Will you be switching to D&D Next when it comes out or will you stay with Pathfinder?


4th Edition

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houstonderek wrote:

Yep. 2e didn't do much to change the 1e relationship between the classes, other than to eliminate a few all together and add one (core). The magic user was still a glass cannon, and wasn't anything close to the 3x wizard, level by level, until well into double digits.

Oh, and Stoneskin, iirc, was a sixth level spell, so I doubt any 5th level magic users were casting it (for Cptexploderman). I think you also forget that a) you have to declare your actions before you roll initiative in 1e (I forget if they still did that in 2e), that high level spells took a LONG time to cast, relatively, and, even if you're stone skinned, it didn't take much to disrupt casting.

Oh, yeah, 3x was "wizard" edition.

Yes, Cptex has it wrong for the most part.

Stoneskin gave you almost total immunity for a variable number of hits - problem is, the wizard didn't know exactly how many. Plus a fighter of comparable level with specialization was getting at least 3 in (at no penalty) per round, so stone skin was merely a speed bump before a fighter would take the magic users head off.
Remember - no DC based saves, the fighter saves were internal (and bumped by Ring of Protection, high stats, etc). So while he is grinding down that stone skin (couple of rounds) he is laughing at the wizards spells being cast at him.

I guess all the frustrated m-u/wizard characters ended up writing 3rd ed, got tired of having sand kicked in their face or playing a class with some thought or consequences. So the the removed the latter two.

Magic users/wizards were glass cannons at all levels in 1e/2e, unless of course you had a DM who was handing rulings to the wizard character.

Liberty's Edge

And when you got to "Stoneskin" levels, the fighter generally only failed his save vs. spells on a one or a two.

And stoneskin didn't stop grapple, overbearing or whatever the other one was, and all of them disrupted casting.


houstonderek wrote:

Yep. 2e didn't do much to change the 1e relationship between the classes, other than to eliminate a few all together and add one (core). The magic user was still a glass cannon, and wasn't anything close to the 3x wizard, level by level, until well into double digits.

Oh, and Stoneskin, iirc, was a sixth level spell, so I doubt any 5th level magic users were casting it (for Cptexploderman). I think you also forget that you have to declare your actions before you roll initiative in 1e (I forget if they still did that in 2e), that high level spells took a LONG time to cast, relatively, and, even if you're stone skinned, it didn't take much to disrupt casting.

If the wizard could get the spell off, yeah, big time wow. But, in AD&D, getting that spell off was far from certain, unless your DM was a total pushover or ignored a ton of stuff.

3x? Let's see, even the most powerful spells generally take as long to cast as the lowliest first level spell, you can practically do cartwheels while casting, and even if you do get hit, you have an incredibly easy concentration check. Couple all of that with DCs that scale faster than save bonuses, all kinds of stuff to make SR a pointless stat in most cases, and the fact that the fighter got that 2/1 or 3/1 AND his move, and in 3x it was either/or, oh, yeah, 3x was "wizard" edition.

Though initiative rules in both 1e and 2e were widely house-ruled, misunderstood, or otherwise not followed to the letter. Especially the changes from 1e to 2e.

I don't think we held strictly to the "declare your actions before initiative" thing, for example. It broke too much as the situation changed. We did take casting time (and weapon speed) into account somehow, but I don't remember the exact details.

I do remember our first impressions of 3.0 were that martials were boosted. Damage went up, number of attacks went, there were all sorts of cool martial feats, hps going up meant that spell damage was much less than it had been. I still suspect that was the original intent.
It just didn't work out that way. It took awhile for our players to adapt to the new casting style: ignore damage, focus on buffs and SoS/D spells.


I drove a party crazy in 1e for a few months putting them up against a high level wizard.

See, he never actually showed himself, sent clones, minions, illusions, until finally they cornered him in his tower.

He conceeded defeat, immediatly, and let himself be captured.

Liberty's Edge

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thejeff wrote:

I do remember our first impressions of 3.0 were that martials were boosted. Damage went up, number of attacks went, there were all sorts of cool martial feats, hps going up meant that spell damage was much less than it had been. I still suspect that was the original intent.

It just didn't work out that way. It took awhile for our players to adapt to the new casting style: ignore damage, focus on buffs and SoS/D spells.

I think the need to get rid of the "unfun" parts of magic user play ruined what balance AD&D fostered. All of the "unfun" stuff was what kept them from dominating the game.


houstonderek wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I do remember our first impressions of 3.0 were that martials were boosted. Damage went up, number of attacks went, there were all sorts of cool martial feats, hps going up meant that spell damage was much less than it had been. I still suspect that was the original intent.

It just didn't work out that way. It took awhile for our players to adapt to the new casting style: ignore damage, focus on buffs and SoS/D spells.
I think the need to get rid of the "unfun" parts of magic user play ruined what balance AD&D fostered. All of the "unfun" stuff was what kept them from dominating the game.

It's possible. I wasn't at all plugged into the community at that point and I don't really have any idea what they claimed to be trying to do.

It's not at all clear to me how much of what led casters to dominate 3.x was planned and how much was unintended consequences.

Like I said, it weakened a lot of what made casters powerful in AD&D and if you played them the same way in 3.0, they stayed weak.

I did and still do like some of the changes. Balance of the "You're going to be ungodly powerful late in the game, but it's ok because you'll suck early on" is not my idea of good game design. Those are the unfun parts I'm glad they got rid of.
I do kind of wonder how some of those changes would work in isolation. 3.x design with AD&D saves and casting times/concentration mechanics, for example.


houstonderek wrote:

And when you got to "Stoneskin" levels, the fighter generally only failed his save vs. spells on a one or a two.

Not really. In 1e and 2e, stoneskin was a 4th level spell so that means 7th level caster. And at that point, the 7th level fighter's save vs spells is still 13.


houstonderek wrote:


I think the need to get rid of the "unfun" parts of magic user play ruined what balance AD&D fostered. All of the "unfun" stuff was what kept them from dominating the game.

I think there's a lot of truth to this.

The other major elements to the difference are, I think:

1) The save DC/Saving Throw system. The old 1e/2e table desperately needed reform (thieves were totally screwed by it) and there are some symmetries of the d20 system that are nice. But the overall save bonuses are to low for weak saves and point buy stat arrays combined with single-attribute casting stats, multi-attribute defenses plays hob with the balance.

2) Easy magic item creation. Made casting stat boosters too easy to get, wizard-oriented items too easy to make, wands too flexible in role, and scrolls too cheap.


Ffordesoon wrote:

Sunshadow:

I would argue that giving new players too much control - and a bevy of trap options, in the case of 3.x - is far more likely to put them off a system than a bad DM. Players know pretty quickly, when someone else is screwing them, but they're reluctant to believe they've screwed themselves, especially when the options they picked are all designed to sound attractive. A new player would always rather blame Drew the crappy DM for their problems than feel like the game lied to them.

I also think that it's much worse for a session - especially a player's first session - to be boring than it is for their session to be badly run. At least a badly run session is memorable and gives you a story to tell. A boring session is, well, boring, and a boring first session with a system can give the player the impression that the system itself is boring. Hence, the idea that a single session of 3.x can be made dull as dishwater for everyone involved does not seem to me an improvement over other negative outcomes.

Finally, I would think the alleged safety net 3.x gives the inexperienced DM would be more of a problem than anything, because it gives the DM more stuff to keep track of that isn't the story. How is the DM supposed to keep details consistent if she can't focus totally on the story she's telling? Also, more player control means the DM might have to deal with the pressure of players constantly on the lookout for mistakes on her part. An inexperienced DM can make a ton of mistakes and still end the game on a satisfying note for everyone, but distrustful players can make her paranoid, which can then turn the game into an escalating struggle for control rather than the exercise in collaborative storytelling it's supposed to be.

Oh, and it's worth noting that 5e does have a fairly robust set of rules for common play scenarios, not to mention a table that lists common DCs for all skill checks. It might be simpler than 3.x, but the safety net you speak of is still pretty generous in comparison...

This is VERY true. I have a good deal of system mastery. I was a GM in 3.5 for many years, and I knew that if players played ineffective characters they wouldn't have a good play experience. My players were mostly educated professionals. Many of them wouldn't listen to me when they picked trap options. (The Druid who tried to be a two weapon fighter and a blaster without the feats to back it up (other than TWF) and constantly got killed in battle is the best example of this...)

Dark Archive

Bill Dunn wrote:
houstonderek wrote:

And when you got to "Stoneskin" levels, the fighter generally only failed his save vs. spells on a one or a two.

Not really. In 1e and 2e, stoneskin was a 4th level spell so that means 7th level caster. And at that point, the 7th level fighter's save vs spells is still 13.

I think what HD was going at (guessing here) is when Stoneskin came into casual play (11th +) not when you first had access to it.

At 7th level under 1e that would be your only 4th level spell, and they rest of what you would be using against a fighter was your 3rd level spells (which are not really going to shut down a fighter) unless you cast SS in advance. In 2nd ed this would be one of two spells you had at 4th, again - going defensive at that level as your primary tactic isn't an ideal way to run.

I think SS is great for 7th level Wizard to cast when in a party of other defenders. As a pinnacle spell against a 1-on-1 fight with a fighter of the same level, it would only delay the inevitable and would be a suboptimal choice.

Remember also - stoneskin didn't care if the attacks hit or not - it cared about the "attack rolls". So even an enemy wizard dart champion with 3 darts attacks, the SS'd wizard loses 3 of those stoneskin hits per round without the other wizard even needing to hit with the darts.
1e Stoneskin (UA) was even worse - it only protected from one attack sequence.

At 11th or 13th level or higher, SS becomes an easy throw-in mid line defense spell (combined with a few others). But again, by that time his unmodified save vs. spells are in the 10-8 range, with a Ring of Protection being a common item.... and one huge other common factor to fighters that was frequently overlooked:

2nd ed PHB wrote:

Magical armor allows a saving throw bonus only when the save is made necessary by something physical, whether normal or magical; magical armor never gives a saving throw bonus against gas (which it cannot block), poison (which operates internally), and spells that are mental in nature or that cause no physical damage.

For example, magical armor would not help a character's saving throw against the sting of a giant scorpion, the choking effects of a stinking cloud spell, or the transformation effect of a polymorph others spell. Magical armor does extend its protective power to saving throws against acid sprays or splashes, disintegration, magical and normal fires, spells that cause damage, and falls (if any saving throw is allowed in this case). Other situations must be handled on a case-by-case basis by the DM.

So you could get that save number down pretty low and somewhat early in the Fighter's career (keeping in mind this includes shields).

--------------------------------

Back more on subject - it looks like the 5e DMG got pushed back a month. Makes me a bit nervous to think that this book may be the redeeming factor for this system (for me) yet it seems like they are writing this all as they go along. I hope there are some "running old-school" rules blurbs/sections in the book.

Scarab Sages

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thejeff wrote:

It's not at all clear to me how much of what led casters to dominate 3.x was planned and how much was unintended consequences.

I did and still do like some of the changes. Balance of the "You're going to be ungodly powerful late in the game, but it's ok because you'll suck early on" is not my idea of good game design. Those are the unfun parts I'm glad they got rid of.
I do kind of wonder how some of those changes would work in isolation. 3.x design with AD&D saves and casting times/concentration mechanics, for example.

While I wouldn't want to go back to playing a wizard under the old rules (Whoo! One spell per day! Best make sure I don't spend it all at once!), I think 3E went too far in the other direction.

Some of the changes were things that had been introduced in 2E (bonus school spell, bonus spell for high Int), or kicked around the letters pages of Dragon/Imagine/White Dwarf for years, as possible solutions to extend the survivability of the mages* (such as bonus cantrips, some free starting scrolls, ability to create low-level scrolls, reducing some level 1 spells to level 0), some ideas were new, but while a couple of these changes could have made the difference, they decided to allow all of them, plus more (no cap on number of spells known, auto-learning spells every level, casting when damaged, millisecond casting times, five-foot step casting, half-price crafting, no special crafting ingredients, ....)

*I could never get used to the term 'magic-user'; it was far too gamist, clunky and artificial. To me, they were always 'wizards', 'witchdoctors', 'mages', or some other term that had genre traction and period verisimilitude.


Aux: Their reason for pushing the DMG back 3 weeks is because they apparently wanted to bring the quality of the content higher. It seems like with this edition they are going for quality over quantity, which seems to be the opposite of what they had going for 3rd edition (and possibly 4th edition, but I didn't really keep up with that edition).

If this delay will help make the DMG better, then I am all for it. As for the "running old-school" blurbs, I don't know if those will be included. The only old school thing that I am 90% positive will be in the DMG is converting over to THAC0. With that inclusion into the DMG, I feel there is a good chance for more old school D&D rules placed in the book. Only other thing I know of that will be in the DMG is rules to create your own monsters, and advancing existing monsters (adding class levels, probably also increasing hit dice).

I do wish they would have had more than just 4 age categories for the dragons (wyrmling, young, adult, ancient). Maybe there will be something about adding in the missing ages.


houstonderek wrote:

Yep. 2e didn't do much to change the 1e relationship between the classes, other than to eliminate a few all together and add one (core). The magic user was still a glass cannon, and wasn't anything close to the 3x wizard, level by level, until well into double digits.

Oh, and Stoneskin, iirc, was a sixth level spell, so I doubt any 5th level magic users were casting it (for Cptexploderman). I think you also forget that you have to declare your actions before you roll initiative in 1e (I forget if they still did that in 2e), that high level spells took a LONG time to cast, relatively, and, even if you're stone skinned, it didn't take much to disrupt casting.

If the wizard could get the spell off, yeah, big time wow. But, in AD&D, getting that spell off was far from certain, unless your DM was a total pushover or ignored a ton of stuff.

3x? Let's see, even the most powerful spells generally take as long to cast as the lowliest first level spell, you can practically do cartwheels while casting, and even if you do get hit, you have an incredibly easy concentration check. Couple all of that with DCs that scale faster than save bonuses, all kinds of stuff to make SR a pointless stat in most cases, and the fact that the AD&D fighter got that 2/1 or 3/1 AND his move, and in 3x it was either/or, oh, yeah, 3x was "wizard" edition.

One I didn't say a 5th level Mage was casting stone skins I simply mentioned stone skins as it made any weapon or physical damage well nothing it killed the Fighter. Two Stone skins casting time was next to nothing I don't recall but I do believe it was One? Also the Mage at 5th level did indeed only get one spell at 3rd level spell at 5th but also it mages also tended to have things like attack spell nicely enchanted on a wand.

Let's take for instance the beloved setting of Forgotten realms shall we? Hmmm.. Nearly every iconic character a massively powerful wizard or sorcerer, I'm sure it's a fluke, let's zip over to Greyhawk as it was Gary's baby and we owe it all to Gary. Hmm again ever major villain of real note a spell caster and the iconics also a counsel of arch mages.
In closing as 5d6 fire was no joke to a 2nd player of any class, around that level. Rarely did anyone get a boost to hp beyond 1or 2 from con and that was putting a major investment in that stat. Fighter stopped rolling hp altogether at 9th level and simply gained a small set amount of hp. No one in 2nd walked around with hp to burn,.

Silver Crusade

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DaveMage wrote:
Pathfinder. I don't need another system.

Pathfinder without a doubt

best system I have ever played

And the response you get from pathfinder staff is excellent and very swift

I love the web fiction, the system and adventure paths cannot be matched

not that I am biased in any way

the only thing wrong they have the disadvantage of being born in a republic not a Monarchy VBG


houstonderek wrote:

And when you got to "Stoneskin" levels, the fighter generally only failed his save vs. spells on a one or a two.

And stoneskin didn't stop grapple, overbearing or whatever the other one was, and all of them disrupted casting.

A fighter wouldn't get a save vs Stone skins? What kind of monster for a DM did you have? It's a magic effect cast on the caster not an effect that allows for an attacker to save versus it. Also the spell granted something like a d4 plus caster level in negating all attacks from a non spell source.

But this back and forth isn't on topic of the post, and if I drew anyone into a back and forth I'm sorry. I'm sure everyone play history is colored by different experiences. As long as we support the makers of these games, regardless of system or editions they'll be around for these endless geeky slap fights :) cheers gents.

Dark Archive

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Cptexploderman wrote:
houstonderek wrote:

And when you got to "Stoneskin" levels, the fighter generally only failed his save vs. spells on a one or a two.

And stoneskin didn't stop grapple, overbearing or whatever the other one was, and all of them disrupted casting.

A fighter wouldn't get a save vs Stone skins? What kind of monster for a DM did you have? It's a magic effect cast on the caster not an effect that allows for an attacker to save versus it. Also the spell granted something like a d4 plus caster level in negating all attacks from a non spell source.

It wasn't the save vs. stoneskin that the fighter needs to save from, what HD is talking about is the saves he would need to make while the wizard was casting other spells/screaming while the fighter turned his head into grape jelly.

Stoneskin protected 1d4 +1 per two caster levels and each of those protections went down per attack he was exposed to in a round - not hits, but people trying to hit. So if a dart clown (3 attacks) and bow clown (2 attacks) both level 1 were attacking said wizard, that would count as 5 stoneskin(s!1!!!!1) that were taken off in that round. Hit or miss.

Magic attacks went right through - in addition to taking off hits. 3 magic missile attacks - 3 stoneskins wiped.

If you don't know it or remember it, please don't post it.

Back to the program in progress....


Auxmaulous wrote:
Cptexploderman wrote:
houstonderek wrote:

And when you got to "Stoneskin" levels, the fighter generally only failed his save vs. spells on a one or a two.

And stoneskin didn't stop grapple, overbearing or whatever the other one was, and all of them disrupted casting.

A fighter wouldn't get a save vs Stone skins? What kind of monster for a DM did you have? It's a magic effect cast on the caster not an effect that allows for an attacker to save versus it. Also the spell granted something like a d4 plus caster level in negating all attacks from a non spell source.

It wasn't the save vs. stoneskin that the fighter needs to save from, what HD is talking about is the saves he would need to make while the wizard was casting other spells/screaming while the fighter turned his head into grape jelly.

Stoneskin protected 1d4 +1 per two caster levels and each of those protections went down per attack he was exposed to in a round - not hits, but people trying to hit. So if a dart clown (3 attacks) and bow clown (2 attacks) both level 1 were attacking said wizard, that would count as 5 stoneskin(s!1!!!!1) that were taken off in that round. Hit or miss.

Magic attacks went right through - in addition to taking off hits. 3 magic missile attacks - 3 stoneskins wiped.

If you don't know it or remember it, please don't post it.

Back to the program in progress....

Stoneskin

(Alteration)
(Eanh)
Level: 4
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1
Duration: Special (24 hr maximum)
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: None
When this spell is cast, the affected creature
gains a virtual immunity to any attack by cut,
blow, projectile, or the like. Even a sword of
sharpness cannot affect a creature protected by
stoneskin, nor can a rock hurled by a giant, a
snake’s strike, etc. However, magical attacks
from such spells as fireball, magic missile, lightning
bolt, and so forth have their normal effects.
The spell’s effects are not cumulative with multiple
castings.
The spell blocks ld4 attacks plus one attackper two levels of experience the caster has
achieved. This limit applies regardless of attack
rolls and regardless of whether the attack was
physical or magical. For example, a stoneskin
spell cast by a 9th-level wizard would protect
against from five to eight attacks. An attacking
griffon would reduce the protection hy three each
round; four magic missiles would count as four
attacks in addition to inflicting their normal
damage. If not ended hy attacks, the stoneskin
spell lasts for 24 hours.
The material components ofthe spell are granite
and diamond dust sprinkled on the recipient’s skin.

I'm well aware sir, and I'd love to sit at a table and we hand craft say at 10 level one on one encounter me a Mage you a fighter as see how the event plays out. It would seem you don't know of what you speak. I'm trying to be civil I really am but the snarky bend to your speech will only end with these posts being pulled from the forum.

Dark Archive

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I don't know of what I speak? So you are challenging me to a doooul then?

Roll for initiative sir!

Its days like these that I wish I had invested time in...any other hobby.

Liberty's Edge

Pfft. Cold start, no buffs, the fighter is preventing every spell after stoneskin from even being cast. 1e/2e magic users were, until ridiculous levels, quite vulnerable.

Again, the only thing that changed that in 1e was an inept/accommodating DM.

Liberty's Edge

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Auxmaulous wrote:

I don't know of what I speak? So you are challenging me to a doooul then?

Roll for initiative sir!

Its days like these that I wish I had invested time in...any other hobby.

No joke. Were that "hobby"' post-graduate studies, I'd probably have four doctorates by now. ;-)


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Of course, one on one duels are probably the most useless way of determining relative power, since that's not what the game is commonly about.

Shadow Lodge

20th level magic-user vs a 10th level fighter armed with darts

dead magic-user

Grand Lodge

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Cptexploderman wrote:
It would seem you don't know of what you speak.

Some of us (Auxmaulous being one) are speaking not from memory or nostalgia, but current-day experiences - as AD&D (1e/2e) IS our current game of choice; having left 3rd edition, Pathfinder, and d20 in general, behind us...


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Note that with stoneskin in AD&D everyone can throw darts at it even if you are not proficient with darts.

They more or less buffed wizard heading into 3rd ed and that is what broke them. The big offences were.

1. Wizards advance at the same rate as everyone else.
2. The removal of AD&D restrictions (1hp= interrupted spells)
3. Scaling spell DCs.
4. Nerfing fighter multi attacks.
6. Changes to spell/magic resistance.
7. Being able to buy and sell magic items CHeap and easy access to scrolls/wands.
8. Changes to initiative

Other things like changes to ability scores and no more max hit dice at level 10+ also helped wizards.16 con+ in 3rd ed more or less doubles a wizards AD&D hit points while spells deal a similar amount.

I have played some of the d20 clones of AD&D and I wrote my own D&D removing some of the d20isms from the game and it did actually help class balance and you could still play 3.x type games. Some houserules I used.

1. Spell DCs change to 10+level of the spell
2. Ability scores capped at 20
3. +3 added to all saves for every class (doesn't stack with multiclassing)
4. AD&D rules for item creation except you no longer lose a con point.

I went even further in one session and banned all the spell casting classes although you could MC into them at level 3. There was an in game reason but they were like Jedi, hunted to the brink of extinction by the big bad.

Liberty's Edge

Digitalelf wrote:
Cptexploderman wrote:
It would seem you don't know of what you speak.
Some of us (Auxmaulous being one) are speaking not from memory or nostalgia, but current-day experiences - as AD&D (1e/2e) IS our current game of choice; having left 3rd edition, Pathfinder, and d20 in general, behind us...

Yep. Just started up a new 1e game with some old school people interested in checking out 5e with me. We're running the classics (I'm starting with n1, since it's my favorite 1e low level adventure), then I think the Slaver's series, then either GDQ or the S modules.

Or we just fool around with it for a bit then give 5e a run when the core is out and complete (I've seen a lot of conversion stuff for AD&D to 5th, esp. the monster conversions, but my prep time isn't exactly massively available, so waiting is the easier option).


Cptexploderman wrote:
Adjule wrote:
I believe Cptexploderman is saying 5th edition is a repackaged SAGA system. But, since I am not him, I could be wrong.
You are correct sir. 5th different in many ways to the Saga ed. but the feel and the character builds feel like Saga. Again this just my opinion. I've watched 5th live streamed and read much of the PBH and it doesn't thrill me. I'll be keeping with Pathfinder.

The only thing I see to be borrowed from Star Wars Saga Edition to 5th Edition seems to be the condition track. I actually see similarities between the changes introduced into the 3.5-to-Pathfinder-switch and Saga Edition. For instance, many of the classes in Pathfinder had Saga Edition-like "talents" added at even levels to pad their level advancement. Feats are given at odd levels like in Saga Edition.

-----

On the topic of the original post, my group will be switching to 5th Edition after we finish our current Pathfinder campaign. A lot of people site "rules bloat" as an issue with Pathfinder, that there are too many options in making a character or something. I've never had a problem with that and neither has my group.

The 3.5/Pathfinder core rules have become annoying over the years though. There are just too many different rules to resolve pretty similar situations. There are something like 11 different concentration checks in Pathfinder. We have to look this up almost every time it comes up. Same goes for grappling, dispel magic and most effect conditions.

The reduction in those type of rules in 5th Edition, while keeping most of the character creation options, and reducing the need to have a certain amount of magic items(and character wealth hence being tied directly to character level), is what is appealing about 5th Edition for my group.


Well good luck with your games both present and in the future Auxmaulous,houstonderek and Digitalelf. This back and forth is getting us no where. We aren't even speaking about the topic anymore.
Will I change over to 5th? No. Anyone that does I hope your games flow well and the stories ever interesting. I prefer Pathfinder, for my current and future games.

Silver Crusade

I find pathfinder better for a number of reasons and it not just arguing about whether a spell does this or that its simple things like

* Having spellcraft as a skill not a apell (no more 100gp pearls to power it all the time
* They seem to produce vast amounts of work on an almost weekly basis
* The system constantly seems to expand
* The Adventure path premise is excellent
* the artwork is out of this world (thanks Deon)
* The feel of it is Vibrant - though I have enjoyed Greyhawk and The Realms, Golarion almost (in my opinion) seems to pulse with a life of its own.
* I like the Idea's behind Cheliax, the US... sorry Andoran and Revolutionary France (Galt) I just wonder when Napoleon is going to turn up....
* The alchemist class - its almost like its exploded (Sorry vbg) on the scene

Pathfinder just seems the better system and I must have been playing on and off now for about 40 years..

Silver Crusade

* the artwork is out of this world (thanks Deon)

Sorry I meant to say Dion (check out the web fiction Armored for more info!!)


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dariusu wrote:

The 3.5/Pathfinder core rules have become annoying over the years though. There are just too many different rules to resolve pretty similar situations. There are something like 11 different concentration checks in Pathfinder. We have to look this up almost every time it comes up. Same goes for grappling, dispel magic and most effect conditions.

The reduction in those type of rules in 5th Edition, while keeping most of the character creation options, and reducing the need to have a certain amount of magic items(and character wealth hence being tied directly to character level), is what is appealing about 5th Edition for my group.

I couldn't agree more. However, everything 5e improves in this regard is done even better by other versions of D&D. I can certainly see the reasons for moving away from Pathfinder, but now that retroclones and OSR is a thing, I don't see any advantage to 5e in particular.


Zalman wrote:
I couldn't agree more. However, everything 5e improves in this regard is done even better by other versions of D&D. I can certainly see the reasons for moving away from Pathfinder, but now that retroclones and OSR is a thing, I don't see any advantage to 5e in particular.

Network effects?


Kip84 wrote:
I like that the short rest is an hour long now as apposed to five minutes. I find that party's really feel like they can't waste an hour taking a rest. In 4e my players would rest after each encounter now I find that they keep going as long as they possibly can.

I agree. :) I basically use taking a short rest as a cue to check for wandering monsters (lurking around in a dungeon for an hour is not without its hazards).

-The Gneech


Zalman wrote:
dariusu wrote:

The 3.5/Pathfinder core rules have become annoying over the years though. There are just too many different rules to resolve pretty similar situations. There are something like 11 different concentration checks in Pathfinder. We have to look this up almost every time it comes up. Same goes for grappling, dispel magic and most effect conditions.

The reduction in those type of rules in 5th Edition, while keeping most of the character creation options, and reducing the need to have a certain amount of magic items(and character wealth hence being tied directly to character level), is what is appealing about 5th Edition for my group.

I couldn't agree more. However, everything 5e improves in this regard is done even better by other versions of D&D. I can certainly see the reasons for moving away from Pathfinder, but now that retroclones and OSR is a thing, I don't see any advantage to 5e in particular.

For me at least, "other versions" don't have 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder-style multiclassing. I happen to prefer that. That is just one thing. I didn't have much confidence in 5th Edition during the playtest but they managed to cobble together a bunch of things that are basically done in other editions, but not all of them, and it works.


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There's a very good article on Alexandrian.net on the "uberness" of casters in 3E, and that it a side effect of the 15-minute workday, which is in turn (or so asserts the article) largely due to the death of the wandering monster table.

What it boils down to is that the wizards' super-blasty ability is intended to be spike damage, rather than reliable output, while the fighter's damage is steady and dependable. The idea then is that the fighter does most of the actual work, and you hold the wizard's big booms back for the most crucial of moments because you don't know when you might need it later.

Unfortunately, when the group can simply blow all of their resources on the first encounter and then rest, that effectively changes the wizard's big boom from a "daily" to an "encounter" ability (to use 4E parlance), thus making it regular damage instead of spike damage.

When the wizard's big boom becomes the norm, then of course the fighter is screwed.

The way to fix that, assuming you don't like the 4E model of "give fighters their own big boom," is to get rid of the 15-minute workday, re-emphasizing the resource management aspect of the game; and I think he's definitely on to something there. But "more, smaller encounters" and things like wandering monsters are somewhat incompatible with the storytelling mode of most contemporary gaming. It works in a dungeon crawl context, but not so much in a "move from set piece to set piece" context.

5E seems to approach this, as it does so many other things, by aiming for somewhere in the middle. Short rests allow for a certain amount of "patching up" without resetting you all the way back to full strength, so you still have to conserve resources. On the other hand, they aren't actually that short (i.e., they last an hour), require a safe place to hunker down, and you don't get the benefits until the end, so there's always a risk that something might come along and interrupt you, leaving you worse off than you were before.

-The Gneech


John Robey wrote:

There's a very good article on Alexandrian.net on the "uberness" of casters in 3E, and that it boils down to the 15-minute workday, which is in turn (or so asserts the article) largely due to the death of the wandering monster table.

What it boils down to is that the wizards' super-blasty ability is intended to be spike damage, rather than reliable output, while the fighter's damage is steady and dependable. The idea then is that the fighter does most of the actual work, and you hold the wizard's big booms back for the most crucial of moments because you don't know when you might need it later.

Unfortunately, when the group can simply blow all of their resources on the first encounter and then rest, that effectively changes the wizard's big boom from a "daily" to an "encounter" ability (to use 4E parlance), thus making it regular damage instead of spike damage.

When the wizard's big boom becomes the norm, then of course the fighter is screwed.

The way to fix that, assuming you don't like the 4E model of "give fighters their own big boom," is to get rid of the 15-minute workday, re-emphasizing the resource management aspect of the game; and I think he's definitely on to something there. But "more, smaller encounters" and things like wandering monsters are somewhat incompatible with the storytelling mode of most contemporary gaming. It works in a dungeon crawl context, but not so much in a "move from set piece to set piece" context.

5E seems to approach this, as it does so many other things, by aiming for somewhere in the middle. Short rests allow for a certain amount of "patching up" without resetting you all the way back to full strength, so you still have to conserve resources. On the other hand, they aren't actually that short (i.e., they last an hour), require a safe place to hunker down, and you don't get the benefits until the end, so there's always a risk that something might come along and interrupt you,...

While there's some truth to that, I think it falls apart as you reach higher levels, where the casters tend to have plenty of big boom to work with and where much of the disparity becomes the versatility more than the combat spikes. Also, despite theory, fighter can't keep up that steady damage all day, especially when the early fights are harder and take longer because the casters are holding back. He needs buffs and he needs healing. Both of those are essentially limited caster resources.

I also find wandering monsters are a horrible solution to the problem, unless they're applied strictly to punish the players (or keep them from resting) when they try to rest when you don't want them to. Knowing wandering monsters are likely may mean you'll try not to blow everything in the first encounter, but it also means you'll have to rest when you've got plenty of resources left, in case a monster comes along. No pushing on to the final encounter on your last legs.

Generally a better and more storytelling-oriented solution is not wandering monsters but reactive encounter areas designed to be handled in one push, where the inhabitants will either dig themselves in and prepare if given time, actively mass to come after the invaders, flee with the treasure or in some other way either pose a greater threat or foil the party's aims if given enough time.
This doesn't work well in a large dungeon area where it's unreasonable to expect the party to handle it in one day, unless it can be divided into smaller sections.

That addresses the 15 minute workday, but I'm not really sure it addresses the uberness of casters.


Zalman wrote:
dariusu wrote:

The 3.5/Pathfinder core rules have become annoying over the years though. There are just too many different rules to resolve pretty similar situations. There are something like 11 different concentration checks in Pathfinder. We have to look this up almost every time it comes up. Same goes for grappling, dispel magic and most effect conditions.

The reduction in those type of rules in 5th Edition, while keeping most of the character creation options, and reducing the need to have a certain amount of magic items(and character wealth hence being tied directly to character level), is what is appealing about 5th Edition for my group.

I couldn't agree more. However, everything 5e improves in this regard is done even better by other versions of D&D. I can certainly see the reasons for moving away from Pathfinder, but now that retroclones and OSR is a thing, I don't see any advantage to 5e in particular.

The advantage of 5th edition is individual dependant. It's new, will have living support (instead of being a "dead system" like previous editions of D&D are now), and has the benefit of the D&D name. Of course, the 2nd point doesn't matter as much when it comes to the retroclones and OSR. At least, that is my guess, but I don't follow the OSR stuff so I don't know how often they get support. 5th edition also has the modern systems going for it, though that may not appeal to everyone.

People who are satisfied with the older editions (and the retroclones) will more than likely stick with them, even if they aren't being actively supported. There are a number of people on the Wizards forums that will be sticking with 4th edition, just like people stuck with 3rd edition when 4th came out (and not everyone went to Pathfinder, despite being very similar), 2nd when 3rd came out, and so on. There are even some people who never updated to 3.5 and remained playing original 3rd edition.

I am personally enjoying the hell out of 5th edition. I like Pathfinder and 3rd edition, but all I ever come across with players of the d20 system is their focus on the numbers and being all powerful. I know that isn't all of them, but that's all of them that I am typically exposed to (though there are a couple rare exceptions). Those people have really soured me on the d20 system lately.

I would like to maybe try out 2nd edition again, but some of the systems present in that edition are terrible (and no, I am not referring to thac0). But almost no one plays it anymore. All I ever see offered (for D&D) is 3rd, 4th, Pathfinder, and the rare 5th edition games played over a VTT (I refuse to do pbp ever again).


John Robey wrote:
Kip84 wrote:
I like that the short rest is an hour long now as apposed to five minutes. I find that party's really feel like they can't waste an hour taking a rest. In 4e my players would rest after each encounter now I find that they keep going as long as they possibly can.

I agree. :) I basically use taking a short rest as a cue to check for wandering monsters (lurking around in a dungeon for an hour is not without its hazards).

-The Gneech

How are you guys compensating players for the regenerative benefits they are expected to get from short rests?

I applaud random encounters and forging ahead (not abusing the 10 minute adventure day), but the game is designed with the assumption that the group will be able to rest frequently, lest they just go back to town and sleep off the effects of the first encounter.


I am running a heavily house rulled 5e game in the threads here, and I'll get back to you and let you know how my approach worked (or didn't work as the case may be)


Hudax wrote:
John Robey wrote:
I agree. :) I basically use taking a short rest as a cue to check for wandering monsters (lurking around in a dungeon for an hour is not without its hazards).

How are you guys compensating players for the regenerative benefits they are expected to get from short rests?

I applaud random encounters and forging ahead (not abusing the 10 minute adventure day), but the game is designed with the assumption that the group will be able to rest frequently, lest they just go back to town and sleep off the effects of the first encounter.

Note that I check for the possibility of a wandering monster, not that a wandering monster automatically appears. So far in my Starter Set game, the players haven't yet had a rest interrupted. (Although during one rest, they "had an encounter" and didn't realize it: they were actually spied on by a goblin scout, who went back and reported to the boss rather than engaging. Passive Perception is a handy thing for sneaky DMs.)

-The Gneech


thejeff wrote:

While there's some truth to that, I think it falls apart as you reach higher levels, where the casters tend to have plenty of big boom to work with and where much of the disparity becomes the versatility more than the combat spikes. Also, despite theory, fighter can't keep up that steady damage all day, especially when the early fights are harder and take longer because the casters are holding back. He needs buffs and he needs healing. Both of those are essentially limited caster resources.

I also find wandering monsters are a horrible solution to the problem, unless they're applied strictly to punish the players (or keep them from resting) when they try to rest when you don't want them to. Knowing wandering monsters are likely may mean you'll try not to blow everything in the first encounter, but it also means you'll have to rest when you've got plenty of resources left, in case a monster comes along. No pushing on to the final encounter on your last legs.

Generally a better and more storytelling-oriented solution is not wandering monsters but reactive encounter areas designed to be handled in one push, where the inhabitants will either dig themselves in and prepare if given time, actively mass to come after the invaders, flee with the treasure or in some other way either pose a greater threat or foil the party's aims if given enough time.
This doesn't work well in a large dungeon area where it's unreasonable to expect the party to handle it in one day, unless it can be divided into smaller sections.

That addresses the 15 minute workday, but I'm not really sure it addresses the uberness of casters.

Well everything falls apart at higher levels, that's pretty universal of all editions. ;) And the distinction between a "wandering monster" and a "reactive encounter area" is fairly fuzzy here: the point is that the dungeon (or scenario) is not static, and stopping to rest is therefore not a decision without consequences.

As the DM, you can "adjust the dial" of how safe or risky it is to rest by tweaking the likelihood of a wandering monster (or the reactivity of the dungeon environment), which will in turn determine how likely the party is to push on to the bitter end. A long-deserted ruin with the occasional giant spider is a lot safer place to hole up and rest, than the actively-patrolled halls of the Lich King's Fortress.

-The Gneech


John Robey wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I also find wandering monsters are a horrible solution to the problem, unless they're applied strictly to punish the players (or keep them from resting) when they try to rest when you don't want them to. Knowing wandering monsters are likely may mean you'll try not to blow everything in the first encounter, but it also means you'll have to rest when you've got plenty of resources left, in case a monster comes along. No pushing on to the final encounter on your last legs.

Generally a better and more storytelling-oriented solution is not wandering monsters but reactive encounter areas designed to be handled in one push, where the inhabitants will either dig themselves in and prepare if given time, actively mass to come after the invaders, flee with the treasure or in some other way either pose a greater threat or foil the party's aims if given enough time.
This doesn't work well in a large dungeon area where it's unreasonable to expect the party to handle it in one day, unless it can be divided into smaller sections.

That addresses the 15 minute workday, but I'm not really sure it addresses the uberness of casters.

And the distinction between a "wandering monster" and a "reactive encounter area" is fairly fuzzy here: the point is that the dungeon (or scenario) is not static, and stopping to rest is therefore not a decision without consequences.

As the DM, you can "adjust the dial" of how safe or risky it is to rest by tweaking the likelihood of a wandering monster (or the reactivity of the dungeon environment), which will in turn determine how likely the party is to push on to the bitter end. A long-deserted ruin with the occasional giant spider is a lot safer place to hole up and rest, than the actively-patrolled halls of the Lich King's Fortress.

I think the real difference is that the "wandering monster" at least seems like it's something that could happen any time and therefore you'll need to be sure you're ready for it even after you've pushed through to the end battle. It also only deals with one kind of problem. The reactive approach has multiple consequences, but also emphasizes that it's tied directly to how the PCs deal with the dungeon. Once you've dealt with the threat it's over.

The other key is to make sure, even though it's totally metagame, that pushing on will work. That the party should be able to handle the encounters, clear the area and be able to rest safely once that's done and that they know that.
The GM may be sitting there going "Why did they turn back? There's only the boss fight left. They can still handle that and then they'll be safe", but if the players don't know they're almost done, they'll still be thinking in terms of "Can't be sure we can handle another fight and still deal with anything that might come up resting or getting to somewhere safe."

But then I've never been able to run larger dungeons in a way that satisfies my desire for verisimitude and doesn't slaughter the party. What happens if they can't beat it in one day is that they die or run away and don't come back.
And I've never actually had much trouble with the "Nova in the first fight" problem. More with scaring the players enough that they turtle.

Shadow Lodge

Zalman wrote:
dariusu wrote:

The 3.5/Pathfinder core rules have become annoying over the years though. There are just too many different rules to resolve pretty similar situations. There are something like 11 different concentration checks in Pathfinder. We have to look this up almost every time it comes up. Same goes for grappling, dispel magic and most effect conditions.

The reduction in those type of rules in 5th Edition, while keeping most of the character creation options, and reducing the need to have a certain amount of magic items(and character wealth hence being tied directly to character level), is what is appealing about 5th Edition for my group.

I couldn't agree more. However, everything 5e improves in this regard is done even better by other versions of D&D. I can certainly see the reasons for moving away from Pathfinder, but now that retroclones and OSR is a thing, I don't see any advantage to 5e in particular.

People like different tlevels of simplification/complexity. Hell, Swords and Wizardry alone acknowledges this, there are three flavors - White Box, Core, and Complete. Its entirely possible for someone to want something simpler than Pathfinder, but more complicated than 1e. 5e falls into that rulws-medium category.


Again, it's about context. If the players slaughter everything in the Lich King's Fortress, there are no more wandering monsters, 'cos everything's defeated. If they kill the Lich King but leave his orc army out there, they really should be fleeing for their lives, not camping.

Certainly the players need useful intel in order to make informed decisions. In theory at least, that's what the rogue/scout is for, or at the very least, somebody posted on watch while the rest of the party rests. :) But this is not a survival skill that's been instilled in players in recent editions (which have tended to emphasize a storyline and plot-via-encounter), and it may not be something the group feels like dealing with. ("Why is Bingo McStabfoot the one getting all the DM time? I wanna go kill something.")

There isn't a "right" or "wrong" approach to it, just a way that works for your group or doesn't. 3.X/PF tends to emphasize fewer encounters with higher difficulty and the advancement of a story; 5E seems to be influenced by OSR/sandbox style and is more friendly to an "open world" approach; when choosing which system to use, the GM should use the right tool for the job they want the system to do. :)

-The Gneech


Kthulhu wrote:
People like different tlevels of simplification/complexity. Hell, Swords and Wizardry alone acknowledges this, there are three flavors - White Box, Core, and Complete. Its entirely possible for someone to want something simpler than Pathfinder, but more complicated than 1e. 5e falls into that rulws-medium category.
Adjule wrote:
The advantage of 5th edition is individual dependant.

Agreed, and I see my statement was too terse. I only meant that for me, 5e offers a lot more in terms of what I'm looking for than Pathfinder does, and OSR stuff still more. Others' preferences will of course vary.

bugleyman wrote:
Network effects?

bugleyman, I don't understand. As in, finding others to play with? I can certainly see where that would be a motivation for some. Not for me though.

Adjule wrote:
It's new, will have living support (instead of being a "dead system" like previous editions of D&D are now), and has the benefit of the D&D name. Of course, the 2nd point doesn't matter as much when it comes to the retroclones and OSR. At least, that is my guess, but I don't follow the OSR stuff so I don't know how often they get support.

OSR get tons of support, modules, etc., largely made possible by how interchangeable the content is between versions. There's even been a surge in natively generic content, designed to be applicable to any of the older systems. Of course, old-school thought also heavily encourages creation of your own content, so maybe people seeking simpler games (including 5e?) tend to go lighter on purchased extras.

Liberty's Edge

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Zalman, that's my reason. I don't have a lot of prep time, and 3x/PF is too much of a time sink. I'm hopeful, from what I see so far, that prep time for 5e will be much shorter.


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Kthulhu wrote:
People like different tlevels of simplification/complexity. Hell, Swords and Wizardry alone acknowledges this, there are three flavors - White Box, Core, and Complete. Its entirely possible for someone to want something simpler than Pathfinder, but more complicated than 1e. 5e falls into that rulws-medium category.

I happen to know a couple of groups that tried 5e and have already given it up already. One, who hardly play anything but 3e, in large part because they thought it was "dumbed down". The other, who largely play games that aren't D&D, because it was too complex for their tastes - they'd heard it was simplified compared to previous editions, but it's certainly not the sort of rules-lite game they like.

Silver Crusade

To be honest

if a system works

and all the group enjoy it why change it????


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The first obvious answer is because the people involved want to play a game in a genre or setting that the rules don't suit. Or for that matter in a style that the rules don't match. Hardcore Simulationist Gearhead Science Fiction is something Pathfinder doesn't do by default, and probably can't ever be twisted to do as well as games written for that. So if you want to play that campaign, don't use Pathfinder.

Shadow Lodge

Bluenose wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
People like different tlevels of simplification/complexity. Hell, Swords and Wizardry alone acknowledges this, there are three flavors - White Box, Core, and Complete. Its entirely possible for someone to want something simpler than Pathfinder, but more complicated than 1e. 5e falls into that rulws-medium category.
I happen to know a couple of groups that tried 5e and have already given it up already. One, who hardly play anything but 3e, in large part because they thought it was "dumbed down". The other, who largely play games that aren't D&D, because it was too complex for their tastes - they'd heard it was simplified compared to previous editions, but it's certainly not the sort of rules-lite game they like.

Really? I love Pathfinder and I have been playing since 2E. Additionally love all of the rules-lite clones and run them when I can find a full group. Almost all of my friends play 3E of some type and they all seem to love the game. I don't find it "dumbed down" at all. In fact, I am not sure what that even means. Maybe because they got rid of situational modifiers for the disadvantage/advantage mechanic and rolled commonly taken feats into specializations? I happen to like those features. The few friends I have that enjoy playing rules-lite rpgs are coming back into the D&D fold after years away from it.

Shadow Lodge

Javin Swifthand wrote:

To be honest

if a system works

and all the group enjoy it why change it????

There are different levels of enjoyment. They may enjoy something else even more.

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