlier. It's important to bear in mind that it isn't the individual opinion that matters as much as the collective opinion, and while you may see the options provided by the 3rd edition PHB as an illusion, most people viewed them as very real, and when they are asked to go from what they viewed as a complete core book with a wide range of play options to one that is 90% combat options, and they never experienced anything earlier, it will come across as incomplete. Individual experiences vary of course, but that is what the collective opinion is going to arrive at.

You are putting way too much weight on earlier editions when qualifying what counts as a reasonable reaction, as did WotC; most people they were trying to retain had never played them, and only knew 3rd edition. In that environment, it's one thing to tout going back to your roots, but when the roots are significantly different from what the game has become and what people are used to, you need to do a fair bit of explaining of exactly what those roots are, which WotC did not do, or there will be a fair bit of "what the heck is this?" and similar questions.


Pedantic wrote:
I think it'd be better to say 3rd edition didn't support a lot of concepts well. I mean, looking back it's far easier to see all the problems that iterative attacks and the entire base attack bonus system caused, how scaling skills struggle with the limited granularity a d20 roll offers and just how awful it feels to be entirely stripped of relevance by CoDzilla, but that those are problems with the system, doesn't mean that the underlying basis couldn't be salvaged.

I will agree that the core PHB in 3rd edition handled some options better than others, but it did offer at least some support for those other options, and a good player and/or DM could make them work. The 4E PHB was all about "how do I feel like hitting the enemy?" and that was incredibly boring to a lot of people. Not everyone enjoys being restricted to dealing raw damage all the time.


Tacticslion wrote:


One other point: I would say that 3.5 was reaching the end of its lifespan, at least as a WotC-only concept. I don't think that it was there yet, but the much-maligned Book of Nine Swords was a sure indicator that WotC was moving away from the 3.X base concepts (Note: I'm not bashing it, as I don't have much experience with it, but in my experience it is oft-maligned and does seem to take significant strides away from many 3.5 base concepts from what I know). Similarly, the Tome of Magic, Complete Scoundrel, Complete Champion and other similar expansion books stepped further and further away from the way 3.5 presented itself.

No doubt that they made some changes to the interior style (artistic wise) but the core mechanics are all there (BAB, 3 Saves, Skills, additional feats) though some of the classes have differentl mechanics and abilities. Also, don't know why you refer to the ToB as "oft-maligned" as it was met with overall positive reviews. What P.O.ed people was that with the supplement, spellcasters didn't take center stage completly until about 12th to 14th level instead of 9th and 10th level. Melee classes received a huge boost in playability and usefulness that extened their lifespan well into the mid-levels of play.

Have no doubts though that while the ToB had a few ways of "Breaking the Game" as it were, it doesn't compare to the 50+ ways full-spellcasters fullfill that role. Even ToB classes don't enter the Tier 1 shelf, which is still reserved for Wizards, Clerics, Druids, Archivists, Artificers, and Erudite (Spell to Power Variant). In fact (just checked) they don't appear until Tier 3, which I guess isn't bad for melee-based characters. For a complete description on Tiers of 3E, check HERE

sunshadow21 wrote:


I will agree that the core PHB in 3rd edition handled some options better than others, but it did offer at least some support for those other options, and a good player and/or DM could make them work. The 4E PHB was all about "how do I feel like hitting the enemy?" and that was incredibly boring to a lot of people. Not everyone enjoys being restricted to dealing raw damage all the time.

Completly ignoring the fact that it's not really about "raw" damage as most powers have effects that are often more important to combat than straight DPR, I fail to see how player options failed within 4E's frame-work? At least, compared to 3E. I understand that certain "styles" were harder to obtain within the CORE 4E products, like a Dual-Wielding Fighter (though MC feats and Paragon-Multiclassing nets you this style) or a Diviner Wizard (as Divinations are now Rituals and aren't directly related to combat). But they are "supported" in some sense.

So could you give me some examples that people would rather do besides dealing damage and being engaging in combat? I'm curious because these aspects, to me anyways, seem like the ones requiring the most rules to accomplish balance within the game.


TOZ wrote:
If so many want GURPS, why does everyone I talk to say it sucks?

Because the fundamental flaw with uber-customzition is it takes even more time to prepare things.

No, what people really want is Scratch for RPGs. They want a building block like system that they can easily snap things together to get what they want, while still having it be super easy. 4e comes very close in mechanical execution but fails on other elements (at least to me and as Tacticslion put it much better then me in a long time).

http://scratch.mit.edu/

Scratch intro Video

The Saga system was perhaps the closets you get in the WotC lineup. Anima: Beyond Fantasy (if FFG wasn't so slow on translation and e-books) would be an example of Class based system with a point buy nature. Change some of those elements to Trait like chunks instead of points.

I hate to say this because I'm going to get yelled at, but what people are asking of is not GURPS but 2e Skills and Powers. Oddly I find myself in the minority of people who liked that concept, even if the balance was skewed in retrospect.


Diffan wrote:

Completly ignoring the fact that it's not really about "raw" damage as most powers have effects that are often more important to combat than straight DPR, I fail to see how player options failed within 4E's frame-work? At least, compared to 3E. I understand that certain "styles" were harder to obtain within the CORE 4E products, like a Dual-Wielding Fighter (though MC feats and Paragon-Multiclassing nets you this style) or a Diviner Wizard (as Divinations are now Rituals and aren't directly related to combat). But they are "supported" in some sense.

So could you give me some examples that people would rather do besides dealing damage and being engaging in combat? I'm curious because these aspects, to me anyways, seem like the ones requiring the most rules to accomplish balance within the game.

Any battlefield control that didn't involve touching the enemy directly for one. Enchantment type effects, which while not personally my taste, are still quite popular. Not even attempting to provide guidance on things like crafting and professions other than killing things. Not even providing sample gods so that the divine classes have something to get at least rough guidance from. In fact, pretty much anything that did not involve directly hitting and hurting someone, with the exception of a skeletal skill system and mostly crappy rituals. Yes, I know they had skill challenges, but as written, that was a joke too, even if the concept was sound.

Some of those things got addressed later on, some were probably never even considered then or now to be important enough to what they're trying to accomplish with 4E to be worth the time for them to deal with. As a DM who likes the rules as guildelines, and not seeing them as being told "no, you can't do that" as Monte Cook so eloquently called them in his most recent column, that to me makes for an incomplete game. I can understand that to you, it isn't, but you cannot discount the fact that a lot of people like the level of support that the 3rd edition ruleset gives them.

EDIT: When Paizo released Pathfinder, and in my opinion, successfully dealt with the majority of the problems in 3.5 that could be dealt with and still retain backward compatibility, WotC's abandoning any and all attempts to regulate anything but combat simply came off as lazy. I am well aware that traditionally, DnD didn't support anything but combat, but after 3.5, most people who were interested in a new edition weren't looking to turn back the clock as if 3rd edition and the OGL had never happened. They were looking for further refinement and evolution, which PF provided.

Liberty's Edge

Legends & Lore Archive | 10/25/2011

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20111025


ForgottenRider wrote:

Legends & Lore Archive | 10/25/2011

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20111025

I definitely prefer the 3rd option. I am somewhat partial to rules-heavy games, as I can ignore or gloss over the details of the particular rules I don't want to bother with and use the ones I consider appropriate for my campaign. :)

Shadow Lodge

Roman wrote:
ForgottenRider wrote:

Legends & Lore Archive | 10/25/2011

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20111025

I definitely prefer the 3rd option. I am somewhat partial to rules-heavy games, as I can ignore or gloss over the details of the particular rules I don't want to bother with and use the ones I consider appropriate for my campaign. :)

I prefer option 2, although some climbs wouldn't really involve a check. Given that Monte Cook did the article, I'm surprised that he was as restrained with option 3 as he ended up. :P

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

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To me, the most intriguing part of that article was this:

Monte Cook wrote:
Experienced players will note that the last entry is sort of a weird collision of 3rd edition and 4th edition rules.


Roman wrote:
I definitely prefer the 3rd option. I am somewhat partial to rules-heavy games, as I can ignore or gloss over the details of the particular rules I don't want to bother with and use the ones I consider appropriate for my campaign. :)

I generally agree with Roman (again!) as far as my personal preferences go, although I actually don't the third option because it's written out terribly, as-presented. I'd really want to clear that bugger up a lot before it would be published.

And the poll below, while giving more options (which is good!), is still too hard/extreme in its flavors to get any sort of real perception of what people are thinking. Again.

EDIT: also, what Epic Meepo said. That... was a very peculiar choice for Monte to put in there.

Well, that and the comic on the right. That was pretty hilarious.


Actually, something like this would be far better (even while attempting to include all the little derivatives, some of which should be obvious and/or included elsewhere):

What the article should have* wrote:


Climb: You must make a Climb check to ascend any vertically-slanted surface, with a Difficulty Class based on the difficulty of the climb.

Characters move at half speed when climbing, which counts as movement, and grant combat advantage to opponents while you climb. You can attempt to climb faster, using your normal speed, but your check is made with a -5 penalty.

If you fail a climb check, you make no progress. If you fail the check by more than 5, you fall. If you suffer damage while climbing, you must make an immediate check or fall. When you fall, you can make a check to catch yourself again before you take falling damage, the DC of which is equal to the Climb DC of the surface plus 5.

The difficulty class of the climb is based on various modifiers, including, but not limited to, the incline of the surface, the number of handholds, and the slickness of the surface. See the chart below for several examples.

Typical Climb DCs include:
Surface____________________________________DC
Ladder....................................................0
Knotted rope..........................................5
Rope................................................10
Uneven surface.....................................15
Rough surface.....................................20
Slippery surface.................................+5
Unusually smooth surface..........................+5
Corner with two surfaces to brace against.........-5
Chimney (two opposite walls to brace against)....-10
_________________________________________________

Other modifiers:
A climber's kit adds to the climber's check, as do various magical items such as a potion of climbing or a ring of climbing and so on.

Creatures with a natural climb speed do not need to make Climb checks and ignore difficult terrain while climbing.

*Or at least this is better. Also, yes, that sentence structure is terrible, but I'm trying my best with the way the code automatically translates stuff over here!

Information like this:

Climb wrote:
A Climb check is a skill check based on a character's Strength score plus the number of skill ranks he has devoted to the Climb skill, if any.

... should probably be part of core skill rules instead of complicating the Climb entry (noting that skills use a related ability score as a modifier to their check, how that works, and simply letting the entry on each skill note the ability score).

One of the reasons my entry above is superior is: redundant pieces of information are folded together, codified, and streamlined without removing any real information (the strength-modifier stuff being the noted exception), and non-standard modifiers are removed to the bottom so the main body of "what happens when I climb" is all placed together. This isn't me being all clever or great, and I am in no way claiming superiority to Monte Cook, only the entry above to his entry; this is me taking all of ten minutes to clarify the pretty terrible entry Monte apparently threw together by... throwing two things together without much looking. It's kind of a confusing mess. To compare, I've outlined what they tell you and how (remember - it's almost all the same information).

Hey, look, I outline the differences between our versions:
Basically, in Monte's version:
>>First paragraph: what it means to be climbing, some mechanics (some of which shouldn't be in there) and some hazards.
>>Second paragraph: some modifiers of climbing and explaining the chart at the bottom.
>>Third paragraph: a short, obvious (but important) part of the mechanics
>>Fourth paragraph: modifiers
>>Fifth paragraph: more mechanics and more hazards
>>Sixth paragraph: more mechanics
>>Seventh paragraph: more modifiers
>>Chart: it's a chart! Completely removed from its explanation!

In my version:
>>First paragraph: what it means to be climbing
>>Second paragraph: what are the mechanical effects of climbing
>>Third paragraph: the hazards of climbing
>>Fourth paragraph: common-sense (but important to note) elements of climbing and explaining the chart.
>>Chart: it's a chart!
>>Fifth and Sixth paragraphs: things that adjust the basic rules outlined above.

The second is far easier to understand and is still pretty streamlined and thorough. Monte's presentation of complicated rules is bizarre in that it looks like a purposeful attempt to over-complicate the information that he's given to manipulate answers in the polls (drive away from number three). I'm not saying he did, I'm saying it looks that way, 'cause mine only took, like, five minutes to clarify from his and ten more minutes to breakdown that I eliminated one sentence and a paragraph while making it far easier to understand.

I don't know if any of you guys have an account over there (I don't anymore, that I know of), but feel free to post the alt-chart. It might sway more people to option number three.

NOTE: I can't seem to get the the DC entry, the DCs and, and their modifiers to line up properly. Oh well. It's still easier to read.
Edit: one word choice.


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That is the kind of thing that I would want, Tacticslion. I found the concept of option 3 the best, but it definitely needed a lot of cleaning up in the language. That is the biggest thing PF 2.0 can do to improve the game in my opinion. There has to be a better way to explain and organize the current ruleset. If they do that, they shouldn't need to make a lot of major changes to the the ruleset itself, aside from incorporating what they have learned from archetypes into the core classes and a few other remaining prominent spots.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Roman wrote:
I definitely prefer the 3rd option. I am somewhat partial to rules-heavy games, as I can ignore or gloss over the details of the particular rules I don't want to bother with and use the ones I consider appropriate for my campaign. :)

I generally agree with Roman (again!) as far as my personal preferences go, although I actually don't the third option because it's written out terribly, as-presented. I'd really want to clear that bugger up a lot before it would be published.

And the poll below, while giving more options (which is good!), is still too hard/extreme in its flavors to get any sort of real perception of what people are thinking. Again.

EDIT: also, what Epic Meepo said. That... was a very peculiar choice for Monte to put in there.

Well, that and the comic on the right. That was pretty hilarious.

It feels like a 3.5er Trap. Mainly to try and tease out which percentage of the online voting block is knee jerking directly to 3.5 rules.

Tacticslion, I like that breakdown

First paragraph: What does this mean

Second paragraph: Mechanics of the thing

Third paragraph: Oops I failed

Fourth paragraph: common-sense (but important to note) elements... because lord knows both GMs and Players have none. We the online fandom have proved it time and again.

Chart: it's a chart!

Fifth and Sixth paragraphs: things that adjust the basic rules outlined above.

That and putting all the rules relevant to the skill front and center. Things that make use of Skills should refer back to the skill (i.e. the scatter shot mess that is Stealth and Perception).


Dorje Sylas wrote:


It feels like a 3.5er Trap. Mainly to try and tease out which percentage of the online voting block is knee jerking directly to 3.5 rules.

The 4E climb rules presented in the rules compendium are nearly as complex. I think he's trolling both players. Information like "strength check plus skill modifiers" and "potion/ring of climbing" is really extraneous. It's a charicature or strawman example for him to drive home the point that something closer to the 2nd option is better in his mind. People having to "look up what X skill does every time they use it" is exactly what he doesn't want.


The third choice is very intentionally made overcomplicated and poorly written for the same reason the first choice is intentionally underwritten and left with no useful information: he wants you to choose the second option that he prefers.

Monte Cook's articles have proven entirely useless.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

As of today, I turned my back on 4E. 4E has become nothing but lazy design. This is what I wrote to them today.

The Witch class has been the "final nail in the coffin". I have been playing 4E since it started - I have stuck to it through all the WOTC chaos. I held out hope that 4E would get better....it hasn't. "Heroes of Shadow" was an utter disappointment. Dragon has continued to be lackluster. I was holding out hope that the Witch would get me excited for 4E again.....it hasn't. It is just a wizard with a different name. It is just lazy design.

I then go over to Pathfinder website and see their Witch.....wow.....I like it. It feels & looks different from a Wizard.

My current campaign has ended after 2 years and I have decided to go back to Pathfinder. Their books are well done/well designed. They offer PDFs for sale. They actually put out frequent modules! Reading the book with the Pathfinder Witch makes me excited to game again......which is the complete opposite what the 4E Witch did.

I am just disgusted that 2 years later, the 4E skill system is just lacking. Every power feels the same. Power sources all feel the same. The never ending "feat taxes"goes on and on. There still is no Counterspelling. The endless sets of cards which make the game feel like a card game. The Character Builder still does not fully allow custom made houserules. The awful Binder class.... Just sad.....

Sorry WOTC but I am done with 4E and its lazy design.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Askanipsion wrote:

My current campaign has ended after 2 years and I have decided to go back to Pathfinder. Their books are well done/well designed. They offer PDFs for sale. They actually put out frequent modules! Reading the book with the Pathfinder Witch makes me excited to game again......which is the complete opposite what the 4E Witch did.

Welcome!


TOZ wrote:
If so many want GURPS, why does everyone I talk to say it sucks?

Because they have a differing opinion. Every GURPS game I've played so far has been excellent, even when one of my characters lost an arm and almost died.

Also, I am curious to see what 5th edition (D&D) will be like.


Steelfiredragon wrote:


ans here is the best Idea that Paizo must do.

just keep doing what you do best

You mean profitting off of other people's work?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Magnus Von Magnussen wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:


ans here is the best Idea that Paizo must do.

just keep doing what you do best

You mean profitting off of other people's work?

See, this is why naps are so important. Sleepy time, little guy.

Shadow Lodge

ProfessorCirno wrote:

The third choice is very intentionally made overcomplicated and poorly written for the same reason the first choice is intentionally underwritten and left with no useful information: he wants you to choose the second option that he prefers.

Monte Cook's articles have proven entirely useless.

I'm not sure. This is Monte Cook. I think he might have simplified down his actual preference and presented it as option 3. After all, my current theory is that he had an uncredited part in creating FATAL.


Call me late to the party. After realizing Cook's latest problem made clear that he was telling us a solution rather than asking a design question, I went back through all the articles with that in mind. While Mearls tended to be more even-handed in addressing dilemmas, the overall sense is they want a simple, rules-light base that encourages DMs and players together to creatively fudge the results far more than either 3rd or 4th ed does. This isn't much of a "3E vs 4E" thing because 4E is very deterministic in terms of combat resolution, even moreso with its strict limitations on power progression and usage. Both games feature things like magimart, expected encounters per day, and other rigid balance rulings that "hamstring good DMs." These two writers are focusing in on Basic D&D approach, at least as a default base which advanced optional rules can then sit on top of.

As for potential business sense, I think it goes something like this:

1) Wizards has them researching early D&D to figure out what made those early editions take off when D&D wasn't an established thing before. When it was more focused and successful at acquiring new players, which I don't think 4E has done well enough for the corporate overlords.

2) Mearl's modularity idea is an attempt to keep the game both newbie and rules-light accessible while blocking attrition to more advanced systems. Some people have joked about 4E being the PF beginner box, that's exactly the thing they want to stem with layers of optional rules that can be turned to when gamers want more depth. It also lets them simplify down to something that can catch the occasional posts you see here about people hungering for a "Basic PF," as well as supporting roleplay-heavy groups with fast and easy combat resolution.

3) Mearl's modularity also gives them a new profit path: endless rules supplements that cover particular styles of play, rather than just hundreds of more classes and magic items for dungeon spelunkers to minmax. So one "splatbook" would expand social skills and economic modeling rules complexity, along with maybe some new classes to support that. DMs/Players that want ALL the "rules" for a deep simulation end up buying everything, other groups check it out or not based on the kind of campaigns they want to run. (But of course, they'd also release parallel to or with modules referencing the recent rule expansions.)

Beyond them maybe letting players build vancian, DAE, and basic attack characters in one grand unified character system, I'm not sure this is going to sell too many 3E players, or that it has anything to do with the 3E vs 4E war going on in this thread. They might stand to pick up alot lost to other freerform RPGs, offer an easier entry point to new players, and enough depth to retain them for a while to come, with flexibility to diversify into different playstyles; but the latter point might only be reached after much edition mastery and supplements, and not something an invested PF simulationist will pick up quickly from a core ruleset zeroed in on simplicity. If this kills off Paizo, it's going to be a very slow death.


It is difficult to explain, but there's a great difference between GURPS (that does not work for epic fantasy), 4E and a rpg like 3.5 or PF. PF need improvement, while GURPS and 4E should be totally rewritten. I don't think that Hasbro can create a link from 4E to PF and bring togheter different players. Good rpg is not a mass product. Even if they will work in that direction the evolution of PC rpg will ruin their efforts.
I can just suppose what will happen, but when I started play (20 years ago) me and my group tryed and buyed almost everything that was d&d. Every edition was somewhat better or an improvement, or expanded the game, even whit some errors. Now I don't see nothing of this. There will be different editions, some for experienced players, and some for "light players".

Btw, Monte Cook it's not with Hasbro again?

Shadow Lodge

Magnus Von Magnussen wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:


ans here is the best Idea that Paizo must do.

just keep doing what you do best

You mean profitting off of other people's work?

Wait, you mean all the work that went into the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Advanced Players Guide, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Society, etc., wasn't the work of the people at Paizo?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TOZ wrote:
Magnus Von Magnussen wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:


ans here is the best Idea that Paizo must do.

just keep doing what you do best

You mean profitting off of other people's work?
Wait, you mean all the work that went into the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Advanced Players Guide, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Society, etc., wasn't the work of the people at Paizo?

Trolls, feed, do...oh hell, whom am I teaching that?


Kthulhu wrote:
Roman wrote:
ForgottenRider wrote:

Legends & Lore Archive | 10/25/2011

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20111025

I definitely prefer the 3rd option. I am somewhat partial to rules-heavy games, as I can ignore or gloss over the details of the particular rules I don't want to bother with and use the ones I consider appropriate for my campaign. :)
I prefer option 2, although some climbs wouldn't really involve a check. Given that Monte Cook did the article, I'm surprised that he was as restrained with option 3 as he ended up. :P

I would prefer option 2 WITH the difficulty table. I can make rules on the fly just fine, but being a scientist I tend to overanalyze the physics of things when they don't really matter. DC tables help me avoid that:)


AlecStorm wrote:
the evolution of PC rpg will ruin their efforts.

And this is something WotC/Hasbro will be unable to wrap their heads around. I need to see how easy the modding tools for Skyrim are before I say anything more about where computer RPGs have gone.

Shadow Lodge

TOZ wrote:
Wait, you mean all the work that went into the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Advanced Players Guide, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Society, etc., wasn't the work of the people at Paizo?

While I definately don't agree with his tone, I think that claiming that ALL of the work that went into the Core Rulebook especially was the work of people from Paizo is kinda stretching it. The Core Rulebook is overwhelming based on the SRD. Yes, Paizo tweaked it, and in my opinion overall improved it; but to say it was ALL their work would be dishonest.


All I want is a system that isn't so crunchy in combat and works well with non-combat situations. 2E did that for me, WEG d6 Star Wars did that well for me, hell even FASA's Star Trek RPG did that well for me...3E, 3.5E, PF, and 4E, not so much.

Get away from the "rule for everything" approach:

Player: I want Grod to do blah, BlaH, bLAh.
GM: Well you can do blah, BlaH, but bLAh is not allowed based on Rule X in section B on page 30.
Player: Fine, just blah, BlaH then.

And move back to a more situational approach:
Player: I want Grod to do blah, BlaH, bLAh.
GM: OK...describes blah...then describes BlaH...now you need to roll X vs DC X for bLAh...

Get away from the 20 is the new 18 and 18 is the new 16 mentality. Get away from the mentality that a character is unplayable or no fun to play if they have only one stat 12 or better. Get away from the approach that it makes no sense to play a fighter with a 10 Str, when the same character is naturally gifted elsewhere...maybe, just MAYBE, while he may not be as naturally gifted in the martial arts as a fighter with a 16, 18, or 20 Strength, he loves the thrill of combat.

Contrary to what some have said about 4E, 4E does not approach that, at least with my own limited experience with it. 4E is DEFINATELY NOT harkening back to 2E...movement described in squares, requiring a battlemat and mini's for battles, 6 SECOND ANNOYING CRAPPY FRUSTRATING COMBAT ROUND holdover from 3E, HP that keep increasing from 1st to 30th level, Attributes that naturally increase as one advances, No HARD CAP on attributes without houseruling it out and doing a lot of work to everything else, ACs that have the same infinitely escalating format and much, much more.

The overly crunchy approach that came with 3E, continued into 3.5, is the basis for PF, and where 4E gets it origins is what is helping a small but growing(?) segment of the gaming community to look for 'rules lite' systems... OSRIC, Sword and Sorcery, Basic Fantasy, Labrynth Lord, Microlite 20, Myth and Magic, Cinema6. Hell 2E compared with the 3e, 3.5E, PF, and 4E is rules lite.

Shadow Lodge

Kthulhu wrote:
but to say it was ALL their work would be dishonest.

So it's good I didn't say that, isn't it? ;)

Shadow Lodge

TOZ wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
but to say it was ALL their work would be dishonest.
So it's good I didn't say that, isn't it? ;)

Your quote:

TOZ wrote:
Wait, you mean all the work that went into the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Advanced Players Guide, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Society, etc., wasn't the work of the people at Paizo?

Was, at best, somewhat misleading on the subject.


TOZ wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
but to say it was ALL their work would be dishonest.
So it's good I didn't say that, isn't it? ;)

Well...

TOZ wrote:
Wait, you mean all the work that went into the Pathfinder Core Rulebook ... wasn't the work of the people at Paizo?

The answer would be: "Yes, of course."

Shadow Lodge

Arnwyn wrote:


The answer would be: "Yes, of course."

Followed immediately by the realization that they had to do work to put those out at all, and that while they may be using the d20 system to make their products, that's not ALL they're doing.

Where anyone got the idea that I said Paizo did all the work is beyond me.


I can't imagine what wotc would have to do to make me come back to DND.

I didn't like the all combat approach of 4th.

I love archetypes infinitely more than prestige classes.

There are only 2 things wotc did right with 4th, that I wish paizo would do.

Make a DM screen with useful information.

Make a FAQ/Rules Compendium book


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Kthulhu wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
but to say it was ALL their work would be dishonest.
So it's good I didn't say that, isn't it? ;)

Your quote:

TOZ wrote:
Wait, you mean all the work that went into the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Advanced Players Guide, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Society, etc., wasn't the work of the people at Paizo?
Was, at best, somewhat misleading on the subject.

I'm not aware of anything in the prd that hasn't been substantially modified. The classes are alldifferent, the combat system is different, the magic system is different, etc. The Pathfinder system is as dependent on 3.5 as GURPS is. But the real work that Paizo did was in believing inand standing by their existing customer base. It, I'm sure, involved pounding the pavement to find investment capital.


What does Paizo need to do in the face of 5e?

Rules Compendium: They have mentioned it themselves in numerous posts that cleaning up the rules is something they would like to do. With the release of the Beginner Box, it would be a perfect time to really push for releasing a product that better eases the transition to the core products. What better way to do that than a slicker presented version of the Core Rules? It could also be done as a way of releasing a new Core Rulebook 2.0, which would not invalidate the current Core Rulebook version (1.0), as it would merely be a change in presentation as opposed to a new evolution of the system.

On a personal note, one of the main things I have come to not prefer is the combination of the player and gm books. If not in this release cycle it is something that I would like to see reverted back to in the next release. Historically, less GM books sell but that can be controlled on the production side of things.


I think the one thing that they should do is create a character builder/combat manager/campaign manager application which makes the game dead easy for new players and GMs. If they makes it 508 compliant, they can open the game industry to a new market and get some really good PR.

Liberty's Edge

While I'm still a fan of 4E I too am just going to be a player and not a DM of the system. I look both rpgs except PF is the D&D that I favor at the moment. With Wotc latest releases not being to my liking and just finding the system somewhat bland (not Wotc fault on this just that the shiny new felling you get with a new system has worn off). To Monte articles just not resonating with me on any level coupled with 5E possibly being relased in the future I just want to stick with one version of D&D for the tine being. That being said I will defend the system from the usual "4E is an MMO", "It's a board game" and my personal favorite "They want to profit from us" posts.

Liberty's Edge

TOZ wrote:
If so many want GURPS, why does everyone I talk to say it sucks?

Because it does. Why would anyone ever play Gurps, when you can play Hero system instead? Amazing point buy system, customizable level of detail. Harsh learning curve, but well worth it if you are a point buy fan. There is no character/world/level of realism/gamist/etc that can't be created.


Nukruh wrote:

What does Paizo need to do in the face of 5e?

Rules Compendium: They have mentioned it themselves in numerous posts that cleaning up the rules is something they would like to do. With the release of the Beginner Box, it would be a perfect time to really push for releasing a product that better eases the transition to the core products. What better way to do that than a slicker presented version of the Core Rules? It could also be done as a way of releasing a new Core Rulebook 2.0, which would not invalidate the current Core Rulebook version (1.0), as it would merely be a change in presentation as opposed to a new evolution of the system.

On a personal note, one of the main things I have come to not prefer is the combination of the player and gm books. If not in this release cycle it is something that I would like to see reverted back to in the next release. Historically, less GM books sell but that can be controlled on the production side of things.

I can really get onboard with the rules compendium. Addressing the Core as GM/player book combined, at first I liked it, but I wish they would have made two separate books. The only reason for that is I feel the volume stresses the book. I don't know about anyone else but after 2 years my Pathfinder Book is falling apart. Pages arent coming out of it YET, but I suspect Soon. The binding is actually high quality, but I think it was just too much for a book that gets opened and reused like a college text book.


Mournblade94 wrote:
I don't know about anyone else but after 2 years my Pathfinder Book is falling apart. Pages arent coming out of it YET, but I suspect Soon. The binding is actually high quality, but I think it was just too much for a book that gets opened and reused like a college text book.

This is yet another reason I've gone almost entirely digital. As hardware/software improve I've noticed it actually gets faster. :P

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Darkwing Duck wrote:
I think the one thing that they should do is create a character builder/combat manager/campaign manager application which makes the game dead easy for new players and GMs. If they makes it 508 compliant, they can open the game industry to a new market and get some really good PR.

Instead of trying to become a software company without the expertise, they went better. Paizo has endorsed Lone Wolf's Herolab as it's official character management application.

Liberty's Edge

LazarX wrote:
Instead of trying to become a software company without the expertise, they went better. Paizo has endorsed Lone Wolf's Herolab as it's official character management application.

I doubt building a character builder will in any way shape or form make them a "software company". Wotc has one and no one classifies them as a software company. Hazard guess if we ever see a new edition of PF that you will not only see Paizo develop their own CB we will also see more digital releases.

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