Do you like this game (Pathfinder)?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Malwing wrote:

I've been contemplating making a thread titled, "Do you like this game?", mostly because of the threads, starting from 3.0 days apparently, about the same problems. All this doomsaying is happening while the system as a whole has been thriving for over a decade rocked the entire RPG market twice and spawning so many clones, all while similar games that supposedly don't have these problems exist in a huge number. It makes it hard to know how to feel when the fans of the game say that the developers don't know what they're doing. Especially when I'm over here happily playing my games without the system self destructing every FAQ update. In the meantime the people that refuse to play Pathfinder have 'hostile online community' as their #2 reason to stay away from the game.

I'm not saying that I'm thrilled with the ACG situation, and I'll say that caster/martial disparity exists (although stopped existing in my games a while ago) but I have no where near the anger and disappointment I see on these boards or reason to start accusing the developers of having some sort of agenda against us. Yeah the ACG is a mess and now post-eratta my book is pretty useless but I do think they're trying the best they can but made a lot of mistakes in that book. I'd like to turn in my book for a discount on the second printing but its not a jump ship situation for me. I haven't noticed any real glitches in Occult Adventures so far so I feel like the ACG is a bad blip on the track record and nothing more.

And its not like I don't have the tools to jump ship if I wanted to. On my shelf is 5th edition, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Fate, Fudge, Mutants and Masterminds, 13th age and True 20. In the case of 5th edition I know for a fact that its fairly easy to play adventure paths using 5th ed. I'm playing a game where that is happening right now. But I've been preferring Pathfinder and playing Pathfinder and liking Pathfinder, and buying Pathfinder.

We also have a very vocal developer base that communicate with us on a daily basis. Big names that have been around in the industry for years and yet we're not satisfied and need more so we can yell at them online as much as we want to.

Thread created because I find the entry intriguing and I'd like to know. And I'd prefer that the thread is positive in nature. We have enough negativity on the boards. If you need a negative thread, make one yourself. :)

My own answers to come as I consider this over dinner.


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Honest truth? I like the foundation under the game [d20 mechanic, 1-9 spellcasting, etc] far more than I like the game itself.

It's not that I don't find pathfinder fun, it's that I find the rules structure and design philosophies rather oppressive, especially as regards characters lacking significant spellcasting.


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Nope.

I dislike the game. I like parts of it. The main draw is RPing itself and everything that goes with it. Other games do it better for me, but many many MANY do it for worse than pathfinder. I still hold PF over all D&D 4th and lower.

Liberty's Edge

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Talented third party developers and a regular stream of new content from paizo keep me playing.
I genuinely only like maybe one in every twenty pieces of content, but there is so much of it im able to pick and choose something fun anyway. To me Pathfinder is the core of quantity over quality.


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Yeah, I do.


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Honestly, it's fun. It does inherit certain things due to the whole d20 aspect, such as ... well, relying on that d20, and how slow it feels like your skills improve. And sometimes that d20 hates my guts. (Or loves them so much it encourages NPCs to scatter them all over the grid.)

There's a few things I wish were different about it, but so far I'm having fun in my first PF campaign. (I'd done a few lacklustre D&D runs but those tended to suffer from issues with players.)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I don't like it, I f@~@ing love it, flaws and all :-)


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captain yesterday wrote:
I don't like it, I f@*%ing love it, flaws and all :-)

You 'f@*%ing' love it? Remind me to use gloves when borrowing your rulebooks :)


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I like it as a complicated game (but don't have the time to play complicated games any more, so don't generally play it much).

I like the fact the developers keep refining it via erratas and FAQs (though I wish they had a better name for the latter) - despite the fact they cop so much grief for doing so.

The negativity has always been there, as have the people declaring that they're at the point of quitting if paizo don't lift their game. My theory is that there's a cohort of fans who like the game and see lots of potential for improvement then watch it develop in a direction they don't like until they can't bear it any more.

It's a sad fact about the world, but it seems to be much harder to make lots and lots of posts about how you think the designers are doing a good job than it is to go on about the things one doesnt like. Also, I'm an unashamed Paizo fanboy but it feels somewhat churlish to keep butting into to discussions to contradict people who don't like it. Unfortunately, it does make the rules subforums a rather unpleasant, negative place, in my view.


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To answer my own question (Which feels weird.) I would like the game considerably less if not for third party publishers, Pathfinder Unchained and oddly Ultimate Combat. Despite Vancian casting and everything to do with it has been the bane of my existence since 3.5 Pathfinder holds a place in my heart as a system that rewards me for learning and lets me do whatever I want without the general lack of direction of generic systems. I like having things make some sort of rhyme and reason so I can't play as abstract as FATE for too long and other systems start self-destructing whenever I want to do something simple out of turn. Pathfinder and as an extension d20 in general is a foundation that makes enough sense for me to piece together what's supposed to happen without much conflict but abstract enough where I'm not in a choice paralysis hellhole like GURPS or doing complex math like HERO System. And third party, beyond solving almost all grievances I've ever seen on the forums, enable doing what you want from playing Watership Down or Magical Ponies to going out into outer space or being cavemen. Its a comfort zone that lets me go out of genre or stretch the genre I have without needing to learn too much.

Although even without I still like the game. I cam in with the Beginner Box and to me it showed a lot of love and care in introducing someone to the game. From there I got hooked because starting from the Core Rulebook I felt I could do anything. My first real foray into complaints about the game came from my sister in law who was a 3.5 grognard. One thing that will kill love for pathfinder is to introduce a forum veteran to a group of all new people that had been having fun playing core rulebook only up until that point. Luckily social drama killed that game before anything else could but it left a scar and a twitchy feeling whenever it comes up. Like talking about it actively goes to people's tables and slaps the dice out of their hands and ruins their games. But I still love the game and still play it and have fun as is and with third party. Sometimes backtracking to Beginner Box only.

Sovereign Court

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I've been on a journey for years now to discover what I want from a TTRPG. The one thing I discovered is that I do not like "generic apply any skin systems". I prefer systems that have an explicit purpose be it fantasy, science fiction, or horror, or.....

That said, D&D, specifically 3E/PF, have become my fantasy system of choice. The edition wars are often looked on as a terrible time with lots of hurt feelings where nothing constructive was ever gained. Quite the contrary for myself actually, I managed to really understand and learn what it is that I want out of a fantasy TTRPG. For that I will always be grateful of the E-war.

At this point I have been using 3E/PF for over a decade. In that time I have encounter numerous problems and issues in which I complained, cried, laughed, and worked my way out of. At this point I know exactly how to fine tune this engine to purr like my old '76 V-8 T-topped camaro I sold so long ago for school money....

So is Pathfinder the penultimate of TTRPG design? Not a chance; the game will keep evolving! (albeit at perhaps a more conservative pace than many paizo forums goers would care for.) To answer your question, I know, it's only Pathfinder, but I like it!


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I like the game very much. I appreciate that designers take the time to do errata and spend time on the boards answering questions. I enjoy the messageboards very much although generally I'm a lurker.

I don't necessarily agree with or use everything and tend to use what my group feels works well and change or not use what doesn't.

Grand Lodge

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I like d20, 3rd edition, and Pathfinder, but I got tired of there being a rule for everything. I got tired of all of the little details, the minutiae... I really wanted to go back to a game that wasn't necessarily "rules-lite", but a game of rulings, not of rules - where the DM has to make judgment calls rather than rely upon there being a codified rule for almost any given situation.

So, in 2013, I went back to playing 2nd edition AD&D!

If provided with an opportunity, I'd probably play in a Pathfinder/d20/3rd edition game, but I don't believe I'll ever run a game using those rules again.


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When PF came out, I looked at my 3.5 books and house rules, and then I read the PF CRB. And then I looked at my house rules for 3.5 again. So much of what I had done in general isolation had been put into PF. Yeah, I like the game very much.

What I'm always confused about are people who spend so much time on a forum talking about how much they *don't* like that thing the forum is meant for. I'm not talking about people who think that something needs improvement. That's simply critical discussion. I'm talking about people who actively do not like anything about it. Why spend so much time and energy on something that you obviously dislike? It's not like you're fighting over social injustice. It's a game/hobby/lifestyle/genetic disposition.

Liberty's Edge

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I like the fluff.

I find the rules bloated, uninteresting, uninspired, and poorly balanced.

Initially this was due to an overemphasis on backwards compatability, but at this point I think its just that the developer's just have a completely different design philosophy than what I have any interest in playing.

Silver Crusade

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Yep, I like it

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I play Pathfinder because it's popular.

But it is based on 3.5, so yeah I like it too. Warts and all.


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I like my version of the game.

I use a lot of Paizo material, but I probably use more 3PP material in my game, with some house rules. Paizo just happens to be the publisher I have the largest material from. The core game gives me a great base to work with to get things the way I like them. Things happen in the rules I don't like, I ignore. Errata happens I don't like I ignore. New book comes out with a class I don't like, I don't use it. To me, every rule including the Core rulebook is optional.

The game is my game - that is how I treat all RPGs. The rulebooks give me the tools and framework to run MY game. If it is "pure" pathfinder, or something unrecognizable aside from core mechanics and names to someone else makes no difference to me.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Yes, I quiet like the game, is it without issue, no, but no game is. I think, in a way, that individual elements, taken by themselves, leave something to be desired, but that their is something in the whole and how it hangs together that is just amazing. For example the Museum Map pack, its just sort of random, until you take into account the 4-5 Blakros Pathfinder Society missions, or that the Pathfinder Society in game is gives some plausible credibility why 6 random adventuring strangers happen to be off on a mission today. Or how the Iconics aren't just paper dolls for the art, but have this thread of personality that is consistent throughout comic books, their AP appearance, and their backstories. I don't love that the campaign setting is this insane conglomeration of genre, but they writers and designers embrace the chaos, and bind together this thing that is far beyond the sum of its parts.

Is it perfect, not on your life, but hour after hour, session after session, I come back happily play the game, and have a good time.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You can wait forever for the perfect system.

I have fun playing Pathfinder every week. I like that my battles are tactical, that character building is a game in itself and that there is no concept that I can't build a character for (other than spell-less shapeshifter and robot master).

Nobody at my tables feels that there is a genuinely bad class choice because I as a GM run the game for the 6 people at my table, not the infinite variety of players that exist everywhere simultaneously at once.

I have some issues with high level play, and lament that Mythic didn't fulfil the potential of promised. But I enjoy the system, and with the prd easily available find it easy to find rules or make rulings when needed.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It has a robust organized play campaign. Guess what makes a group-based game easy to play - other people that are available to play. When you're in the "everybody has kids or other commitments" stage of life like me, it's nice when you're not dependent on Joe Clubbintime or Sara Sickchild showing up consistently to play the game.

I like some of the game. I like the fiddly bits. I hate the power disparities. I hate the trap options. I like exploring new things.

It's hard, though, to like something where change appears arbitrary. That's where I've been mentally this week.

Silver Crusade

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Galnörag wrote:
Or how the Iconics aren't just paper dolls for the art, but have this thread of personality that is consistent throughout comic books, their AP appearance, and their backstories.

Except the Psychic and Shaman, who are balnd and uninspired Mary Sues of an even greater caliber than Drizz't himself, and have all the personality, character, and motivation of molded cheese.

Though the Brawler, Paladin and Skald are grade A material and I'd love to be in a party with them

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I certainly do like it.

I like how math and rules heavy it is (I have a graduate degree in mathematics).

I love Vancian casting.

I despise the idea of 'bounded accuracy.' I want a level 20 hero to be as much beyond a normal human as that normal human is beyond a slug.


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No. Pathfinder was a wonderful dream back when it just wanted to be a patch to D&D. At this point? That's what it's best used for. I use heavy applications of houserules and third-party material to preserve the spirit of D&D, everyone having fun and adventuring together and not bickering over whose class is inherently worthless and easily replicated by the inquisitor's spare allosaurus, because I do not believe that the direction that Paizo has been charging down for the last several years is a good one. I rely more on Dreamscarred Press than Pathfinder material and I don't even really like the crystals-and-telekinesis flavor of psionics, it's just that they produce reliably good, fun, usable content and Paizo's rate at doing that is bad enough that it looks accidental.

That's when I play Pathfinder at all. Honestly I feel like I'm just in a holding pattern waiting for 5th Edition to build up its usual cornucopia of options.

The best part of Pathfinder is an increase in class features, the merging of skill lists, and the revisions to many (not all, by no means of all) of the spells most commonly used to turn the game into a caricature of itself. Those are good works. Everything it did in its first few years of existence were largely good works.

A few of the things that came later are good, too, it hasn't been all bad, but at this point I sincerely believe the overall direction Paizo is moving in under its current leadership is one that's poison to the game. So long as its basic chassis remains free, it has value.


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Lord Mhoram wrote:

I like my version of the game.

I use a lot of Paizo material, but I probably use more 3PP material in my game, with some house rules. Paizo just happens to be the publisher I have the largest material from. The core game gives me a great base to work with to get things the way I like them. Things happen in the rules I don't like, I ignore. Errata happens I don't like I ignore. New book comes out with a class I don't like, I don't use it. To me, every rule including the Core rulebook is optional.

The game is my game - that is how I treat all RPGs. The rulebooks give me the tools and framework to run MY game. If it is "pure" pathfinder, or something unrecognizable aside from core mechanics and names to someone else makes no difference to me.

Gah! Get out of my head!

I had a response I was muddling through, but frankly this sums up a great deal of it. :)


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My entire group enjoys playing, though only one of them is a rules-stickler. I try to be fair and quick with rulings. If a player finds a rule that is relevant or makes sense, then I may or may not change the ruling. The system itself is just too much in some ways, but they clearly state you can use as little or as much of it as you like.

As for the world itself, there are lots of interesting characters, a ton of material to draw from, and all kinds of story ideas to use as one sees fit.

I can totally see people not being in favor of a lot of the rules and some aspects of the game that can slow things to a crawl, but, again, all of that stuff is optional if you are playing with a group of friends in the privacy of your own home.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Quintin Belmont wrote:
Galnörag wrote:
Or how the Iconics aren't just paper dolls for the art, but have this thread of personality that is consistent throughout comic books, their AP appearance, and their backstories.

Except the Psychic and Shaman, who are balnd and uninspired Mary Sues of an even greater caliber than Drizz't himself, and have all the personality, character, and motivation of molded cheese.

Though the Brawler, Paladin and Skald are grade A material and I'd love to be in a party with them

I think your taking a quote and missing my point. Each and every aspect of Pathfinder has some blemishes if you look closely, and those blemishes are going to be different for different people. Its the forest that I embrace, not the trees.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yes, I like this game. There are other games I'd like to play as well, but this is where the opportunity lies.


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*Sigh* I don't know anymore.

Everyone where I live plays it and insists on playing it, though in recent months that's been changing with folks willing to try other stuff, even non-d20 systems. I keep telling myself that I'm sick of the system. I hate how combat is so g+&##$n slow, I hate how the higher levels you go, the slower everything seems to be, how people seem to focus purely on doing one thing game-breakingly well and ultra-specialize in doing a few neat tricks rather than making a, well, character.

If you read that and thought, "that sounds a lot like the problems come primarily from the people you game with", then you'd find that I now realize that.

However, there's this content out that I find really hard to ignore. Iron Gods and all the sci-fi goodness was the first step. Then I discovered Dreamscarred Press's psionics and realized that the people who told me that psionics is "broken" was based off of pure hyperbole and 3.5 experiences and that DP's psionics was fraking awesome. Pathfinder Unchained gave some really cool options for making my life easier as GM. And now this Occult stuff is out!

So I guess in a nutshell I'm getting sick of how people I game with play Pathfinder. I want to try running it how I want to play games: where combat is fast, narrative>rules, people aren't obsessed over builds and how to "beat" Pathfinder rather than telling a cooperative story. That kinda stuff.


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Yeah, I like the game, warts, oddities, and all.

I play in other systems to, but only really as breaks from Pathfinder (and those breaks are more for the rest of my group than they are for me).

Most other systems only have enough substance to them to hold my attention for a few months. After which I'm just sort of done with them.

Pathfinder has a enough going on with it that I could easily continue to play it for years, even if Paizo went out of business tomorrow.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Neongelion wrote:

*Sigh* I don't know anymore.

Everyone where I live plays it and insists on playing it, though in recent months that's been changing with folks willing to try other stuff, even non-d20 systems. I keep telling myself that I'm sick of the system. I hate how combat is so g&@$!~n slow, I hate how the higher levels you go, the slower everything seems to be, how people seem to focus purely on doing one thing game-breakingly well and ultra-specialize in doing a few neat tricks rather than making a, well, character.

If you read that and thought, "that sounds a lot like the problems come primarily from the people you game with", then you'd find that I now realize that.

However, there's this content out that I find really hard to ignore. Iron Gods and all the sci-fi goodness was the first step. Then I discovered Dreamscarred Press's psionics and realized that the people who told me that psionics is "broken" was based off of pure hyperbole and 3.5 experiences and that DP's psionics was fraking awesome. Pathfinder Unchained gave some really cool options for making my life easier as GM. And now this Occult stuff is out!

So I guess in a nutshell I'm getting sick of how people I game with play Pathfinder. I want to try running it how I want to play games: where combat is fast, narrative>rules, people aren't obsessed over builds and how to "beat" Pathfinder rather than telling a cooperative story. That kinda stuff.

I really, really want to play an e7 game and just enjoy the game while it's fast and leave high level magic to rituals as discussed in Occult Adventures.

Sovereign Court

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Neongelion wrote:

*Sigh* I don't know anymore.

Everyone where I live plays it and insists on playing it, though in recent months that's been changing with folks willing to try other stuff, even non-d20 systems. I keep telling myself that I'm sick of the system. I hate how combat is so g&@$!~n slow, I hate how the higher levels you go, the slower everything seems to be, how people seem to focus purely on doing one thing game-breakingly well and ultra-specialize in doing a few neat tricks rather than making a, well, character.

If you read that and thought, "that sounds a lot like the problems come primarily from the people you game with", then you'd find that I now realize that.

However, there's this content out that I find really hard to ignore. Iron Gods and all the sci-fi goodness was the first step. Then I discovered Dreamscarred Press's psionics and realized that the people who told me that psionics is "broken" was based off of pure hyperbole and 3.5 experiences and that DP's psionics was fraking awesome. Pathfinder Unchained gave some really cool options for making my life easier as GM. And now this Occult stuff is out!

So I guess in a nutshell I'm getting sick of how people I game with play Pathfinder. I want to try running it how I want to play games: where combat is fast, narrative>rules, people aren't obsessed over builds and how to "beat" Pathfinder rather than telling a cooperative story. That kinda stuff.

I really, really want to play an e7 game and just enjoy the game while it's fast and leave high level magic to rituals as discussed in Occult Adventures.

I'd join up.


I do, because I like what I can do with it.

I use the tools and ideas to make something that myself and my players can enjoy, that's the best thing I can expect from any game system.


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I like the game, for the most part.

A lot of the time I don't like where the devs are trying to steer the game though. Especially recently.

Maybe it's all in my head but it seems like they're trying to hammer down all the interesting, fun options into some homogenous mess, with all the options being roughly equal in power (i.e. they all suck).


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Neongelion wrote:

*Sigh* I don't know anymore.

Everyone where I live plays it and insists on playing it, though in recent months that's been changing with folks willing to try other stuff, even non-d20 systems. I keep telling myself that I'm sick of the system. I hate how combat is so g&@$!~n slow, I hate how the higher levels you go, the slower everything seems to be, how people seem to focus purely on doing one thing game-breakingly well and ultra-specialize in doing a few neat tricks rather than making a, well, character.

If you read that and thought, "that sounds a lot like the problems come primarily from the people you game with", then you'd find that I now realize that.

However, there's this content out that I find really hard to ignore. Iron Gods and all the sci-fi goodness was the first step. Then I discovered Dreamscarred Press's psionics and realized that the people who told me that psionics is "broken" was based off of pure hyperbole and 3.5 experiences and that DP's psionics was fraking awesome. Pathfinder Unchained gave some really cool options for making my life easier as GM. And now this Occult stuff is out!

So I guess in a nutshell I'm getting sick of how people I game with play Pathfinder. I want to try running it how I want to play games: where combat is fast, narrative>rules, people aren't obsessed over builds and how to "beat" Pathfinder rather than telling a cooperative story. That kinda stuff.

I really, really want to play an e7 game and just enjoy the game while it's fast and leave high level magic to rituals as discussed in Occult Adventures.

The thing is I rather enjoy high-level Pathfinder gaming since that's really when people's concepts of their characters start to shine. I wouldn't really want a game that only sticks to lower levels and compensates for never advancing beyond that with stuff like extra powers or mythic tiers.

I guess the thing I really don't like about higher level Pathfinder games is just how ridiculous they can get. Maybe if I ran a game where magic items were extremely rare, compensating for Unchained's Automatic Bonus Progression...I dunno.

Shadow Lodge

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Rhedyn wrote:
DSP is why I am hesitant to abandon pathfinder. If I abandon pathfinder, I couldn't play DSP psionic classes.

I"m not sure if it could really be considered Pathfinder anymore, but a "Pathfinder" game where all Paizo-published classes were banned, and classes from Ultimate Psionics, Path of War, and the unreleased Path of War Expanded and Akashic Mysteries were allowed could be pretty good.

I've also heard good things about Spheres of Power from Drop Dead Studios...but I haven't yet looked through it myself.

Shadow Lodge

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I play Pathfinder because it's popular.

That's it in a nutshell. There are other games I prefer, but it's generally a lot easier to get someone to agree to play a game they've already played before than have them face the shock and horror of playing something different. :P

That being said, there should be an emphasis on the word PLAY in my first sentence. Pathfinder has diverged too far from my preference for me to really consider running it. I'd far rather run S&W, 5e, or CoC than even consider running PF. (Luckily conversion from Pathfinder to S&W or 5e is pretty easy).

Liberty's Edge

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I like Pathfinder. If I didn't, I'd play something else.

I run a fair portion of the games I'm involved in and am currently running a Cinematic Unisystem game set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as a Curse of the Crimson Throne game using Pathfinder. I'm also playing in a game of The One Ring (about to take a hiatus and do Star Wars d6) and will shortly be dropping a D&D 5e dungeon crawl game (the system's okay, but dungeon crawls bore me) to play in a game of the Firefly RPG. And that's actually a fairly standard cross-section of my gaming patterns for the most part, at least in terms of diversity.

So...yeah, its popularity isn't what brought me to Pathfinder (I barely touched 3.5...I mostly did White Wolf games and Unisystem stuff during that era). I play Pathfinder because it's a fun system, warts and all, and while complex, is also a pretty fun game to do mechanical tweaking and theorycrafting on. There are certainly issues (martial-caster disparity being the most obvious), but that doesn't mean the game isn't both well-done for the most part and fun to play. That also doesn't mean I don't play around with the system (my House Rules document is 12 pages at the moment), but I like it.

I prefer it to 3.5 due to the more interesting classes and greater incentives to single-classed characters (I disliked every optimized character having 7 Classes and the like), and what I feel is a slight lessening of the martial/caster disparity and what I feel is generally somewhat better balance (which is admittedly not saying much, but still).

And then there's the setting. I love Golarion. The setting is expansive, fun, and even pretty internally consistent. I like the Gods, the nations, the cities, the fiction. You name something about the setting, I probably like it. :)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Neongelion wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Neongelion wrote:

*Sigh* I don't know anymore.

Everyone where I live plays it and insists on playing it, though in recent months that's been changing with folks willing to try other stuff, even non-d20 systems. I keep telling myself that I'm sick of the system. I hate how combat is so g&@$!~n slow, I hate how the higher levels you go, the slower everything seems to be, how people seem to focus purely on doing one thing game-breakingly well and ultra-specialize in doing a few neat tricks rather than making a, well, character.

If you read that and thought, "that sounds a lot like the problems come primarily from the people you game with", then you'd find that I now realize that.

However, there's this content out that I find really hard to ignore. Iron Gods and all the sci-fi goodness was the first step. Then I discovered Dreamscarred Press's psionics and realized that the people who told me that psionics is "broken" was based off of pure hyperbole and 3.5 experiences and that DP's psionics was fraking awesome. Pathfinder Unchained gave some really cool options for making my life easier as GM. And now this Occult stuff is out!

So I guess in a nutshell I'm getting sick of how people I game with play Pathfinder. I want to try running it how I want to play games: where combat is fast, narrative>rules, people aren't obsessed over builds and how to "beat" Pathfinder rather than telling a cooperative story. That kinda stuff.

I really, really want to play an e7 game and just enjoy the game while it's fast and leave high level magic to rituals as discussed in Occult Adventures.

The thing is I rather enjoy high-level Pathfinder gaming since that's really when people's concepts of their characters start to shine. I wouldn't really want a game that only sticks to lower levels and compensates for never advancing beyond that with stuff like extra powers or mythic tiers.

I guess the thing I really don't like about higher level Pathfinder...

I think characters shine about level 7-12, but the game slows down egregiously after level 10 or so.

The problem with high level is extra attacks, slow down the game, more spell options, slow down the game, more buffs second-guessing every attack roll slows down the game. High level NPCs increase prep time. High level monster abilities and player abilities cause rocket tag problems.

Most character concepts are fairly well expressed between levels 7-10. You just keep doing what you're doing but more of it after that point. Is a fighter, paladin, or monk really better by getting even more attacks?

The caster martial disparity also really gets out of hand past level 10, as 5-9th level spells and spellcaster class features allow multiple spells in a round and just nutty combos.

But around level 7, a wizard might go: Once per day we can teleport a little, or once per day I can shut down low-level spells cast around me, or once a day I can make any monster my friend, but not all three at once.

The martial and skill classes though are still relevant, exploration based dangers (chasms, avalanches, winter storms, rushing rivers, BEARS) can still threaten the party and you can't just bamf from place to place.

I'm enjoying the high level Kingmaker campaign I'm running (Players just hit level 14, after multiple forays where they had to teleport in and out of a heavily fortified castle and fight loads of constructs including a sky battle with a clockwork dragon etc.) But it's exhausting work and the battles each took a full 3-4 hour session of play to get through.

We had just as much fun at level 7 when they were leading an army against marauding trolls, and just as much fun at level 2 when they were resurrecting a long dead race of elven skinwalkers, via ancient and eldritch rituals.

I don't think the game gets more fun when you have higher level abilities. It just starts feeling like more work for about the same and occasionally lesser return.

I would love to recalibrate the expectations of the game so that a Demon Lord was Level 15-19 and a God was level 20. The Jabberwocky would be CR 12, and finding a Vorpal Longsword to kill one was a thing you could do so that your level 7++ Characters would have a chance against one.

Because to me, the game isn't at it's best when players have just tons, and tons of powers and resource management has become a thing you can basically ignore. The game is at its best when players are low on resources, and know that their class features and cool things they can do are not going to save them. The higher levels are where every PC is a juggernaut unto themselves. But at lower levels the Wizard really does need his Paladin buddy to keep him from becoming a smear on the ground, and the Paladin buddy really does need that haste spell to put down the T-Rex in front of him.

This is really long so to get back at the topic at hand:

I love Pathfinder at low to mid levels


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Kthulhu wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
DSP is why I am hesitant to abandon pathfinder. If I abandon pathfinder, I couldn't play DSP psionic classes.

I"m not sure if it could really be considered Pathfinder anymore, but a "Pathfinder" game where all Paizo-published classes were banned, and classes from Ultimate Psionics, Path of War, and the unreleased Path of War Expanded and Akashic Mysteries were allowed could be pretty good.

I've also heard good things about Spheres of Power from Drop Dead Studios...but I haven't yet looked through it myself.

I've been contemplating banning all arcane and divine classes alongside magic items for my homebrew setting (investigators and alchemists are the sole exception, I just re-flavor them as super-science) and replacing them with psionics and possibly the occult stuff. I also was contemplating having firearms be considered Martial weapons and use these rules for firearms. Still debating whether its worth it to even use Pathfinder at this point, but I realize that DP's psionics is one of the biggest reasons why I haven't tried converting this setting to another system...yet.


Just started running a game where there's no Arcane or Divine casters, or magic items (using a sort of "Automatic Bonus Progression" type of rule our group's been using for a while, and allowed Tech Guide Cybertech at a discount and Thunderscape Manite Implants and technology).

Current party is level 8 and consists of an Unchained Monk, a Mind Knight Psychic Warrior, a Zweihander Sentinel Warder, and a Chirurgeon Alchemist.

Going well, so far. The Zweihander Sentinel uses a Chainsaw.


I did. Now I'm just playing it out of nostalgia and because finding a new system and getting my groups to change is too much hassle. But if it keeps on getting worse at the current rate I might abandon it, even if it means not playing with people I've known for about 15 years.


Pathfinder is ok. I have the same problem with it that I have had since d20 came out: Numbers/feat/mechanic bloat, 6 second combat round, and the 5 ft step.

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