Anything you feel 3.x did better than Pathfinder?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I think the general consensus is that Pathfinder is largely a better system than 3.0 or 3.5 were. That is why we are all here after all.

But are there any things that you feel were better in the 3rd editions?

For me personally it would be that I feel fights seemed to last a little longer in terms of the number of rounds. But this could also be due to the relative inexperience with character optimization the group(s) I played with had when we were still playing 3rd.

So I would like to hear what everyone else's opinions are. Is there anything you found more fun or better designed in 3.0 or 3.5 than in Pathfinder?


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I find them thoroughly interchangeable. Which is why I've always referred to them collectively as 3.PF.


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Trip and other manuvevers were actually possible in 3.5.


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I'm definitely not in the majority because of this, but I feel PF has overstuffed their classes. You don't need a special ability every level. I like 3.5 for their take on classes a little better.

I prefer to approach things from the opposite direction: start with 3.5 as a base and modify with select things from PF


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Trap finding and disable traps was a main thing for rogues in 3.0, now I want to throw traps at the party to give the rogue a moment to shine and the wizard wants to disable them because they have the higher intellect...

Grand Lodge

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deuxhero wrote:
Trip and other manuvevers were actually possible in 3.5.

Are you talking about stuff above 10th level? Maybe so but at lower levels the CMD system is perfect just as it is.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Skill points at level 1. While I like the changes to class skills and removing the cross-class ridiculousness, low level characters never seem to have sufficient skill points to adequately address their backgrounds, even classes like Occultist, who get 6+Int and have Int as a primary stat.

Scarab Sages

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Serisan wrote:
Skill points at level 1. While I like the changes to class skills and removing the cross-class ridiculousness, low level characters never seem to have sufficient skill points to adequately address their backgrounds, even classes like Occultist, who get 6+Int and have Int as a primary stat.

Occultists actually get 4+Int skills per level, but even so I must agree with you. Then again, the Background Skills from Unchained works pretty well to address this issue.


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Not really. To me, Pathfinder is a refinement in all aspects. If anything, I would have preferred that they had less 3.5 legacy remnants (such as prestige classes).


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Some of game world splat books for Ebberon and the Forgotten Realms were really good. Very good quality, packed with themed stuff, npcs, locations.

I find Paizo is very good at writing the game system not so with the world building.


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JosMartigan wrote:

I'm definitely not in the majority because of this, but I feel PF has overstuffed their classes. You don't need a special ability every level. I like 3.5 for their take on classes a little better.

I prefer to approach things from the opposite direction: start with 3.5 as a base and modify with select things from PF

I would also be in that minority. While Pathfinder isn't bad, I just like 3.5 as a base. I have taken some of the changes from Pathfinder (CMD/B). However, I just find the base classes too powerful. This could be my start with RPing with 3.5 without using the later books (and therefore not seeing the major power creep of later books).

I also agree with your first point as well regarding stuffing classes.


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I preferred 3.0/3.5 Power Attack.

Standing up from prone NOT provoking attack of opportunity in 3.0.

No Deadly Aim feat in 3.0/3.5.

I don't like at will cantrips. Especially with Detect Magic and Light.


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I forgot the most important one. No Immediate or Swift actions on 3.0 (or 3.5 core).


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ultimatepunch wrote:
I don't like at will cantrips. Especially with Detect Magic and Light.

I find it good that a low level caster can do at least something magical all day. Detect Magic and Light are situationally powerful, but then look at what other party members can do at level 1...

Threeshades wrote:
But are there any things that you feel were better in the 3rd editions?

That's a tough question, but I found something: Epic levels, at least the version the computer game Neverwinter Nights I used. In my experience, the balance within the party improved beyond 20 - since full casters got less than other classes.

While mythic rules are somewhat related, I'd prefer the classic advancement over level 20. I guess it's not easy to make up innovative epic abilities (since mythic already got some cool stuff), but I'd rather see this as a challenge...


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Somewhat related to epic levels: XP. The 3.5 formula for XP was very simple (you need your current level x 1,000 XP to gain a level), so it's easy to extend. PF's formula is a lot more complex, so it's much harder to extend.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:
ultimatepunch wrote:
I don't like at will cantrips. Especially with Detect Magic and Light.
I find it good that a low level caster can do at least something magical all day. Detect Magic and Light are situationally powerful, but then look at what other party members can do at level 1..

It has zero to do with game balance. I almost exclusively run hex crawls and dungeons. Infinite light spells mostly eliminates the need to cary torches. Infinite Detect magic takes away interesting decisions from the players. I always run games where resource management matters.


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3.5 was much kinder to new players. I find that when I try to bring new players into tabletop RPG's I either need to start with DnD 3.5 or use Core rulebook only PF.


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ultimatepunch wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
ultimatepunch wrote:
I don't like at will cantrips. Especially with Detect Magic and Light.
I find it good that a low level caster can do at least something magical all day. Detect Magic and Light are situationally powerful, but then look at what other party members can do at level 1..

It has zero to do with game balance. I almost exclusively run hex crawls and dungeons. Infinite light spells mostly eliminates the need to cary torches. Infinite Detect magic takes away interesting decisions from the players. I always run games where resource management matters.

Is your grievance with at-will cantrips just those two spells, or all the cantrips? It is easy enough to reduce the reliance on Detect Magic and Light by making them 1st level spells instead. I do agree that making them at will makes the torch useless.

As for me to be more on topic, I would have to say I kinda feel like the sizes in 3.0 were better (a horse being 5x10 instead of 10x10). I am sure I know why they changed it (they wanted to release minis, and it was just easier to plop a horse on a 10x10 base instead of making the base 5x10), but it just made more sense. Also, I kinda miss the massive amount of skills from 3.0 (playing 5e with 15 skills total...).


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Adjule wrote:
(playing 5e with 15 skills total...).

5e actually has a lot more skills than many realize. They just have been relabelled as tool proficiencies. That's where your crafts, disable device, disguise, forgery, navigation, poison use, perform (instrument), and vehicle handling are at.


Adjule wrote:
ultimatepunch wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
ultimatepunch wrote:
I don't like at will cantrips. Especially with Detect Magic and Light.
I find it good that a low level caster can do at least something magical all day. Detect Magic and Light are situationally powerful, but then look at what other party members can do at level 1..

It has zero to do with game balance. I almost exclusively run hex crawls and dungeons. Infinite light spells mostly eliminates the need to cary torches. Infinite Detect magic takes away interesting decisions from the players. I always run games where resource management matters.

Is your grievance with at-will cantrips just those two spells, or all the cantrips? It is easy enough to reduce the reliance on Detect Magic and Light by making them 1st level spells instead. I do agree that making them at will makes the torch useless.

It is mostly light and detect magic that I have the issue with. But I liked Cure Minor Wounds as well. Which was dropped for obvious reasons.


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A creature's space is usually larger than the creature's actual size (some creatures do take up all of their space, but they're exceptions), to account for it moving and turning around. A non-square space implies some sort of facing by making the sides distinguishable from the head and rear.

Silver Crusade

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Eh, I liked some of the prestige classes better, I liked the first level skill points better (the skills not so much, i much prefer the combined skills), I liked the epic level stuff better than mythic, I liked VoP better in 3.5, I liked some of the spells better. Honestly it's been so long since I've played 3.0/3.5 I can't remember a lot of the issues.

Quote:
I'm definitely not in the majority because of this, but I feel PF has overstuffed their classes. You don't need a special ability every level. I like 3.5 for their take on classes a little better.

Eh, I much prefer having at least something every level. It was always a bummer when you knew the next level you were gaining was a dead level.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Isonaroc wrote:
Eh, I much prefer having at least something every level. It was always a bummer when you knew the next level you were gaining was a dead level.

The lack of dead levels is one reason Prestige Classes aren't as great as they used to be. In 3rd there really wasn't a reason not to take one.


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Personally I like having Light be at will, it reduces the need to book-keep over "Do we have any torches left"?

Having to leave the dungeon because you ran out of torches is lame.

Sovereign Court

I liked how classes were more MAD, though I understand why PF has gone in the opposite direction. Also, add me to the first level skill set up fan list.

I like that prestige classes have returned to their original purpose of being setting flavorful additions to character building. So I guess that would be one of my "what did PF do better than 3.0" suggestions.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Isonaroc wrote:


Quote:
I'm definitely not in the majority because of this, but I feel PF has overstuffed their classes. You don't need a special ability every level. I like 3.5 for their take on classes a little better.
Eh, I much prefer having at least something every level. It was always a bummer when you knew the next level you were gaining was a dead level.

Yup; that's just good design there. If you level up, it should be interesting and fun every time. Not necessarily a huge power increase, but making a choice or adding a bonus feature that makes it feel like your character is actually different from level to level, regardless of how much your average numbers do or do not go up.


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I prefer PF over 3.0 and 3.5 all the way. I enjoyed 3.5, but I like PF much, much better.


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3.0 had a rule in the DMG that was dropped in 3.5 for no apparent reason. It set a base DC for spotting wilderness encounters (in other words, overruled the -1/10' nonsense outside of dungeons), that was modified by party size and creature size. I still use this rule, because, as has been noted elsewhere, in 3.5 and PF no one can seen the sun, RAW.

I'm going to ban at will cantrips in my game too. I like to run a resource-dependent grind where you can end up plunged in the dark deep below ground or actually starve in the wilderness; no magic items for sale either. Detect Magic, Light, Create Water are too powerful, all day, every day for low-level casters, in my campaign.


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In this thread I mentioned some things that, in my opinion, 3.X did better than Pathfinder.

One of the biggest is:

* Level adjustment!!! I felt that the ability to play a monster with powers and pay for those powers with levels was a wonderful innovation. And with Savage Species you could actually play powerful monsters at lower levels and get those powers gradually!

Other advantages of 3.0 - and again, I'm only saying that they're advantages IN MY OPINION - include:

* The "rectangular" monsters, as Adjule mentioned. Yes, Khudzlin, I understand the reasons for making them squares, but still, I feel that, aesthetically, a rectangle looks nicer on the map when a rectangle is appropriate.

* No weapon size penalties. When Bilbo Baggins picked up a dagger meant for humans and used it as a sword, should he have been penalized for using it? In 3.5 and Pathfinder he would have been... although, to be fair, I should say that the 3.5 DMG mentioned that this rule could be ignored.

* Outdoor Spot DCs. Penalizing a Spot check for every 10 feet is obviously ridiculous outdoors. The 3.0 DMG had clear rules for that. (EDIT: I composed this post before I read Yolande d'Bar's post, which said the same thing.)

* Damage Reduction. In 3.0, you just needed a sword +1. In 3.5 and PFRPG, you need to carry a golf bag of weapons, like a silver weapon for lycanthropes, cold iron weapons for fey, and who knows what else.

* A Size-to-Dimension-and-Weight table. How big is a Medium-size creature in the game world? Small? Tiny? Diminutive? Fine? Large? Huge? Gargantuan? Colossal? How tall, broad, or heavy are these creatures? PFRPG doesn't tell you, but 3.0 and 3.5 did.

* In 3.X you could play a universalist wizard without feeling like an idiot for making him underpowered. IMO, the "default" type of wizard should be a universalist.

* Ability damage. In 3.X, if - for example - your Con score was 12 and you took 1 point of Con damage, your Con bonus was reduced from +1 to 0. That's the way it should be. That way, if your Con was 13, you didn't have to feel like an idiot for taking a "dead" point of Con.

* Modules. I expect some vehement arguments about this, because many people feel that Paizo's modules are awesomesauce... but to be honest, many of my favorite modules are for 3.0. The Sunless Citadel is my all-time favorite introductory adventure. Its follow-up, The Forge of Fury, was a great dungeon crawl as well. The Speaker in Dreams is my all-time favorite urban adventure. My all-time favorite SERIES of modules is the "Coin" trilogy by Kenzer & Company (The Root of All Evil, Forging Darkness, and Coin's End). And my favorite Paizo adventure is for 3.5: Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale.

* Price. Originally, the 3 core 3.0 books retailed for only $20 each, and many players could get away with buying only the Player's Handbook. And the default campaign setting was $10, or $28 for the more complete book, and a fine setting book it was. Even today, browsing through Amazon, I see that the 3.0 core books are being sold more cheaply by third party sellers than the core books of other editions.

* The Monster Manual. For the aforementioned humble price, you got, as the back cover proclaimed, over 500 fearsome foes, which pretty much covered everything you needed. You didn't have to apply a template to a ghoul to get stats for ghasts, or to a horse to get a heavy horse. You didn't have to wait around for the Monster Manual 2 to get camels. The really essential stats were all there. WotC crammed lots of information in there by not insisting that every entry get its own page. It didn't have to fill up each page with a picture, as if we needed a picture of a horse or a dog or a cheetah to know what one looked like. That book had lots of good stuff.

* The SRD. You could just download it once and then open it whenever you wanted, even at times when you didn't have internet access. And because it was just plain text, you could peruse it whenever you wanted. If, say, you were supposed to be working and your boss might come by, he wouldn't notice a simple text file.

Whew! Writing that post took longer than I thought! I was going to mention some other people's views about what, in 3.X, qualified as advantages (even though I disagree with some of those views) but I think I've spent too much time on this post already. You can always check out the other thread.

And by the way, Threeshades, it's a fallacy that we're all here because we like PFRPG better. Some people here play various editions of D&D, but love Paizo's APs, or modules, or campaign setting, or various other products. Some people just like to hang out at this website because the online community here is great for discussing gaming in general.


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3rd Edition by and large got Prestige Classes right. There were a few that were seriously broken [Planar Shephard, Incantatrix, Dweomerkeeper] but for the most part they were an excellent component of the game.


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Prestige Classes are one I go back and forth on. It was sort of fun on 3.x to discover who your character is by flitting from class to class, which is something that Pathfinder discourages. Of course, Pathfinder was trying to avoid the problem of "you take a different class every dead level" by making all classes (well, except the gunslinger) worth sticking around in.

So I definitely prefer PF when I have an idea who my character is and what her arc is going to be in advance, but there was something fun of playing 3.x and flipping through books and finding a PrC and saying "ooh, that's neat".

This is probably just a "loss of childlike wonder" thing now that I think of it.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Threeshades wrote:
I think the general consensus is that Pathfinder is largely a better system than 3.0 or 3.5 were. That is why we are all here after all.

I'm only here because 3.5 isn't printed anymore.


Although at first I liked it, I've come to the opinion that combining the Dungeon Master's Guide and Player's Handbook into one book was a mistake.
Now the Magic Items section is open to the players and by implication everything is up for sale. I know the magicmart experience was a problem long before Pathfinder, but at least with Dungeons and Dragons a Dungeon Master could take refuge in his Dungeon Master's Guide and claim the gold piece values were just an accounting tool rather than a Sears catalog.

Leadership used to be buried in the Dungeon Master's Guide because it was a feat that required a lot of the Dungeon Master, better for him to decide whether he wanted to take it on or not. Now it's just there, out in the open.

Also when the two books were combined we lost over 100 pages of content, most of it from the Dungeon Masters Guide. The Dungeon Masters Guide was dense with material. I liked all the sidebars with discussions about how the game worked and suggestions for optional rules.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The DMG also had the Prestige Classes.

Them, "magicmarts", and Leadership all fall under: things you're allowed to tell your players NO to.

Them being in one or two books doesn't really change that in my experience.

:3


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Lakesidefantasy wrote:


Also when the two books were combined we lost over 100 pages of content, most of it from the Dungeon Masters Guide. The Dungeon Masters Guide was dense with material. I liked all the sidebars with discussions about how the game worked and suggestions for optional rules.

This is probably the biggest and worst loss from having the two books combined in one.

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

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The only thing off the top of my head that I liked better in D&D than in Pathfinder is that the 3rd edition DM's Guide had rules for playing a multiclass character at 1st level (basically, you were a half-level in both classes). However, that got removed by 3.5, and I don't think it ever made it into any SRD.


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Aaron Bitman wrote:
* Price. Originally, the 3 core 3.0 books retailed for only $20 each, and many players could get away with buying only the Player's Handbook. And the default campaign setting was $10, or $28 for the more complete book, and a fine setting book it was. Even today, browsing through Amazon, I see that the 3.0 core books are being sold more cheaply by third party sellers than the core books of other editions.

Dang inflation!! Back in my day we could get all our D&D books for a nickel!


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As someone who started with PF and has only experienced 3.5 in a "looking back" sense, I really like the prestige classes.

PF's problems with prestige classes are well covered, but I want to say that I actually enjoy a fair amount of the Paizo ones too. I really like the feeling of working towards something and getting rewards on both a flavor and mechanical level. But I mean, there's something about the 3.5 prestige classes that are really fun. I can't put my finger on what it is. But I don't get quite the same sense from most of the paizo prestige classes. (and I'll admit this is very likely to be a case of me just being less familiar with 3.5's style, but still!)

Thankfully, it's rather easy to convert 3.5 prestige classes to PF, so as long as I'm GMing that problem is solved.


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Rectangular monsters. :)


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The one thing 3.x had that PF doesn't that I really miss was the prestige paths that actually altered you.

There were prestige classes that actually changed you permanently into a half-dragon, yuan-ti, lycanthrope, beholderkin, emancipatd undead, insectoid, etc... How can you match that for coolness?

I will agree that the current classes, archtypes, and prestige classes are actually more powerful/useful. But still...

I always loved those.


ultimatepunch wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
ultimatepunch wrote:
I don't like at will cantrips. Especially with Detect Magic and Light.
I find it good that a low level caster can do at least something magical all day. Detect Magic and Light are situationally powerful, but then look at what other party members can do at level 1..

It has zero to do with game balance. I almost exclusively run hex crawls and dungeons. Infinite light spells mostly eliminates the need to cary torches. Infinite Detect magic takes away interesting decisions from the players. I always run games where resource management matters.

A Everburning torch does the same thing.


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Lakesidefantasy wrote:
Also when the two books were combined we lost over 100 pages of content, most of it from the Dungeon Masters Guide...

Oh yeah, thanks for bringing that up. In addition to the things I already mentioned (like outdoor Spot DCs, monster PCs, etc) you know what else is conspicuously absent from the PFRPG Core Rulebook? A random treasure generator. Those of us who got started with PFRPG in 2009 had to wait for years until we finally got Ultimate Equipment.

I mean... I wouldn't complain about having to get another book. I had no problem just plunking down my $9.99 for the PDF. And if I had, I could simply have gotten it for free from the PRD. But I do think it left a visible gap in the core books.

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