5th Edition vs Pathfinder Critique


4th Edition

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Kthulhu wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Wrath wrote:
As a man who's DM'd for over 30 years now, (although the first few were pretty damn awful since I was only young), this system is easy and makes game play swift and fun.
I started playing/DMing in 1992. We've had no issue with fun or swiftness.

Well, play didn't really begin to slow down to a crawl until 2000.

Gee, what happened in 2000 that could have caused that?

A sudden increase in bad DMs?

Shadow Lodge

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Can't be that, since an edition that came out around that time did it's best to marginalize the role of the DM as much as possible.

Silver Crusade

Adjule wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Adjule wrote:
I guess I misunderstood the last line of that post of your's.

It's cool. English is not my first language. I'm from Québec and speak le French.

Quote:
I have a feeling that this thread will be closed tomorrow when the Paizo people come back. Many comments in here are getting edition war-y.

You wanna hear a real edition war comment? No? Well you're gonna anyway!

2e is the best edition ever! Why? Because it is the first one I ever played and I have many great memories playing it with my friends.

Now I'll just watch the forums burn. Hehehe.

2nd edition is a great edition. First one I really played myself (1 session of 1st edition). I have come to realize I prefer 2nd edition AD&D over 3rd and Pathfinder. 5th edition D&D and 2nd edition AD&D are tied for best, imo.

2nd ed is a dumpster fire of flaming crap to me. It's a terrible, terrible game and the similarities between 5th and 2nd probably color my opinion of 5th. As soon as I discovered systems like GURPS, HERO, and Storyteller I quit playing DnD until 3rd came out.

Silver Crusade

Kthulhu wrote:
Can't be that, since an edition that came out around that time did it's best to marginalize the role of the DM as much as possible.

Third didn't marginalize GMs at all. In fact, being able to template anything with a PC class is a crazy strong way to keep challenges fresh.


goldomark wrote:

2e is the best edition ever! Why? Because it is the first one I ever played and I have many great memories playing it with my friends.

Now I'll just watch the forums burn. Hehehe.

I started with the Blue Box OD&D - the one that came with the module "In Search of the Unknown." I recall there was also another dungeon in the rulebook. Something about a necromancer's tower, and I think there was a giant crayfish in it.

I switched to AD&D about the time the DMG first came out. Most of my favorite gaming memories are of 1st & 2nd editions. When 3e came out I liked the added character options, but on the down side it seemed to offer fewer world building options than late 2e.

Nothing that I saw in 4e interested me at all, so I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the current edition had the opposite effect - once I read the free Basic Rules I couldn't wait to try playing it. And now that I am playing it, I have not been disappointed.

That said, however, there were some features in 2e that I'd like to see in 5e as well. The biggest one is character options tailored for different kinds of fantasy settings. I want to see classes, sub-classes, spells, races, etc. for Oriental settings, and Arabian settings, and various quasi-historical settings, and fantasy outer space.

So I'm not sure I agree 100% that 2e was the best edition of the game, but I am sure that I very much enjoyed playing it. And if WotC will just give me the tools to use all of the 2e settings (including the Historical Reference ones) with 5e rules, I will be a very happy gamer.

Silver Crusade

goldomark wrote:
Adjule wrote:
I guess I misunderstood the last line of that post of your's.

It's cool. English is not my first language. I'm from Québec and speak le French.

Quote:
I have a feeling that this thread will be closed tomorrow when the Paizo people come back. Many comments in here are getting edition war-y.

You wanna hear a real edition war comment? No? Well you're gonna anyway!

2e is the best edition ever! Why? Because it is the first one I ever played and I have many great memories playing it with my friends.

Now I'll just watch the forums burn. Hehehe.

Read my above post for 2nd ed.

Shadow Lodge

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5th and 2nd are really mechanically nothing alike. The similarities are really only in some of the philosophies behind the games.

Silver Crusade

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Kthulhu wrote:
5th and 2nd are really mechanically nothing alike. The similarities are really only in some of the philosophies behind the games.

A philosophy which apparently I despise. I don't want GMs enpowered; they already have infinite supply of any NPC they like with as much gear as they like with as many HD as they like. How can you "marginalize" an omnipotent entity? You can't.


Kthulhu wrote:
Can't be that, since an edition that came out around that time did it's best to marginalize the role of the DM as much as possible.

It is funny, because a lot of people keeping complaining about DM fiat in 3.X.


JoeJ wrote:
goldomark wrote:

2e is the best edition ever! Why? Because it is the first one I ever played and I have many great memories playing it with my friends.

Now I'll just watch the forums burn. Hehehe.

So I'm not sure I agree 100% that 2e was the best edition of the game, but I am sure that I very much enjoyed playing it. And if WotC will just give me the tools to use all of the 2e settings (including the Historical Reference ones) with 5e rules, I will be a very happy gamer.

My post was ment to be funny. I was saying it was the best because of the memories I have playing it, not because of the quality of its rules.


goldomark wrote:
JoeJ wrote:
goldomark wrote:

2e is the best edition ever! Why? Because it is the first one I ever played and I have many great memories playing it with my friends.

Now I'll just watch the forums burn. Hehehe.

So I'm not sure I agree 100% that 2e was the best edition of the game, but I am sure that I very much enjoyed playing it. And if WotC will just give me the tools to use all of the 2e settings (including the Historical Reference ones) with 5e rules, I will be a very happy gamer.

My post was ment to be funny. I was saying it was the best because of the memories I have playing it, not because of the quality of its rules.

I know. And I was responding with a few of my own good memories.


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goldomark wrote:
Diffan wrote:
goldomark wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
2nd ed didn't even have stats for the monsters in the Monster Manual.
Troll confirmed.

Yeah, I couldn't even figure out what he meant by that.

Didn't have Str/Dex/Con/Int/Wis/Cha, maybe? Because they didn't need them.

The monsters didn't get abilities scores and it was problematic. It didn't make the game unplayable, but it limited it.

3e gave us monsters that were not arbitrary decisions. You had a road map to making monsters and scaling them.

4e and 5e are a return to arbitrary monster making.

I wouldn't call it arbitrary, more like "I don't need a complex formula, or Class XX by level Y to wield two weapons, or Have X, Y, Z feat to make what I want the beast to do work the way I [the DM] intend". The whole 'conform to the everyone uses the same creation process' is one of the worst things I felt was bolted onto 3E and Pathfinder, especially when the system assumes all feats/skills/class options are equal and they're FAR FAR from it.

There is nothing complex about it. Like TAC0 was never complex. It was math a 12 year old should have been able to do. It can be long. That I agree with, but like anything, with practice you start to know the stuff and creation takes a lot less time.

But we all heard this when 4e came out. "Monster making has never been so simple". Yet it wasn't enough to detrone 3.X.

I wonder if the whole "it takes too long to make a monster" is really just a complaint of a vocal minority on the internet.

After 8 years most people who often DM'ed the system were used to the work of making Monsters and NPCs so it wasn't as long drawn out process. However that doesn't mean easier monster/NPC creation wasn't a desired thing. For me it was less about the time involved vs. the complexity required in making them actually viable in the game. Try making an Orc Barbarian who dual-wields large great axes AND is suitable for a solo encounter vs. 4 PCs and you'll end up making him several levels higher and requiring him to have a plethora of magical gear just so he doesn't go down in the 1st round of combat. No thanks.


goldomark wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Can't be that, since an edition that came out around that time did it's best to marginalize the role of the DM as much as possible.

It is funny, because a lot of people keeping complaining about DM fiat in 3.X.

Really? About what? Most of the fiat I see is often regarding lack of rules clarity and, to a lesser extent, on specific situation adjudication.


Diffan wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Can't be that, since an edition that came out around that time did it's best to marginalize the role of the DM as much as possible.

It is funny, because a lot of people keeping complaining about DM fiat in 3.X.

Really? About what?

I do not know. I never complained about DM fiat.

Quote:
Most of the fiat I see is often regarding lack of rules clarity and, to a lesser extent, on specific situation adjudication.

Fascinating. Since both 4e and 5e are so rules light this means DM needs to adjudicate all sort of specific situations. DM fiat must be off the charts!


Diffan wrote:
Try making an Orc Barbarian who dual-wields large great axes AND is suitable for a solo encounter vs. 4 PCs and you'll end up making him several levels higher and requiring him to have a plethora of magical gear just so he doesn't go down in the 1st round of combat.

Adding a few levels is that problematic?


"goldomark wrote:

I wonder if the whole "it takes too long to make a monster" is really just a complaint of a vocal minority on the internet.

Just going back a bit to say, with PF it's just as easy if you want it that way. Open Bestiary and use what's there. You DON'T HAVE TO BUILD a monster with other stats if you don't want to. You can use the stuff straight from the bestiaries and be just fine.

In fact, if you want to do that with NPC's, PF also has a bunch of those stats just ready for you to pick up and use also!


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I'm not going to get involved with any of this edition war stuff that people are starting to talk about or comment on.

What I will do is point out things that I liked with EVERY edition thus far (and I'll even include PF, despite the fact that it really is it's own game now and a separate brand than D&D...though it is based off the OGL).

OD&D - I can't say I like the three original booklets. They are somewhat confusing, and I never played chainmail, so had to always use the alternate system. I did enjoy it more when Greyhawk came out. That's perhaps the most significant book in RPGing for me that made ALL THE DIFFERENCE. It's a start, and it can be fun for nostalgia, but I think I prefer playing AD&D or B/X to OD&D.

Holmes - Well, I've played it, it was as good as any other basic set, which means it's better than almost any current basic/starter set that's come out in the past 5 years...with the exception of the PF beginner box.

AD&D - Love this game. I love all it's quirks. I like that it's humancentric. I love that it has the level limits (take that you dirty elf...should have chosen human...oops...well...that is if we ever live beyond level 5...where we all die anyways). I love the different advancement rates. I love the goofy monsters and weird things about it. I love the thief skills and their niche there. I love that saves go from being really hard to make, to being much easier (that said, enough spells and eventually you're going to roll too low). I love how dragons are dangerous, but not so dangerous that a high level character can stand a chance against them. Basically, this game was awesome, and still is in my book. If you haven' tried it...you should.

B/X - It's actually pretty good, much simpler, and had a lot of weird things in relation to AD&D. Here we see races as classes for the first time.

BECMI - Probably my favorite of this type of line. It took B/X and refined it. I still didn't understand why a Dwarf class, which is basically a dwarf Fighter, needs more XP to advance then a straight fighter, and is still restricted on their levels...but...oh well. Then you have the Elf which is basically a Fighter/Magic-user, where sometimes it's advantageous, sometimes not. We had a DM that houseruled it so that Elves had unlimited advancement. That was a wicked great campaign. BECMI, especially if you mainly use the BE rules...is a much simpler form then AD&D, and thus runs more smoothly because of it at times. If I had to choose between BECMI or AD&D to play...I'd play BECMI probably at least 1/3 of the time over AD&D.

2e - I loved how they streamlined this one. THAC0 was much preferred to me over the hit tables. While it is true THAC0 existed in 1e, we truly started using it ton more in 2e. I also liked that the Bard was almost a true jack of all trades class (though it was 3e that really made it more of a jack of all trades). I missed several classes, but they had a grandfather clause where you could grandfather anything in from 1e...and boy...did we. In many games it was more a 1e game with 2e elements.

3e - Originally, I think much of it was designed with an AD&D philosophy. Playing a 3e game like AD&D was actually a ton of fun at first. Of course everyone had to try their hand at multi-classing, and things went crazy. I actually think I preferred 3e to 3.5 though...things were not as balanced, and things were a little more wacky...but it still had that old AD&D sentiment that not everything was balanced, but you could play it loose and fast from the hip (I think 3e was the first edition to actually put down rule 0 as an actual listed rule). WE played it without a grid or minis.

3.5 - This is where it started to get much more into a tactical game for me. I held off on 3.5 for a while, until I got the black dragon basic set. That was a pretty sweet set, and with all the minis and grids that you got, I got hooked on minis. We got tactical, and we got engrossed.

4e - Many don't realize it, but 4e at it's core was still D20. Even the save defenses were based off of D20's Fort/Will/REF saves. What made it complex were the idea that every class had powers/abilities that they could use. It harkened back to older systems as well, where a class was a set class. Multiclassing wasn't as simple as stating you switch, there had to be plans and sacrifices made to multiclass.

In addition, monsters had set XP, and the advancement table was slowed down in regards to character advancement at higher levels.

I loved creating characters for 4e, though since we didn't use the Character builder as much as others, I had to write much of it down by hand. I did get sore wrists from all the writing at times.

Castles and Crusades - I tried this because Gary Gygax supposedly supported it. It's fun, it's like a slimmed down 3.5 or PF game. If you want much simpler rules, but with a gameplay similar, this is one that you should probably try.

PF - Pathfinder is great. I love how they simplified how skills were handled from the 3.5 system. That would be the greatest thing I actually really like in PF. PF also bumped many of the classes to 11. Some of what they did was absolutely fantastic. Even better, though they still use a CR system, they have set XP, so you don't have to try to calculate XP on a confusing table, and then try to figure it out if you have characters of different levels.

The also included different advancement rates, so you can choose if you want fast, medium, or slow advancement. I tend to favor slow advancement, so this is awesome.

I originally thought that I already had 3.5 so I didn't need PF, but then I got the PF beginner box. I was hooked after that, hook, line, and sinker.

So, I just want to point out, each edition has something for someone, and they all have their good things. I can't say I'm a fan of 5e (yet), but that doesn't mean people can't like it. Right now, I obviously favor PF, but that doesn't mean I can't love all the other editions as well, or that I'm an evil person just because I love other editions of Dungeons and Dragons.


goldomark wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Try making an Orc Barbarian who dual-wields large great axes AND is suitable for a solo encounter vs. 4 PCs and you'll end up making him several levels higher and requiring him to have a plethora of magical gear just so he doesn't go down in the 1st round of combat.
Adding a few levels is that problematic?

For someone who's been playing the system for 14 years? No. For someone new, potentially. Further, how many levels is significant in making him a threat to 4 PCs? How do you engage all 4 with only 1 round of actions, especially when your limited to standard action + move and that's it? Or how do you have the Monster deal with specific single-target conditions? If the wizard or cleric get off just one Hold Monster/ Person spell, encounter over.

To answer these you have to either strap them with magical baubles and items, arbitrarily give them better saves, or basically just ignore the conditions and wave off effects via Fiat. Unfortunately most 3.5/PF players will instantly know something is off when you do that and many will call BS on it. And even if they don't care, tactics for the system put the PCs on heavily favored grounds.

So a I find monster and NPC creation far easier in 4E and 5e because I'm not heavily bogged down by the trappings of verisimilitude.


goldomark wrote:
Quote:
Most of the fiat I see is often regarding lack of rules clarity and, to a lesser extent, on specific situation adjudication.
Fascinating. Since both 4e and 5e are so rules light this means DM needs to adjudicate all sort of specific situations. DM fiat must be off the charts!

Is that sarcasm? Because I don't know anyone who'd seriously describe either 4e or 5e as rules light systems.

Also, the link between GM Fiat and Rules Light isn't necessarily a strong one, and for that matter there are rather Rules Heavy games where there's a need for a lot. It's lack of clarity that requires more adjudication, and the better rules light games are generally pretty clear with fewer "moving parts" to interact in odd ways.


goldomark wrote:
Diffan wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Can't be that, since an edition that came out around that time did it's best to marginalize the role of the DM as much as possible.

It is funny, because a lot of people keeping complaining about DM fiat in 3.X.

Really? About what?
I do not know. I never complained about DM fiat.

So you said that people were complaining about DM fiat in 3e but don't know what or why? I guess I'm confused.

goldomark wrote:
Quote:
Most of the fiat I see is often regarding lack of rules clarity and, to a lesser extent, on specific situation adjudication.
Fascinating. Since both 4e and 5e are so rules light this means DM needs to adjudicate all sort of specific situations. DM fiat must be off the charts!

4e isn't rules light, however the rules are pretty clearly defined which cuts down significantly on fiat. As for 5e, fiat is not only a common element within the system but heavily encouraged.


Diffan wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Try making an Orc Barbarian who dual-wields large great axes AND is suitable for a solo encounter vs. 4 PCs and you'll end up making him several levels higher and requiring him to have a plethora of magical gear just so he doesn't go down in the 1st round of combat.
Adding a few levels is that problematic?

For someone who's been playing the system for 14 years? No. For someone new, potentially. Further, how many levels is significant in making him a threat to 4 PCs? How do you engage all 4 with only 1 round of actions, especially when your limited to standard action + move and that's it? Or how do you have the Monster deal with specific single-target conditions? If the wizard or cleric get off just one Hold Monster/ Person spell, encounter over.

To answer these you have to either strap them with magical baubles and items, arbitrarily give them better saves, or basically just ignore the conditions and wave off effects via Fiat. Unfortunately most 3.5/PF players will instantly know something is off when you do that and many will call BS on it. And even if they don't care, tactics for the system put the PCs on heavily favored grounds.

So a I find monster and NPC creation far easier in 4E and 5e because I'm not heavily bogged down by the trappings of verisimilitude.

For someone who just started with PF, I expect that they would probably open the NPC codex and perhaps find something that fits, or simply use the monsters from the bestiary to create encounters using the monsters as is.

Quick, easy, and you don't really have to do that much math.

Heck, I've been playing PF for a little bit, and that's what I do already.

You don't have to spend any more time on encounter creation than other editions if you don't want to.

Plus, if it really was that much trouble, someone probably could take a monster or NPC and reflavor them into that type of creature without having to create them from the ground up...at least that's what I would do.

If one doesn't want to spend a ton of time creating NPC's and special enemies, why do it? There are tons of tools in PF that I've found to make it easy, quick, and painless.

Addendum: Now 4e DOES have some rather easy to use monster creation rules for specific creatures, if you want...but it still takes someone with a little experience to be able to balance it out against a party. A novice may create one that wipes the party or is wiped easily.

PF also has tables which list average HD and HP as well as other things, and in some ways is equally as easy if you use it to create a unique monster. Just like 4e though, you could wipe the party or have the party wipe it if you are a novice using it.

I rarely use the PF thing if I don't have to, but in a crunch, when running APs or something where I don't want to look up the stats of a monster right then (I don't take all the bestiaries with me), and trying to play it off the hoof...then it's a great way to do something on the fly.

The Exchange

For me, pathfinder game design was even easier. I just bought the APs.

One of the best things about 5th ed for me is that converting and running the APs looks really easy to do. I've looked at the first three for Runelords and could knock those up without problem.

The other good thing is running fights without the need to reference hundreds of feats, just to work out how the thing fights effectively. This is a model that Paizo could really grasp to make DMing their game so much easier.

You can run this game beautifully either on the grid or off it. It all works easily no matter which way you go.

With Pathfinder, it can be done grid less as well, but so many mechanics rely on positioning etc, that it becomes very onerous to do so. The mechanics of pathfinder really only support grid play with any real ease.

I love what 5th ed did with alignments too. Spells aren't keyed to alignment now. Detect evil only works on outsiders and undead. In other words, the mechanics of the game no longer hamstring entire plots. In pathfinder, the whole concept of evil priest running the country is a joke, because it takes huge investments in time, magic and money to prevent a paladin from just looking at you and working the whole thing out.

I'm no longer having to outthink the rules, just to make some viable and interesting story lines. While I run APs, I still add side quests and character quests into them. 5th ed lets me develop those plot elements far easier the Pathfinder.

Again, these are just observations I've noted in how the two gameslay for me. I'm sure others have different experiences. This thread is about comparing the two though, as opposed to arguing against other peoples experiences and putting in edition wars.

Silver Crusade

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Or you could just be an evil priest and cast undetectable alignment. Or just use the fact that you are the head of a state to foil the paladin. Remember that Golarion has plenty of evil aligned nations.

Frequently, lawful evil NPCs will have lawful neutral NPCs in their employ that aren't smitable by Mr. Paladin, which makes the paladin a sad panda. Especially if they are cavaliers or fighters.

Detect evil is not nearly as useful as it sounds on its face. It could reveal embezzles money from the orphan's fund evil, or head of a doomsday cult evil. The telepathy spell if far more likely to cause the effect you are looking for.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

For someone who just started with PF, I expect that they would probably open the NPC codex and perhaps find something that fits, or simply use the monsters from the bestiary to create encounters using the monsters as is.

Quick, easy, and you don't really have to do that much math.

Which is fine if you follow the model of going up in level means specific creatures and races become a cake-walk to overcome and greater threats are from large or larger monsters, which now become common place.

But there are going to be homebrewed campaigns that don't follow this model. There are or will be DMs who want races like Goblins and Orcs to be the center-piece villainy of their campaign and it's more difficult to do that when PCs gain power yet the monsters shown quickly approach the point where they're effectiveness wears off. Personally, I'm not a fan of that. It puts too much focus on the PCs becoming "Super" heroes as they gain levels in a too steep vertical power jump as compared to a more lower, horizontal slope that 5E aims at.

ie. as PCs get stronger the default is the challenges they face have to be bigger and more elaborate and on a bigger scale to compete. Orcs and Goblins and oozes don't cut it and are replaced with Dragons, Devils, and Liches.

GreyWolfLord wrote:


Heck, I've been playing PF for a little bit, and that's what I do already.

You don't have to spend any more time on encounter creation than other editions if you don't want to.

Sure unless I want an encounter to be specific and nothing in the Bestiary or NPC list suffices. Then what? I either come up with something that already incorporates what's already created OR I have to then take time to make it work. Sometimes the Bestiary doesn't have the sufficient creatures to fit in what I'd want them to do.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
Plus, if it really was that much trouble, someone probably could take a monster or NPC and reflavor them into that type of creature without having to create them from the ground up...at least that's what I would do.

I do that as well.....now.....that I've had 14 year (and 5 with PF) to tinker with the system to know how and what I want it to do. I also don't hold my monsters to the same standards as PCs, which is basically what I'm saying here. IN 3x/PF the idea is that all monsters, PCs, and NPCs share the same building blocks of creation and for me, as the DM, that can put unnecessary constraints on the type of monsters or encounters I'd like to run. 4E, and to a slightly less extent 5e, have the same method of monster design being that they don't have to specifically conform to having X-feat, Y-Class, or Z-Race combo to achieve what I want them to do.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
If one doesn't want to spend a ton of time creating NPC's and special enemies, why do it? There are tons of tools in PF that I've found to make it easy, quick, and painless.

Because I don't think the tools make it quick, easy, or painless.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
Addendum: Now 4e DOES have some rather easy to use monster creation rules for specific creatures, if you want...but it still takes someone with a little experience to be able to balance it out against a party. A novice may create one that wipes the party or is wiped easily.

Compared to 3E/PF I've personally found the process far less time consuming and more in-line with what I want my PCs to face. For example, taking my ferocious Orc Berserker from earlier had I wanted to have him face 4 PCs (or, 5 as 4E goes) then I simply tag on a Solo role, make him a Brute (lots of HP to soak up multiple rounds of combat), and express his damage total based off his level. His attacks could be dealing 2d10 + 8 and knock people down at-will and he'll probably get a two-attack feature plus probably a burst 1 feature. Add in an aura 1 that drops defenses and have him get +5 to Saving Throws and 2 Action Points and I'm basically done.

In 3.X/PF I have to make sure he has X, Y, and Z feat to use two large Battleaxes. He'll have to have specific stats for those Prerequisites too. He'll have to have quite a few magical weapons and items to defend against the array of magical might a party will bring against him and a way to threatening multiple foes in a standard action and I'll have to add class levels which in turn adds in all sorts of other class features that might or (more likely won't) be important for the encounter at hand. NOt to mention the skill ranks per level and you can't forget about Skill Synergy. And of course a good portion of his stats will change when I make him "rage" which ups everything Strength/Constitution-based by 2.

Basically there's a LOT more involved with just tacking on a few PC levels onto a normal Orc Warrior than there is just making an standard 4E Orc into a Solo encounter.

GreyWolfLord wrote:


PF also has tables which list average HD and HP as well as other things, and in some ways is equally as easy if you use it to create a unique monster. Just like 4e though, you could wipe the party or have the party wipe it if you are a novice using it.

I've played both systems so I'm probably biased in my opinion on the difficulty of both systems. Suffice to say that I felt it was easier to have unforeseen TPKs due to the danger of spells and Critical hits in 3.x/PF than in 4E.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
I rarely use the PF thing if I don't have to, but in a crunch, when running APs or something where I don't want to look up the stats of a monster right then (I don't take all the bestiaries with me), and trying to play it off the hoof...then it's a great way to do something on the fly.

Yea, I've used that before and it works in a pinch. Similar to 4E's compendium where if I want a specific power or ability, I'll just type in the level and role and grab something appropriate and just reflavor. Basically once the DM gets familiar with the system and is comfortable with the adjudication, coming up with stuff off the cuff becomes an easier trend. I just feel I achieved that level of comfort far faster with 4E than I did with 3.5 or Pathfinder. 5E is coming in quite closer to 4E than PF in this regard as well.


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goldomark wrote:
Wrath wrote:
- Remembering that all I really need to do is determine if a situation is advantage or not, rather than searching through hundreds off possible situational modifiers
Hundreds? Are you obligated to even give some?

Hundreds is certainly an exaggeration, sure. Still, with either 3.5 or PF you've got over 20 different status/situations that can modify the roll based on who is the attacker and who is the defender. Some of them rarely come up, sure, but I've definitely been there when we remember higher ground a moment too late, or spend another bit of time looking up entangled and trying to remember if it debuffs attacks or AC.

In 5E, you determine: Advantage or Disadvantage? Cover or No Cover? Pretty much all of the conditions feed into that. Sure, you may need to track individual spell buffs on top of that, but they are also going to much fewer in number due to the concentration limit on buffs.

goldomark wrote:
Give it time. Splat is on the way! In March the first splat book will arrive. Adventurer's Handbook. At 40$ I bet it will be thick with "brokenness".

I'm hopeful that the design of 5E will help keep brokenness in check. Expanding archetypes rather than designing entirely new classes seems like it provides room for growth without risking something new that completely unbalances things. Feats may be the more dangerous ground, but since you don't get a ton of them, and each is designed to be a 'high impact choice' balanced against a stat boost, I'm optimistic they can put more work into keeping them balanced against the existing ones.

Still, I was hopeful at the start of 4E as well, and it did eventually get a bit out of control. But it didn't have the same commitment to bounded accuracy that 5E has, which is a big part of where the numbers crept out of control in 4E.

goldomark wrote:
What I do not understand with this argument is why can't you control your PCs power level? You can say "no, that is too powerful".

Being able to directly control power level isn't the same as wanting to do so. The more a DM can trust the system to police itself, the easier it is to run the game. It takes a lot of work to try and remove anything that seems to become too strong, and it can cause friction between players and the DM if the rules they are using are constantly changing.

goldomark wrote:
I rememberd 2e with its stats that capped at 25 and PCs rarely had more than 19 in score. 3e really freed us from that paradigm. This is a huge step back. Players and DMs will feel constrained over time

I'm going to wait a bit before passing final judgement. But at least initially, it feels like a huge step forward. The big problem is if you *can* get your stats as high as possible, that becomes an impetus that you *must* do so to remain effective. When one character is running around at Str 30 most of the time, my Str 14 fellow has really trouble feeling like I am contributing along side them.

I can't remember - did 2nd Edition even have stat bumps as a leveling feature? How did stats grow in it?

I feel like, for me, having a more bounded area of stats - while combined with a more advanced stat generation and advancement system than we had in 2e - is hitting the sweet spot of being able to modify my stats to fit my character, without feeling like I need to maximize them or fall behind in effectiveness.


Matthew Koelbl wrote:
goldomark wrote:


I rememberd 2e with its stats that capped at 25 and PCs rarely had more than 19 in score. 3e really freed us from that paradigm. This is a huge step back. Players and DMs will feel constrained over time

I'm going to wait a bit before passing final judgement. But at least initially, it feels like a huge step forward. The big problem is if you *can* get your stats as high as possible, that becomes an impetus that you *must* do so to remain effective. When one character is running around at Str 30 most of the time, my Str 14 fellow has really trouble feeling like I am contributing along side them.

I can't remember - did 2nd Edition even have stat bumps as a leveling feature? How did stats grow in it?

I feel like, for me, having a more bounded area of stats - while combined with a more advanced stat generation and advancement system than we had in 2e - is hitting the sweet spot of being able to modify my stats to fit my character, without feeling like I need to maximize them or fall behind in effectiveness.

AD&D in both editions didn't have any built in stat bumps. Didn't even have standardized stat boost items. The strength ones, for example, set your strength to a specific score- Gauntlets of Ogre power or Belts of Giant strength.

There were books that could raise stats and I think wishes could do so as well. Some other strange often risky things. I don't recall doing either very often, other than in my early juvenile, Monty Haul games.

Stats growing really wasn't part of the paradigm and I didn't really feel constrained by it. You rolled your stats and that was the way it was. You didn't work your way up to being as strong as a giant or wiser than the gods.

Liberty's Edge

There are not many stat bonuses. What makes it annoying is that none of them stack together. So if I have a spell that gives a morale bonus. A cleric ability that also has a similar bonus they don't stack. Then their are spell that enhance the bonus as well. For example Moment of Greatness. A player cast bless. I cast the spell. The bonus from Bless is doubled for one roll. Then their is the rare untyped bonus which works with everything. Playing casters mostly I understand the math. Not every player does or wants to. I can fault them for either reason. At high level it gets worse. Despite what people say about the Palladium system most bonuses are easier to understand because the bonuses stack with each other. Nor as many imo.

5E seems to cut down on the math which to me at least is a good thing. For better or worse players and dms don't want to do too much work at the table. Again I can't fault them for that. I'm sure someone will post that it's a bad thing. Saying that players are lazy or whatever they feel the need to justify their dislike for easier rpgs.

Rules heavy games just don't seem to attract as many gamers like they used. With riles light rpgs why go through all the hassle. I think SJG would be in financial trouble if they did not have Munchkin to fall back on. Hero Games while not dead is definlty on life support. I can't see a sudden shift back to rules heavy rpgs in the community if ever. They offer more options and can do more sometimes that rules light rpgs. At the cost of complexity.


My gaming group has a retiree (who has barely progressed past 2nd) and a stroke victim (who lost his math skills as a result). If 5th ever releases digital tools there is a very high chance my group could switch. Although without them the chances are much, muh lower.

Scarab Sages

thejeff wrote:
AD&D in both editions didn't have any built in stat bumps.

Not globally, but the Cavalier from 1e Unearthed Arcana got d% bumps for training that could lead to increased ability scores.

Liberty's Edge

GreyWolfLord wrote:

OD&D - I can't say I like the three original booklets. They are somewhat confusing, and I never played chainmail, so had to always use the alternate system. I did enjoy it more when Greyhawk came out. That's perhaps the most significant book in RPGing for me that made ALL THE DIFFERENCE. It's a start, and it can be fun for nostalgia, but I think I prefer playing AD&D or B/X to OD&D.

Holmes - Well, I've played it, it was as good as any other basic set, which means it's better than almost any current basic/starter set that's come out in the past 5 years...with the exception of the PF beginner box.

B/X - It's actually pretty good, much simpler, and had a lot of weird things in relation to AD&D. Here we see races as classes for the first time.

One minor quibble: AD&D is where we saw non-humans as something that take classes. Before the PHB came out in 1978, Elves were elves, dwarves were dwarves, and none took class levels. Race as class was OD&D, Holmes, B/X, BECMI. All of them. ;-)

Also, Holmes, for being labelled "basic", was just a compilation and clean up of OD&D. It pretty much existed because of the issues you point out with OD&D.

Liberty's Edge

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David Bowles wrote:
Golarion

Biggest reason I bailed on PF.

Silver Crusade

"it feels like a huge step forward"

I can't see 5th as anything but a huge step back to 2nd ed. However, as memorax points out, maybe its a step the community wants to take. If 5th ed does kill Pathfinder, I can just go back to my "no rpg" phase if necessary. There's always Starcraft.

Silver Crusade

houstonderek wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Golarion
Biggest reason I bailed on PF.

I have my own setting in my homebrew. So Golarion doesn't matter to me.


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David Bowles wrote:
If 5th ed does kill Pathfinder, I can just go back to my "no rpg" phase if necessary. There's always Starcraft.

I don't think "killing" Pathfinder is even a possibility. In a world where C&C, 13th Age, and Numenera (and countless others) are all commercially viable, I think 5E and Pathfinder can co-exist. :)

Liberty's Edge

David Bowles wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Golarion
Biggest reason I bailed on PF.
I have my own setting in my homebrew. So Golarion doesn't matter to me.

Too bad the entire rules set exists to support Golarion, not vice versa.

Silver Crusade

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houstonderek wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Golarion
Biggest reason I bailed on PF.
I have my own setting in my homebrew. So Golarion doesn't matter to me.
Too bad the entire rules set exists to support Golarion, not vice versa.

I don't find this to be true, not anymore than AD+D existed to support Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms.

Silver Crusade

bugleyman wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
If 5th ed does kill Pathfinder, I can just go back to my "no rpg" phase if necessary. There's always Starcraft.
I don't think "killing" Pathfinder is even a possibility. In a world where C&C, 13th Age, and Numenera (and countless others) are all commercially viable, I think 5E and Pathfinder can co-exist. :)

" I can't see a sudden shift back to rules heavy rpgs in the community if ever."

That seems to be the claim here.

Liberty's Edge

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David Bowles wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Golarion
Biggest reason I bailed on PF.
I have my own setting in my homebrew. So Golarion doesn't matter to me.
Too bad the entire rules set exists to support Golarion, not vice versa.
I don't find this to be true, not anymore than AD+D existed to support Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms.

Yeah, because AD&D core was all about Greyhawk and FR. They added all kinds of stuff to core that was setting specific (other than some spell names, that is). Yeah, AD&D rules only existed to sell APs set in Greyhawk and to support the RPGA.

Please.

Shadow Lodge

houstonderek wrote:


One minor quibble: AD&D is where we saw non-humans as something that take classes. Before the PHB came out in 1978, Elves were elves, dwarves were dwarves, and none took class levels. Race as class was OD&D, Holmes, B/X, BECMI. All of them. ;-)

I may be wrong, its been a while since I looked thru them (S&W is so much better organized), but I think one of the OD&D supplements gave rules for demihumans of different classes.


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I prefer the 5th edition rules to the Pathfinder rules, yet I'm sticking with Pathfinder for other reasons. I doubt I'm the only one.

At worst, Paizo takes a hit and scales back releases somewhat (which might be a good thing).


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houstonderek wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Golarion
Biggest reason I bailed on PF.
I have my own setting in my homebrew. So Golarion doesn't matter to me.
Too bad the entire rules set exists to support Golarion, not vice versa.

The Pathfinder ruleset exists to support Golarion as much as the 3rd edition ruleset existed to support Greyhawk. As in, it doesn't. The Pathfinder ruleset is as generic as the 2nd edition ruleset. They can be used to support any fantasy setting you want. Some may require slight changes, but that's true for any version of D&D (which Pathfinder is). As Gygax said, If you aren't using houserules, you are doing it wrong.

Silver Crusade

Adjule wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Golarion
Biggest reason I bailed on PF.
I have my own setting in my homebrew. So Golarion doesn't matter to me.
Too bad the entire rules set exists to support Golarion, not vice versa.
The Pathfinder ruleset exists to support Golarion as much as the 3rd edition ruleset existed to support Greyhawk. As in, it doesn't. The Pathfinder ruleset is as generic as the 2nd edition ruleset. They can be used to support any fantasy setting you want. Some may require slight changes, but that's true for any version of D&D (which Pathfinder is). As Gygax said, If you aren't using houserules, you are doing it wrong.

I pretty much disagree with Gygax's philosophy about everything, but I agree that Pathfinder is pretty generic. At least, I haven't had any problems adapting the rules to my world.


David Bowles wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
If 5th ed does kill Pathfinder, I can just go back to my "no rpg" phase if necessary. There's always Starcraft.
I don't think "killing" Pathfinder is even a possibility. In a world where C&C, 13th Age, and Numenera (and countless others) are all commercially viable, I think 5E and Pathfinder can co-exist. :)

" I can't see a sudden shift back to rules heavy rpgs in the community if ever."

That seems to be the claim here.

Why? The claim seems to me to be more like "Given how many different rpgs are currently co-existing, it seems unlikely that 5E will kill PF."

I'm not sure how true that is though. Paizo has grown quite a bit. Dropping back down to the niche status of some of the other rpgs would be pretty traumatic and could well kill the company. I doubt that would happen, mind you. I suspect Paizo will weather the advent of 5E quite well. There are plenty of people who like the product they're putting out. They'll compete just fine.

Even in the worst case scenario, Paizo going out of business doesn't take your PF books away from you. Especially since you're not using their setting or adventures, you should be able to play on indefinitely.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

In my opinion, 5E is much more of a "threat" to OSRIC games - or would be, if there were a commercially successful one.

5E and PF seem to be targeting different players. As a fan of both companies, I'm hopeful they both thrive.

Silver Crusade

Umm yeah. Given the choice, I would pick 5th ed every day and twice on Fridays.


Diffan wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Try making an Orc Barbarian who dual-wields large great axes AND is suitable for a solo encounter vs. 4 PCs and you'll end up making him several levels higher and requiring him to have a plethora of magical gear just so he doesn't go down in the 1st round of combat.
Adding a few levels is that problematic?
For someone who's been playing the system for 14 years? No.

Have you been playing for 14 years?

Silver Crusade

I must admit I kind of like how 5th ed implemented the subclasses under the main classes, but it makes me sad how much less interesting an eldritch knight in 5th is than a magus in Pathfinder.


Bluenose wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Quote:
Most of the fiat I see is often regarding lack of rules clarity and, to a lesser extent, on specific situation adjudication.
Fascinating. Since both 4e and 5e are so rules light this means DM needs to adjudicate all sort of specific situations. DM fiat must be off the charts!
Is that sarcasm?

It was! But not the part you thought I was sarcastic about.

Quote:
Because I don't know anyone who'd seriously describe either 4e or 5e as rules light systems.

Compared to 3.X, of course. Maybe less"complex rules" would be more to your liking? Like no grapple rules in 4e and 5e.

Silver Crusade

No grapple? BOOO. There's nothing better than grappling some snarky caster type.


Diffan wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Diffan wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Can't be that, since an edition that came out around that time did it's best to marginalize the role of the DM as much as possible.

It is funny, because a lot of people keeping complaining about DM fiat in 3.X.

Really? About what?
I do not know. I never complained about DM fiat.
So you said that people were complaining about DM fiat in 3e but don't know what or why? I guess I'm confused.

So am I. I never had that problem with DM fiat in 3.x, but a lot of people complain about DM fiat. Like you below.

Quote:
goldomark wrote:
Quote:
Most of the fiat I see is often regarding lack of rules clarity and, to a lesser extent, on specific situation adjudication.
Fascinating. Since both 4e and 5e are so rules light this means DM needs to adjudicate all sort of specific situations. DM fiat must be off the charts!
4e isn't rules light, however the rules are pretty clearly defined which cuts down significantly on fiat. As for 5e, fiat is not only a common element within the system but heavily encouraged.

So there is DM fiat with 3.x. According to you.

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