Lessons for 2nd Edition: 5th Edition D&D and Pathfinder's Complexity


Homebrew and House Rules

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Yes, the game is simple to the point of being stupid. Yes, you all have a valid point that there is next to no customization of your character at this point, but you really are thinking of what exists NOW.

Before I even bought the phb, I was thinking " I cant wait for the advanced class guide to come out. " and the same goes for every other source book. No edition of d&d is great running off of single book. I've been playing since 2nd(nowhere near as long as many of you) and I don't see this as "we changed the entire game" I see this as a presentation of what was changed, with obvious spots where they can bring back and improve upon features of past editions(kind of like they planned it even).


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I have zero doubt that Wizards will release too many supplemental rulebooks, given enough time. How much will that be? I don't know for sure. Probably sooner than I'd like, unless there an adjustment in their business model.

I expect they'll end up with something akin to what I remember from the relatively early 4e days; a couple of big hardcovers a year, and somewhat more focused books, hard or softcover, aiming to fill the role of the old Complete books; focus on a broad character archetype or something similar.

Paizo has managed to last longer on that front due to the relative focus on adventures, as opposed to rulebooks, and some degree of separation between the rules published in the rulebook line and rules published in the other lines. Even so, Paizo seems to be reaching saturation point as well. And any company that intends to release new rules will eventually reach that point. Will WotC do so comparatively quickly? Quite possibly; I wouldn't be surprised at all. It doesn't bother me too much, because I don't feel obligated to use or allow all published content.

Another thing I didn't note that I do like: 5th has the notion of spending feet of movement to do things, rather than spending a move action. This is simple, penalizes characters less, and is flexible. A DM can quickly and easily (and roughly) come up with a feet of movement cost for interactions beyond the free one. But the cost being "some feet of movement" rather than "your move action" also helps characters move around.

I spent some time over the long weekend reading some more of the PHB, and overall, I continue to like what I'm seeing. The skill list is streamlined but not down to uselessness. I'm hopeful (but need to see it in action) that rogues, for example, are not penalized in combat for having more skills. Between the smaller skill list, and the two proficiencies from character background, I get much less of the feel from 3rd edition & Pathfinder of "this is the skill character, the rest of you aren't any good at it". (Pathfinder's reimplementation of class vs. cross-class skills made a big improvement there; but retained the issue with number of skill points, ranging from 1 on the low end to 10 or more on the high end.) With the number of skills proficiencies ranging from 4 to 6, matters are less problematic.

Shadow Lodge

Rogue Jay wrote:
Yes, the game is simple to the point of being stupid.

Whereas some might say that other systems, such as Pathfinder, are needlessly over-complicated to the point of stupidity.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
PhelanArcetus wrote:

I have zero doubt that Wizards will release too many supplemental rulebooks, given enough time. How much will that be? I don't know for sure. Probably sooner than I'd like, unless there an adjustment in their business model.

I think they have mentioned, at least for the near term, they plan to have a much slower release schedule for 5E than they had for 4E and 3E. They have also mentioned that, as far as business models go, they are focusing more on building and supporting DnD as a brand than specifically a game, hence the slower release schedule.


Aelryinth wrote:

Archetypes should be feat trees maybe 2-3 feats long.

that's all.

Restricting special powers from Archetypes is just a kick in the teeth to the Fighter, since many of them should just be rote fighter abilities, anyways. Taking a class that has all those feats and then introducing a bunch of class features that are often little more then modified feats and classifying them as archetype abilities is just wrong.

Meh!

==Aelryinth

+1

I've been saying this for years. Glad to see I'm not alone in thinking so.


Correct me if I'm wrong here, but the biggest critique and criticism here against 5e is the same vein as anti pathfinder 2.0.

People don't want to go out and learn and spend more money on what they've already mastered!

I watched this thread and some the best and brightest minds on these boards have spoke their 2 cents; People I GREATLY RESPECT for their vision behind the GM screen. They've all mentioned in similar fashion that pathfinders gripes can be solved by diligent GM work. Handling casual vs advanced players, House ruling this, house ruling that, ignoring this, disallowing this material, etc. Pure mastery of the rules and how they work together has given the most gifted GMs the layout on how to surgically fix this thing.

This idea you have to fix and tweak instead of create is the core of my thought process. This is the state we have been put in. All games shape mentality and approach based on rules but this dnd 3.5 and pathfinder especially have become the poster child of perfection by removal. It isn't necessarily bad either. It's just 5e is approaching the problem by being additive.

Here comes 5e. It is too simple. It's failed to differentiate itself from this labor of lawyerish love. Pathfinder 2.0 will have that exact same problem! Because this mess is what we know and love and anything too familiar is a waste of time and anything too different isn't the same! We've spent so much time fixing this 67 Chevy we failed to acknowledge the beauty of a Tesla.

But maybe that's really it. Maybe it's on you to ask yourself if you're telling a story about a game or a using game to tell a story. How you answer that question will probably dictate how you like 5e. Just don't be ignorant of both sides. Because neither are perfect. We all love platonic solids and thespianism.

I love 5e and make no mistake 5e will bloat out just as its ancestors. I started this hobby as a game first and story second but I have grew and changed. Seeing the fresh innocent newbie faces creamed by modifiers, feats, and spells has soured my love of the game first perspective.

I look forward down the road and the shoe being on the other foot. When 5e has become bloated and I won't switch because I like what I'm used to.

Just right now, the PHB core will be my Polaris when it comes to dnd and what works.

Woah. Writing this gave me an "All this has happened before and will happen again" vibe.


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Asbestos suit material I'm sure....but I've always disliked the D&D ruleset (any version) and I guess by extension Pathfinder ruleset too.

The advantage they have, AFAIC, is not being good rulesets but being so commonly known that everybody and thier brother knows how to play them.

Whenever playing with a regular group of freinds we'd almost always do some other (lessor known) game system or something homebrew. But if you want to go play a game with strangers...there is nothing like saying...ok, who knows how to play D&D/Pathfinder ?


GrumpyMel wrote:

Asbestos suit material I'm sure....but I've always disliked the D&D ruleset (any version) and I guess by extension Pathfinder ruleset too.

The advantage they have, AFAIC, is not being good rulesets but being so commonly known that everybody and thier brother knows how to play them.

Whenever playing with a regular group of freinds we'd almost always do some other (lessor known) game system or something homebrew. But if you want to go play a game with strangers...there is nothing like saying...ok, who knows how to play D&D/Pathfinder ?

I've got something of the same attitude, though I have a nostalgic attraction to it too, until I actually play for awhile and it frustrates me.

Even among my regular group, it's something of a common denominator. I don't think it's the favorite system for any of us, but it's one we're all willing to play.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I like Pathfinder, but it's definitely not my One True RPG. I don't have one of those.

I don't think 5th edition will be either, in part because, while it does reduce it, it retains the caster / martial divide, and the associated balance across multiple encounters method of handling some characters having limited resources and some not.

I'm slowly sketching out my own personal One True RPG, and I'm happy to take ideas from everywhere. It's a very slow process, because I'm simultaneously trying to figure out where my One True RPG's balance between simplicity and realism is. Where it sits on a spectrum of easy rules as opposed to deep customization. What sort of decisions the ruleset should make to keep play from bogging down. I find myself wondering if I want to stick to a simple d20 base, or go for a different probability distribution (say, using 3d6 or 2d10 instead of 1d20); I've already ruled out bucketfuls of dice for the sake of fast resolution. So it's a long, long way to that.

As time has gone by, I've moved away from high-simulation, high-complexity concepts and towards simpler ones. I'm debating whether armor as damage reduction makes sense, not on system complexity, but just on the extra calculation at the table.

And I'm happy to take ideas from eveywhere. I've taken some from the Stargate RPG, I've taken some from Pathfinder, I expect I'll take some from 5e. There's even some from 4e (mostly divorcing combat & non-combat resources).

In fact, I might take 5e's spell system in place of the power point system I was intending; it's similarly simple, flexible (if not so much as to risk options paralysis), and makes it harder to nova.


PhelanArcetus wrote:

I like Pathfinder, but it's definitely not my One True RPG. I don't have one of those.

I don't think 5th edition will be either, in part because, while it does reduce it, it retains the caster / martial divide, and the associated balance across multiple encounters method of handling some characters having limited resources and some not.

I'm slowly sketching out my own personal One True RPG, and I'm happy to take ideas from everywhere. It's a very slow process, because I'm simultaneously trying to figure out where my One True RPG's balance between simplicity and realism is. Where it sits on a spectrum of easy rules as opposed to deep customization. What sort of decisions the ruleset should make to keep play from bogging down. I find myself wondering if I want to stick to a simple d20 base, or go for a different probability distribution (say, using 3d6 or 2d10 instead of 1d20); I've already ruled out bucketfuls of dice for the sake of fast resolution. So it's a long, long way to that.

As time has gone by, I've moved away from high-simulation, high-complexity concepts and towards simpler ones. I'm debating whether armor as damage reduction makes sense, not on system complexity, but just on the extra calculation at the table.

And I'm happy to take ideas from eveywhere. I've taken some from the Stargate RPG, I've taken some from Pathfinder, I expect I'll take some from 5e. There's even some from 4e (mostly divorcing combat & non-combat resources).

In fact, I might take 5e's spell system in place of the power point system I was intending; it's similarly simple, flexible (if not so much as to risk options paralysis), and makes it harder to nova.

I don't think there is a One True RPG. Even for a single person. Different ones are good for different things.

Different rules sets handle high fantasy, gritty fantasy, horror, wuxia, investigation, sword and sorcery, etc. And that's just within fantasy. No rules set is going to handle them all best. I'm going to want to play different subgenres at different times.

That's ignoring the difference in gaming design, which doesn't track neatly with genres. Rules heavy, build heavy, rules lite, narrative control. All things I like in different proportions for different campaigns.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

That's a fair point. I'm developing a pretty good idea (slowly but surely) of what I want as, at least, a default game style & genre. I'm structuring a ruleset around that, and certain design concepts I'm coming to like (or avoiding the ones I've come to dislike).

It might be my One True RPG, when done, assuming that I consistently want to play a particular class of games which that ruleset supports. And, of course, if it's ever finished and anyone other than me likes it.

My core point, really, was that I'm very willing to steal from any and every game, though most of my experience is with d20-based systems. And 5th definitely has enough interesting ideas to be considered as a source.


CluelessGamer wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

Just remember all these good things you are saying about 5th edition in 2016 when 6th edition is about to come out. I don't want to go back to WoTC/ D&D because of the way their business model works.

You like the lack of bloat? Be prepared when PHII, PHIII, PH IV, and 15 splat books take that away in the next year-two.

I think the general argument is not that 5e's strength stems from it having less books out, but that many find the base rules less "clunky." As all future 5e supplements will be running off the same core rules just like all past and future Pathfinder supplements run off the same core rules, it seems safe to say that the people who like 5e for its streamlined nature will continue to like it and people who find it "dumbed down" will continue to hate it.

Personally, I just want to roll some dice and play Elf Pretend but whatever.

Read through my comments before. There are a bunch of baller "elf pretend" games already. And they are even MORE elf pretendy. Are you saying that 5e is just right for you? Are you saying that you would prefer that the Pathfinder game would try to emulate 5e?

[this next bit is for all]
I sure would like to remind people that the discussion I am having is not about how 5e is bad and Pathfinder is great. The discussion that I am having (though I have been away for awhile) is that Pathfinder's game-y complexity is essentially what makes it special and it is what I love about the game over other fantasy RPGs.

I can make my own simple rpg that runs just the way I want it. It is not that hard if I am also the one GMing it. I cannot make a Pathfinder by myself, though.

I need to actually pay someone to make a Pathfinder for me (which is actually a new point!). I think there are great things about 5e. It is just not the game I want to play all the time and--while it is new and shiny now--it is not a game so big that I can't wrap my whole mind around it myself. The "optimal" 5e-style experience is still going to be something I use house rules for myself. I am probably never going to buy anything past the core rulebooks.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:

Read through my comments before. There are a bunch of baller "elf pretend" games already. And they are even MORE elf pretendy. Are you saying that 5e is just right for you? Are you saying that you would prefer that the Pathfinder game would try to emulate 5e?

[this next bit is for all]
I sure would like to remind people that the discussion I am having is not about how 5e is bad and Pathfinder is great. The discussion that I am having (though I have been away for awhile) is that Pathfinder's game-y complexity is essentially what makes it special and it is what I love about the game over other fantasy RPGs.

I can make my own simple rpg that runs just the way I want it. It is not that hard if I am also the one GMing it. I cannot make a Pathfinder by myself, though.

I need to actually pay someone to make a Pathfinder for me (which is actually a new point!). I think there are great things about 5e. It is just not the game I want to play all the time and--while it is new and shiny now--it is not a game so big that I can't wrap my whole mind around it myself. The "optimal" 5e-style experience is still going to be something I use house rules for myself. I am probably never going to buy anything past the core rulebooks.

OK, but then you opened the thread to everyone else to share their opinions. Surely it seems silly on it's face to argue with people that their opinions of what they want out of a game system is bad or wrong (and there are a lot of people doing that here).

I like 5e for exactly the points that you dislike about it and dislike Pathfinder for exactly the points that you like about it.

EDIT: The fact that other systems that may be better suited is irrelevant to a discussion about a comparison between PF and 5e, which, if the title is a guide, was the main idea of this thread going in.

Liberty's Edge

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The biggest advantage I can see that 5E offers anyone contemplating an update to the PFRPG is the realization that there can be simpler ways to resolve in-game events.

The D20+modifier v. DC established by the DM is a handy baseline but it need not be the only method. I would welcome PFRPG incorporating a mechanism involving bonus dice being rolled rather than a fixed modifier for the core mechanic of D20 rolling. 5e makes that clear to me as a DM as I read through the new challenge resolution methods.

Another realization that came to me is that we have reached the point with the PFRPG that is similar to where the AD&D needed 2nd edition: the core classes (Rogue most clearly) need to be reinvigorated and some of the new add-on classes need to be restyled as archetypes within the broad class category. I don't see this as requiring a new edition so much as a revision, in the same way that 3.5 was not a new edition but rather a revision of 3.0.

The final thing that is painfully abundant to me at my table is that the trained skill only restriction from 3.0/3.5 was a critical loss in the upgrade to PFRPG. Once traits and archetypes came into the PFRPG the challenge to the rogue as a trap-detecting and disarming class became terminal.

Broadly seen, I believe we have a strong roster of roles organized in clusters:

Warrior (High HD, High BAB): Fighter (low skills, high feats), Barbarian (moderate skills, low feats, combat-focused abilities, increased HD), Ranger (high skills, scenario specific combat abilities), Monk (moderate skills and spell-like abilities) etc.

Rogue (moderate HD, moderate BAB, high skills): (needed) Thief (trap-detecting and disarming, traditional thieving), Bard (social skills, performance skills), Acrobat (physical talents), Spy (social and deception skills), Assassin (infiltration, poison and sudden death)

Priest (moderate HD, moderate BAB, low skill, full caster): Cleric (high flexibility, high spell-like abilities), Oracle (spontaneous caster), Paladin/Sohei (increased combat skills, decreased casting)

Magic-User (low HD, low BAB, moderate skills, full caster): wizard (high flexibility, prepared caster), sorcerer (limited flexibility, spontaneous caster), and witch (moderate flexibility and spell-like abilities).

If we reorganized the Core into these four classes and then rebranded everything else as an archetype (similar to the way 2nd Ed had 'kits') we could upgrade easily as the game developed without rendering the core classes obsolete. Then, instead of griping about the rogue or the monk, you could simply note that you are playing a rogue with the 'Advanced Thief' archetype.


Simon Legrande wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:

Read through my comments before. There are a bunch of baller "elf pretend" games already. And they are even MORE elf pretendy. Are you saying that 5e is just right for you? Are you saying that you would prefer that the Pathfinder game would try to emulate 5e?

[this next bit is for all]
I sure would like to remind people that the discussion I am having is not about how 5e is bad and Pathfinder is great. The discussion that I am having (though I have been away for awhile) is that Pathfinder's game-y complexity is essentially what makes it special and it is what I love about the game over other fantasy RPGs.

I can make my own simple rpg that runs just the way I want it. It is not that hard if I am also the one GMing it. I cannot make a Pathfinder by myself, though.

I need to actually pay someone to make a Pathfinder for me (which is actually a new point!). I think there are great things about 5e. It is just not the game I want to play all the time and--while it is new and shiny now--it is not a game so big that I can't wrap my whole mind around it myself. The "optimal" 5e-style experience is still going to be something I use house rules for myself. I am probably never going to buy anything past the core rulebooks.

OK, but then you opened the thread to everyone else to share their opinions. Surely it seems silly on it's face to argue with people that their opinions of what they want out of a game system is bad or wrong (and there are a lot of people doing that here).

I like 5e for exactly the points that you dislike about it and dislike Pathfinder for exactly the points that you like about it.

EDIT: The fact that other systems that may be better suited is irrelevant to a discussion about a comparison between PF and 5e, which, if the title is a guide, was the main idea of this thread going in.

On the edit: Incorrect. Part of my argument about wanting pathfinder to keep its complexity is because it differentiates it as a product against its competitors. Even as I identify 5e as an important and imposing competitor of a 2nd edition of Pathfinder, I think it is important to remember that there is EVEN MORE competition lying past 5e on the simplicity scale. I also feel as I am doing people a service in telling people about these games if they really just want something simple.

I suppose you are right that I invited people to lend their opinion. I just think that "no edition wars" is a good rule. I would really prefer that opinions stay on what should be stolen from 5e and what things from 5e would cheapen the parts of Pathfinder they enjoy.

Persis Strongfellow wrote:
If we reorganized the Core into these four classes and then rebranded everything else as an archetype (similar to the way 2nd Ed had 'kits') we could upgrade easily as the game developed without rendering the core classes obsolete. Then, instead of griping about the rogue or the monk, you could simply note that you are playing a rogue with the 'Advanced Thief' archetype.

I think this is true to an extent but I think that might tie the hands of the designer and you would end up with people complaining that the brawler archetype obsoletes the broken monk archetype. Same stuff with a different name, right?


Excaliburproxy wrote:

On the edit: Incorrect. Part of my argument about wanting pathfinder to keep its complexity is because it differentiates it as a product against its competitors. Even as I identify 5e as an important and imposing competitor of a 2nd edition of Pathfinder, I think it is important to remember that there is EVEN MORE competition lying past 5e on the simplicity scale. I also feel as I am doing people a service in telling people about these games if they really just want something simple.

I suppose you are right that I invited people to lend their opinion. I just think that "no edition wars" is a good rule. I would really prefer that opinions stay on what should be stolen from 5e and what things from 5e would cheapen the parts of Pathfinder they enjoy.

Fair enough. IMO, Paizo should just keep on as they're going. It's plainly evident that they have a sizable market already built up with their current design. They essentially carried on 3.x instead of trying to make a same-type direct competition to 4e system. I can't see why they'd decide at this point to switch gears and make a direct competition to 5e system.

To your point about the multitude of systems out there: that's a perfect example of why Paizo shouldn't change. There are so many player styles out there and the market is having no trouble bearing all of the different systems that exist. Don't forget, there's always money to be made from fans of multiple systems. Just because a person buys 5e doesn't mean they aren't going to buy PF.


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Simon Legrande wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:

On the edit: Incorrect. Part of my argument about wanting pathfinder to keep its complexity is because it differentiates it as a product against its competitors. Even as I identify 5e as an important and imposing competitor of a 2nd edition of Pathfinder, I think it is important to remember that there is EVEN MORE competition lying past 5e on the simplicity scale. I also feel as I am doing people a service in telling people about these games if they really just want something simple.

I suppose you are right that I invited people to lend their opinion. I just think that "no edition wars" is a good rule. I would really prefer that opinions stay on what should be stolen from 5e and what things from 5e would cheapen the parts of Pathfinder they enjoy.

Fair enough. IMO, Paizo should just keep on as they're going. It's plainly evident that they have a sizable market already built up with their current design. They essentially carried on 3.x instead of trying to make a same-type direct competition to 4e system. I can't see why they'd decide at this point to switch gears and make a direct competition to 5e system.

To your point about the multitude of systems out there: that's a perfect example of why Paizo shouldn't change. There are so many player styles out there and the market is having no trouble bearing all of the different systems that exist. Don't forget, there's always money to be made from fans of multiple systems. Just because a person buys 5e doesn't mean they aren't going to buy PF.

I think that is actually a really solid analysis. I think Pathfinder is gonna stay the course and that is a really good idea for the moment.

However, I foresee Pathfinder sales falling in a year or two. I think 5e is really what a lot of people wanted and expected from 4e. As a result, I would not be utterly surprised if a lot of those people jumped ship back to D&D. Additionally, I feel like the advanced class guide is almost an end to an era. I love the book, but I feel like it may be the last big push in terms of options. Crunch sells for me and others and how much more crunch can Paizo put out? I would buy more but I also recognize that Paizo has a broader market that are already crying "rules bloat". Admittedly, maybe the Pathfinder Unchained book will be cool and it will just be "fixes" for the classes that people complain about now that they have more classes for competition.

Regardless as these sales wane, I think it would be hard to argue against a new edition being a better call than letting a strong brand slowly die (though the latter is certainly lower risk).

Also, I do think Pathfinder has room for improvement. I have been getting a little defensive of my tastes (as I feel I am sometimes being maligned rather than being spoken to) but I can't argue that Pathfinder is perfect. I wish the core were a little balanced better and had better sliding scale of complexity (there should be classes that are easy to play and others that require more investment of time and attention, in my opinion). That could have been handled by giving people feat packages as a non-mandatory player resource or suggestion. I think there could be a better game than Pathfinder that is still very much like Pathfinder, I suppose.


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Maybe I'm getting old (I'm only 38!) or whatever, but I'm at the point these days that something has to really impress me to separate me from my money. D&D lost me as a customer shortly after SWSE ended and Paizo is going to lose me fairly soon unless they at least release some sort of free errata regarding Rogues (and others, but rogues are the deal breaker for me) bringing then in line with all the shiny new crap they've been releasing.

As it stands, I have well over 200 books from 3.0 - Pathfinder (including d20 Conan and SWSE). I don't NEED any new books, but do support the games I play, up to the point where they start releasing material without correcting glaring disparities. I currently have all the material I will ever need to run and adjust the system until the day I die (hopefully in the very, very distant future).

Some of these alleged "fixes" should have been done ages ago, but were ignored. Pathfinder Unchained, from what I've read, is just a book of errata we should have already received as a free PDF.

My opinion, mind you. Most likely, I'll just keep doing what I've always done: buy the RPG collections of hungry college students for dirt cheap and eBay the crap I don't need.


5th ed is a huge leap in the direction of rules-light systems ultimately aimed at a "lighter" audience then most 3.5 and pathfinder players.

If you like to play a game without clogging gameplay with rules then 5th ed is probably somethign you might want to try.
I myself favor Pathfinder, not only because Im familiar with it but because I consistently come back to the crunchy goodness once i start feeling the light-system im playing at one time or another gets tiring and overtly simple.

Comparing the two systems:

5th.
A great system when its friday night and you suddently got together with your gaming buddies. Its easy enough to get started quickly and has all the mechanics required to provide a fun experience.

Pathfinder.
An expansive system for when you've got a group of regulars who like to pour detail into their characters and story. Provides all the nessessarity elements to portray most anything you desire, at the cost of looking through a lot of pages to do so.


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Looks to me that Pathfinder's strength is to give players a whole lot of options, and it seems to me that this is what many Pathfinder players find attractive. There's a certain beauty in systems that are kept clean, streamlined and simple, but Pathfinder's main attractiveness is in the complete toolbox that it provides, like a large collection of LEGO. Not all the parts need to be used in one creation, but they are there and available for further constructions.

As long as Pathfinder's new edition keep this philosophy, and I don't see why it wouldn't, I'm not afraid for their market niche and survival as a thriving RPG publishing company.

That being said, I do believe that some consolidation of rules, streamlining of the "core engine" and elimination of some redundant rules/concept are required at this point, maybe not as much as 5th ed D&D did, and perhaps not in the same direction but some nonetheless. I wouldn't expect a huge leap between what is essentially D&D 3.75 and Pathfinder 2nd ed, but A fresh start would be welcome from my part.


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tsuruki wrote:


Comparing the two systems:

5th.
A great system when its friday night and you suddently got together with your gaming buddies. Its easy enough to get started quickly and has all the mechanics required to provide a fun experience.

Pathfinder.
An expansive system for when you've got a group of regulars who like to pour detail into their characters and story. Provides all the nessessarity elements to portray most anything you desire, at the cost of looking through a lot of pages to do so.

Except that you can pour plenty of detail into the character and story with lighter mechanics. Sometimes more because you don't run into mechanics that prevent you from doing what you want.

Pathfinder has lots of "You can portray anything you want, but not only is it going to take until mid-levels to get there, but it's going to be weak compared to the straightforward 2-Hand barbarian, much less the optimized wizard."

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Part of what is muddying the waters in this discussion, is the direct contrast (diametrically opposed) in customer service between WotC prior to 5E and Paizo. I have to really grow to dislike your system if you treat me like Paizo has as a customer in order to leave. Alternatively, you have to hit a triple crown winner to get me to switch after growing to appreciate the Paizo "experience" if you will.

I like 5E quite a bit, and I would embrace it fully if it all the flavors of DnD were the only real game in town. Not only is this not true, I have quite a bit of time and money invested in Pathfinder now.

What would a triple crown winner look like? Fix the martial caster disparity in a way that doesn't completely destroy the game as we know it. What would do that you ask? I have no idea, but if WotC (or anyone else for that matter) wants to score the big win, that's the target to aim for IMHO.


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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I do, sometimes, love the complexity of Pathfinder.

I'm playing in a Pathfinderized A Paladin in Hell, an old 2nd edition module, and I spent an incredible amount of time building out the character. I must have spent 4 or more hours surveying Inner Sea Gods and the domain / subdomain writeups to determine which domains I could access for my Sacred Servant paladin, and then decide between them. (I finally chose Luck over War, because I didn't feel like also dealing with keeping track of all the feat candidates I had from the domain power, and because it told a story more different from the basic paladin.)

And I do have a list of mechanical concepts I want to one day play in Pathfinder; that's pretty much how I picked out the paladin I'm playing, though I spent a ton of time on the finishing touches. (Core idea was paladin with Eldritch Heritage (orc). That meant a lot of my build was done almost immediately. The domain, the last feat or two, and equipment, those took hours and hours.)

But sometimes, that level of time investment outside of the game just grates on me. Especially when either I'm intentionally skipping powerful options to avoid overshadowing other party members (often the easiest way to do this is just to not be a full caster), or when I'm helping someone else power their character up to the same level that I'm at. Sometimes I don't want to feel that I need to pore over the books, looking for spells, feats, and class features that provide interesting and powerful new synergies, to be able to build an effective character.

Pathfinder is better than 3.0 & 3.5 on giving the ability to play a character concept from level 1, but as thejeff pointed out, there are still some which you just can't pull off until mid levels. And quite often, those are trading out straight power for versatility, which may or may not be a good trade. (I know I tend to go for a greater degree of self-sufficiency in characters, and several of my friends do as well.) Sure, in Pathfinder you can play a fighter/wizard who feels like it from level 1... as long as you're willing to deal with the constraints of the magus (one-handed weapon, no shield), and accept that you're going to end up with less BAB and spell selection than you might achieve with careful multiclassing (I remember 3.5-era optimization, where a gish was considered acceptable only at BAB 17+, caster level 17+, and likely having actual 9th level spells as well).

The martial/caster disparity is something I want to see go away. That, actually, is probably the biggest single cornerstone of that system I'm so slowly building. And the two biggest components to achieving it, in my mind, are:
1. Separate out the combat subsystem from the non-combat subsystem(s). While the core resolution mechanics may be the same, resources need to be different. The biggest part here is that you shouldn't need to give up combat potential for more social skills. (i.e. avoid how the rogue trades combat effectiveness for a large number of skill points and a large class skill list.)
2. Give all classes equivalent resources. A huge part of the martial/caster disparity is that casters have more powerful options, because their options consume limited resources. But this breaks down unless there is sufficient demand upon those limited resources to force the caster to conserve them against future need. And it's non-trivial to consistently enforce that demand.

Obviously 5th hasn't tried to give equivalent resources to all classes; 4th did that, and it was part of the problem there. (Though I think how it was presented, and the sameness of all the options, was more a problem than the notion of martial characters with limited resources. At least, it was for me. Presenting kicking sand in someone's face as a once-per-day action felt silly, but the martials were being kept entirely martial, so it couldn't be a matter of expending ki or a similar resource.) Some of the adjustments to the spells system, however, do help; mostly the fact that spells no longer inherently grow in power as you level, which means that you don't have lower-level slots becoming amazing sources of long-term buffs, or utility that trumps the skills, at a low effective resource cost. (i.e. greater magic weapon and magic vestment grow in power and duration even as the value of their spell slots decreases.) This reduces the caster's ability to solve every problem with spell slots, because the lower-level spell slots don't gain in power even as they are freed up from combat usage. (The change in spell DCs also keeps lower level spells somewhat more viable in combat.)

Silver Crusade

Laurefindel wrote:

Looks to me that Pathfinder's strength is to give players a whole lot of options, and it seems to me that this is what many Pathfinder players find attractive. There's a certain beauty in systems that are kept clean, streamlined and simple, but Pathfinder's main attractiveness is in the complete toolbox that it provides, like a large collection of LEGO. Not all the parts need to be used in one creation, but they are there and available for further constructions.

As long as Pathfinder's new edition keep this philosophy, and I don't see why it wouldn't, I'm not afraid for their market niche and survival as a thriving RPG publishing company.

That being said, I do believe that some consolidation of rules, streamlining of the "core engine" and elimination of some redundant rules/concept are required at this point, maybe not as much as 5th ed D&D did, and perhaps not in the same direction but some nonetheless. I wouldn't expect a huge leap between what is essentially D&D 3.75 and Pathfinder 2nd ed, but A fresh start would be welcome from my part.

I strongly believe that there will be some convergent evolution between the two systems.

I'm certain that 5E will get more and more options. There is a place in every single class to invent new paths. D&D doesn't need to publish as many options as PF to give just as much viable choice, because the vast majority of choices that PF has published lately is a waste of everyone's time.

Whether PF streamlines or not depends on whether they publish PF 2.0. I'm much less certain of that!


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:

Looks to me that Pathfinder's strength is to give players a whole lot of options, and it seems to me that this is what many Pathfinder players find attractive. There's a certain beauty in systems that are kept clean, streamlined and simple, but Pathfinder's main attractiveness is in the complete toolbox that it provides, like a large collection of LEGO. Not all the parts need to be used in one creation, but they are there and available for further constructions.

As long as Pathfinder's new edition keep this philosophy, and I don't see why it wouldn't, I'm not afraid for their market niche and survival as a thriving RPG publishing company.

That being said, I do believe that some consolidation of rules, streamlining of the "core engine" and elimination of some redundant rules/concept are required at this point, maybe not as much as 5th ed D&D did, and perhaps not in the same direction but some nonetheless. I wouldn't expect a huge leap between what is essentially D&D 3.75 and Pathfinder 2nd ed, but A fresh start would be welcome from my part.

I strongly believe that there will be some convergent evolution between the two systems.

I'm certain that 5E will get more and more options. There is a place in every single class to invent new paths. D&D doesn't need to publish as many options as PF to give just as much viable choice, because the vast majority of choices that PF has published lately is a waste of everyone's time.

Whether PF streamlines or not depends on whether they publish PF 2.0. I'm much less certain of that!

I was reading though the advanced class guide though, man. There are builds in there. Sweet sweet synergies abound. Hunter is nowhere near as bad a class as I had believed when I first read through it two weeks ago.

I earnestly believe that people don't realize how many viable builds there are in Pathfinder. Not many of them are "best" but a lot of them are effective and still interesting.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:

I was reading though the advanced class guide though, man. There are builds in there. Sweet sweet synergies abound. Hunter is nowhere near as bad a class as I had believed when I first read through it two weeks ago.

I earnestly believe that people don't realize how many viable builds there are in Pathfinder. Not many of them are "best" but a lot of them are effective and still interesting.

Strongly agree here. Advanced class guide has a lot of very viable options for most classes-- from the extreme (Wizard who gives up Arcane school and focus for Arcanist exploits) to the really simple (Paladin who gets Ranger's favored terrain-- something that my Gnome Paladin of a nature deity really needed).

And with Occult Adventures Paizo is going into a completely new design space that has NEVER been touched in any edition of the game (Psychic abilities that do not require a lame power points exploit waiting to happen system).

If you really think everything that can be done with the rules set has been done, you are sorely mistaken, and most of these things neither invalidate the older variations, or fail to be useful or be overshadowed by the weight of what came before.

As long as your definition of viable isn't "strictly wins the DPR boards" then there is a LOT of viable material out there and a lot that still hasn't been published.


Nathanael Love wrote:
And with Occult Adventures Paizo is going into a completely new design space that has NEVER been touched in any edition of the game (Psychic abilities that do not require a lame power points exploit waiting to happen system).

Yeah, they're turning Psychic powers into a new magic power source. We'll have Arcane, Divine AND Psychic. Wooooooo.

Some of the other classes do sound something like interesting, but the expected take on psychic powers is not that.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
And with Occult Adventures Paizo is going into a completely new design space that has NEVER been touched in any edition of the game (Psychic abilities that do not require a lame power points exploit waiting to happen system).

Yeah, they're turning Psychic powers into a new magic power source. We'll have Arcane, Divine AND Psychic. Wooooooo.

Some of the other classes do sound something like interesting, but the expected take on psychic powers is not that.

Interesting is very subjective in this situation. You may not find that to be interesting but myself and I am sure many others do.


Nathanael Love wrote:
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
And with Occult Adventures Paizo is going into a completely new design space that has NEVER been touched in any edition of the game (Psychic abilities that do not require a lame power points exploit waiting to happen system).

Yeah, they're turning Psychic powers into a new magic power source. We'll have Arcane, Divine AND Psychic. Wooooooo.

Some of the other classes do sound something like interesting, but the expected take on psychic powers is not that.

Interesting is very subjective in this situation. You may not find that to be interesting but myself and I am sure many others do.

You're right, I don't find it interesting.

Explain to me why it's interesting to you.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Because I am interested in psychic phenomena and mentalism as a character type while completely uninterested in the 3.5/DSP power points system?

Because I enjoy a range of characters with telekinesis and telepathy such as Professor X and having that kind of character as an option in Pathfinder is something I am looking forward to?

Because I've more than once done wikipedia fueled deep dives on ESP and various related phenomena?

Because one of my favorite characters from a 2nd ed game 15 years ago was a Mentalist and I am certain that these rules will allow a better version of that character?

I don't know, why is anyone interested in the things they are?

Why don't you find it interesting?

Shadow Lodge

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Nathanael Love wrote:
And with Occult Adventures Paizo is going into a completely new design space that has NEVER been touched in any edition of the game (Psychic abilities that do not require a lame power points exploit waiting to happen system).

Dreamscarred Press psionics are better balanced than Pathfinder magic.

(Sorry to damn you with faint praise, DP)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kthulhu wrote:
Dreamscarred Press psi onions are better balanced than Pathfinder magic.

Heh. Autocorrect strikes again.

(Very true post, however.)

EDIT: Bah! Now my post looks stupid! Lousy catching your typos and editing them before they become permanent! (Unlike me.)

Whatever: I shall allow my stupid-flag fly! Fly you stupid flag! Flyyyy~!


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Nathanael Love wrote:

Because I am interested in psychic phenomena and mentalism as a character type while completely uninterested in the 3.5/DSP power points system?

Because I enjoy a range of characters with telekinesis and telepathy such as Professor X and having that kind of character as an option in Pathfinder is something I am looking forward to?

Because I've more than once done wikipedia fueled deep dives on ESP and various related phenomena?

Because one of my favorite characters from a 2nd ed game 15 years ago was a Mentalist and I am certain that these rules will allow a better version of that character?

I don't know, why is anyone interested in the things they are?

Why don't you find it interesting?

Because I don't mind power points, so getting another set of psychic powers doesn't inherently interest me.

Because the game getting another power source for vancian/traditional casting does not interest me.

Because getting more vancian/traditional casting doesn't just not interest me, it makes me less interested in the product.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

@Kthulu-- that's fine if you think that. I didn't enjoy Psionic power points in AD&D, I didn't enjoy them in 3.0, I didn't enjoy them in 3.5, and when I read parts of the DSP stuff I found nothing that changed those previous poor experiences with power points psionic systems. Just not something I want in my games despite wanting the flavor/ abilities.

@Squirrel_Dude-- I see where we differ. I really like Vancian magic. I believe it is one of the most rewarding, interesting, and enjoyable systems in any game of any variety.

So yeah, a third chain of casting with a 9th level, a 6th level, and a 4th level variety at a minimum I find exciting.


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Nathanael Love wrote:

@Squirrel_Dude-- I see where we differ. I really like Vancian magic. I believe it is one of the most rewarding, interesting, and enjoyable systems in any game of any variety.

So yeah, a third chain of casting with a 9th level, a 6th level, and a 4th level variety at a minimum I find exciting.

Make no mistake, I enjoy Vancian casting. Everything should be taken in moderation though, and I'm very tired of it at this point.

Seeing a power source that has been traditionally used as way to implement a new subsystem/new ruleset to the game being brought under the traditional casting umbrella is an anathema to excitement about a product for me. This is exacerbated by Paizo having yet to introduce any true alternate magic/casting system, and then supported it.

The best analogy I can come up with is that the ice cream bar has replaced pistachio with vanilla when everything else they offer is also vanilla. Vanilla is a great flavor, but can we get something else, too?


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Nathanael Love wrote:
@Kthulu-- that's fine if you think that. I didn't enjoy Psionic power points in AD&D, I didn't enjoy them in 3.0, I didn't enjoy them in 3.5, and when I read parts of the DSP stuff I found nothing that changed those previous poor experiences with power points psionic systems. Just not something I want in my games despite wanting the flavor/ abilities.

The fact that you lump all three of those together as the same thing convinces me that you actually have no idea how those systems work, sir.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'd say a better analogy is an ice cream shop that up until now has had pistachio only available in cones, while vanilla is available in bowls and now they are offering the choice of ordering pistachio in a bowl for those of us who don't like cones.


Tacticslion wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
@Kthulu-- that's fine if you think that. I didn't enjoy Psionic power points in AD&D, I didn't enjoy them in 3.0, I didn't enjoy them in 3.5, and when I read parts of the DSP stuff I found nothing that changed those previous poor experiences with power points psionic systems. Just not something I want in my games despite wanting the flavor/ abilities.
The fact that you lump all three of those together as the same thing convinces me that you actually have no idea how those systems work, sir.

I don't think he's necessarily expressing that they're the same thing as much as he's stating he's seen a power points system tried three times and each time it's failed to meet his expectations.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
@Kthulu-- that's fine if you think that. I didn't enjoy Psionic power points in AD&D, I didn't enjoy them in 3.0, I didn't enjoy them in 3.5, and when I read parts of the DSP stuff I found nothing that changed those previous poor experiences with power points psionic systems. Just not something I want in my games despite wanting the flavor/ abilities.
The fact that you lump all three of those together as the same thing convinces me that you actually have no idea how those systems work, sir.
I don't think he's necessarily expressing that they're the same thing as much as he's stating he's seen a power points system tried three times and each time it's failed to meet his expectations.

Correct. I tried both playing and allowing Psionic characters in AD&D, again in 3.0, and a third time with 3.5.

The only time I found any of those experiences to be marginally fulfilling was within the context of the Darksun setting, and even then I felt they did not offer what I wanted from my psychic themed characters.

I felt that playing a Mentalist Wizard in 2nd edition or an Enchanter Wizard with a dip into the Mindbender prestige class to be more fulfilling, but the concept of a completely dedicated option for that character type.

I own the Psionics books for all the editions I mentioned, so yes I am familiar with them.


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EDIT: Ninja's everywhere!

Then what... are his expectations?!

Ah, I see. I'm curious how those brought about the fulfillment of your expectations? I'd be very interested to hear the disappointment and the executions, because that's pretty solidly the opposite of my own experiences, and it's nice to be exposed to different ideas.

2E: hope you get enough stats in WIS and CON, regen PP over the course of waking time, use special combat modes, etc.

3e: choose a casting stat and make rock/paper/scissors guess v. stun (or ability damage to non-psionics); also powers

3.5: it's like casting, except we removed all the broken bits, streamlined the whole process, and ensured that all of the normal abuses don't exist (though we accidentally added a few new ones that are substantially less onerous than the old ones we removed)

DSP: it's like the 3.5 one, only for PF

Also:

Quote:
I found nothing that changed those previous poor experiences with power points psionic systems

... makes them seem far more similar than different.

I mean, he might as well be comparing a 4E wizard to a 3rd edition one.

"Well, I didn't like Vancian in 3E, and since the 4E one still uses the Vancian, I don't like it. Fighters were great in both editions, though!" which would be a really weird argument to make.

In that case, his entire argument is that he just prefers Vancian/prepared casting which, you know, is fine, but there's nothing to compare between the three sets of experiences that he listed other than flavor.

Two were bad systems.

The third was an amazingly awesome, well-balanced system.

Quote:
And with Occult Adventures Paizo is going into a completely new design space that has NEVER been touched in any edition of the game (Psychic abilities that do not require a lame power points exploit waiting to happen system).
Quote:
@Kthulu-- that's fine if you think that.

... indicates that he really doesn't understand that fact, and instead finds it all a matter of opinion.

I could say that I enjoy fighters as they are (I do), rogues as they are (I do), and monks as they are (I do), but that doesn't stop me from recognizing the inherent imbalance and the natural problems that could cause for others who play with them.

To imply that there is no imbalance when there clearly is would be an error.

To imply that the power point system of 3.5 is possessing of more imbalance than other 3.5 systems would be an equal error.

That's the problem. He's wrong in his implications on balance and internal consistency.

He has every right to his opinions and his preferences and tastes - those are not wrong, and he's welcome to them. He's welcome to his preferences of spell slots, prepared or otherwise, and whether or not he likes them - that is not wrong. I'm glad he likes what he does, as that's cool! 'Different strokes' and all that!

But when comparing relative balance, the ability to exploit and break games, and general over-all well-thought-out systems, it is incorrect to indicate that the 3.5 mechanics (and the core DSP mechanics) are imbalanced, or that their balance is a matter of opinion.

When put into practice (and the rules followed) they function quite solidly.

Nathanael Love wrote:
I'd say a better analogy is an ice cream shop that up until now has had pistachio only available in cones, while vanilla is available in bowls and now they are offering the choice of ordering pistachio in a bowl for those of us who don't like cones.

Fair 'nough.

I'd more closely compare it to offering nuts in what, until now, has been a nut-free product.

A number of people will undoubtedly be very happy - and they should be! -, but there are still those weird allergic reactions that kick up in the most unexpected places, turning people off to the whole thing.

:)

(If we were to stick with the cone/bowl thing, I'd also reverse the cone and bowl myself, as cones are inevitably messier and lend themselves to accidents, whereas bowls tend to be cleaner and more well contained... but that's just being needlessly pedantic over a vague analogy.)

:D


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Why is my non-enjoyment of power points based systems under attack here?

I didn't enjoy them the various times I tried them in different incarnations. If you did/do, that's fine. I'm not arguing that DSP has to stop publishing the material they are for them nor am I sneaking into your house/hacking deleting your files/burning your books.

This isn't the place to argue balance or lack thereof for power points versus vancian casting-- that's a horse that's been beaten to death and thread-locked enough different threads in the past.

Sure, you can like cones over bowls-- that's fine. Enjoy this pistachio ice cream in a cone that DSP has offered you. I will enjoy my vanilla Vancian casting out of the core and Pistachio Psychic casting when Occult Adventures comes out in bowls instead.

And if you want Vanilla in a cone, Super Genuis games has your spell points system, so you can enjoy that too.


Nathanael Love wrote:
Why is my non-enjoyment of power points based systems under attack here?

Wasn't trying to attack your enjoyment. I was rebutting your implication of relative balance (or lack thereof).

You've every right to prefer one over the other.

I just want to clarify that it is preference instead of balance.

To wit:

me wrote:
He has every right to his opinions and his preferences and tastes - those are not wrong, and he's welcome to them. He's welcome to his preferences of spell slots, prepared or otherwise, and whether or not he likes them - that is not wrong. I'm glad he likes what he does, as that's cool! 'Different strokes' and all that!

... and...

me, after your ninja wrote:
Ah, I see. I'm curious how those brought about the fulfillment of your expectations? I'd be very interested to hear the disappointment and the executions, because that's pretty solidly the opposite of my own experiences, and it's nice to be exposed to different ideas.

Hence I'm honestly interested in what makes the experience different. Thus the question.

I will accept that this isn't that thread, however, but would be intrigued to hear more from you either by PM or another thread, unless you wish to drop it, in which case I will.

:)


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If a game is going to have three sources of power they should have three completely different mechanics. I'd say spell slots for divine, cooldowns* for arcane, and power points for psionic.

* cooldowns have precedent going back to the beginning AFAIK in the form of draconic breath attacks.


I would suggest potentially reversing the slots/cooldowns to arcane and divine, respectively, depending on how you handle it and the fluff you give.

Either way, the system will require quite a lot of rebalancing around that set-up.

Still, it could be a nifty idea.

Shadow Lodge

Atarlost wrote:

If a game is going to have three sources of power they should have three completely different mechanics. I'd say spell slots for divine, cooldowns* for arcane, and power points for psionic.

* cooldowns have precedent going back to the beginning AFAIK in the form of draconic breath attacks.

So Arcane magic should work somewhere along the lines of Binders from 3.5/Radiance House Occultists from PF? I could definitely get behind that.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'd disagree-- if anything Arcane magic is the one with the longest/most substantially grounding in the Vancian tradition.

And we know for a fact that Wizards on "cooldowns" simply do not satisfy the effects of Wizards.

A cleric, whose offensive spells are much more tied directly to buffing would work better on that variety of system, though in general it sounds very much too in the 4th ed vein for my personal tastes.

Shadow Lodge

My idea:

Psionics (or psi onions) - power points
Divine - spontaneous Vancian
Arcane - Call of Cthulhu (BRP) style magic, albeit with a few more restrictions and less severe penalties

Shadow Lodge

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Tacticslion wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
Why is my non-enjoyment of power points based systems under attack here?

Wasn't trying to attack your enjoyment. I was rebutting your implication of relative balance (or lack thereof).

You've every right to prefer one over the other.

I just want to clarify that it is preference instead of balance.

Exactly.

You preferring Vancian casting =/= power points are unbalanced

Dark Archive

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Hmm.

I agree with some of the things other people are mentioning, but would like to add in my own 2cp.

The Good.
> I like the tighter numbers-scaling; I think the numbers scale too high for many things in Pathfinder/3.X, and I like the idea that a four 1st level orcs could still be a bit of a threat to a 4th or 5th level party.
> I like what I've seen so far of the 5e Modules, where they're really light on the statblocks. I really hope they do something similar with their forgotten realms books (and hope I like the 5e Realms. The 4e realms were so different from everything before them that they didn't even feel connected to what came before it)
> I like no Christmas Tree.
> I like how the melee characters are more mobile.
> I like that it's lower magic. There are a number of settings I would be interested in running a game of, that I don't think I can do a service to in Pathfinder due to just how much magic is in the system. In 5e, if I limit or remove caster classes, I have now lowered the magic of the setting without throwing all game balance out the window.
> The quality of the abilities seems to be higher; Feats are actually good, and there are no longer terrible feat taxes all over the place.

The Bad.
> You get very few opportunities to make meaningful choices for your character build, and there are many levels where you don't get anything new and fun at all, let alone a choice of a new and fun thing.
> Many of the more interesting parts of character creation are "optional rules" - so you may not get to use them at all, and you have to give up your statistical advancement to get them if they ARE allowed.
> What is up with that font size and page count in relation to the steep pricetag. I can't help but feel I'm getting less than half the book they're charging me for.
> I don't see much opportunity for diversity in skills. Either you're trained in it or you're not, and there's nothing denoting ability in different skills. I understand the simplicity factor, but I would appreciate more customizability in where my skillpoints go.


Darkholme wrote:

Hmm.

I agree with some of the things other people are mentioning, but would like to add in my own 2cp.

The Good.
> I like the tighter numbers-scaling; I think the numbers scale too high for many things in Pathfinder/3.X, and I like the idea that a four 1st level orcs could still be a bit of a threat to a 4th or 5th level party.
> I like what I've seen so far of the 5e Modules, where they're really light on the statblocks. I really hope they do something similar with their forgotten realms books (and hope I like the 5e Realms. The 4e realms were so different from everything before them that they didn't even feel connected to what came before it)
> I like no Christmas Tree.
> I like how the melee characters are more mobile.
> I like that it's lower magic. There are a number of settings I would be interested in running a game of, that I don't think I can do a service to in Pathfinder due to just how much magic is in the system. In 5e, if I limit or remove caster classes, I have now lowered the magic of the setting without throwing all game balance out the window.
> The quality of the abilities seems to be higher; Feats are actually good, and there are no longer terrible feat taxes all over the place.

The Bad.
> You get very few opportunities to make meaningful choices for your character build, and there are many levels where you don't get anything new and fun at all, let alone a choice of a new and fun thing.
> Many of the more interesting parts of character creation are "optional rules" - so you may not get to use them at all, and you have to give up your statistical advancement to get them if they ARE allowed.
> What is up with that font size and page count in relation to the steep pricetag. I can't help but feel I'm getting less than half the book they're charging me for.
> I don't see much opportunity for diversity in skills. Either you're trained in it or you're not, and there's nothing denoting ability in different skills. I understand the simplicity factor, but I would appreciate more...

I have to say, I could not agree more with what you just said. For the most part, I am fine with the scaling and tightening that they did. and characters made great advancements at the cost of an even worse setback( meaning that they became less complicated, but less unique at the same time).

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