Anything you feel 3.x did better than Pathfinder?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Albatoonoe wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I don't think a level 20 character is powerful enough to be a deity, really. The thing about level 20 characters is that a sufficient number of say, level 12 characters, can take them out, just because of how action economy works.

If that were the case, "death of gods" is a thing that shouldn't be exceptionally rare, which is a valid choice for a campaign setting but it wouldn't be mine.

I know for sure that most of the "gods" in our myths and legends would be happy to be able to do even half of what a level 20 full caster is capable of.

Create a new plane of existence that you can morph at will. Just 6 hours away!

Bring someone back to life? 10 Minutes of effort (though you can do it in less).

Move objects instantly from one point to another? Once you set-up the circles you can put the distance between point A and point B somewhere else.

Cure all ailments. Not even 6 seconds of effort.

Control Minds. Not even 6 seconds of effort.

Horde of Angels? Not even 6 seconds of effort.

Stop Time? Ok, look you made Zeus cry. This is your fault really.

Seriously, a level 20 Caster makes most gods just look plain silly. The sad thing is here just how much stuff I didn't mention, because the post would just keep going and going...

I disagree. The non deific Djinni from the story of Aladdin was capable of as much. Thor could drink an ocean and lift a mountain. Hera threw Heracles into a murderous rage with little effort. Even discounting the Abrahamic god, classical gods were capable of truly epic deeds.

How many planes of existence can they create in day? Less than 4? I'm thinking it's less than 4. How many minds can they control? How often can they simply will themselves somewhere miles away? How often can any of them die before breakfast before it becomes more than a minor inconvenience. How often can Thor stop time? How often can he bring himself back from the dead? Oh. Not even once. That's pretty sad. If you die when you are killed, you really shouldn't call yourself a god.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
But a 20 level wizard can only stop time ~5 times a day. A deity with "time" within their portfolio should be able to stop time whenever they want as often as they want for as long as they want at no real cost to themselves.

That's the difference between a generalist mage and a Time Magister


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Wow guys not all home games are the same, I understand that epic level and divine ranks were never very popular but that doesn't mean that nobody played those levels, in my games gods were killable and it was a blast, I just don't share that conception of gods been all mighty and PCs not able to kill them.

The subject in the topic is what I think 3.x did better than Pathfinder, and for me that was post level 20 game, Epic Level Handbook and Deities and Demigods were my favorite books at those times, and like a said earlier is easier to ignore than create.


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I'll bring up the vigor line of spells for things 3.5 did better.

Basically Infernal Healing, except with scaling and no alignment baggage.

Silver Crusade

Anzyr wrote:
How many planes of existence can they create in day? Less than 4? I'm thinking it's less than 4. How many minds can they control? How often can they simply will themselves somewhere miles away? How often can any of them die before breakfast before it becomes more than a minor inconvenience. How often can Thor stop time? How often can he bring himself back from the dead? Oh. Not even once. That's...

Yes, yes, we know you think gods are nothing compared to wizards. We get it. In any case, comparing PF/D&D characters to real world mythology is not terribly helpful because gods like Thor or Zeus or Ra as presented would not be appreciably stronger than 20th level PCs (because, in our world, no one is anywhere near that level). However, in PF the gods are still seen as beyond mortal ken, regardless of the fact that 20th level characters exist, so they must be something more. Karzoug exists, but that doesn't put him on a level with Pharasma, or even Nethys.

One thing that's good about keeping major entities (gods, etc) without stats is that it leaves their abilities purely in the realm of narrative. Sure a 20th level wizard can do awesome things, but a god having purely narrative powers allows them to do literally anything. A 20th level character is still bound by the rules of the game. Gods are not, because they haven't been codified.


Isonaroc wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
How many planes of existence can they create in day? Less than 4? I'm thinking it's less than 4. How many minds can they control? How often can they simply will themselves somewhere miles away? How often can any of them die before breakfast before it becomes more than a minor inconvenience. How often can Thor stop time? How often can he bring himself back from the dead? Oh. Not even once. That's...

Yes, yes, we know you think gods are nothing compared to wizards. We get it. In any case, comparing PF/D&D characters to real world mythology is not terribly helpful because gods like Thor or Zeus or Ra as presented would not be appreciably stronger than 20th level PCs (because, in our world, no one is anywhere near that level). However, in PF the gods are still seen as beyond mortal ken, regardless of the fact that 20th level characters exist, so they must be something more. Karzoug exists, but that doesn't put him on a level with Pharasma, or even Nethys.

One thing that's good about keeping major entities (gods, etc) without stats is that it leaves their abilities purely in the realm of narrative. Sure a 20th level wizard can do awesome things, but a god having purely narrative powers allows them to do literally anything. A 20th level character is still bound by the rules of the game. Gods are not, because they haven't been codified.

In other words a Deus ex Machina, sorry I cannot resist. For some people, like me, that kind of fiat is just bad writing.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
edduardco wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
How many planes of existence can they create in day? Less than 4? I'm thinking it's less than 4. How many minds can they control? How often can they simply will themselves somewhere miles away? How often can any of them die before breakfast before it becomes more than a minor inconvenience. How often can Thor stop time? How often can he bring himself back from the dead? Oh. Not even once. That's...

Yes, yes, we know you think gods are nothing compared to wizards. We get it. In any case, comparing PF/D&D characters to real world mythology is not terribly helpful because gods like Thor or Zeus or Ra as presented would not be appreciably stronger than 20th level PCs (because, in our world, no one is anywhere near that level). However, in PF the gods are still seen as beyond mortal ken, regardless of the fact that 20th level characters exist, so they must be something more. Karzoug exists, but that doesn't put him on a level with Pharasma, or even Nethys.

One thing that's good about keeping major entities (gods, etc) without stats is that it leaves their abilities purely in the realm of narrative. Sure a 20th level wizard can do awesome things, but a god having purely narrative powers allows them to do literally anything. A 20th level character is still bound by the rules of the game. Gods are not, because they haven't been codified.

In other words a Deus ex Machina, sorry I cannot resist. For some people, like me, that kind of fiat is just bad writing.

Gods being able to do things Gods do is bad writing to you?


Rysky wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
How many planes of existence can they create in day? Less than 4? I'm thinking it's less than 4. How many minds can they control? How often can they simply will themselves somewhere miles away? How often can any of them die before breakfast before it becomes more than a minor inconvenience. How often can Thor stop time? How often can he bring himself back from the dead? Oh. Not even once. That's...

Yes, yes, we know you think gods are nothing compared to wizards. We get it. In any case, comparing PF/D&D characters to real world mythology is not terribly helpful because gods like Thor or Zeus or Ra as presented would not be appreciably stronger than 20th level PCs (because, in our world, no one is anywhere near that level). However, in PF the gods are still seen as beyond mortal ken, regardless of the fact that 20th level characters exist, so they must be something more. Karzoug exists, but that doesn't put him on a level with Pharasma, or even Nethys.

One thing that's good about keeping major entities (gods, etc) without stats is that it leaves their abilities purely in the realm of narrative. Sure a 20th level wizard can do awesome things, but a god having purely narrative powers allows them to do literally anything. A 20th level character is still bound by the rules of the game. Gods are not, because they haven't been codified.

In other words a Deus ex Machina, sorry I cannot resist. For some people, like me, that kind of fiat is just bad writing.
Gods being able to do things Gods do is bad writing to you?

If they breaks the internal consistency of the setting the author first established, then yes, I consider that bad writing


Isonaroc wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
How many planes of existence can they create in day? Less than 4? I'm thinking it's less than 4. How many minds can they control? How often can they simply will themselves somewhere miles away? How often can any of them die before breakfast before it becomes more than a minor inconvenience. How often can Thor stop time? How often can he bring himself back from the dead? Oh. Not even once. That's...
Yes, yes, we know you think gods are nothing compared to wizards. We get it. In any case, comparing PF/D&D characters to real world mythology is not terribly helpful because gods like Thor or Zeus or Ra as presented would not be appreciably stronger than 20th level PCs (because, in our world, no one is anywhere near that level). However, in PF the gods are still seen as beyond mortal ken, regardless of the fact that 20th level characters exist, so they must be something more. Karzoug exists, but that doesn't put him on a level with Pharasma, or even Nethys.

Unless it does.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
edduardco wrote:
Rysky wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
How many planes of existence can they create in day? Less than 4? I'm thinking it's less than 4. How many minds can they control? How often can they simply will themselves somewhere miles away? How often can any of them die before breakfast before it becomes more than a minor inconvenience. How often can Thor stop time? How often can he bring himself back from the dead? Oh. Not even once. That's...

Yes, yes, we know you think gods are nothing compared to wizards. We get it. In any case, comparing PF/D&D characters to real world mythology is not terribly helpful because gods like Thor or Zeus or Ra as presented would not be appreciably stronger than 20th level PCs (because, in our world, no one is anywhere near that level). However, in PF the gods are still seen as beyond mortal ken, regardless of the fact that 20th level characters exist, so they must be something more. Karzoug exists, but that doesn't put him on a level with Pharasma, or even Nethys.

One thing that's good about keeping major entities (gods, etc) without stats is that it leaves their abilities purely in the realm of narrative. Sure a 20th level wizard can do awesome things, but a god having purely narrative powers allows them to do literally anything. A 20th level character is still bound by the rules of the game. Gods are not, because they haven't been codified.

In other words a Deus ex Machina, sorry I cannot resist. For some people, like me, that kind of fiat is just bad writing.
Gods being able to do things Gods do is bad writing to you?
If they breaks the internal consistency of the setting the author first established, then yes, I consider that bad writing

Um, they haven't. Mostly because they can't. Specifically because what Gods can and can't do has never stated.


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edduardco wrote:
If they breaks the internal consistency of the setting the author first established, then yes, I consider that bad writing

How is "A deity can do a thing that absolutely no mortal could ever do" "breaking internal consistency"?

I would basically define a deity in this sort of game as a being who is not bound by the rules in terms of what they can and can't do, because the role of a deity in this game is not "A thing you can fight" unless the GM (or setting writer) explicitly creates a circumstance that would allow that deity to be vulnerable. The role of a deity in a game like this is to serve as a cause for things which otherwise would have no explanation. Why are there undead on Golarion? Because Urgathoa escaped Pharasma's Boneyard. Gods don't cast animate dead, they set in motion cosmic events that allow that spell to be possible in the first place.

There's all sorts of things that are possible in the game world for which there are not, and will likely never be rules for, like "turning someone else into a Lich against their will".


Feats, prestige classes - paizo just really overcompensated here- and.. yeah I'll agree that the way PF handles its deities is kind of goofy.


edduardco wrote:
Another one for me is Deities, gods should have stats IMO.

With the mythic rules allowing characters to become deities, you can do that. In my current campaign, every deity is stated up via the mythic ruleset.


Anzyr wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I don't think a level 20 character is powerful enough to be a deity, really. The thing about level 20 characters is that a sufficient number of say, level 12 characters, can take them out, just because of how action economy works.

If that were the case, "death of gods" is a thing that shouldn't be exceptionally rare, which is a valid choice for a campaign setting but it wouldn't be mine.

I know for sure that most of the "gods" in our myths and legends would be happy to be able to do even half of what a level 20 full caster is capable of.

Create a new plane of existence that you can morph at will. Just 6 hours away!

Bring someone back to life? 10 Minutes of effort (though you can do it in less).

Move objects instantly from one point to another? Once you set-up the circles you can put the distance between point A and point B somewhere else.

Cure all ailments. Not even 6 seconds of effort.

Control Minds. Not even 6 seconds of effort.

Horde of Angels? Not even 6 seconds of effort.

Stop Time? Ok, look you made Zeus cry. This is your fault really.

Seriously, a level 20 Caster makes most gods just look plain silly. The sad thing is here just how much stuff I didn't mention, because the post would just keep going and going...

I rarely agree with Anzyr, but I agree with him now.

Hence, for me, if characters get to be powerful enough, then I'd allow them to take on a deity.

Afterall, if we are going to compare deific powers in our world to those of a fantasy world, how many individuals do you know of that have the powers of the above, much less the powers and abilities of a 12th level spellcaster?


There's a reason I class all PCs over level 12 as demigods and over 16 as full deities.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I would basically define a deity in this sort of game as a being who is not bound by the rules in terms of what they can and can't do, because the role of a deity in this game is not "A thing you can fight" unless the GM (or setting writer) explicitly creates a circumstance that would allow that deity to be vulnerable. The role of a deity in a game like this is to serve as a cause for things which otherwise would have no explanation. Why are there undead on Golarion? Because Urgathoa escaped Pharasma's Boneyard. Gods don't cast animate dead, they set in motion cosmic events that allow that spell to be possible in the first place.

There's all sorts of things that are possible in the game world for which there are not, and will likely never be rules for, like "turning someone else into a Lich against their will".

All that will fall under Author Fiat, I understand that probably most people like it that way, but for me it seems like bad and lazy writing, I'm not trying to offend anyone, it is just not my cup of tea, and sincerely I don't see why Author Fiat should be the only way.


Milo v3 wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Another one for me is Deities, gods should have stats IMO.
With the mythic rules allowing characters to become deities, you can do that. In my current campaign, every deity is stated up via the mythic ruleset.

I guess Mythic didn't make the cut for me, like I say before I think 3.X handle that better with the Epic Level Handbook and Deities & Demigods, even with all their flaws.

Silver Crusade

edduardco wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Another one for me is Deities, gods should have stats IMO.
With the mythic rules allowing characters to become deities, you can do that. In my current campaign, every deity is stated up via the mythic ruleset.
I guess Mythic didn't make the cut for me, like I say before I think 3.X handle that better with the Epic Level Handbook and Deities & Demigods, even with all their flaws.

Yeah, I use mythic, 'cause it's what we have, but I liked epic and D&D (the book, not the game) better. Though, because of this thread, I'm building epic characters now using old 3.5 rules with Pathfinder conventions. So that's fun.


Is there some reason people do not like the epic level rules in the GMG?

edduardco wrote:
I guess Mythic didn't make the cut for me, like I say before I think 3.X handle that better with the Epic Level Handbook and Deities & Demigods, even with all their flaws.

Mythic is much better when you're using it with NPC's and monsters than players, so using it with deities works rather well.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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Milo v3 wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Another one for me is Deities, gods should have stats IMO.
With the mythic rules allowing characters to become deities, you can do that. In my current campaign, every deity is stated up via the mythic ruleset.

Two mythic PCs in my game took divine source and wound up creating their own religion. Unfortunately, a minor holy war broke out between their followers while they were away on an adventure. Fun times.


Wizards of the Coast published so many gottverdam splatbooks that their "closed content" horsecrap cut out a lot of options and design space that Pathfinder could have used. If Spell Compendium and Magic Item Compendium were OGL, it would've changed the game.


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It was a lot easier to make an interesting martial character who did things in combat beyond full attacking in 3.5.


Milo v3 wrote:
Is there some reason people do not like the epic level rules in the GMG?

I wasn't aware there were rules for Epic in the GameMastery Guide, perhaps you are referring to this section in the Core Rulebook? If yes I don't see how to compare just one page to one whole book.

I agree with you about Mythic been great for monsters and villains.


I actually prefer Pathfinder Epic rules for a major reason.

You can use the Epic rules that you want.

For example, if you want to use 3.x's epic rules, you can do that with a little modification.

If you want to use Sword and Sorcery's epic rules in their Advanced Players guide, you can do that.

Or if you want to do your own thing, you can also do that.


Ninja in the Rye wrote:
It was a lot easier to make an interesting martial character who did things in combat beyond full attacking in 3.5.

Now this one makes me curious, mainly because I am always looking for ways to expand the on the fly options for non-casters, do you have a few examples?


Rule and flavor presentation


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Threeshades wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
It was a lot easier to make an interesting martial character who did things in combat beyond full attacking in 3.5.
Now this one makes me curious, mainly because I am always looking for ways to expand the on the fly options for non-casters, do you have a few examples?

Combat Maneuvers were easier and less feat-intensive.

Shock Trooper Leap Attack allowed for very powerful single-stroke charges.

Tome of Battle.


edduardco wrote:


I wasn't aware there were rules for Epic in the GameMastery Guide, perhaps you are referring to this section in the Core Rulebook? If yes I don't see how to compare just one page to one whole book.

All it's missing are Epic PrC's (and PF tends away from non-golarion specific PrC's), Epic Feats (very easy to just grab mythic feats), a handful of magic items which are basically all "slightly higher number versions of old items", high CR monsters (which we have examples of and rules for) and epic spells (which were so broken I can't imagine people want to keep)

So, basically, all your missing is a handful of items and some high CR monsters.


edduardco wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
edduardco wrote:

Post 20 levels, although Mythic have its uses, sometimes feel too alien, almost like playing a different game, while Epic was a proper continuation if a bit flawed.

Another one for me is Deities, gods should have stats IMO.

I'm actually a fan of the "Non Statted Deities". In my Homebrew they are simply unable to be defeated by a PC. I see no need to stat them, as the players will not encounter them. Now I do stat "aspects" of the deities, lesser mortal versions that can be fought but doesn't affect the deity in anyway.

Yeah but that is your Home Game, is easier to ignore stats than create them.

EDIT for clarity

I could create them, but I see no point.


Barbarian rage was simpler, and therefore better.

Being able to break up skill points at 1st level to make more generalist characters.

Half-orcs having vaguely sensible racial features. Why are they just as versatile as humans, and deathproof?

NPCs not all using the "non-elite array." Going with that, Pathfinder boosted orc strength to +4, gave them nastier weapons by default, and added ferocity, making orcs 4x as strong, and virtually useless as cannon fodder creatures for low level encounters.

Kobolds not being tied to dragon lore, necessarily.

Cleric domains being softer, and therefore better balanced, compared to other classes. Clerics are already armored 9th level casters, adding more bennies just made them stronger, which made other characters need to be stronger, but they still weren't more stronger. Clerics are still out of whack.

Favored classes. I didn't really like the old favored classes, but they were still better than the new favored class mechanic, which just punishes multiclassing. Why punish an option you made less attractive in the first place? Favored classes didn't really add anything until alternate favored class bonuses were introduced. Now they add some color, but are just really a punishment to the fighter-barbarians of the world.

I don't like endless cantrips. They make sense in some contexts. But most fantasy doesn't have characters who can use minor spells endlessly and tirelessly. It breaks the narrative, and occasionally introduces bizarre balance problems.

Fiendish and celestial creatures. Granted, they were kind of terrible and pointless before, but now they have animal intelligence and an alignment-based smite. How they hell do they know what to smite?


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I could create them, but I see no point.

Creatures that are living fiat are boring to many, and it necessitates tonnes of campaigns having the same "Oh the gods agreed to not interfere with mortals despite x god currently trying to destroy the world" stupidity.

RJGrady wrote:
Half-orcs having vaguely sensible racial features. Why are they just as versatile as humans, and deathproof?

They aren't just as versatile as humans, and actual racial abilities are better than "My race concept is I can see in the dark and we are all stupider than a brick".

Quote:
NPCs not all using the "non-elite array."

But there are NPC's using the elite array... It's in the NPC creation rules.

Quote:
Kobolds not being tied to dragon lore, necessarily.

Kobolds were more tied to dragons in 3.5e than they are in PF.

Quote:
Cleric domains being softer, and therefore better balanced, compared to other classes. Clerics are already armored 9th level casters, adding more bennies just made them stronger, which made other characters need to be stronger, but they still weren't more stronger. Clerics are still out of whack.

Cleric's had their armour more restricted in PF and have their CoDzilla spells nerfed iirc.


The 3.0 half-orc was not a triumph of design, but at least I understand why each element is there. The ferocity is a nice touch in Pathfinder, but I don't really get why half-orcs have a versatile +2 to any ability score. Sure, the half-orc brute is a stereotype, but half-orc wizards and bards? It doesn't seem like a net gain. The same logic would suggest that ALL races get a selectable bonus and no penalty.

I am referring to "human warrior." Using the 11,10 array makes a lot more sense. Non-heroic characters should mostly have scores in that range, if you look at it statistically and in terms of their capabilities. Most people don't have an "8." The non-elite array has its uses, but applying it to, say, an orc warrior, yields clunky results.

Kobolds had less dragon elements in 3.0. There were some hinted, maybe not believable bits of lore. I kind of liked the idea the kobolds who hold those beliefs could be reasonably suspected to be delusional. But no, 3.5 said, there are winged kobolds, and that's where kobold sorcery came from, and that's it. Mind you, my first introduction to kobolds was as "dog-like" goblinoids.

I don't think I've ever heard that the problem with CoDzilla was that they got to wear full plate. You have this class with medium BAB, two good saves, medium armor, level-based abilities, and 9th level casting. It's like a wizard-fighter gestalt that can't cast, oh, magic missile, except of course when it can.


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Milo v3 wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I could create them, but I see no point.
Creatures that are living fiat are boring to many, and it necessitates tonnes of campaigns having the same "Oh the gods agreed to not interfere with mortals despite x god currently trying to destroy the world" stupidity.

I've always run it as- Gods are infinitely powerful in their home realm, and thus cannot be permanently killed without the use of some manner of plot device, even by other gods. Anywhere other than the seat of their power, if they wish to act directly they can only only invest a finite portion of their power within an avatar, which can be killed but this doesn't result in any permanent harm to the deity.

This seems to get the best balance between "the Gods are vastly more powerful than the PCs" and "why aren't they dead/constantly interfering in stuff."

We've killed a lot of deities permanently in campaigns I've run, but the story has to be about that and I make the players earn it. It's about completing an epic quest to make the being vulnerable to begin with, not just about a combat.


RJGrady wrote:
I don't think I've ever heard that the problem with CoDzilla was that they got to wear full plate. You have this class with medium BAB, two good saves, medium armor, level-based abilities, and 9th level casting. It's like a wizard-fighter gestalt that can't cast, oh, magic missile, except of course when it can.

Cleric spells suck at a ton of things that arcane casters take for granted. The fighter also gets weapon and armor training, which is like getting permanent divine power.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
strumbleduck wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
strumbleduck wrote:


This happens with most character classes. Every barbarian needs rage powers, every rogue needs rogue talents, every wizard gets extra powers from their specialty school, etc. Smart GMs might just ignore these things, but you shouldn't have to consistently ignore the rules just to play the game.

I understand that having so many options makes things fun for players--or at least experienced players--but for a GM making all of these choices every time is a huge pain.

I actually find gearing as the hardest part of NPC creation.
Gearing is a problem, too, which was present in 3.x as well. This isn't too hard to wing at low levels, but if you want to get it right you do have to look up NPC gear values, and at high levels things get absurdly complicated. Of course, 3.5 helped with this problem by having tables in the DM's Guide for gearing NPCs of each class by level, which disappeared in Pathfinder.

Have you checked out the monster creation rules in Unchained? They're up on the PRD if not, and I found they helped streamline the NPC creation process almost to the point of "I can do this from memory" that you mention. When it was published, on a whim I rolled up 16 monsters in the space of three hours. By the end of that time, when I actually knew what I was doing with the system, a CR 11 "boss" character took about five minutes, and mostly THAT long because I was hand writing into a notebook instead of a statblock.

To the point of the thread, some of the classes Wizard put out as 3.5 wound down were pretty awesome. Not necessarily balanced, but they stretched the design space in interesting and flavorful ways. The Occult Adventures and other books snuck reflavored versions of some of them into pathfinder (Totemist, Binders, Warlocks), but there are still a few I miss. Particularly Dragon Shaman, which is what I mean by unbalanced (towards the low side, to be clear) but flavorful.


RJGrady wrote:
The 3.0 half-orc was not a triumph of design, but at least I understand why each element is there. The ferocity is a nice touch in Pathfinder, but I don't really get why half-orcs have a versatile +2 to any ability score. Sure, the half-orc brute is a stereotype, but half-orc wizards and bards? It doesn't seem like a net gain. The same logic would suggest that ALL races get a selectable bonus and no penalty.

Half-orcs aren't just "Orcs, but playable". They are half-orc half-human, so they get some human stuff... That's not a complex idea.

Quote:
I am referring to "human warrior." Using the 11,10 array makes a lot more sense. Non-heroic characters should mostly have scores in that range, if you look at it statistically and in terms of their capabilities. Most people don't have an "8." The non-elite array has its uses, but applying it to, say, an orc warrior, yields clunky results.

You realize in 3.5e that the closest NPC creation rules said for what array's NPC's should have is the elite array? Non-elite array makes a lot more sense for NPC class characters than the elite array does.

Quote:
Kobolds had less dragon elements in 3.0. There were some hinted, maybe not believable bits of lore. I kind of liked the idea the kobolds who hold those beliefs could be reasonably suspected to be delusional. But no, 3.5 said, there are winged kobolds, and that's where kobold sorcery came from, and that's it. Mind you, my first introduction to kobolds was as "dog-like" goblinoids.

I'm guessing you never read Races of the Dragon then, where it really really really high-lights how draconic kobolds are... 3.5e made kobolds so tied to dragons that people still argue to this day whether kobolds who take a certain feat is considered a true dragon by RAW.

Quote:
I don't think I've ever heard that the problem with CoDzilla was that they got to wear full plate. You have this class with medium BAB, two good saves, medium armor, level-based abilities, and 9th level casting. It's like a wizard-fighter gestalt that can't cast, oh, magic missile, except of course when it can.

Armour wasn't a major issue, no, but I thought it was worth saying for the purposes of "Clerics didn't just get buffed". The ability to buff themselves with their spells was a main CoDzilla thing, which is why some of their buffs were nerfed.


Thelemic_Noun wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
I don't think I've ever heard that the problem with CoDzilla was that they got to wear full plate. You have this class with medium BAB, two good saves, medium armor, level-based abilities, and 9th level casting. It's like a wizard-fighter gestalt that can't cast, oh, magic missile, except of course when it can.
Cleric spells suck at a ton of things that arcane casters take for granted. The fighter also gets weapon and armor training, which is like getting permanent divine power.

Which is great, if most fights are tough enough that anyone without that level of combat ability is going to find it very difficult. If most encounters are not that tough then the Cleric can get by adequately without casting Divine Power, saving it for when it's really necessary. And in all the other situations where you need something other than being able to fight quite that well, the Fighter provides rather less than the Cleric. Being good enough to beat the monsters is all that's necessary. The Cleric is usually good enough, can use their own magic to improve if needed, and much more valuable than a Fighter in other ways.


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So... I play Pathfinder because it was where all my friends migrated to. However, I prefer 3.5. I liked that wizards were weaker, with d4s. I liked the absence of gunslingers or other constant touch-attack classes (which, IMHO have sorta overrun many fights which were traditionally more difficult). I like all the traps in 3.5 and the niche protection for the rogue. I liked getting a pile of skill points at level 1 and being able to put 1 tiny point into an obscure skill just for backstory. You can put 1 point into a skill for backstory in PF, but it's 1 out of 5 points you had. In D&D it's 1 out of 25 points you had. So it's very minor! Much easier pill to swallow.

I liked that identifying magic items was borderline impossible compared to PF (OK, not impossible but when the common way to do it cost 100 GP you didn't just spam it and know all items). I have a group right now that is in a 3.5 game, and they had to hold all magic items until level 3. At that point, their cleric with the magic domain was able to cast an Identify spell once per day with no arcane material component cost. Something like 3 weeks later in the game world and they were finally ready to say, "WHEW. OK. Let's keep/sell the items we identified, and find an adventure."

Healing was harder, too. No channel burst on all allies at range. For example, the same group which I just mentioned spent a couple days at level 2 just resting, because they couldn't cast their way out of all the damage. They needed natural healing AND days to recover & cast spells. Some characters were near death (die at -10 instead of -CON) and things looked very risky for a moment there. They had a couple of tense nights guarding their camp, with the players looking at me like, "You wouldn't really send a wandering monster at us NOW, would you?"

No, I wouldn't. But I'm glad you can sense the tension! It just feels dangerous at low levels.

In fact, here is a good way to feel this, for yourself. Have you played Hollows Last Hope? You know, the Falcon's Hollow modules? If you played them in Pathfinder, you may have found your PCs murdered their way right through that thing -- beat the entire 1st module in a game night, no problem. However, I'm running it in D&D 3.5, and this is the game I just referenced, where the PCs are dying and needed days to rest. They are fighting hard to get through that thing. Think about that: a module that is a cakewalk in Pathfinder is near murder in D&D 3.5. This is a module with some silly 6 HP darkmantles and a wolf! Why is it a real challenge? Because the PCs have fewer hit points. Because the PCs have to portion out healing carefully. Because flinging touch-attack bombs around that do an average of 10 HP damage at 1st level isn't a thing in D&D 3.5. A couple of 6 HP monsters might get some good attacks in before dying. In D&D 3.5, a tatzlwyrm with 25 HP will murder a 1st level adventuring party if they don't have their acts together.

And it's not that I like to kill the PCs. I don't. I give them hero points or NPC allies or whatever I can to help them out. But I like the risk.


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Interesting question. On the whole I felt Pathfinder was good step in the right direction, however there are a few things that I preferred from 3.5.

(Now, in Pathfinder's defence, I believe at least some of these were due to licensing issues, as evidenced by the lack of the 3.5 rules on d20SRD.org)

  • Settlement Sizes: Pathfinder revamped settlement populations for smaller settlements, and on the whole made the minimum population for each even smaller. E.g. a settlement is a small town at 201 people (PF), rather than 901 (3.5), and a thorpe has at least 1 person (PF) vs 20 (3.5), implying a lone man in a shack has a store with a base limit of 50 gp and purchase limit of 500 gp and 1st level spellcasting.
  • Flight. I appreciate what Paizo were trying to do with the Fly skill, but all it does is add a tax and a lot of extra rolling for flying creatures, especially in fights with lots of ranged weapons.
  • Concentration DCs. I appreciate that they wanted wizards and such to avoid being in melee... but that isn't who suffers from the raised DCs to cast defensively; it's the bards, paladins and clerics; classes whom are more MAD and prone to lower concentration bonuses, while also having the job of being in melee (or close to those who are) a whole lot more. It also doesn't really both the sorcerers/wizards, as they're likely to be invisible and flying anyway. And losing the heal or breath of life because you failed the concentration check doesn't punish the cleric, it punishes the poor sap they're trying to keep alive, and the entire team.
  • Published details on populations and demographics for nations. It isn't essential, but it's a useful tool for describing a place if you know whether it's sparsely populated, heavily cultivated and the degree of urbanization. Well... I find it handy, anyway.
  • Clerics having heavy armor. Seriously, they already need Str, Con, Wis and Cha, adding a few points of Dex or a feat tax to get heavy armor felt somewhat unfair. I appreciate they were one of the strongest classes in 3.5... but nerfing their buffs and their proficiencies was (to me) both unnecessary and made translation of 3.5 to PF adventures harder.

That's pretty much my list.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Raynulf wrote:

a thorpe has at least 1 person (PF) vs 20 (3.5), implying a lone man in a shack has a store with a base limit of 50 gp and purchase limit of 500 gp and 1st level spellcasting.

Given the threat of wandering monsters, marauding bandits, and curious adventurers, that actually sounds quite reasonable. Even if he's not a spellcaster himself (and lone hermits in the wood tend to be exactly that, narratively speaking), he's probably not much more than a few hours away from one and has the means of contacting a neighboring Adept or Hunter. Not to mention more than a few odds and ends he's collected over the years that he keeps for emergencies or even makes himself.

A small group of twenty people isn't much more than a few families living together, and may well not have much more on hand, although they probably have a resident spellcaster rather than just one nearby.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Raynulf wrote:

a thorpe has at least 1 person (PF) vs 20 (3.5), implying a lone man in a shack has a store with a base limit of 50 gp and purchase limit of 500 gp and 1st level spellcasting.

Given the threat of wandering monsters, marauding bandits, and curious adventurers, that actually sounds quite reasonable. Even if he's not a spellcaster himself (and lone hermits in the wood tend to be exactly that, narratively speaking), he's probably not much more than a few hours away from one and has the means of contacting a neighboring Adept or Hunter. Not to mention more than a few odds and ends he's collected over the years that he keeps for emergencies or even makes himself.

A small group of twenty people isn't much more than a few families living together, and may well not have much more on hand, although they probably have a resident spellcaster rather than just one nearby.

I hate to say this... But I think the argument you are using doesn't support your statement very well.

In 3.5, spellcasting services had the general rule that you needed to find a small town for 1st level spells (901+ people), and at least 20 people to be able to buy something worth 40gp (and who would only have 40gp available to buy things from adventurers [1/2 GP limit x 10% population).

In Pathfinder every family farmstead (as written) has items up to 50gp available for sale, funds to spend up to 500gp per item buying items from adventurers and 1st level spellcasting services available. I always run that the GM is the final arbiter on what is and isn't available... and invariably I default back to the 3.5 version as a guideline.

If anything, the threat of wandering monsters and bandits should reduce the wealth - and in particular liquid wealth - of rural farmers and peasants.

Looking at larger settlements:
A village in 3.5 had a minimum of 401 people, no spellcasting services, a GP limit (i.e. what you could buy) of 200gp and (with 401 people) a total liquid wealth available to buy PC stuff of 4,000gp. Total.

A village in Pathfinder has a minimum of 60 people, spellcasting services of up to 3rd level, a base limit (i.e. what you can buy) of 500gp, and available funds to pay 2,500gp per item, and no limit to the number of items you could sell them. A settlement of 401 people would be a small town in Pathfinder with 4th level spellcasting services, 1,000gp base limit and 5,000gp per item purchase limit.

TL;DR: By the numbers, the peasants in Pathfinder are filthy rich with magic up to their eyeballs.

The presence of wandering monsters and bandits (who take your money) should actually deter the accumulation of wealth to this degree. Getting robbed doesn't make you richer.


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Raynulf wrote:

...

TL;DR: By the numbers, the peasants in Pathfinder are filthy rich with magic up to their eyeballs.

The presence of wandering monsters and bandits (who take your money) should actually deter the accumulation of wealth to this degree. Getting robbed doesn't make you richer.

I think the point of all those big 6 items the peasants buy is that they don't get robbed, because they have lots of magical stuff to defend themselves with.

Of course, the real reasonable answer is that civilization can't exist when existential threats are found everywhere with no reliable defense available, so the very idea of vulnerable villages + wandering monsters is a non-starter.


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Milo v3 wrote:
Armour wasn't a major issue, no, but I thought it was worth saying for the purposes of "Clerics didn't just get buffed". The ability to buff themselves with their spells was a main CoDzilla thing, which is why some of their buffs were nerfed.

Really, the only things Pathfinder needed to do to bring down CoDzilla were dropping Divine Metamagic, Persistent Spell, and the polymorph changes. Once Druids couldn't gain 20 strength from wildshape and clerics couldn't have all their good combat buffs up all day for minimal cost, CoDzilla was dead.


CoDzilla is alive and well, it just plays a bit differently on PF.


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Threeshades wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
It was a lot easier to make an interesting martial character who did things in combat beyond full attacking in 3.5.
Now this one makes me curious, mainly because I am always looking for ways to expand the on the fly options for non-casters, do you have a few examples?

Path of War, the Dreamscarred Press published "spiritual successor" to those extra martial options.


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aboyd wrote:


I liked that identifying magic items was borderline impossible compared to PF (OK, not impossible but when the common way to do it cost 100 GP you didn't just spam it and know all items). I have a group right now that is in a 3.5 game, and they had to hold all magic items until level 3. At that point, their cleric with the magic domain was able to cast an Identify spell once per day with no arcane material component cost. Something like 3 weeks later in the game world and they were finally ready to say, "WHEW. OK. Let's keep/sell the items we identified, and find an adventure."

Healing was harder, too. No channel burst on all allies at range. For example, the same group which I just mentioned spent a couple days at level 2 just resting, because they couldn't cast their way out of all the damage. They needed natural healing AND days to recover & cast spells. .... However, I'm running it in D&D 3.5, and this is the game I just referenced, where the PCs are dying and needed days to rest.

This is an excellent argument of why Pathfinder is so superiour to 3.5, not the other way around. ;-)

I mean, how "fun" is it to sit around for three weeks? Rather than ...umm, err.... yes, what's that word "adventure"?


Raynulf wrote:
and a thorpe has at least 1 person (PF) vs 20 (3.5), implying a lone man in a shack has a store with a base limit of 50 gp and purchase limit of 500 gp and 1st level spellcasting.[/ooc]

Well, here's one thing PF didnt do better- carrying over silly names from 3.5. There aint no such thing as a 'thorpe". I mean, the word exists, but it's just means "hamlet".


DrDeth wrote:
Raynulf wrote:
and a thorpe has at least 1 person (PF) vs 20 (3.5), implying a lone man in a shack has a store with a base limit of 50 gp and purchase limit of 500 gp and 1st level spellcasting.[/ooc]
Well, here's one thing PF didnt do better- carrying over silly names from 3.5. There aint no such thing as a 'thorpe". I mean, the word exists, but it's just means "hamlet".

No it doesn't. It derives from old Norse, and refers to an isolated farmstead. Some places may be called -thorpe which are hamlets but the name isn't specific enough to tell that.

Which does make a single farmer, though more often a family, not unreasonable.


Ninja in the Rye wrote:
It was a lot easier to make an interesting martial character who did things in combat beyond full attacking in 3.5.

Hmm. These actions are possible without any investment (I guess I missed some):

Aid another
Bull rush
Charge
Coup de grace
Demoralize
Dirty trick
Disarm
Drag
Feint
Fight defensively
Grapple
Mounted charge
Overrun
Reposition
Steal
Sunder
Total defense
Trip

They all have their situational uses (sometimes very situational), and if you invest a bit, some of them become quite interesting. I find an additional combat option more useful than another few percents of boost to full-attack DPR.

But, to be fair, full-attacks can be made more interesting also:

Circling Mongoose lets you move between each attack
Dimensional Dervish allows you teleport around
Hammer the Gap makes attack rolls more exciting
Second Chance grants you a reroll at the cost of an attack
Shield of Swings adds AC at the cost of damage, note that it doesn't reduce rider effects (bleed, trip, push, whatever)
Sword and Pistol + Opening Volley offers you to mix melee and ranged attacks more effectively
etc.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I prefer how ability damage worked in 3.5, and that's how I play it in my PFRPG home games: Ability damage temporarily lowers a character's ability score. IOW, it works just like ability drain, but heals in time.

I think it's far easier to run ability damage that way than the kind of complicated list of penalties that ability damage does in the official rules.

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