D&D 5th edition vs Pathfinder


4th Edition

1 to 50 of 179 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So there have been several people telling me that 5th edition is so much smoother than Pathfinder and the game play is worth buying 5th edition. I made a decision...

I bought a Player's Handbook.

I have been paging through it over the last couple days and I have to say that there appears to be no significant changes that would warrant a shift away from Pathfinder for me. Maybe I am missing something?

If you have a better understanding of the two systems, would you either point me to a link that describes the differences or would you take a few moments and point out the finer points of 5th edition?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Some of the main differences:

1. A world of complexity apart. The 5th edition is much simpler, less choices (feats, skills), less modifiers to apply to rolls and DCs.

2. The flattened roll curve - the rolls and DCs escalation is much slower, allowing to use the same monsters at wider spread of levels while keeping them meaningful. The lower roll bonuses also mean that the spread of possible DCs for checks is smaller helping some GMs to decide the DC of impromptu check a tiny bit faster as it practically always be between 10 and 20, only with exceptional actions reaching as far as 25).

3. Less effects stack with each other - this quickens and smooths the play because characters need to keep track of less effects at the same time and don't have to worry about OMG, we need to go through five more rooms before half of my buffs expire.

All this comes at the expense of complexity, though, reducing the amount of choices available while developing the characters.


I'm pretty sure this thread will be moved.

I find that it is a matter of preference. 5e has simplified combat and less player options. So if that's your cup of tea go for it. I also have found at least so far the PF adventures are much more creative.

I personally like lots of options. Some of the combat stuff they removed for 5e to simplify combat took too many combat tactics out for my personal preferences.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

The best parts of 5e:

1) "Bounded Accuracy" where in numbers only go so high. It means that everything is always a threat. Level 1 monsters can still work against level 11 PCs.

2) Every class is awesome and useful except the Fighter (which is an improvement over "every class is awesome and useful except the ones without magic").

3) Powerful magic is extremely limited. Specifically, there are vastly fewer spell slots per day across the board and the Concentration mechanic means spellcasters usually have to choose between powerful buffs (and which powerful buff) and powerful CC effects--they also can't just take hits in the face like it's nothing because they might lose the ongoing spell.

4) More "mundane magic" is significantly more powerful and useful. Specifically, those 3+stat/per damage abilities and 1d3 damage cantrips Pathfinder classes get that are a joke after the first 3-4 levels become actually powerful bread and butter attack spells that casters can rely on rather than shooting a crossbow or wasting their turns. They can contribute meaningfully without blowing their extremely limited powerful spells for the day.

5) The idea of each stat being a save is brilliant.

The biggest downsides:

1) I still don't like 5e's monster design and feel like it's totally backwards (just like 4e--ew, worst part of that game, in my mind).

2) Powerful magic still exists, and some of it is really stupidly powerful. They tried to limit it, but it's still "I swing a sword!" vs. "I reshape reality!" Summoning is especially BS.

3) The idea of each stat being a save is brilliant, but it is executed horrendously to the degree that you essentially still have Fort, Ref, and Will, then randomly you might roll Str to avoid a magic grapple, Int to escape Maze, or Cha when there's some alingment effect, instead of, you know, actually utilizing the stats for what they should do (the very idea that Charisma doesn't defend against charms, Con is usually used for forced movement, and Int counters illusions rather than Wis is beyond absurd to me).

4) There are very, very few customization options. I can't decide, yet, if this is because the game is designed to be simpler with fewer decision points, or because it's just super new and doesn't have a lot of options available. Either way, going from Pathfinder, you leave a game with 30+ classes (with at least a half dozen archetypes each--usually more), a couple dozen races (each with multiple optional abilities), hundreds of feats, and thousands of spells to a game with, I believe a dozen classes (with two archetypes each, except for cleric/wizard that I think get 8), less than 10 races (with two options each), less than 20 feats, and maybe 100 spells or so. There's just so much less there for a player that wants to build and tweak characters. I think there's a lot more for players that don't care about that and just want to get down to play, but, well, I'm not one of those :(


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would add to those already saying its simplicity vrs. complexity. In addition, 5e really goes back to the roots and reinforces the "ask your GM" tradition. 5e is left intentionally vague on things with the expectation that the GM will make various rulings.

If you like spending hours creating characters, fiddling with various options and things to come up with a character, 5e is probably not for you.

If you prefer a rules-light game that is simpler to learn, 5e might be for you.

Grand Lodge

I think, and this is coming from a novice at both systems, 5e is a little easier on the inexperienced player. What attracts me to PF is the gross wealth of information out there. (Really, shouldn't PF Indexer be a real world occupation?)But the wealth of information can be very intimidating.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I totally agree with Tormsskull. 5th Edition is great for casual games and gamers, but if you really like customizing and optimizing your characters, Pathfinder is better because it's more complex.


I'd like if 5E introduced a few more backgrounds and archetypes (not so much new classes as of yet, as the combo of backgrounds/archetypes can add a lot of versatility, provided there was a bit more of it). Sadly, I haven't even HEARD of anything coming out that would add a little.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Which is a shame, especially since the classes are so modular already. They seem ideally designed for additional archetypes, since that is a core feature of every single class. There is a new rogue archetype on the WotC site, which is a swashbuckler.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
mplindustries wrote:

The best parts of 5e:

1) "Bounded Accuracy" where in numbers only go so high. It means that everything is always a threat. Level 1 monsters can still work against level 11 PCs.

Isn't it entertaining how someone's 'best part' can be someone else's worst?

I HATE the idea of level one characters [whether they be humans, elves orcs or goblins] being a threat to high level characters. It makes me question the entire point of growing in level rather than just building an army.

Liberty's Edge

Grey Lensman: There's a five-level playtest for the mystic on the Wizards website (in the Unearthed Arcana section.) ...Why is it the first new class in an edition is usually the psionic stuff? =p

MPL: The fighter is most definitely not useless, as my fifth-level "can attack twice in a round, or four times in a round once per encounter" wood elf archer fighter can attest to. =p

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Pathfinder is an extensive and detailed character creation system with an RPG hastily scotch-taped to the side as an afterthought.

5e doesn't have anywhere near the amount of customization in character creation, but makes up for that by in general having a much wider range of options available when actually playing the game...yet still managing to have a less convoluted system in place for playing that game.

Shadow Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I HATE the idea of level one characters [whether they be humans, elves orcs or goblins] being a threat to high level characters. It makes me question the entire point of growing in level rather than just building an army.

A goblin or two alone isn't really a threat to a higher level group. But what bounded accuracy does do is say that you can't completely ignore them either.

Let's say you have a cyclops (CR 6) with a few goblin minions (CR 1/4) vs a level 5 party.

In Pathfinder, the entire party would outright ignore the goblins, and focus all their attention on the cyclops, because the goblins don't really even have the ability to affect the party.

In 5e, you can't just outright ignore the goblins, because they do actually have the ability to affect you. They won't be one-shotting you, but they can whittle away at characters.

Liberty's Edge

So level progression does not mean nearly as much in 5th edition as it does in Pathfinder? I have been designing my games around 1-12 levels.

I also like to think of the players as superhuman by level 5, doing things that most other people can only dream of. It seems that you are telling me 5th edition does not allow for such a feel.

I am not a fan of all the numbers in Pathfinder, especially when they are tied to items. I like the concept of advantage and disadvantage. I believe there are other systems that use this concept and do it better. Am I mistaken? And if not, what systems are they? I would like to see if I can incorporate some of these thoughts into Pathfinder for my homebrew campaign.


How does it feel overall?
I don't know you, but sometimes I feel PF might have too many options, specially when creating a character.

Right now I'm creating a Cleric Core, and it feels so great, not having to dig into 100 feats, pages and archetypes.
I got everything on one book, and I don't worry much about "ruining" my build.

PF combat wise is always complicated, specially with Bonus, and all the things you have to consider. I mean, we can't even agree whether you threaten with both Longspear and Spiked armor, which is something basic.

I feel like DnD 5e is more streamlined, and maybe, just maybe, you waste less time reading up rules, and discussing about them and more time actually playing the game.

Edit= and personally I hate magic items. I do, really. It's another burden while creating a character, and 80% the time you just buy the same items, over and over, because they're Best in Slot, or Best than anything else


Snorb wrote:
MPL: The fighter is most definitely not useless, as my fifth-level "can attack twice in a round, or four times in a round once per encounter" wood elf archer fighter can attest to. =p

I hate to do this here, but the Warlock shooting two Eldritch Blasts every round for the same (or is it more?) damage plus an unresistable knockback and then can also throw around powerful spells a few times per encounter if they like begs to differ. And don't get me started on trying to compete with Ranger archers...

I don't think "useless" was what I was intending though. It's less useless and more obsolete. The Fighter doesn't really bring anything to the table that's worth having over other classes. They're good--probably better in context than a Pathfinder Fighter is, but there's never a time when, mechanically speaking, Fighter is the best choice. Which is a shame, because Fighters were easily one of the strongest classes in 4e.


mplindustries wrote:
Snorb wrote:
MPL: The fighter is most definitely not useless, as my fifth-level "can attack twice in a round, or four times in a round once per encounter" wood elf archer fighter can attest to. =p

I hate to do this here, but the Warlock shooting two Eldritch Blasts every round for the same (or is it more?) damage plus an unresistable knockback and then can also throw around powerful spells a few times per encounter if they like begs to differ. And don't get me started on trying to compete with Ranger archers...

I don't think "useless" was what I was intending though. It's less useless and more obsolete. The Fighter doesn't really bring anything to the table that's worth having over other classes. They're good--probably better in context than a Pathfinder Fighter is, but there's never a time when, mechanically speaking, Fighter is the best choice. Which is a shame, because Fighters were easily one of the strongest classes in 4e.

Unless magic is brought to the levels of Lord of the Rings books, it will always be better.

I always wanted to make a Character that uses Trip/Disarm and the like, but it's impossible.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Letric wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
Snorb wrote:
MPL: The fighter is most definitely not useless, as my fifth-level "can attack twice in a round, or four times in a round once per encounter" wood elf archer fighter can attest to. =p

I hate to do this here, but the Warlock shooting two Eldritch Blasts every round for the same (or is it more?) damage plus an unresistable knockback and then can also throw around powerful spells a few times per encounter if they like begs to differ. And don't get me started on trying to compete with Ranger archers...

I don't think "useless" was what I was intending though. It's less useless and more obsolete. The Fighter doesn't really bring anything to the table that's worth having over other classes. They're good--probably better in context than a Pathfinder Fighter is, but there's never a time when, mechanically speaking, Fighter is the best choice. Which is a shame, because Fighters were easily one of the strongest classes in 4e.

Unless magic is brought to the levels of Lord of the Rings books, it will always be better.

I always wanted to make a Character that uses Trip/Disarm and the like, but it's impossible.

The easy answers, that will never happen in D&D (again) are:

1) Give martials and magic users the exact same abilities and just say they are different sources, like "I can stun you because I'm awesome at swinging hammers" vs. "I can stun you because I invade your mind with magic." But this won't happen because 4e did it and failed, and everyone assumes nothing like it will ever work again instead of realizing it might have failed for other reasons.

2) Give everyone magic--i.e., make it something anyone can do, exactly like fighting, feats, or skills, and just make wizards the best at it, just the way fighters are (supposed to be) the best at feats (Rangers and Monks are better because they ignore pre-reqs) and rogues are (supposed to be) the best at having skills (Bards and Rangers are better).

3) Make the magic with extreme narrative power into rituals everyone can do with proper training, while the "quick and dirty" stuff is still the realm of wizards et all.

4) Give pure martial type characters like fighters nigh immunity to magic, so, magic is what you use against massed mooks, but Conan types can just punch through your enchantments.

5) Make magic hard, so you can actually fail at doing it. This goes really well with #2.

But this is getting way off track. 5e is a good game. Pathfinder is a good game. Neither game is great. 5e is better for playing, Pathfinder is better for building.

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I HATE the idea of level one characters [whether they be humans, elves orcs or goblins] being a threat to high level characters. It makes me question the entire point of growing in level rather than just building an army.

I'm amused that people would rather have a single character capable of taking on everything over requiring numbers and strategy to overcome things.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I HATE the idea of level one characters [whether they be humans, elves orcs or goblins] being a threat to high level characters. It makes me question the entire point of growing in level rather than just building an army.
I'm amused that people would rather have a single character capable of taking on everything over requiring numbers and strategy to overcome things.

Have you ever played MERP? Middle Earth Role Playing Game?

Randomness sounds nice on paper, in movies, but not in games. When you're attached to your character and a Goblin level 1 kills you because he rolled a 96 on a 100 and you get hit by a Critical E Hit and lose your head, not funny.

I'm ok with enemies doing damage to due despite being low level, but not being able to kill you.

You're supposed to be a hero, even if fighting 50 level 1 being a lvl 10, you should kill them.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Letric wrote:
Have you ever played MERP? Middle Earth Role Playing Game?

Why would I have done a silly thing like that?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Shove can be used to trip, and the DMG has rules for disarming in the DMG.


SmiloDan wrote:
Shove can be used to trip, and the DMG has rules for disarming in the DMG.

Tripping anything besides Humanoids is impossible, and also, it's ineffective.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
SmiloDan wrote:
I totally agree with Tormsskull. 5th Edition is great for casual games and gamers, but if you really like customizing and optimizing your characters, Pathfinder is better because it's more complex.

That sounds like casual gamers can't customize and optimize, and that hard-core gamers cannot enjoy a simpler game engine :(

I personally consider myself more than a casual gamer, and 5e appeals to me on many levels. 5e may be a less complex game, but it isn't a less complete one. It is not as much of a character deck-building type of game however.


Letric wrote:
You're supposed to be a hero, even if fighting 50 level 1 being a lvl 10, you should kill them.

That depends on the scope of the game/setting. In a world where defeating 10 opponents in melee makes you a hero, loosing against 50 is might be expected. But I'm with you with insta-death not being fun regardless of the game/system/setting.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Laurefindel wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
I totally agree with Tormsskull. 5th Edition is great for casual games and gamers, but if you really like customizing and optimizing your characters, Pathfinder is better because it's more complex.

That sounds like casual gamers can't customize and optimize, and that hard-core gamers cannot enjoy a simpler game engine :(

I personally consider myself more than a casual gamer, and 5e appeals to me on many levels. 5e may be a less complex game, but it isn't a less complete one. It is not as much of a character deck-building type of game however.

I don't understand why the focus has to be on the system. Yes, having a complete system with rules is nice, but honestly, who can remember all the rules about Pathfinder?

Having a system that is easy to understand but functions for 80% of what will happen in a table is much better as far as I can tell.

How much can you customize your character when only certain options are viable? And most of these optimizations come from mixing strange things that are not even reasonable at a role playing level.

I feel like PF and games like such, put way too much weight on how a character does something at a rule level, instead of just saying "I freaking hit the enemy with a barrel, and that is my ability".

If I were to follow the rules I can't do this, because a barrel is an improvised weapon and I get a -4 to attacks. > and the worst part about this is that people will invoke Reasons-Physics when I have a wizard on my side tearing the world up just by using his mind or a cleric asking the gods a favor because he had the spell, so why not cast it.
Rules are to help us play the game, not limit us. I don't PF allows that much customization if you start thinking about certain things.

On the other hand, class are the problem. Class is a restrictive way of thinking.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Letric wrote:
I don't understand why the focus has to be on the system. Yes, having a complete system with rules is nice, but honestly, who can remember all the rules about Pathfinder?

Uh, er, me? Pretty much everyone I've ever enjoyed having as a GM? You need to know the rules of the game--it's practically required to run things.

Letric wrote:
I feel like PF and games like such, put way too much weight on how a character does something at a rule level, instead of just saying "I freaking hit the enemy with a barrel, and that is my ability".

Stop playing D&D derivative games. 90% of non-D&D games work more like this. Really, only D&D style games even use levels.

Letric wrote:
On the other hand, class are the problem. Class is a restrictive way of thinking.

I think level is more of a problem, but yeah, very, very few RPGs other than D&D clones have hard-classes, either (though most feature a "soft" class system that gives you some sub-package of abilities or makes you better at some task everyone can do).


Irranshalee wrote:

So there have been several people telling me that 5th edition is so much smoother than Pathfinder and the game play is worth buying 5th edition. I made a decision...

I bought a Player's Handbook.

I have been paging through it over the last couple days and I have to say that there appears to be no significant changes that would warrant a shift away from Pathfinder for me. Maybe I am missing something?

If you have a better understanding of the two systems, would you either point me to a link that describes the differences or would you take a few moments and point out the finer points of 5th edition?

here are no contest at all, i have playing 5th for a while and i must say that the game is broken. I stated in pf fb group why, but seriously, 5th edition feels uncomplete, like a beta. Do you all remember when pf whas a beta? even then, pf feels better at the table.

So, 5th edition is a beta test, so, we can compare when they release advanced 5th or advanced 5.5th.

probably you want to ask why: check this 2 feats: Sentinel, Polearm master (you could bug and kill a tarrasque at 1st lvl with those feats).
Check the Rogue sneak attack ability and the conditions he needs to make it.

Do some maths: everyone can play this game with a coin (proficiency bonus are so lame at all)

check this example:

Wizard 20th with INT 20 VS Fighter 20th with STR 20

Wizard spell DC 8+5+6 = 19
Fighter Str Save d20+5+6 = +11
Fighter needs 8 in d20 to succeed.

now, same classes at level 1st with no bonuses
Wizard spell DC 8+2 = 10
Fighter Str Save d20+2 = +2
Fighter needs 8 in d20 to succeed.

even if you took the prof bonus away there always will be an 8 needed to success (40% always?).

and yes, spells got more damage, but tihs is because all the time they will make half the damage at all.

You probably would say that there are other stats for savings, but in the same way that there are ways to get all stat with prof in saves.

Same happen to skills in 5th.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Laurefindel wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
I totally agree with Tormsskull. 5th Edition is great for casual games and gamers, but if you really like customizing and optimizing your characters, Pathfinder is better because it's more complex.

That sounds like casual gamers can't customize and optimize, and that hard-core gamers cannot enjoy a simpler game engine :(

I personally consider myself more than a casual gamer, and 5e appeals to me on many levels. 5e may be a less complex game, but it isn't a less complete one. It is not as much of a character deck-building type of game however.

Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude. I guess what I meant was, Pathfinder is better for people who like gaming, but have a lot of down time AND free time to look through lots of sources and tweak a lot of different variables. 5th Edition is better if you have 4 hours a month to game and not enough free time between sessions to read tons of books.

Each fills a really fun niche! :-D


1 person marked this as a favorite.
SmiloDan wrote:
Each fills a really fun niche! :-D

That I agree with

Shadow Lodge

mplindustries wrote:
Letric wrote:
but honestly, who can remember all the rules about Pathfinder?
Uh, er, me? Pretty much everyone I've ever enjoyed having as a GM? You need to know the rules of the game--it's practically required to run things.

I call BS.

Excluding the Bestiaries, Monster Codex,l and NPC Codex (as well as the Strategy Guide, which adds no new rules), Pathfinder is 3,466 pages. The Bestiaries and Codices add another 1,852 pages, for a total of 5,318 pages.

Spoiler:

Core Rulebook 574
Ultimate Equipment 398
Advanced Player's Guide 334
Bestiary 1 326
GameMastery Guide 318
Bestiary 2 318
Bestiary 3 318
Bestiary 4 318
NPC Codex 318
Advanced Class Guide 254
Advanced Race Guide 254
Mythic Adventures 254
Pathfinder Unchained 254
Ultimate Campaign 254
Ultimate Combat 254
Ultimate Magic 254
Monster Codex 254
Technology Guide 64

Shadow Lodge

mplindustries wrote:
Letric wrote:
I feel like PF and games like such, put way too much weight on how a character does something at a rule level, instead of just saying "I freaking hit the enemy with a barrel, and that is my ability".

Stop playing D&D derivative games. 90% of non-D&D games work more like this. Really, only D&D style games even use levels.

Letric wrote:
On the other hand, class are the problem. Class is a restrictive way of thinking.
I think level is more of a problem, but yeah, very, very few RPGs other than D&D clones have hard-classes, either (though most feature a "soft" class system that gives you some sub-package of abilities or makes you better at some task everyone can do).

And these have me doubting that you have much RPG experience outside of "D&D derivative games". There are SOME games that don't use levels or classes, but you sound like you're trying to say that they are rare outside of D&D. They aren't.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Juda de Kerioth wrote:
here are no contest at all, i have playing 5th for a while and i must say that the game is broken. I stated in pf fb group why, but seriously, 5th edition feels uncomplete, like a beta. Do you all remember when pf whas a beta? even then, pf feels better at the table.

First off, I disagree that 5e is broken or "feels like a beta".

Secondly, the Pathfinder beta damn well should have seemed fairly finished, since it was a mere tweaking of existing rules rather than an actual new system. If it's beta (or even alpha) had "felt like a beta) than it would have been a clear indication that that Paizo devs didn't have a clue what they were doing. As it is, that didn't really become apparent until they started creating new stuff rather than just tweaking old stuff.


Kthulhu wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:
here are no contest at all, i have playing 5th for a while and i must say that the game is broken. I stated in pf fb group why, but seriously, 5th edition feels uncomplete, like a beta. Do you all remember when pf whas a beta? even then, pf feels better at the table.

First off, I disagree that 5e is broken or "feels like a beta".

Secondly, the Pathfinder beta damn well should have seemed fairly finished, since it was a mere tweaking of existing rules rather than an actual new system. If it's beta (or even alpha) had "felt like a beta) than it would have been a clear indication that that Paizo devs didn't have a clue what they were doing. As it is, that didn't really become apparent until they started creating new stuff rather than just tweaking old stuff.

I know there are, but how many of those have whole campaigns available? I usually don't game with people that have tons of free time to make up their own campaign, so we have to use Adv Path, and Paizo has tons of them.

Not sure about other games. Also unless I'm DMing I'm going to have a hard time convincing other to switch games.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The beauty in 5th edition, as I would posit, is that it is fresh and well thought out (despite those thinking that it is not). I assure you that the numbers se to work as of my recent games, and that there is a lot of room to grow with rules and alternatives. Inevitably, there will be a power creep, but for now the math is simple and sound, which allows for an easier implementation of new ideas such as races and so on.

Have I mentioned how much I love that +3 weapons are rarer than coronal swords once were? It makes the game far more interesting. I gave my players minor magic items that had no combat effects and they were in awe.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kthulhu wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
Letric wrote:
but honestly, who can remember all the rules about Pathfinder?
Uh, er, me? Pretty much everyone I've ever enjoyed having as a GM? You need to know the rules of the game--it's practically required to run things.

I call BS.

Excluding the Bestiaries, Monster Codex,l and NPC Codex (as well as the Strategy Guide, which adds no new rules), Pathfinder is 3,466 pages. The Bestiaries and Codices add another 1,852 pages, for a total of 5,318 pages.

** spoiler omitted **

How many of those pages are rules? Stat blocks aren't rules. Magic item descriptions aren't rules. Fluffy text about "how to GM" isn't rules. It's easier than you think.

Kthulhu wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
Letric wrote:
I feel like PF and games like such, put way too much weight on how a character does something at a rule level, instead of just saying "I freaking hit the enemy with a barrel, and that is my ability".

Stop playing D&D derivative games. 90% of non-D&D games work more like this. Really, only D&D style games even use levels.

Letric wrote:
On the other hand, class are the problem. Class is a restrictive way of thinking.
I think level is more of a problem, but yeah, very, very few RPGs other than D&D clones have hard-classes, either (though most feature a "soft" class system that gives you some sub-package of abilities or makes you better at some task everyone can do).
And these have me doubting that you have much RPG experience outside of "D&D derivative games". There are SOME games that don't use levels or classes, but you sound like you're trying to say that they are rare outside of D&D. They aren't.

Yes, they are rare outside of D&D. The only RPG I can think of with levels that isn't d&d derivative is RIFTS, and that's got palladium's house system which started with a d&d derivative fantasy game. We're not counting stuff like tunnels and trolls or MERP as being not d&d derivative, right?

Classes are more difficult because you can make an argument for things like vampire clans in masquerade/requiem being classes, though I would call them very "soft" classes. The only things I can think of approaching a hard class system like in d&d are RIFTS again, Feng Shui, The One Ring, Warhammer (which is pretty d&d derivative anyway) uh maybe Legend of the Five Rings, sort of could be argued to have class and level (school and rank)...

Edit: oh, the Dragon Age rpg as both, too

But seriously, the vast, vast majority of non-d&d derivative games have no classes or levels and generally rely on just spending xp directly on increasing stats/skills or gain abilities. I feel silly doing this, but a short list of the first bunch of rpgs I know that have neither:
World of Darkness/Exalted/Trinity, Savage Worlds, Shadowrun, Legend of the Five Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, Mechwarrior, FATE, FUDGE, Castle Falkenstein, Dogs in the Vineyard, The Queen's Cavaliers, BRP (like runequest or call of cthulhu), Traveller, d6, Children of the Sun, Godlike/Wild Talents/Reign/ORE, Burning Wheel, FASERIP, Tri-Stat, Starchildren, Artesia, FUSION, Chtulhutech, GURPS, HERO, jeez, I could keep going for hours. Class/level is a d&d thing. It doesn't show up much in modern rpg design, and was hardly universal even in its heyday.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Gotta say the 5e Fighter is definitely competitive with the Warlock. My favorite path is Battle Master and stuff like Goading Attack/Trip Attack is great (Goading is especially great as a Crossbow Expert).

The knockback for the Warlock isn't very effective unless you have a Polearm Master in the group per my experience (but man is it great if you do).

I think it may have been errata'd, but you used to be able to Crossbow Master with a shield (I speak a lot about crossbow master because it's the Fighter I played).

I suppose Eldritch Knight can get Haste as well, which is neat. Not a fan of Champion.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
mplindustries wrote:
World of Darkness/Exalted/Trinity, Savage Worlds, Shadowrun, Legend of the Five Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, Mechwarrior, FATE, FUDGE, Castle Falkenstein, Dogs in the Vineyard, The Queen's Cavaliers, BRP (like runequest or call of cthulhu), Traveller, d6, Children of the Sun, Godlike/Wild Talents/Reign/ORE, Burning Wheel, FASERIP, Tri-Stat, Starchildren, Artesia, FUSION, Chtulhutech, GURPS, HERO, jeez, I could keep going for hours. Class/level is a d&d thing. It doesn't show up much in modern rpg design, and was hardly universal even in its heyday.

To be fair, classes and levels are a lot more common in CRPGs than in PnPRPGs.

Also, I suppose you could argue that in an entirely point-based system (e.g. GURPS, Mythic RPG), 'points' are your level. Same with games where you directly spend xp--it's just that xp and level are the same.
But yea, classes are pretty rare outside of D&D clones and videogames.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Letric wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I HATE the idea of level one characters [whether they be humans, elves orcs or goblins] being a threat to high level characters. It makes me question the entire point of growing in level rather than just building an army.
I'm amused that people would rather have a single character capable of taking on everything over requiring numbers and strategy to overcome things.

Have you ever played MERP? Middle Earth Role Playing Game?

Randomness sounds nice on paper, in movies, but not in games. When you're attached to your character and a Goblin level 1 kills you because he rolled a 96 on a 100 and you get hit by a Critical E Hit and lose your head, not funny.

I'm ok with enemies doing damage to due despite being low level, but not being able to kill you.

You're supposed to be a hero, even if fighting 50 level 1 being a lvl 10, you should kill them.

I still play Rollmaster 2ed/Classic (which was originally designed as a replacement for AD&D's simplistic combat system), MERP was the basic version of RM2. I love the thrill of a fight having that very small chance of being taken out in a dramatic way by a minion. They have to beat your Defensive bonus and roll high enough to get a critical that is deadly at 96 so you are looking at your 1st level rolling high enough to get an open ended roll and then add that roll on to get a 120 - 130 for a crit that will hurt then roll high enough on the crit table to kill you. It doesn't happen often, I have seen it once.

I say explore non D20 systems for a change, the RPG cycle is just clicking into the phase newer gamers from 4E PF period are maturing and wanting to try other stuff. It is also possible to like more than one thing at a time so you can play both.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
137ben wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
World of Darkness/Exalted/Trinity, Savage Worlds, Shadowrun, Legend of the Five Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, Mechwarrior, FATE, FUDGE, Castle Falkenstein, Dogs in the Vineyard, The Queen's Cavaliers, BRP (like runequest or call of cthulhu), Traveller, d6, Children of the Sun, Godlike/Wild Talents/Reign/ORE, Burning Wheel, FASERIP, Tri-Stat, Starchildren, Artesia, FUSION, Chtulhutech, GURPS, HERO, jeez, I could keep going for hours. Class/level is a d&d thing. It doesn't show up much in modern rpg design, and was hardly universal even in its heyday.

To be fair, classes and levels are a lot more common in CRPGs than in PnPRPGs.

Also, I suppose you could argue that in an entirely point-based system (e.g. GURPS, Mythic RPG), 'points' are your level. Same with games where you directly spend xp--it's just that xp and level are the same.
But yea, classes are pretty rare outside of D&D clones and videogames.

A lot of those games have things that work and feel a lot like classes (with a lot more flexibility than D&D), WOD all the Clans, Tribes, Magical groups. Shadowrun- Street Sam, Decker, Shaman, Physical Adept and so on, Traveller - Navy, Marine, Merchant... Cthulhu Tech I have only glanced at the books and I am sure there were some thing like Shadowrun.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I find the implementation of traps in modern games kind of silly - they really break my immersion the way they're so carefully non-lethal. Why build a trap to hurt people when it's not much harder to build one that will kill? Most of the time, the guardians are trying to kill any intruders.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Maybe the trap owners don't want to clean up after their lethal traps?

Which is why every lethal trap should have the Acme Re-N-E-M8-atron! Turn your former enemies into new undead friends!

Patent pending.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

They're lethal to most everyone not following a carefully graded CR curve.

Also, repeated use probably dulls the edges.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
They're lethal to most everyone not following a carefully graded CR curve.

They're never lethal relative to the guardians that the same people left behind - that's what I mean.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Letric wrote:
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Letric wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I HATE the idea of level one characters [whether they be humans, elves orcs or goblins] being a threat to high level characters. It makes me question the entire point of growing in level rather than just building an army.

stuff

I played MERP and had at least 3 characters die from the most stupid things ever because of a crit.

Once I clearly remember was a simple trap, an arrow one. It was triggered, Critical E, dead.

I mean, I don't mind dying if I make stupid decisions, but dying out because of a trap, it's the most stupid thing ever.

You and I like different styles of game and that's cool.

I don't have a problem if my PCs die even if I have written few pages or so of back story, because character death shapes a party gives it a grittiness I like. The threat of death makes the rewards sweeter.

I don't know what OBs your GM was giving traps but he probably wasn't scaling them to the party. An arrow trap is the same a goblin its assigned an Offensive bonus scale it low your passive DB should negate the low OB no serious injury.

Fights are interesting because the losing party retreats or surrenders due to broken bones, severed limbs or bleeding, it's higher risk for players characters thus when you obtain your goal it's like riding your bike without training wheels for the first time.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I find the implementation of traps in modern games kind of silly - they really break my immersion the way they're so carefully non-lethal. Why build a trap to hurt people when it's not much harder to build one that will kill? Most of the time, the guardians are trying to kill any intruders.

This so much. Why would Acerak fill his tomb with annoyances and inconveniences? He's trying to suck out the souls of the GREATEST of heroes, not merely the most persistent group of incompetents to wander into the tomb randomly.

That's why I recommend liberal application of Grimtooth to ANY D&D-type game. And looking to it for inspiration for any non-D&D-type game.

1 to 50 of 179 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Gamer Life / Gaming / D&D / 4th Edition / D&D 5th edition vs Pathfinder All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.