5th Edition vs Pathfinder Critique


4th Edition

651 to 700 of 1,086 << first < prev | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | next > last >>
Silver Crusade

I guess I have been unlucky in my history of GMs. I find that more jaded players have a tendency to prefer crunchier systems. I am one of those players I suppose.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

in my experience 3.5 is the only system that moved seriously towards a "gm as neutral body" stance. Every other role playing game I have played (somewhere in the 20 region) recognises and embraces the fact that the GM is the ultimate arbitrator of the game. Personally I think 3.5 and PF gives a great illusion of player control that just does not exist.

"Ok you enter the first room of the dungeon and there is an ancient red dragon" "But we are second level" "Roll initative.."


I agree that 3.5 is the only one that went so far as to be DM neutral, but most non D&D systems acknowledge that while the DM is the final arbitrator, there are significant things, especially when it comes to character progression and development and access to new equipment, that are firmly largely, if not entirely, within the control of the player. D&D has never achieved that kind of balance. Officially, it's always either "DM controls everything" or "DM is just another player that happens to run the monsters and NPCs." And the gaming community surrounding the brand does little to soften that all or nothing approach. To me, it's one of the biggest reasons that I'm starting to get weary of new D&D editions, and even to a certain extent, getting weary of PF.

I like the idea of a system where the DM has final say, but I just don't think that the overall community or company support is there to keep it from going off the deep end into DM controls everything, including a great many things they shouldn't.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

DM control is generally only a problem if your DM is an jerk. If he is, find another DM, because no matter what you can craft / acquire, the DM can always outgun you. If he's a jerk. If he's not, no problem. My 2 cp.


GMs bring different experiences and biases to the table, just like anyone else. They don't have to be "jerks" for there to be a clash between what one person thinks is reasonable and what another does, just differences in their experiences or their beliefs about the genre you're playing. If the GM wants/expects a different style of game to the player then you can expect them to clash regardless of the degree of control exerted over the game, though they'll probably be more frequent with a more "controlling" GM.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
sunshadow21 wrote:

I agree that 3.5 is the only one that went so far as to be DM neutral, but most non D&D systems acknowledge that while the DM is the final arbitrator, there are significant things, especially when it comes to character progression and development and access to new equipment, that are firmly largely, if not entirely, within the control of the player. D&D has never achieved that kind of balance. Officially, it's always either "DM controls everything" or "DM is just another player that happens to run the monsters and NPCs." And the gaming community surrounding the brand does little to soften that all or nothing approach. To me, it's one of the biggest reasons that I'm starting to get weary of new D&D editions, and even to a certain extent, getting weary of PF.

I like the idea of a system where the DM has final say, but I just don't think that the overall community or company support is there to keep it from going off the deep end into DM controls everything, including a great many things they shouldn't.

I would disagree from my observation that "most" non D&D systems offer progression, development and access to equipment solely in players hands. Vampire? Nope, special equipment is earned via roleplay (aka no unilateral crafting), disciplines out of the standard clan 3 are Storyteller permission. Shadowrun, equipment availability is GM realm, I do not recall a crafting system. Tunnels and Trolls? Same as 1st ed DND for loot and advancement. Pendragon is a strange beast where some "advancement" was even out of the players hands via random winter events. No crafting that I can recall. Numenera, GM literally hands out the cyphers and artifacts as a core part of the game. 13th age has no crafting that I can recall, multiclassing is GM permission. I could go on.

I totally get that a bad GM makes a bad game. Some people should not GM. Vote with your feet. I just personally feel that a system that trys to "even the paying field" ends up hurting the game in ways that I do not enjoy. The symptoms in PF of this that bother me are:

- Expectation of magic items in your stats
- Players have the "right" to exchange gold and time for their choice of magic item
- The CR and wealth by level making just utterly unrealistic scenarios where the solution is to "loosen your blade" because you never face an unbalanced fight

I don't hate the above things about PF, but frankly they stop me telling the types of stories that I enjoy telling. I fell that 5e better allows me to tell stories that are close to my interest, complex roleplay, dangerous, dark, horror laden stories.


David Bowles wrote:
I guess I have been unlucky in my history of GMs. I find that more jaded players have a tendency to prefer crunchier systems. I am one of those players I suppose.

You have my sympathy (no snark or sarcasm here, btw). I played with my good friends and our DM was never "out to get us" so I only have positive experiences, thus I do not have the same concerns over DM control.

In the old days of gaming (70's-90's) I think people mostly just gamed with their friends (except for the occasional convention game) and this issue with overbearing DM's wasn't as much of a problem. The advent of organized play which sets a bunch of strangers at a table together probably necessitated the massive codification of rules and giving greater authority to the players.


Alan_Beven wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:

I agree that 3.5 is the only one that went so far as to be DM neutral, but most non D&D systems acknowledge that while the DM is the final arbitrator, there are significant things, especially when it comes to character progression and development and access to new equipment, that are firmly largely, if not entirely, within the control of the player. D&D has never achieved that kind of balance. Officially, it's always either "DM controls everything" or "DM is just another player that happens to run the monsters and NPCs." And the gaming community surrounding the brand does little to soften that all or nothing approach. To me, it's one of the biggest reasons that I'm starting to get weary of new D&D editions, and even to a certain extent, getting weary of PF.

I like the idea of a system where the DM has final say, but I just don't think that the overall community or company support is there to keep it from going off the deep end into DM controls everything, including a great many things they shouldn't.

I would disagree from my observation that "most" non D&D systems offer progression, development and access to equipment solely in players hands. Vampire? Nope, special equipment is earned via roleplay (aka no unilateral crafting), disciplines out of the standard clan 3 are Storyteller permission. Shadowrun, equipment availability is GM realm, I do not recall a crafting system. Tunnels and Trolls? Same as 1st ed DND for loot and advancement. Pendragon is a strange beast where some "advancement" was even out of the players hands via random winter events. No crafting that I can recall. Numenera, GM literally hands out the cyphers and artifacts as a core part of the game. 13th age has no crafting that I can recall, multiclassing is GM permission. I could go on.

Also, many other systems rely far less heavily on loot as a motivator and found or purchased gear as a fundamental part of a characters power. In some equipment beyond the basics isn't really an issue at all, in others you buy special gear with character resources rather than wealth. Point buy systems often do that.

There are also systems that take even more control out of the GM's hands. Usually using some kind of narrative mechanic to place some parts of the GM's control of the world into the player's hands. Very different systems and not really to my taste, but far more effective at limiting GM power than anything 3.x has done.


Logan1138 wrote:
In the old days of gaming (70's-90's) I think people mostly just gamed with their friends (except for the occasional convention game) and this issue with overbearing DM's wasn't as much of a problem. The advent of organized play which sets a bunch of strangers at a table together probably necessitated the massive codification of rules and giving greater authority to the players.

That is an excellent point. I have only played at one convention, and it was a fairly poor experience, so I can certainly understand the potential need for codification in these circumstances. It is a shame that this codification spills over so much into the home games.


thejeff wrote:
There are also systems that take even more control out of the GM's hands. Usually using some kind of narrative mechanic to place some parts of the GM's control of the world into the player's hands. Very different systems and not really to my taste, but far more effective at limiting GM power than anything 3.x has done.

Interesting, I have never seen one of these that I can recall. Do you recall the name of the system I would be interested in taking a look!

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Logan1138 wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
I guess I have been unlucky in my history of GMs. I find that more jaded players have a tendency to prefer crunchier systems. I am one of those players I suppose.

You have my sympathy (no snark or sarcasm here, btw). I played with my good friends and our DM was never "out to get us" so I only have positive experiences, thus I do not have the same concerns over DM control.

In the old days of gaming (70's-90's) I think people mostly just gamed with their friends (except for the occasional convention game) and this issue with overbearing DM's wasn't as much of a problem. The advent of organized play which sets a bunch of strangers at a table together probably necessitated the massive codification of rules and giving greater authority to the players.

I knew some fine people that became controlling jerks as soon as they put on their "DM" hat. Controlling and playing favorites. The two horsemen of the roleplaying apocalypse.

The whole DM thing is one of the reasons why I prefer wargaming to roleplaying.


Alan_Beven wrote:
thejeff wrote:
There are also systems that take even more control out of the GM's hands. Usually using some kind of narrative mechanic to place some parts of the GM's control of the world into the player's hands. Very different systems and not really to my taste, but far more effective at limiting GM power than anything 3.x has done.
Interesting, I have never seen one of these that I can recall. Do you recall the name of the system I would be interested in taking a look!

Most varieties of Fate play that way. It's very explicit about making world/campaign building a co-operative process, and there are ways to add Aspects to scenes when the GM hasn't mentioned them. The Heroquest RPG (Robin Laws second edition is my preference) treats magic items as just another Ability or perhaps Keyword, and that means that a character is as entitled to pay the cost to have one as they are to pay the cost to develop/cement any other ability or keyword. The One Ring let's you spend XP/AP to raise your Wisdom or Valour, and the second gives you special items that are the closest thing to magic the system provides.


Bluenose wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
thejeff wrote:
There are also systems that take even more control out of the GM's hands. Usually using some kind of narrative mechanic to place some parts of the GM's control of the world into the player's hands. Very different systems and not really to my taste, but far more effective at limiting GM power than anything 3.x has done.
Interesting, I have never seen one of these that I can recall. Do you recall the name of the system I would be interested in taking a look!
Most varieties of Fate play that way. It's very explicit about making world/campaign building a co-operative process, and there are ways to add Aspects to scenes when the GM hasn't mentioned them. The Heroquest RPG (Robin Laws second edition is my preference) treats magic items as just another Ability or perhaps Keyword, and that means that a character is as entitled to pay the cost to have one as they are to pay the cost to develop/cement any other ability or keyword. The One Ring let's you spend XP/AP to raise your Wisdom or Valour, and the second gives you special items that are the closest thing to magic the system provides.

Awesome thanks!! I have never read any of these systems, keen to learn some more. I hear good things about Fate.


Alan_Beven wrote:
thejeff wrote:
There are also systems that take even more control out of the GM's hands. Usually using some kind of narrative mechanic to place some parts of the GM's control of the world into the player's hands. Very different systems and not really to my taste, but far more effective at limiting GM power than anything 3.x has done.
Interesting, I have never seen one of these that I can recall. Do you recall the name of the system I would be interested in taking a look!

A lot of the indie games that came out of Forge do so to one extent or another.

Dogs In the Vineyard is one of the most well known. Fiasco is another.

Like I said, they're not really my cup of tea, so I'm mostly going by what others have said about them, not actual play experience.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alan_Beven wrote:
Awesome thanks!! I have never read any of these systems, keen to learn some more. I hear good things about Fate.

The thing to remember is that in all games it still comes down to GM control. A GM can always refuse to let something happen and I can't say that I have seen a single system that doesn't explicitly state this. Even FATE declarations that have been referred to here don't have to be allowed by the GM, it just gives a mechanic for players to generate story points/twists that the GM can accept if he feels that it is reasonable and/or fits the story.

While I err on the side of whatever is the most fun for the players, I will never let a rule in a book have the final say in how things will be run in my game. There can be the most detailed and balanced rules for crafting magic items ever and I will ignore them if it doesn't fit the campaign. As James Jacobs has said in his thread numerous times when asked how something would work, "It depends on the kind of story we are trying to tell."


Nim Folkor wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
Awesome thanks!! I have never read any of these systems, keen to learn some more. I hear good things about Fate.

The thing to remember is that in all games it still comes down to GM control. A GM can always refuse to let something happen and I can't say that I have seen a single system that doesn't explicitly state this. Even FATE declarations that have been referred to here don't have to be allowed by the GM, it just gives a mechanic for players to generate story points/twists that the GM can accept if he feels that it is reasonable and/or fits the story.

While I err on the side of whatever is the most fun for the players, I will never let a rule in a book have the final say in how things will be run in my game. There can be the most detailed and balanced rules for crafting magic items ever and I will ignore them if it doesn't fit the campaign. As James Jacobs has said in his thread numerous times when asked how something would work, "It depends on the kind of story we are trying to tell."

And even without invoking Rule Zero and holding strictly to RAW in all cases, the GM has vast latitude over designing encounters and controlling the behavior of NPCs. It's in world and adventure creation that the GM's power is most apparent.

The only way this can be avoided might be to strictly use only published adventures with no modifications or improvisations. Something like PFS does. But that is incredibly limiting. Reducing the RPG experience to only what someone who doesn't know the group or even how previous adventures have played out can set up ahead of time.
Mind you, I can see it as a worthwhile compromise for organized play since most the rules exist to allow many random players to participate.

Scarab Sages

5 people marked this as a favorite.
David Bowles wrote:
I knew some fine people that became controlling jerks as soon as they put on their "DM" hat. Controlling and playing favorites. The two horsemen of the roleplaying apocalypse.

IME, I've had lots more games ruined by bad players than by bad DMs. I've seen as the rules have become more codified, this has exacerbated the problems with bad players. Empowering the players empowers the bad players too. Ultimately, the DM is responsible for ensuring that the whole table has fun.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
davrion wrote:
Empowering the players empowers the bad players too. Ultimately, the DM is responsible for ensuring that the whole table has fun.

How dare you imply I am not entitled to play a flying noble drow giant octopus druid/monk.

Scarab Sages

Artanthos wrote:
davrion wrote:
Empowering the players empowers the bad players too. Ultimately, the DM is responsible for ensuring that the whole table has fun.
How dare you imply I am not entitled to play a flying noble drow giant octopus druid/monk.

With more DM control, all druid/monk hybrids become drunks!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Stylistically (the art, race and class descriptions, etc.), do you prefer the 5th Ed. style or the Pathfinder style?

Both have their merits. Both are pretty inspirational on how to play. I think the Pathfinder ones get into the nitty gritty, but it takes time for some to accept what is happening. The Alchemist in PF is a good example. I didn't like how they made the Alchemist a caster class, but I realized that it didn't matter if the class was according to style. It's officially a casting class, but I see it as a non-casting class.

On the other hand, 5e puts more effort in putting the "i" in imagination (as in i standing for imaginary numbers in mathematics), rather than a bland description. Although the Barbarian still does not belong as a class, the various races and classes all have a wonderful personality in their descriptions that make you think of them.

On art, PF sticks to Dungeon Punk. All of the iconics are no-nonsense, "don't mess with me!" types that seem to have a Rambo attitude. Or they are all descendants of Rambo, or at least Hot Shots part Deux, where Charlie Sheen takes a machine gun and racks up a lot more kills than the Rambo movies . . . The PF iconics all look determined and have a potential for spreading violence.

5th Edition tries to go the other way. The art looks inspiring, and a lot of the art reminds me of Victorian Romances. There is no longer much of any "Dungeon Punk." There is a lot of pre-Raphaelite art in the 5e PHB, and the Monster Book has a mixture of styles. D&D has gotten back to it's roots, and as a way of competing, they are presenting themselves as a throwback to a time when D&D represented the Wonder Works of our imagination.

Mechanically, what did it do better than Pathfinder?

It cleaned everything up and compacted the system into something that is easy to learn, and easy to use. The feats are what they should be, extra class abilities. Although there are too much class abilities to my taste, there are enough to play terrifically well as that class.

The skill system is given a clean up and an overall, and there are room for possibly more skills. So, the D&D 5e system can potentially be skill based but you don't have to play it as skill based, if you know what I mean.

Mechanically, what did it do worse than Pathfinder?

There are some things I don't like. Playing the system now, so I can't answer that reasonably well.

Among those things it did better, can or should any of them be translated to the PF system?

The way 5e works feats, saves, and the skill system should be a part of a PF light.

Among those things it did worse, was the PF mechanic the clearly superior option, or could they be fixed with small tweaks?

I have no idea. I'm still playing through the game, so I need to see how the rules work. :)


Zardnaar wrote:
Bluenose wrote:

The "Big Six":

Magic weapon
Magic armour (and sometimes shield) or bracers of armour
Ring of protection
Cloak of resistance
Amulet of natural armour
Ability-score boosters (headband of intellect for a wizard, for example)

Different classes have different priorities for these, some may prefer other items, but those are the basic set.

This is more of a problem with 3.x type games. Basically when you give players the ability to buy magic items these ones obsolete the other items and a rational player will want the best bang for their buck (gp).

The Magic item compendium in 3.5 started selling other types of items cheaper than the DMG.

This is why I like AD&D and 5E better than 3E and 4E in this regard. It removes the pressure of buying the most bang for your buck. It also sets the expectation that level=power so finding a +3 sword with special abilities is a no no in 3.x games while in AD&D some of those adventures have things like frost brand swords that are intelligent where you can get them by level 6 or so.

Magic items could have a sell price attached to them but they need to remove the player ability to be able to buy what they like. Also cuts down on power gaming so PCs can't build powerful combos of the perfect item they need. Keen weapons in 3.5/PF for power attack builds, a frost weapon for frostcheese in 4E.

I'm playing Pathfinder and prefer it right now, but I do agree that the obligatory nature of "plus" magic items in 3.x depreciates unique items. I would be surprised if some limitations on buying magic items are NOT suggested in the upcoming Pathfinder Unchained.


Alan_Beven wrote:

I would disagree from my observation that "most" non D&D systems offer progression, development and access to equipment solely in players hands. Vampire? Nope, special equipment is earned via roleplay (aka no unilateral crafting), disciplines out of the standard clan 3 are Storyteller permission. Shadowrun, equipment availability is GM realm, I do not recall a crafting system. Tunnels and Trolls? Same as 1st ed DND for loot and advancement. Pendragon is a strange beast where some "advancement" was even out of the players hands via random winter events. No crafting that I can recall. Numenera, GM literally hands out the cyphers and artifacts as a core part of the game. 13th age has no crafting that I can recall, multiclassing is GM permission. I could go on.

I totally get that a bad GM makes a bad game. Some people should not GM. Vote with your feet. I just personally feel that a system that trys to "even the paying field" ends up hurting the game in ways that I...

Of the ones listed I've played, I found with both Shadowrun and Pendragon that large portions of character development are things that DMs have no say in.

Shadowrun, you start with contact points, and if you choose to use them to give your character a supplier of equipment, the DM cannot legitimately cut you off of equipment upgrades directly; also you can take talents that give you access to restricted gear at character creation, giving the player a bit more control if they need it.

Pendragon, even with random winter phase events, still guarantees some kind of growth and development every year; it's also set up so that the player chooses where precisely that development is. Gear is less of a concern and generally assumed to be more or less present, at least as far as the common stuff is concerned, meaning that the DM has to actively avoid giving it out if they don't want players to have stuff.

In both cases, both sides share responsibility for areas that continually cause problems in D&D because they aren't clearly player driven or clearly DM driven. From what I've seen of Vampire's system, it's very similar. Nothing is completely player driven, but very, very few systems rely solely on the DM for key aspects of PC development.

The D&D setups of either having the DM control all access to equipment, even mundane basic equipment, or allowing magic marts that bypass the DM entirely both fall flat on their face given the other options out there in that regard. Some games, like Pendragon, avoid the problem entirely by simply not making equipment that much of a major detail. Others, like Shadowrun, provide players limited access that while it does still require DM interaction, is not regulated entirely by the DM.

Similarly, from what I've read about 5E's classes, there isn't a whole lot of choices to make once you choose you subclass; feats help, but still comprise no more than half of your overall abilities, again not much when you look at what other systems do. Even 3.x/PF is fairly limited in the options that players have once they pick a race and a class; it has skill points, and freedom to multiclass (which especially in PF is not that great of an option), but that's about all it has beyond what I've seen with 5E. It's still not much compared to other systems out there. Other systems allow DMs to control when the PCs get to grow by determining how much karma they get and when, or similar setups, but even then, players have a lot more control is shaping that development.

In the end, D&D is the only one I've seen that truly makes the DM god and requires the player to go through the DM for absolutely everything (or in the case of 3.x/PF, virtually nothing). Virtually every other game (at least that I've seen) works in some kind of way to share control of a lot of the grey areas that develop between the character and their interaction with the world.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Artanthos wrote:
davrion wrote:
Empowering the players empowers the bad players too. Ultimately, the DM is responsible for ensuring that the whole table has fun.
How dare you imply I am not entitled to play a flying noble drow giant octopus druid/monk.

Try eclipse phase for this archtype


Alan_Beven wrote:
thejeff wrote:
There are also systems that take even more control out of the GM's hands. Usually using some kind of narrative mechanic to place some parts of the GM's control of the world into the player's hands. Very different systems and not really to my taste, but far more effective at limiting GM power than anything 3.x has done.
Interesting, I have never seen one of these that I can recall. Do you recall the name of the system I would be interested in taking a look!

This is tongue in cheek

Talisman
Runebound
Prophecy
Dungeon

Yeah, the RP boardgames.


In GURPS it's assumed that the GM will decide which options players can spend their points on, both during initial creation and later growth. I don't play Hero, but I would be shocked if it was any different in that regard. Both systems are far too open ended to allow for any kind of world building unless the GM limits character options to what is appropriate for the campaign.


JoeJ wrote:

In GURPS it's assumed that the GM will decide which options players can spend their points on, both during initial creation and later growth. I don't play Hero, but I would be shocked if it was any different in that regard. Both systems are far too open ended to allow for any kind of world building unless the GM limits character options to what is appropriate for the campaign.

Very definitely. Though I've usually played Hero for Superheroes (Champions) where little is outright banned. Fantasy hero though, you don't just randomly take any of the powers in the books.


thejeff wrote:
Superheroes (Champions) where little is outright banned. Fantasy hero though, you don't just randomly take any of the powers in the books.

Exactly. One of the first steps I would undertake in setting up a Fantasy Hero is designing the magic system.

This sort of thing is why I no longer run Fantasy Hero (though I have a soft spot for it). :P


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Artanthos wrote:
davrion wrote:
Empowering the players empowers the bad players too. Ultimately, the DM is responsible for ensuring that the whole table has fun.
How dare you imply I am not entitled to play a flying noble drow giant octopus druid/monk.

"Yes, I know that the posted announcement said it would be a game based on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and I see that the other party members are two human fighters, a human cavalier, and a human paladin, but my ratfolk witch/alchemist really isn't any more powerful mechanically than the paladin so I don't see what your objection is."

Silver Crusade

HERO system is so good for creativity. I really miss playing it. For whatever reason, the GMs I had for that game were much more fun and easygoing than DnD GMs.


@sunshadow21 agree with your points that most games share responsibility between players and GM. I like that a lot. My point was that those systems do not remove the GM from the equation entirely, and most encourage and allow the GM to engage in world and campaign building by limiting player options to those that make sense to the campaign. Which to my mind is the only approach that makes any real sense.

Webstore Gninja Minion

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed several posts and their replies. Please don't trivialize rape by using it as an off-handed and hyperbolic example of old school gaming.
Also, an additional warning to not turn this into a "My game is better than you game" snipe-fest. Let's not do that. There's plenty of room in gaming for all kinds of games.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alan_Beven wrote:
@sunshadow21 agree with your points that most games share responsibility between players and GM. I like that a lot. My point was that those systems do not remove the GM from the equation entirely, and most encourage and allow the GM to engage in world and campaign building by limiting player options to those that make sense to the campaign. Which to my mind is the only approach that makes any real sense.

Most systems, though, require that the DM does most of that work before the players are even invited to play in the campaign. D&D is one of the few that allows a DM to start from scratch after the players have already sat down with their dice, and that is both it's biggest strength and biggest weakness. Once others are involved, DMs have to be willing to give up some (not all, but some) of their creative freedom and power in order for the others to feel at least somewhat engaged, and D&D not only does not encourage this, it does not even particularly facilitate it.

Some of the best games I've been in have been D&D, because of the freedom and lack of limits, but all of the worst ones I've been in have been non-3.x D&D, for exactly the same reason. That's a big reason why 4E struggled, and I can see it being a problem for 5E as well. With the right group, 5E could be a lot of fun, but it will be very easy for a lot of people to have one bad experience that makes them refuse to even think about trying it again. It's going to be far too easy for a DM to make 5E a DM's game with the players just along for the ride; 4E had that exact same problem, and not only did they repeat it, but they amplified it. That amplification, along with a very limited release schedule for support, is going to be a major challenge. This isn't 1980 anymore; players have enough other options for entertainment, not only in the tabletop game market, but overall, that a game that flat out glorifies the role of the DM while actively limiting what anyone else can do without the DM's attention is going to struggle in the wider market once the shine wears off.

5E doesn't do anything wrong, it just doesn't stop when it starts going in a single direction. To limit magic, they not only made concentration the rule rather than the exception, but they limited spell slots. They didn't just take away magic marts, they didn't even bother list prices to serve as starting point and comparison tool. When they finally stopped, they hadn't just limited the ability of the player to interact with the world while the DM was working with another player, they completely removed it. To me, every fix went one step farther than necessary, making it that much harder for the player to functionally share in the story being told. I'd rather have a system where I can look something up and ask the DM a reasonably detailed and straight forward question once he has a free moment rather than having for each person take five minutes at a time with the DM trying to figure out basic stuff that a rules book could answer, or at least help define the question, just as easily and far more quickly. The pre-3rd edition approach that 5E is taking does not allow that, and that will limit it's long term appeal to a lot of players, especially new ones that are used to video games.


sunshadow21 wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
@sunshadow21 agree with your points that most games share responsibility between players and GM. I like that a lot. My point was that those systems do not remove the GM from the equation entirely, and most encourage and allow the GM to engage in world and campaign building by limiting player options to those that make sense to the campaign. Which to my mind is the only approach that makes any real sense.
Most systems, though, require that the DM does most of that work before the players are even invited to play in the campaign. D&D is one of the few that allows a DM to start from scratch after the players have already sat down with their dice, and that is both it's biggest strength and biggest weakness. Once others are involved, DMs have to be willing to give up some (not all, but some) of their creative freedom and power in order for the others to feel at least somewhat engaged, and D&D not only does not encourage this, it does not even particularly facilitate it.

I don't understand this point. Is it common in D&D for the GM to not do world, campaign or adventure building until the group sits down at the table? People talk about putting a lot of effort into prepping published adventures in published settings.

If you can do that in D&D, why can't you do it with other systems?

What do you mean by "start from scratch"?
How do other games do this differently? Why could I not start from scratch playing Fantasy Hero, for example? Or how do other systems encourage GMs to share their creative freedom and power in ways that D&D doesn't?


sunshadow21 wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
@sunshadow21 agree with your points that most games share responsibility between players and GM. I like that a lot. My point was that those systems do not remove the GM from the equation entirely, and most encourage and allow the GM to engage in world and campaign building by limiting player options to those that make sense to the campaign. Which to my mind is the only approach that makes any real sense.

Most systems, though, require that the DM does most of that work before the players are even invited to play in the campaign. D&D is one of the few that allows a DM to start from scratch after the players have already sat down with their dice, and that is both it's biggest strength and biggest weakness. Once others are involved, DMs have to be willing to give up some (not all, but some) of their creative freedom and power in order for the others to feel at least somewhat engaged, and D&D not only does not encourage this, it does not even particularly facilitate it.

Some of the best games I've been in have been D&D, because of the freedom and lack of limits, but all of the worst ones I've been in have been non-3.x D&D, for exactly the same reason. That's a big reason why 4E struggled, and I can see it being a problem for 5E as well. With the right group, 5E could be a lot of fun, but it will be very easy for a lot of people to have one bad experience that makes them refuse to even think about trying it again. It's going to be far too easy for a DM to make 5E a DM's game with the players just along for the ride; 4E had that exact same problem, and not only did they repeat it, but they amplified it. That amplification, along with a very limited release schedule for support, is going to be a major challenge. This isn't 1980 anymore; players have enough other options for entertainment, not only in the tabletop game market, but overall, that a game that flat out glorifies the role of the DM while actively limiting what anyone else can do without the DM's attention is going to...

Sounds like player entitlement to me. No DM no game is my opinion.


Zardnaar wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
@sunshadow21 agree with your points that most games share responsibility between players and GM. I like that a lot. My point was that those systems do not remove the GM from the equation entirely, and most encourage and allow the GM to engage in world and campaign building by limiting player options to those that make sense to the campaign. Which to my mind is the only approach that makes any real sense.

Most systems, though, require that the DM does most of that work before the players are even invited to play in the campaign. D&D is one of the few that allows a DM to start from scratch after the players have already sat down with their dice, and that is both it's biggest strength and biggest weakness. Once others are involved, DMs have to be willing to give up some (not all, but some) of their creative freedom and power in order for the others to feel at least somewhat engaged, and D&D not only does not encourage this, it does not even particularly facilitate it.

Some of the best games I've been in have been D&D, because of the freedom and lack of limits, but all of the worst ones I've been in have been non-3.x D&D, for exactly the same reason. That's a big reason why 4E struggled, and I can see it being a problem for 5E as well. With the right group, 5E could be a lot of fun, but it will be very easy for a lot of people to have one bad experience that makes them refuse to even think about trying it again. It's going to be far too easy for a DM to make 5E a DM's game with the players just along for the ride; 4E had that exact same problem, and not only did they repeat it, but they amplified it. That amplification, along with a very limited release schedule for support, is going to be a major challenge. This isn't 1980 anymore; players have enough other options for entertainment, not only in the tabletop game market, but overall, that a game that flat out glorifies the role of the DM while actively limiting what anyone else can do without the

Sounds like player entitlement to me. No DM no game is my opinion.

And the can of worms has been opened. Be prepared for people saying "No players no game is my opinion."


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

It certainly seems to me that 5E was designed to cater to the old school game players rather than the pathfinder players. As such, it's no surprise to me that it's skewed more heavily to the DM-fiat end of the spectrum, rather than the clear-codified-rules-for-everything end of the spectrum.

I think there's a correlation between whether one prefers Pathfinder or prefers the older style of game and where one thinks the 'power' should sit between player and DM.

Shadow Lodge

thejeff wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
@sunshadow21 agree with your points that most games share responsibility between players and GM. I like that a lot. My point was that those systems do not remove the GM from the equation entirely, and most encourage and allow the GM to engage in world and campaign building by limiting player options to those that make sense to the campaign. Which to my mind is the only approach that makes any real sense.
Most systems, though, require that the DM does most of that work before the players are even invited to play in the campaign. D&D is one of the few that allows a DM to start from scratch after the players have already sat down with their dice, and that is both it's biggest strength and biggest weakness. Once others are involved, DMs have to be willing to give up some (not all, but some) of their creative freedom and power in order for the others to feel at least somewhat engaged, and D&D not only does not encourage this, it does not even particularly facilitate it.

I don't understand this point. Is it common in D&D for the GM to not do world, campaign or adventure building until the group sits down at the table? People talk about putting a lot of effort into prepping published adventures in published settings.

If you can do that in D&D, why can't you do it with other systems?

What do you mean by "start from scratch"?
How do other games do this differently? Why could I not start from scratch playing Fantasy Hero, for example? Or how do other systems encourage GMs to share their creative freedom and power in ways that D&D doesn't?

Yeah, I'm not sure where he's getting the idea that DMs in D&D usually just wing it. That's kind of antithetical to every bit of my experience with the eystem.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:

It certainly seems to me that 5E was designed to cater to the old school game players rather than the pathfinder players. As such, it's no surprise to me that it's skewed more heavily to the DM-fiat end of the spectrum, rather than the clear-codified-rules-for-everything end of the spectrum.

I think there's a correlation between whether one prefers Pathfinder or prefers the older style of game and where one thinks the 'power' should sit between player and DM.

By necessity, D&D 5E had to differentiate from Pathfinder. It was never going to win back the adherents to the edition they had abandoned.

From a microeconomics perspective, it makes sense. Different people like different things. The idea of winning an argument over which is "better" is too trifling for me to get stressed over.

As someone who prefers Pathfinder, I am looking forward to Pathfinder Unchained because I want to preserve all the stuff I like about Pathfinder but pick and choose rules modules that preempt the Christmas Tree Effect, make running it a little easier, etc.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
The Rot Grub wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

It certainly seems to me that 5E was designed to cater to the old school game players rather than the pathfinder players. As such, it's no surprise to me that it's skewed more heavily to the DM-fiat end of the spectrum, rather than the clear-codified-rules-for-everything end of the spectrum.

I think there's a correlation between whether one prefers Pathfinder or prefers the older style of game and where one thinks the 'power' should sit between player and DM.

By necessity, D&D 5E had to differentiate from Pathfinder. It was never going to win back the adherents to the edition they had abandoned.

I suspect it will win back some, but not others. I agree with you though - it would have been a silly strategy to target pathfinder players.

Quote:

From a microeconomics perspective, it makes sense. Different people like different things. The idea of winning an argument over which is "better" is too trifling for me to get stressed over.

As someone who prefers Pathfinder, I am looking forward to Pathfinder Unchained because I want to preserve all the stuff I like about Pathfinder but pick and choose rules modules that preempt the Christmas Tree Effect, make running it a little easier, etc.

I'm looking forward to Pathfinder Unchained too, although I'm skeptical about any attempt to simplify things by adding more rules. I generally like Pathfinder subsystems though and it will be interesting to see a kind of "what would they have done if they werent worried about backwards compatibility?"

Liberty's Edge

thejeff wrote:


Very definitely. Though I've usually played Hero for Superheroes (Champions) where little is outright banned. Fantasy hero though, you don't just randomly take any of the powers in the books.

Their is a difference. Pathfinder justs throws a possible broken or very powerful ability into the game without warning to dms. The Hero System goes out of it's way to warn gms of ability that can be game changing or break a game. A Gunslinger because of it targeting Touch AC and with monsters having low touch acs I had to find out during paying the game that I would probably ban the class. With Hero System they warn that a variable power pool can be game breaking without finding out through playing the game at character creation.


sunshadow21 wrote:
Some of the best games I've been in have been D&D, because of the freedom and lack of limits,

Quite honestly I consider D&D - all versions of D&D without exception - to be unusually rigid and narrow in terms of character building when compared to many other RPGs. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, sometimes that's what I'm looking for, but if freedom in character building is needed for the game I'm thinking of playing then D&D would never even occur to me as a system to use.


Steve Geddes wrote:

It certainly seems to me that 5E was designed to cater to the old school game players rather than the pathfinder players. As such, it's no surprise to me that it's skewed more heavily to the DM-fiat end of the spectrum, rather than the clear-codified-rules-for-everything end of the spectrum.

I think there's a correlation between whether one prefers Pathfinder or prefers the older style of game and where one thinks the 'power' should sit between player and DM.

Wasn't 4e supposed to be close in spirit to 1e like 5e is supposed to be to 2e?

651 to 700 of 1,086 << first < prev | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Gamer Life / Gaming / D&D / 4th Edition / 5th Edition vs Pathfinder Critique All Messageboards