Things Pathfinder does better than 5th ed


5th Edition (And Beyond)

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Pan wrote:

On the flip side, if you tell your GM "imma use my whip to grab the goblet" in 5E, the GM makes some arbitrary DC for you to succeed. That could be anything from a sure thing to no chance based on the ruling of a GM. Now I happen to like rulings over rules philosophy myself, but I know many other folks would rather have defined rules for doing things rather than playing "mother may I" with their GM. Especially, when it comes to organized play where you are changing GMs often.

I agree that sometimes feats can be real limiting and that PF could probably do with a little more bounded accuracy. I don't have a problem with feats making you really good at something, I just dislike it when they are impossible without. Both PF and 5E are terrible about rule of cool though. In PF you need to spend half or better of your players adventuring career just to accomplish the cool, and in 5E I've found its just better to kill the damn thing than try anything cool, which is often a waste of your time otherwise. YMMV.

You're right, it's definitely a game where the DM has to be engaged and ready to say yes.

I also think the need to remember that it isn't pathfinder and a DC 10 is still a task with relative complexity. It isn't necessary to set DCs at all for things that should be routine - climbing a rope etc. Also success at a cost and degrees of failure can be part of the game because of bounded accuracy giving players even more choices.

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Sometimes you can use the Rule of Cool to kill something. For example, in RotRL, my hill dwarf Life cleric used the Shove action to push an opponent off a very large tower. He wasn't proficient in Athletics or particularly strong (14 Strength), but he had a guidance up and running, so he had that going for him, which is nice.

We ended the campaign at level 14, but we're going to eventually go up to 20, if only to experiment with higher level stuff. I plan on taking the Shield Mastery feat (for the bonus action Shove) and Skilled, to get proficiency in Athletics, Perception, maybe Stealth or Thieves Tools. With my Belt of Frost Giant Strength (23), I would have a +12 on Shove checks! :-D


He'd be great at ordering in a bar!

Can you ever envisage an untrained character doing that in Pathfinder. For one your cleric would have taken an attack of opportunity, then would only have had a tiny chance of success.


SmiloDan wrote:
Sometimes you can use the Rule of Cool to kill something. For example, in RotRL, my hill dwarf Life cleric used the Shove action to push an opponent off a very large tower. He wasn't proficient in Athletics or particularly strong (14 Strength), but he had a guidance up and running, so he had that going for him, which is nice.

Probably the best example ever of why my group played 5e once and then dropped it forever. To achieve Rule of Cool abilities you need to be strong and proficient in Athletics - or have a low-level spell running. Don't worry, casters, 5e has your back.


Two things spring to mind immediately: so many more options, and actually feeling powerful.

Give me 30+ classes with a dozen or more archetypes each, and stats up to 50 any day of the week.


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Definitely the "range of character options" thing. I played my first 5e game today and while I'm really enjoying my Arcane Trickster Rogue...I feel like my path is set as far as what abilities I get going forward to 20. And after I play this character, I will probably not want to play a Rogue again.

The scarcity of Feats (both in number and frequency, and potentially even existence) and small number of build paths for characters (Rogues have 3, but the other classes seem to usually only have two) means the game seems like it would get old after a while.


Bluenose wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
Sometimes you can use the Rule of Cool to kill something. For example, in RotRL, my hill dwarf Life cleric used the Shove action to push an opponent off a very large tower. He wasn't proficient in Athletics or particularly strong (14 Strength), but he had a guidance up and running, so he had that going for him, which is nice.
Probably the best example ever of why my group played 5e once and then dropped it forever. To achieve Rule of Cool abilities you need to be strong and proficient in Athletics - or have a low-level spell running. Don't worry, casters, 5e has your back.

The guy was a cleric? Why would he not have the spell?

Athletics makes you better at jumping, climbing, grappling, swimming , staying on your feet and god knows what else. It is ridiculously easy to be proficient in it. Why on earth would you not take that as a martial character?
Even if you don't have that the opposed nature of checks means you have a far far higher chance of succeeding than in pathfinder.

A strength 10 BAB 0 character tries to trip or bull rush a bugbear in pathfinder needs to roll a 16 or higher (25%) and takes an aoo.

In 5e they take no aoo and just need to roll 3 higher than the bugbear. In 5e that becomes a 38% chance of succeeding. The equivalent of 13 on a die roll. That's without proficiency or strength!

Achieving things in 5e is dramatically easier for non casters.


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Sundakan wrote:

Definitely the "range of character options" thing. I played my first 5e game today and while I'm really enjoying my Arcane Trickster Rogue...I feel like my path is set as far as what abilities I get going forward to 20. And after I play this character, I will probably not want to play a Rogue again.

The scarcity of Feats (both in number and frequency, and potentially even existence) and small number of build paths for characters (Rogues have 3, but the other classes seem to usually only have two) means the game seems like it would get old after a while.

Some feats are effectively chained together so you get all of them in bulk rather than slowly over levels.

Some feats aren't required anymore because you don't need feats to do those actions - (combat manouvers etc)

Most feats aren't relevant because bounded accuracy removed the need for endless pluses.

There isn't much left after that particularly because a lot is covered off in the archetypes.

The hardest thing for me to get my head round was that it is the characters decision in game that makes the difference not the decisions at levelling up. Once I switched my thinking the whole game opened up for me.


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And, oh gosh, combat got a whole lot easier and faster with 5e.


The Sword wrote:


The hardest thing for me to get my head round was that it is the characters decision in game that makes the difference not the decisions at levelling up. Once I switched my thinking the whole game opened up for me.

This here is what will keep me coming back, overall. I HAVE been having fun just being able to do things I should logically be able to do instead of needing a Feat (except suffocating a warehouse full of goblins instead of fighting them, which the GM admitted made sense but preferred I didn't do). There just doesn't seem to be a lot of build diversity within classes. One Rogue will feel like another except one Rogue has spells (but only Enchantment/Illusion for the most part which sucks...I'm 4th level and I'm basically locked into taking three more 1st level spells I don't want) and the other can Death Attack at 17th.

Time will tell. I'm liking the basic chassis of the system, which is the most important thing.

Silver Crusade

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For me, 5e is struck in some weird halfway through place between the simplicity of earlier eds and the sprawling multitude of multitudes in 3.5/PF.

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Sundakan wrote:
The Sword wrote:


The hardest thing for me to get my head round was that it is the characters decision in game that makes the difference not the decisions at levelling up. Once I switched my thinking the whole game opened up for me.

This here is what will keep me coming back, overall. I HAVE been having fun just being able to do things I should logically be able to do instead of needing a Feat (except suffocating a warehouse full of goblins instead of fighting them, which the GM admitted made sense but preferred I didn't do). There just doesn't seem to be a lot of build diversity within classes. One Rogue will feel like another except one Rogue has spells (but only Enchantment/Illusion for the most part which sucks...I'm 4th level and I'm basically locked into taking three more 1st level spells I don't want) and the other can Death Attack at 17th.

Time will tell. I'm liking the basic chassis of the system, which is the most important thing.

I haven't played an Arcane Trickster, but I have played an Assassin, and the feel is different from what you've described. She was a charlatan as well, usually wearing the classic white robes of a healer to conceal herself as a combatant.


Mine's also a Charlatan, it's fun running cons and picpocketing at the same time. I'm literally making money Mage Hand over fist at any opportunity.

Silver Crusade

I've never played 5th ed. But if I'm understanding the above correctly, Pathfinder is like Google's Android (more options, more fiddly, base is less user friendly but you can do a lot more with it) versus D&D 5th like Apple IOS (less operating options, more user friendly). Is that an apt analogy?

To answer the OP, I'm never buying an RPG again which doesn't have a pdf (or equivalent) option.


90% of rules are available in PDF / open source. My housemate just uses his iPad and googles spells, classes etc. if you have a book only ability just copy down any powers that aren't. They're pretty easy to do.

Check out unearthed arcana for loads more options. They added the inquisitive and the scout for rogues. Plus with the rules being much simpler and bounded accuracy it becomes much easier to create your own archetypes. Take pretty much any prestige class and convert the abilities at the appropriate level. I would never let players do that in Pathfinder and I wouldn't try it myself. There's too much risk of unintentional synergies being exploitwd.


Ajaxis wrote:

I've never played 5th ed. But if I'm understanding the above correctly, Pathfinder is like Google's Android (more options, more fiddly, base is less user friendly but you can do a lot more with it) versus D&D 5th like Apple IOS (less operating options, more user friendly). Is that an apt analogy?

To answer the OP, I'm never buying an RPG again which doesn't have a pdf (or equivalent) option.

Good analogy. They both let you do essentially the same thing. One is streamlined. I'm doing a few solo sessions for an 18th level transmuted in Out of the Abyss. He's amazed how different the high level caster feels. Able to do amazing things but without being silly.

He basically has to choose whether to cast teleport when he only has a single level 7 spell slot and there is a 40% chance of a mishap.

He has to decide whether to concentrate on summoning an elemental or having his protections up. If someone hits him he could lose control of either spell.

But they have more flexibility with casting and get dramatically better cantrips that remain useful.

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We fought a lich that could cast cantrips for its Legendary Actions, and the cantrips hurt more than its actual spells.

(Legendary Actions are special actions some monsters can use after another creature's turn, usually 3 per round. Kind of like unprovoked AoOs that can do different things.)

A lot of the action options are built into the system and don't require special feat or abilities. For example, our arcane trickster was essentially a switch hitter because she could switch between rapier and short bow at will. She didn't need Weapon Finesse or Point Blank Shot to be effective in combat. Finesse is a weapon quality in 5th Ed. You can also sneak attack at ranges beyond 30 feet.

I think the main difference I've noticed in playing, and especially DMing, 5th Ed. vs. PF, is that in PF, I was always concerned with following all the rules to a T and making sure everything was official. In 5th Edition, I feel like I can improvise more and be more creative in my monster design and encounter design.

Sovereign Court

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SmiloDan wrote:

We fought a lich that could cast cantrips for its Legendary Actions, and the cantrips hurt more than its actual spells.

This is something I dont really like about 5E. Damage spells are all you need. In fact, its often a complete waste to buff/debuff, control, and use utility spells. I like concentration and the rolling back of stacking spells, but combat is just a bore fest in 5E. I will say however, the martial character players are loving it in my group.


From what I can tell your action is best spent shanking somebody (or casting Booming Blade, since spells don't provoke it's just Attack Action++), but if you can buff somebody with a bonus action like a Bard it's pretty solid.

I did get a tiny bit of mileage out of Sleep last night though.


Maybe, I can see that damage has become very important. It is also the case that the increase in hit points of monsters means killing them isn't always the most effective.

I'm seeing fear get a lot of use, misty step, minor illusion, and a few others.


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Bluenose wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
Sometimes you can use the Rule of Cool to kill something. For example, in RotRL, my hill dwarf Life cleric used the Shove action to push an opponent off a very large tower. He wasn't proficient in Athletics or particularly strong (14 Strength), but he had a guidance up and running, so he had that going for him, which is nice.
Probably the best example ever of why my group played 5e once and then dropped it forever. To achieve Rule of Cool abilities you need to be strong and proficient in Athletics - or have a low-level spell running. Don't worry, casters, 5e has your back.

I don't really understand this critique. Casters and mundanes can both achieve "rule of cool" abilities but casters shouldn't be able to? (Is that what you meant?) Or the use of a guidance spell shouldn't allow a mildly strong cleric to compete with a very strong fighter?

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I know our 5E ranger got a lot of utility from spike stones. It acted as battlefield control, and it hurt the monsters that refused to be controlled. He also used pass without trace a lot to sneak the whole party around.

In PF, Save or Suck really suck, as they can remove a character from a fight. That's not horrible if that's an NPC, but for a PC, being paralyzed or held or petrified or whatever for a whole fight is both boring and frustrating. It makes the player an observer instead of a participant--and PF fights take a lot longer to run than 5th Ed. fights, so that player might be sitting there twiddling his thumbs for an hour or more.

I really like that 5E SoS spells usually give you a save every round. Even if you fail, at least you get to roll a d20. It's not a lot, but it's not nothing. In our 5th Ed. RotRL finale, our barbarian got trapped in a cube of force and was essentially done with the fight after that. He had already used his Cape of the Mountebank, the wizard had already used his disintegrate against Big K, and the force cube is immune to dispel magic. It was one of the only SoS spells in 5th Edition that didn't have a way to bypass it.

Maybe we should have made more scrolls. Or maybe the DM should have given the barbarian's player control of one of the rune giants against the party. Hindsight is 20/20. :-P

But to get back on track, PF might be better at providing different manners of overcoming opponents. 5E is primarily damage output v. hit point total, whereas PF has a variety of SoS spells that only require 1 failed saving throw to take an opponent out of combat, such as charms, paralysis, poison and other sources of ability damage and ability drain, petrification, pit spells, stunning, dazing, banishment, fear effects, sleep, etc.

The Exchange

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The Sword wrote:
So what am I missing here? Help me out? I'm always going to buy Paizo because I love the minis, and adventure paths etc but why would i keep them in the pathfinder rules system?

I think that for some people (like me) the system takes a subordinate role to setting and adventures. Especially if you have a fairly good grasp over the rules and are flexible enough to work around the problems inherent in 3.PF, there's simply no need to convert to another system, if there's no additional benefit.

To me it's simply that 5E doesn't come with a setting I care about (I love the FR and Eberron, but I have them in the 3.X version so it's fairly easy to use them with Pathfinder). Also I generally prefer the Paizo adventures over the WotC adventures and for nearly everything I'm also interested in, there exists a Pathfinder version anyways (be it from FGG, Kobold Press or EnWorld Publishing and others).

Basically it comes down to that I have no problems with Pathfinder, I'm not looking for another system and I'm to lazy to learn another system just for the sake of it.

One reason could be to use it for the homebrew I'm working at. Though that's where I can experiment with a lot of 3PP stuff and I prefer thinking about how to integrate stuff into a setting over thinking about how to convert it in another system. So while I certainly thought about it, I'm kinda hesitant because it would force me to invest time in learning new rules and I'd rather spend this time with reading about and inventing cool setting stuff.


The setting is definitely something Pathfinder has over 5e, if we're just talking default assumptions.

Forgotten Realms is...not great, IMO. I can't name a single location that in particular grabs my interest and makes me want to build a character from there. Ditto deities which, BIG STRIKE against the setting, you're basically required to pick even if you only pay lip service to them because your character is basically f$*#ed if they don't. And all of them are boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorinnnnnng.

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Riuken wrote:

I think it comes down to number of viable options. When I look at making a character for 5e, and let's say a guy who is in the front and fights with an axe and a shield, I start to feel like there are really only 2 or 3 ways to do that effectively in 5e. Pretty much every axe+shield character looks very same-y, at least mechanically. In pathfinder I can make that character with a third of the classes out there, many of which have an archetype or two that support the idea, and that's before feats and magical gear selection.

Basically, character sheet for "Dwarf fighter with weapon and shield" is going to be pretty universal in 5e, but in PF there are enough extra fiddly-bits to make them all at least a little different.

A bit of a tangent, but it's a bit similar to what has happened in World of Warcraft over the years. They've slowly stripped away all of the odd, gimmicky, and mostly useless abilities from the classes, and only kept combat abilities. So every class functions very smoothly, but there has been some loss of that unique spark for each class that actually made them different. Yeah dampen magic wasn't really that good of a buff/debuff, but it was a fun and quirky tool to have that made you, as a mage, feel more in control of magic.

Basically, efficiency of play for the loss of weird quirky bits.

This is actually quite an endorsement for Pathfinder over 5th Edition if true (and it may just still be a shortage of material for 5th Edition - I'm hoping). Whenever they try removing the "weird quirky bits," the game reliably turns to gray slime not too long thereafter (and the comparison to World of Warcraft just hammers it way the hell home for me - I quit back in 2009 since enough had already gone wrong with it then, but it sounds like it's become complete and utter crap by now).

Silver Crusade

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Sundakan wrote:

The setting is definitely something Pathfinder has over 5e, if we're just talking default assumptions.

Forgotten Realms is...not great, IMO. I can't name a single location that in particular grabs my interest and makes me want to build a character from there. Ditto deities which, BIG STRIKE against the setting, you're basically required to pick even if you only pay lip service to them because your character is basically f@#$ed if they don't. And all of them are boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorinnnnnng.

*glares at the Realms*

F++% YOU AND YOUR WALL!

(Though I believe the Wall of the Faithless was retconned out after 3.5, not for sure since I haven't played in the Realms since 3rd)


Concrete rules for things rather than "ask your GM".

In 5e skills doesn't really matter unless you have the expertise (I think it was called), because 5e prefers the dice roll to matter more than your character's skill regardless of level.

Pf has many more character concepts possible/viable. When I tried 5e, the first thing I did was try to convert my crafting focused vizer/wizard over to 5e, but the game really doesn't like crafting characters (And even with 5e producing two artificer rules in it's UA articles and I still cannot make anything like him). So I tried to make a priest of a volcano deity... but there is no way to play a cleric who doesn't have undead related abilities because the undead related powers aren't in the "sub-class" section. So I tried to make a rogue assassin, problem is that it meant we had to try and think up with an excuse for why he knew a secret criminal language despite the whole party all being criminals with immensely similar backgrounds.... So I just gave up trying to make characters at that point.

Also, I like running high-level games, while 5e seems much more... level 1-10 stretched out across 20 levels.


Let's keep the forgotten realms hate out of the thread so as not to go toxic. Fans either love or hate the forgotten realms - it's the marmite of campaign settings. Though it is also generic enough to allow any published adventure to fit inside it. I personally feel the darklands in golarion is dull as dishwater but the underdark is fascinating so it's swings and roundabouts.

Regarding the 'ask your GM principal' - how much of a problem that is will rather depend on your DM. If they're experienced then making things happen shouldn't be a problem. If they're inexperience then pathfinders 'rule for everything' causes it's own set of problems.

Crafting casters don't fit into d&d 5th. I'm glad really because crafting causes problems on so many levels. Crafting is still possible but it's very much a downtime activity that requires DM-player cooperation as it always used to.

In a similar way the majority of abilities seem to go back to D&Ds roots, like turning undead and the thieves cant. Of course you could use your channel divinity for your domain effect so you're not restricted to affecting undead. Similarly the cant is just an underground language.

For me levels 11-20 in 5th remain viable for longer because the game doesn't get bogged down in combats taking 10 minutes a round and maths destroying any sense of immersion. Characters continue to improve throughout and get increasingly better abilities.
Most casters have 9 levels of spell progression and martials remain viable.


Also I think if the Christmas tree effect is important to you then you're not going to like being limited to three attuneable objects. Similarly if you like going into combat with some many spells up people's hair stands on end then you won't like concentration.

For me these are perfect but it won't be for everyone.

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@thesword now that you have gotten some opinions on what PF does better than 5E, do you have any other inquiries? I think the discussion has been great so far and would enjoy delving deeper.

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I'm houseruling Concentration so you can concentrate on a number of spells equal to half your proficiency bonus. We're level 4, and this won't matter until 9th level, so we have some time before it becomes a factor.

I implemented it because it sometimes gets boring casting and concentrating on the same spell every single time. My cleric used to cast bless during almost every single battle. It gives +1d4 to attack rolls and saving throws, which are very significant boosts to offense and defense, especially with Bounded Accuracy. My party had 4 martials (barbarian, fighter, ranger, and rogue), and the wizard used a lot of spells that relied on attack rolls too (cantrips, chromatic sphere, scorching ray, disintegrate, etc.), plus my cleric's non-concentration attack spells (guiding bolt, spiritual weapon) also rely on attack rolls. Plus we were fighting lots of magic-users and poisonous beasts and other opponents with attacks relying on saving throws. So bless is very potent. But it got a bit boring after 10 levels or so, and prevented me from using other Concentration spells, like bane, spiritual guardians, protection from energy, banish, etc.


Interesting a lot of spells you expect not to be concentration are - for instance animate object, wall of force, banishment and the conjure spells. Having just ran an extended combat with a 17th level wizard PC he was constantly finding previous spells he was relying on ended because the new spell also required concentration. I personally found this fascinating and threw a whole new tactical dimension for wizards that in the past could fire and forget!


Pan wrote:
@thesword now that you have gotten some opinions on what PF does better than 5E, do you have any other inquiries? I think the discussion has been great so far and would enjoy delving deeper.

Good question. This has been really interesting and I've been reminded of some of the things that are great about Pathfinder.

I guess at the moment I'm particularly interested in the ramifications of the change from.

DM Arbitration and creativity in filling the gap in the rules. Whatever the skill set of DM.

Vs

An established ruleset that is fairly exhaustive but is spread across a 10-15 hardbacks and god knows how many FAQs.

In essence is it better to have a rule but not know about it or get it confused or not have a rule - just a general guideline - and decide per table/DM. To be clear most of the common things do have rules, we're talking about corner case stuff here.

N.B. Incidentally just in case people think I'm looking at 5e with rose tinted spectacles: I actively dislike the monster records for demons and devils. They feel flat and uninspiring without the spell like abilities they possessed before - I would definitely be adding a selection of spell abilities into the game based on their original concepts. I'm sure I will find similar monsters that don't feel right as I use more of them.

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Going by Rulings over rules does provide a lot of flexibility. Though a lot of trust needs to be in place amongst the group. Bad GMs and organized play pushed that playstyle out of fashion for a time. I think the more casual nature of 5E will serve well a rulings over rules playstyle. Question is after a decade of hardcoded rules in the 3.5/PF era are folks ready to give up their rules?

I think the ruling vs. rules question also will depend on how a particular group references the rules. Sure you mention "10-15 hardbacks" but what about folks who use the PDF/PRD/SRD? You can pretty much pull up most rules in a matter of seconds. It makes living by RAW a little easier in this age for folks who don't rely solely on hardbacks.


Like previous posters, I prefer PF for all the fiddly bits. I doubt most people would even call what I play anymore Pathfinder since I use so much 3rd party material and have replaced the magic system with Spheres of Power.

Either way, I started with an elaborate chassis with many bells and whistles. I stripped out the stuff I didn't like with what I wanted, added some doodads I like, and recolored some other stuff.

What I am left with was a beast with enough things to it that my players have yet to give me a concept I couldn't get to work by level 3, and most of the time by level 1.

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The Sword wrote:
Pan wrote:
@thesword now that you have gotten some opinions on what PF does better than 5E, do you have any other inquiries? I think the discussion has been great so far and would enjoy delving deeper.
N.B. Incidentally just in case people think I'm looking at 5e with rose tinted spectacles: I actively dislike the monster records for demons and devils. They feel flat and uninspiring without the spell like abilities they possessed before - I would definitely be adding a selection of spell abilities into the game based on their original concepts. I'm sure I will find similar monsters that don't feel right as I use more of them.

Yeah, I've taken the monster stats as "guidelines" and feel perfectly comfortable changing things up a bit. For example, giving bone devils fly and invisibility. Fiends should be more than just bags of hit points with melee attacks. They should have some flash and some subtlety. Adding spellcasting to them is the easiest way to do that. Especially giving them warlock-like casting. Give them a tight list of flavorful spells, and only 2 or 3 spell slots, plus the occasional cantrip. Then the monster will generally behave like what the players expect, but still have some fun non-combat and non-melee options.

In PF, I felt comfortable adding class levels to monsters (much to the chagrin of my players!), but I felt like I was "cheating" if I didn't use the "official" monster stats.

Another thing PF is better at than 5E is having consistent monster types. For example, in PF, all (or at least 99% of) demons are immune to electricity. In 5E, it's almost totally random. They also changed some sacred cows, like removing energy vulnerability to some dragons, and making elementals more varied in their resistances, immunities, and vulnerabilities. Some of those changes are fun, but some really throw grognards for a loop.


All "true" fiends have been able to teleport since at least the Planescape setting, yet very few creatures yet retain that ability in 5E. Maybe they thought it was a peripheral power?


Steve Geddes wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
Sometimes you can use the Rule of Cool to kill something. For example, in RotRL, my hill dwarf Life cleric used the Shove action to push an opponent off a very large tower. He wasn't proficient in Athletics or particularly strong (14 Strength), but he had a guidance up and running, so he had that going for him, which is nice.
Probably the best example ever of why my group played 5e once and then dropped it forever. To achieve Rule of Cool abilities you need to be strong and proficient in Athletics - or have a low-level spell running. Don't worry, casters, 5e has your back.
I don't really understand this critique. Casters and mundanes can both achieve "rule of cool" abilities but casters shouldn't be able to? (Is that what you meant?) Or the use of a guidance spell shouldn't allow a mildly strong cleric to compete with a very strong fighter?

Partly the second. Bull rush isn't something you're likely to find useful every fight, but a Fighter who isn't taking the things that make it useful because they want to be good in other areas is not going to manage it reliably. A cleric who wants to be good at other things but then sees a situation where it would be useful uses one spell and gets it as a reliable option. Push the right button, reliably get the reward of doing something 'Cool'.

The Sword wrote:
Achieving things in 5e is dramatically easier for non casters.

No. It's not. It's dramatically easier for everyone.


I love 5e, but one thing I have been disappointed in is the low number of interesting low-level spells for wizards. With no "Summon Monster" type spell available at first level and Enlarge/Reduce being a second level spell, some of my favorite arcane options are not nearly as viable.


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Bluenose wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
Sometimes you can use the Rule of Cool to kill something. For example, in RotRL, my hill dwarf Life cleric used the Shove action to push an opponent off a very large tower. He wasn't proficient in Athletics or particularly strong (14 Strength), but he had a guidance up and running, so he had that going for him, which is nice.
Probably the best example ever of why my group played 5e once and then dropped it forever. To achieve Rule of Cool abilities you need to be strong and proficient in Athletics - or have a low-level spell running. Don't worry, casters, 5e has your back.
I don't really understand this critique. Casters and mundanes can both achieve "rule of cool" abilities but casters shouldn't be able to? (Is that what you meant?) Or the use of a guidance spell shouldn't allow a mildly strong cleric to compete with a very strong fighter?
Partly the second. Bull rush isn't something you're likely to find useful every fight, but a Fighter who isn't taking the things that make it useful because they want to be good in other areas is not going to manage it reliably. A cleric who wants to be good at other things but then sees a situation where it would be useful uses one spell and gets it as a reliable option. Push the right button, reliably get the reward of doing something 'Cool'.

Cheers.


Bluenose wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
Sometimes you can use the Rule of Cool to kill something. For example, in RotRL, my hill dwarf Life cleric used the Shove action to push an opponent off a very large tower. He wasn't proficient in Athletics or particularly strong (14 Strength), but he had a guidance up and running, so he had that going for him, which is nice.
Probably the best example ever of why my group played 5e once and then dropped it forever. To achieve Rule of Cool abilities you need to be strong and proficient in Athletics - or have a low-level spell running. Don't worry, casters, 5e has your back.
I don't really understand this critique. Casters and mundanes can both achieve "rule of cool" abilities but casters shouldn't be able to? (Is that what you meant?) Or the use of a guidance spell shouldn't allow a mildly strong cleric to compete with a very strong fighter?

Partly the second. Bull rush isn't something you're likely to find useful every fight, but a Fighter who isn't taking the things that make it useful because they want to be good in other areas is not going to manage it reliably. A cleric who wants to be good at other things but then sees a situation where it would be useful uses one spell and gets it as a reliable option. Push the right button, reliably get the reward of doing something 'Cool'.

The Sword wrote:
Achieving things in 5e is dramatically easier for non casters.
No. It's not. It's dramatically easier for everyone.

No sorry, I don't agree there. Casters have had several things taken away that they would once use to be schrodinger's wizard.

If a 3rd level wizard wanted to be able to solve any problem they would buy/make a scroll of knock, glitter dust, see invisibility, levitate, resist energy, true strike, invisibility, protection from evil, rope trick and other spells that are circumstantially useful or use their arcane bone to gain it. That is no longer possible. Now a wizard has to chose whether these will take up one of their 7 spells.

I don't think things are easier for casters in 5th. However the wizard can still use these powers, it just requires some form of sacrifice! Not so martial choices that have been expanded and made easier.


MightySchoop wrote:
I love 5e, but one thing I have been disappointed in is the low number of interesting low-level spells for wizards. With no "Summon Monster" type spell available at first level and Enlarge/Reduce being a second level spell, some of my favorite arcane options are not nearly as viable.

Yes, it feels odd not to have Summon Monster I

Removal of summons

Remove of crafting

Removal of meta magic (excepting sorcerers)

All seem to be conscious decisions. I think the game misses these things but I'm not sure having them in was worth it for all the balance issues they caused. Conjuring using concentration seems massive to me.


Lack of actual content. It's been what, two years since 5th edition has been released? How many books besides the big three have been made, not counting 3rd party? Paizo does a much better job of getting content out there.

Oh, and the skill system. Why they never bothered to actually list any DC for skill tasks I will never get.

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Saithor wrote:
Lack of actual content. It's been what, two years since 5th edition has been released? How many books besides the big three have been made, not counting 3rd party? Paizo does a much better job of getting content out there.

WOTC has decided to dramatically scale back the mechanics offerings this edition. Folks complain about too much complexity and rules bloat have their ear this time around. The belief is that a tighter easier to grok edition will have longer legs. There are online articles and the DM's guild that offer the new options. You need to go online for them as they are not published in hard copy at this point.

Saithor wrote:
Oh, and the skill system. Why they never bothered to actually list any DC for skill tasks I will never get.

Another design philosophy of 5E is rulings over rules. GMs are empowered to call it off the cuff in 5E.


While the DMsGuild is nice, and I am glad they made it, most DMs don't allow non-1pp material (similar to Pathfinder). And the unfortunate thing with the DMsGuild, it is similar to the 3rd party crapfest of early 3rd edition, where a lot of what is available on there is terrible.

While I think releasing products multiple times a month like Pathfinder is excessive, releasing adventures twice a year, and a non-adventure book that is soaked in Forgotten Realms (SCAG has some mechanical options, but they drip with FR, while nearly 1/2 of Volo's is FR monster lore, though I am happy with this book as the races and all those monsters are useful).

A bit more on topic: What Pathfinder does better than 5e, in my opinion, is the options. Extra classes beyond those in the PHB (though some of them could be archetypes in 5e, you lose the essence of some of them when you do such), and the skill system (though I preferred 3rd edition's more). I kinda miss skill points, and the extreme consolidation of skills in 5e annoys me. If I knew how to make character sheets in roll20 (that's the only way I get to play D&D), I'd really work on some homebrew rules to add in things I like that isn't races or classes/archetypes.


Have you considered simple text character sheets Adjule?

A blank text box for characters to be recorded in, perhaps with a template showing the formatting you want.

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RE: Guidance -> Bullrush, that'll take a turn to set up, I'd probably rather attempt pushing them twice, than spend a turn getting a +1d4 to the check. Guidance is also a concentration duration spell, so you can't cast it without losing other spells you might have going, such as Bless.

That said, I do think Guidance is too good at low levels and you really need an excuse to not cast it before every out-of-combat skill check. It and Bless are the exceptions to "Let's replace random bonuses with advantage". I think they could just give a bonus of half your proficiency bonus or something, if it must be a bonus.


Gonna toss out skills as something PF does better, yeah. I do NOT like the Proficiencies system, and the lack of certain skill uses irks me. Knowledge: Local in particular being nowhere to be found annoyed me when making my Rogue. I got my GM to sign off on Kn. History being useful for the same sort of stuff, but that doesn't fix the lack in the system itself.

It also takes away skill consolidation AND reduces the number of skills "trained". Having to take both Perception AND Investigation is unsatisfying. I don't like it in Mutants and Masterminds, and I'm not a fan here either.


What precisely is it that you guys dislike about Proficiency in Skills? What's the value in the granularity of being able to raise some skills at some levels and other skills at other levels?


Because as-is I can't decide to shift my focus later on. My current skills I'm Proficient in are:

Acrobatics
Sleight of Hand
Investigation
Insight
Deception
Perception

I am really good at these skills.

However, if I some day want to be more good at Intimidation, but let my Acrobatics skills trail off a bit...I can't. In fact, I can't even become more good at Intimidation, because as far as I can tell there is no way to gain new skill proficiencies.

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