Things Pathfinder does better than 5th ed


5th Edition (And Beyond)

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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Sundakan wrote:

More of a "break even" point than anything but holy s*~$ is combat as a Rogue boring. I can deal stellar damage but everybody else in the party can do other things. The Fighter can trip or make people afraid, the Bard can cast spells, the Druid can cast spells and gets funky abilities like Swallow Whole, but me? I run up to people, shank them, and run back.

Maybe when I get 2nd level spells I'll have occasionally something more to do in combat (since Sleep is already useless by now, at 5th).

The Rogue seems to be the Fighter of 5e as far as combat goes. Good damage. Mind numbingly boring.

I made a swashbuckling, parkour-specialized half-elf urchin rogue (thief) with the Mobility feat. My first Expertise was put into Acrobatics and Athletics. I did that mainly so I could jump around like a crazy person, but it also makes me good at all the combat maneuvers, like Shove and Grapple.

I've also played with an elf rogue (arcane trickster) that was very effective at an archer. She took Skulker at 4th level and Sharp Shooter at 10th or 12th. Most of the fun was moving into position to get that sneak attack every round. Sniping is possible in 5E, so she could run around from tree to tree or dungeon wall to dungeon pillar so she could Hide as her bonus action. There was also a human ranger (hunter) archer in the party that used Extra Attack and Horde Breaker and hunter's mark so we got to see both kinds of ranged combat: 1 big shot by the rogue, and storm of arrows by the ranger. The was particularly lucky at getting sneak attack critical hits, which was ironic, since the ranger had the Lucky feat.

Also, sleep is more of an encounter ender as opposed to an opening move in 5E.

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I had fun with my 5e rogue, Cunning Action just lets you do so much in a turn.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

A rogue (thief) lets you do Use an Object as a bonus action, so, depending on your DM, you might be able to have fun with ball bearings, caltrops, and other interesting pieces of equipment.

You can be a martial battlefield controller!

Also, you might be able to use it to use a grappling hook, which can really enhance your mobility.


SmiloDan wrote:
Sundakan wrote:

More of a "break even" point than anything but holy s*~$ is combat as a Rogue boring. I can deal stellar damage but everybody else in the party can do other things. The Fighter can trip or make people afraid, the Bard can cast spells, the Druid can cast spells and gets funky abilities like Swallow Whole, but me? I run up to people, shank them, and run back.

Maybe when I get 2nd level spells I'll have occasionally something more to do in combat (since Sleep is already useless by now, at 5th).

The Rogue seems to be the Fighter of 5e as far as combat goes. Good damage. Mind numbingly boring.

I made a swashbuckling, parkour-specialized half-elf urchin rogue (thief) with the Mobility feat. My first Expertise was put into Acrobatics and Athletics. I did that mainly so I could jump around like a crazy person, but it also makes me good at all the combat maneuvers, like Shove and Grapple.

I've also played with an elf rogue (arcane trickster) that was very effective at an archer. She took Skulker at 4th level and Sharp Shooter at 10th or 12th. Most of the fun was moving into position to get that sneak attack every round. Sniping is possible in 5E, so she could run around from tree to tree or dungeon wall to dungeon pillar so she could Hide as her bonus action. There was also a human ranger (hunter) archer in the party that used Extra Attack and Horde Breaker and hunter's mark so we got to see both kinds of ranged combat: 1 big shot by the rogue, and storm of arrows by the ranger. The was particularly lucky at getting sneak attack critical hits, which was ironic, since the ranger had the Lucky feat.

Also, sleep is more of an encounter ender as opposed to an opening move in 5E.

Hitting and sneak attacking is both not the issue, and is the issue at the same time.

Mostly it's because it's really all I can do.

When I attack and hit, I do hella damage, that's not an issue. I have the best single hit damage of anyone in the party.

But my standard turn looks like this:

Move
Action: Booming Blade
Bonus Action: Disengage
Move

I tried to look into disarming and stuff, but apparently only Fighters are allowed to disarm people. Shoving hasn't been a useful action to take, so far. Grappling seems even more a waste of a turn than in PF. Feinting would be great, and fit my Deception and Sleight of Hand based character, but it doesn't exist.

It should be less of a problem going forward (we all had a talk with the GM about how we were having a bit of combat fatigue and wanted a bit more to do with skill challenges, character interactions, and other stuff) but that's more because combat will be less frequent, not more interesting.

I kinda feel like the Arcane Trickster archetype has been a waste though. The way I've been playing (and how the party doesn't want to go along with plans like infiltrating the enemy camp with disguise and deception) I'd be better off as an Assassin or Thief than a trickster. At least if I'm just poking dudes with a rapier as an Assassin I'd be murdering them even faster, so combats would end sooner.

I picked Arcane Trickster mostly for Mage Hand Ledgerdemain, which I got a bit of mileage out of at first (using it to place ball bearings or carry my lamp in dark places) but none in the last two besides the floating head trick. The ball bearings and caltrops were next to useless anyway, amounting basically to tiny areas of difficult terrain.

I was a hair trigger away from self-destructing tonight just so I could swap to something more fun. GM says we're going to do a different sort of session next time though, where trying out new characters is welcome, so that may help.


I'm playing a halfling thief, and he's an absolute blast to play. I find that I have a lot of options in combat, simply because there's so much I can do with my bonus action.

In our last session, my PC is escaping from being captured (I had to take a hiatus for a month, so my thief got kidnapped).

Now I'm back, ready to game. Two of my captors are nearby but not paying attention. Escape my bonds, sneak over to a torch on the wall, sneak over to my captors, light one of them on fire. Bonus action disengage and book it. Let them chase me, ready action to trip the pursuer into a rose bush. Bonus action steal a weapon from their belt. Run away, find a hide spot. Ready action sneak attack. Bonus action steal.

There's a ton of options.

People always say that the arcane trickster is the best archetype because spells provide the most options, but I've found spells to be much more limiting than the options my thief gives me.

This PC actually started the game as a level 3 sorcerer, but I found my limited options and quickly expended resources to be rather boring. Working with the DM, I changed my PC to a thief and it is so much more fun.


Sundakan wrote:
tried to look into disarming and stuff, but apparently only Fighters are allowed to disarm people. Shoving hasn't been a useful action to take, so far. Grappling seems even more a waste of a turn than in PF. Feinting would be great, and fit my Deception and Sleight of Hand based character, but it doesn't exist.

Disarm for non-battlemasters is on page 271 of the DMG.


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Why does it have to be about rules ?
Honestly I think 5E rules are straight-up better than Pathfinder's 3.5-devived rules, despite all the improvements Pathfinder has made to those original rules.

Nevertheless, I've chosen Pathfinder as my only game. There are a number of reasons:

5e is a pure heritage edition - they want to introduce a new generation to all the old D&D tropes & why not ? That stuff is gold, if you never came across it before it blows your mind - there are decades of development there.

But Pathfinder is actually trying to tell new stories - not re-hashes of existing classics. (Or at least it's influences are more, faster & looser)
It's setting is built around actual play, not designed to make sense as a fantasy novel but first & foremost as a P&P playground - designed for pure play.
It's trashy & pulpy, more gonzo, the artwork is colourful, it's big-hearted & Generous & I don't give a monkeys if the balance is off.

I actually think the 5E PHB especially & the other 2 core rulebooks are amazingly good - so good I almost think they fluked it, not completely of course - but I don't see anything else in 5E up to the same standard.

My group plays Pathfinder casually - the 'modules' line, even though it seems to be suspended for now is superb for casual play & D&d doesn't really have an answer for this.

TLDR: I think the 5e rules are better than Pathfinder's but all the other great things about Pathfinder (modules, setting, artwork, community interaction, ambition) have made me choose Pathfinder as my sole game in spite of the rules.


I believe that Pathfinder is the absolute best evolution of the 3.0/3.5 system ever conceived. It takes what is best about those systems and nearly perfects them. It reinvigorated my love of the game and kept me playing roleplaying games when the 4th edition system failed to interest me.

Since then, my personal tastes have changed. I no longer have the time nor the desire to pour over tomes of information as I designed my perfect characters both mechanically and thematically. Where once I poured over each book to satisfy my hungers, now, I have evolved/devolved to something simpler. 5e scratched the right itch at the right time in the right way for me. I have returned to my original forgotten realms campaign that I ran pre-pathfinder and am quite content to stay here for now. In this regards, I believe the original poster may be feeling something similar. There isn't anything particularly better about one system or the other, they are just different. You may simply be experiencing what I have, a change in your own personal tastes.

I have zero ill will towards the Pathfinder line. I enjoyed my time there and will continue to lurk when I have the desire to. I wish nothing but prosperity for both systems.


Sometimes I think I'll never be able to enjoy playing D&D ever again. When I read some of the things posted in this thread it seams that the way I understand this game, the way I play it, the way I enjoy it, just doesn't exist anymore.


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Terquem wrote:
Sometimes I think I'll never be able to enjoy playing D&D ever again. When I read some of the things posted in this thread it seams that the way I understand this game, the way I play it, the way I enjoy it, just doesn't exist anymore.

I started playing in 1979 (or so). I still play the same way. I don't think the chosen rules make much of a difference to my play style. I wouldn't stress if other people play the game differently than you. Keep doing whatever you like, would be my advice.


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The top answer to This Question Here ties into this topic thread quite well. It may be of interest.


@Sundakan: Booming Blade + Arcane Trickster is a devastating combination like with Barbarian + Grapple/Shove. I won't deny it makes it easy to get stuck in the rut of what works well. Swashbuckler, Mastermind, and Thief all have a lot more influential choices for a player that likes combat while an Arcane Trickster really only gets new (and amazing) combat options late. I would consider dipping another class for effective variety, and it makes sense to break from rogue on a multiple of three for more spells/abilities.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Sundakan: You can multiclass into fighter. It would give you some new weapons to use (longbow, scimitar, whip), new options (Combat Style, Second Wind, Action Surge), and when you get to 3rd level, you can pick an archetype.

Champion give you Improved Critical, which means you will get super sneak attack crits twice as often, or you can go Battlemaster, which will give you some of those cool Maneuvers. Or go Eldritch Knight for more magical options.


This session was MUCH better balanced, and my Rogue-y stuff finally got a chance to shine here. We had several encounters that could have been combats, but only really engaged in 2 and a half.

The first was a cave filled with oozes (we were looking for a stolen Moonblade). We decided "F@$@ the oozes, they're slow, just run in" and kept right on running past skeletons, zombies, and Carrion Crawlers. My Rogue running ahead, the rest following behind (the dwarf Fighter and half-elf Bard riding the Druid shapeshifted into a polar bear). We killed the troll that stole it (I got to talk with him a bit, but he betrayed us) and skedaddled back the way we came. The Bard got to keep the Moonblade, the woman it was stolen from figured it would be better off in the hands of a noble band of adventurers (well...mostly noble. I had originally proposed we just abscond with the blade but it seemed to take offense to that).

The Druid used Animal Handling (still Wild Shaped as a polar bear) to make some Owlbears stand down.

We came across some Ettins, and between me and the Bard's ludicrous Deception skills convinced them we were sick with the super plague (the last straw was them demanding a toll, and my character coughing up phlegm on coins as he made to hand them over. They fled.).

We killed a bunch of Phase Spiders, a few of them killed by my Booming Blade while they shuffled about on the Ethereal. We saved a Pseudodragon from them! He's the team pet now.

And the final combat was a small horde of Orogs, a Tannarukh, a pair of ogres, and an orc(?) spellcaster trying to destroy the bridge we were sent to secure.

All in all I do feel 5e handled this more swashbuckling feel. Running in without overt fear that we'd be completely trapped by enemies faster than us and eating 10000 AoOs, bluffing or talking our way past encounters without arbitrary minimum amounts of time required conversing with them, and not needing to worry about the 16 different buffs needed to ensure our continued survival running out while we talked, hid, or planned.

I do think I'm still going to talk to my GM about switching up Mihtal a bit though. I have cast precisely two spells in the last three sessions. One Sleep (I got one Goblin) and one Hideous Laughter (it failed) with the exception of Booming Blade being my default attack action. Arcane Trickster doesn't seem to be doing too much for me. Maybe if I were much higher level it would be better but the only spell I'm excited about in the 2nd level batch is Suggestion, which our Bard covers handily anyway (successful suggestions that took enemies out of combat to date: "Eat that entire Warg", "Go for a long swim", "Walk to your (miles away) home camp and check on your prisoners", "Drink the entire river", and "Count all the snowflakes in this back yard").

On that note, what are everyone's thoughts on the Mastermind and Swashbuckler archetypes for Rogue? Both fit different aspects of my playstyle VERY well.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I DM for a human sky pirate (homebrew background) rogue (swashbuckler) that seems to have a lot of fun. His first level feat is a homebrew one that lets him dual wield dagger and pistol with panache. It's basically Crossbow Master for pistols.

The swashbuckler ability to "spring attack" (pretty much free Disengage) lets him shoot, move, stab as Cunning Action, and move away w/o OA.

It really works well with my style of DMing, which encourages mobility and interacting with the environment during combats.

In our last campaign, we had an arcane trickster who was primarily an archer. She also had some initial frustration with how sleep works in 5E, but once she realized it was an encounter ender, not an opening salvo spell (like it has been since Basic D&D, 1st Edition through 3.5, and PF), she was able to make adjustments to her fighting style and had more fun. Also, she mostly used her spells for utility stuff, not combat stuff. Also, invisibility. She was even able to almost keep up with our hunter ranger archer, which is saying a lot.

If you do change your archetype, you can take Magic Initiate to keep your booming blade cantrip, another cantrip, and a 1st level spell. Or if you're a high elf, take booming blade as your cantrip.

We also had an EK in our party, and he also had a bit of a learning curve when it came to using magic in melee. He was a two weapon fighter, so his bonus action was usually pre-determined for him (he initially was an old school wannabe fighter/magic-user/thief multi-classing fighter/evoker/rogue, and had WAY too many bonus action options, but rebuilt himself as an EK with the criminal background, and was much happier).

I honestly think the better "magic-using warrior" classes are paladins, rangers, and clerics, particularly Tempest and War. They have plenty of bonus action attack and buff spells.


I haven't had much use for 1st level spells out of combat either. Anything I can do with them is either better covered with my Expertise-booted Deception and Persuasion skills or covered by the Bard and Druid.

And the game, while accommodating more alternate routes past combat moving forward, is still very much a high-travel game it seems so we'll be spending little time in towns interacting with not immediately hostile people.

Given that is 100% of the utility I have with Illusion and Enchantment spells, the utility is not very useful.

I think the main problem is the Arcane Trickster doesn't have its own spell list. I'm stuck with 1st level Wizard spells (and further limited to two schools of magic) Which is 7 levels of having about 3 viable spells to choose from (I have never even considered taking Illusory Script, for example).

Really, it's the same problem that the Warpriest has in Pathfinder except magnified a hundred times over. I'm stuck with a spell list that is not designed for this limited amount of casting, meaning I get useful things way too late to actually be useful. Haste at 13th level is cute and all but I don't really want to tough it out until then for the "attack then ready an attack for dual sneak attacks" combo everybody tells me is so awesome.


Things 5E does better for me:
-Bounded accuracy makes the game actually work at high levels
-Level 1 character creation is nice and straightforward
-No Christmas tree of magic items
-Much more freedom and ease as a DM
-Almost no caster/martial disparity
-Moving and attacking. You can do BOTH!

Things Pathfinder does better for me:
-Massive amounts of customizability as a player
-I feel more engaged as a player in combat
-The skill system
-The quality of published adventures
-Golarion over FR


I can't recommend Swashbuckler enough if you like mobile combat with lots of flashy stunts and little or no worries about OAs. Mine has done stuff like run up a dragons back to sneak attack, snipe from beneath a rolling wagon, do backflips off tables to drop enemies from behind, etc.


Perspicacious Wanderer wrote:


-Golarion over FR

I feel the same. I know Golarion suffers a bit from "cookie cutter" syndrome but it's still a vibrant newish setting with a lot to enjoy. I'm prepping a post-RotRL mini-campaign for our 5E group, and it features some iconic Golarion locations - the Darklands, the Pyramid of Kamaria, Gallowspire, and the Starstone Cathedral all in one adventure!. Looking forward to exploring this world some more with higher level (14+) adventurers!


I think the "cookie cutter" style of Golarion makes it easier to engage with as a setting for people who are new to RPGs. Like, here's the pirate land, here's the evil empire, here's the fantasy-Egypt, here's the icy Viking people, all of them are somewhere around the Inner Sea, go crazy. If you want a particular archetypal fantasy "feel," there is something in Golarion that resembles it.

The Realms has a lot less of "this nation is a fantasy analogue to a modern or historical culture," which can be interesting in its own way but I also think it makes it less suited to being the default setting of a game. In order to make it interesting, you have to kind of dig deep ("what makes the culture of the Dalelands really stand out from the rest of the Sword Coast?") and can't just fall back on universal tropes.

I do like FR, but Golarion does "something for everyone" better. In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing 5E open up more official D&D settings in the future.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

TheRavyn wrote:
Perspicacious Wanderer wrote:


-Golarion over FR
I feel the same. I know Golarion suffers a bit from "cookie cutter" syndrome but it's still a vibrant newish setting with a lot to enjoy. I'm prepping a post-RotRL mini-campaign for our 5E group, and it features some iconic Golarion locations - the Darklands, the Pyramid of Kamaria, Gallowspire, and the Starstone Cathedral all in one adventure!. Looking forward to exploring this world some more with higher level (14+) adventurers!

I can't wait!

Finally, the mystery of the mysterious horse will be revealed!


Perspicacious Wanderer wrote:


-Golarion over FR

But it's so easy to play 5e in Golarion.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Dustin Ashe wrote:
Perspicacious Wanderer wrote:


-Golarion over FR
But it's so easy to play 5e in Golarion.

It's what we do when TheRavyn is DMing. I like to run homebrew campaigns when I DM.


Today I learned you can only two-weapon fight with two light weapons without a Feat.

...Why?

What possible purpose is there for this? I can't fight with a long sword or rapier and a dagger without a Feat?

The actual f$+@?

Edit: Scimitar is a light weapon, rapier is not.

Scimitar weighs one pound more than rapier.

I can't

What

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaa

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

2 weapon fighting with a pair of shortswords gives the rogue a "second chance" to get sneak attack damage.

Also, 5E is very "house rules friendly," so you can just house rule it's easy to use a rapier and maingauche.

The Dual Weapon Feat also gives you +1 AC and lets you draw 2 weapons at once. So if you dual wield daggers or handaxes, you can throw 2 per round and draw 2 per round.


Dual wielder feat also removes the light weapon requirement. Makes it so you can have two one-handed weapons.

I believe scimitars were made light so the Driz'zt DoUrden tropes could be easily accomplished. Also, mechanically, the scimitar is the same as the short sword, except slashing instead of piercing.

The rapier was supposed to be the damage upgrade to the short sword: slightly more damage but you lose the light property. They tried to avoid duplicating mechanics in the weapons list.


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bookrat wrote:


I believe scimitars were made light so the Driz'zt DoUrden tropes could be easily accomplished. Also, mechanically, the scimitar is the same as the short sword, except slashing instead of piercing.

so 5th ed makes it easier to make the worlds most derivative and annoying character, the CG dual wielding scimitar drow.

Not really a plus.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

To be honest, I've never seen a CG dual wielding scimitar drow in a game.

But I did know a dude that made every character he played be a black leather clad ninja chick. So we had black leather clad ninja druid chick, black leather clad ninja fighter chick, black leather clad ninja rogue chick, black leather clad ninja monk chick, etc. etc.


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Sundakan wrote:

Today I learned you can only two-weapon fight with two light weapons without a Feat.

...Why?

What possible purpose is there for this?

I'm pretty sure it's game balance related - to ensure Heavy weapon, archer, sword and board and dual wielding styles are all reasonably viable.


bookrat wrote:
I believe scimitars were made light so the Driz'zt DoUrden tropes could be easily accomplished. Also, mechanically, the scimitar is the same as the short sword, except slashing instead of piercing.

Oh, I have no doubt this was the reason behind that specific part. I mentioned as much during the session.

The problem is that it's a really dumb reason that only exists as a dumb solution caused by a really stupid design decision. When you find yourself having to manufacture mind-boggling solutions to problems you have created for yourself, maybe step back and rethink some things, you know?

I don't see how being able to dual wield with a light weapon in your off hand does anything to make other fighting styles less viable, or dual wielding more viable by comparison to others, so your suggestion doesn't make much sense Geddes.

I got the GM to agree to just let me treat the rapier as light by reducing the damage to d6 until (or if) I get the Dual Wielder Feat but...still. WTF?


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Sundakan wrote:
I don't see how being able to dual wield with a light weapon in your off hand does anything to make other fighting styles less viable, or dual wielding more viable by comparison to others, so your suggestion doesn't make much sense Geddes.

If you could dual wield nonlight weapons with less investment in character building resources than currently required, it's likely you'd out damage a great weapon fighter who had put a similar level of character resources into their chosen style.

I suspect they didn't want to make one style strictly superior to the others. Ranged and Sword-and-shield have obvious upsides they trade damage output for. In TWF vs GWF, it's ultimately all about damage, so they'd try to keep them comparable.


From experience in this current game, I don't think that's the case. A GWFer can use a reach weapon and get an extra attack per round to boot for the same cost as Dual Wielder...which is significantly more lackluster of a Feat than Polearm Master.


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I ran the numbers on both fighting styles with corresponding feat for a champion fighter (assuming an equal distribution of ACs from 11-19) and they ended up pretty close as is. If the dual wielder could use two d8 weapons without a feat, they'd clearly be ahead. I suspect that a d8/d6 option would be a little stronger than the "unfeated" GWF.

(By the way, I don't really like the approach they took, but in terms of your "what possible purpose...?" question - I think game balance is the place to look rather than some simulationist explanation. Whether it's a good reason or not doesn't really matter.)


GWM out-damages DW past level 11. In previous analyses I've done, two possible solutions are to remove the -5/+10 or to give DW an extra attack on their bonus action at level 11.

My preference is to add an attack. Kryx (the gentleman who has done more dpr analysis than anyone else) prefers to remove the -5/+10.

Kryx DPR Sheet

Here are his house rules which balance out the system in terms of damage output.

No -5/+10

Feats are split into two so players can choose +1 ASI or a half feat

Handcrossbows follow the TWF rules

Cleave (GWM) & Polearm Provoke are based on the weapon, so starts at 1

No Polearm Bonus Attack

TWF automatically allows 2 light weapons to be drawn and applies the stat bonus to the offhand automatically

TWF Fighting Style allows 1 size larger weapons


Sundakan wrote:
bookrat wrote:
I believe scimitars were made light so the Driz'zt DoUrden tropes could be easily accomplished. Also, mechanically, the scimitar is the same as the short sword, except slashing instead of piercing.

Oh, I have no doubt this was the reason behind that specific part. I mentioned as much during the session.

The problem is that it's a really dumb reason that only exists as a dumb solution caused by a really stupid design decision. When you find yourself having to manufacture mind-boggling solutions to problems you have created for yourself, maybe step back and rethink some things, you know?

I'm in no way disagreeing with you. However, the designers happen to be fans of Salvatore, and he's had input into the design of the game - even going so far as to be a major contributor to the Rage of Demons storyline.

I've previously written a lot of complaints about his contributions to Rage of Demons and the poor writing of his companion books that go with it. My book reviews in particular had harsh words to say on the topic.


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bookrat wrote:

GWM out-damages DW past level 11. In previous analyses I've done, two possible solutions are to remove the -5/+10 or to give DW an extra attack on their bonus action at level 11.

My preference is to add an attack. Kryx (the gentleman who has done more dpr analysis than anyone else) prefers to remove the -5/+10.

Kryx DPR Sheet

Cheers. That's cetainly more exhaustive than the situations I looked at (although I'll want to check his assumptions. It's easy at high levels to end up comparing one build with three feats vs another with two feats). Thanks for the link - is there anywhere he explicitly spells out what options are chosen for each build?


Plenty of PF players who would dream of finesse dual wielding scimitar. At 1St level with no feat cost!

And given DD origins in a dnd setting, it's good they finally made it possible!


The Sword wrote:

So I started a new campaign in 5th ed on Saturday. I'm running a mash up of dungeon magazine's Raiders of Galaths Roost, Doom of Daggerdale, the Randal Morn trilogy, Shadowdale: Scouring of the land and The ruins of Myth Drannor.

Firstly, converting the adventures is ridiculously easy. I just pick similar monsters and usually just add one or two abilities to represent it. For instance to convert a krenshar I just took a wolf and added the fear spell with one target.

The party seemed naturally to fall into a very balanced group with lots of options. A human fey warlock, an elf arcane cleric, a dwarf fighter (who's also a master mason), and a halfling folk hero rogue. The backgrounds add massive customisation and flavour that then creates lots of new role play ideas to bounce off along with a simple mechanic for rewarding that.

The combats seem balanced, even in an adventure not designed for this system. Healing seems simple, with the cleric bringing people back to their feet as a bonus action. The fighter kicks ass, the warlock is very flavourful, and the rogue gets stuff done! Setting DCs is a breeze. In short as a DM I feel totally liberated.

This is the third campaign I'm running (Curse of Strahd, and a few introductory sessions to pick up the rules before this) but this is the first time I'm converting other formats into 5th and filling the gaps.

Now I've played Pathfinder exclusively since it came out and I'm. Now struggling to work out what Pathfinder does better? This isn't an invitation to start edition wars. I've played pathfinder for a looooong time. I'm just genuinely interested in what its virtues are.

At first I though it was being able to better come up with character concepts but if I'm honest the mix of classes, archetypes, and backgrounds + the unearthed arcana releases mean I'm able to make pretty much whatever I want, without multiclassing in most cases.

So what am I missing here? Help me out? I'm always going to buy Paizo because I love the minis, and adventure paths...

I havent played 5th edition but I do think better will be subjective.

When 4th edition came out some people were willing to give up the mechanical offerings of 3.5 to have them represented by flavor in 4th edition. I think the same will be true in this case since 5th edition likely doesn't have equal abilities to what is in PF.

If I want to do ____, and not have it as flavor or just background information that would not be good enough for me.


Steve Geddes wrote:
bookrat wrote:

GWM out-damages DW past level 11. In previous analyses I've done, two possible solutions are to remove the -5/+10 or to give DW an extra attack on their bonus action at level 11.

My preference is to add an attack. Kryx (the gentleman who has done more dpr analysis than anyone else) prefers to remove the -5/+10.

Kryx DPR Sheet

Cheers. That's cetainly more exhaustive than the situations I looked at (although I'll want to check his assumptions. It's easy at high levels to end up comparing one build with three feats vs another with two feats). Thanks for the link - is there anywhere he explicitly spells out what options are chosen for each build?

I've conversed with him many times, and while he's incredibly intelligent, he's somewhat poor at communicating effectively. Hence, his sheet can be difficult to read and see what he's doing where.

Even with that, all his builds are spelled out in the document - you just gotta find them. And it ain't easy.

For the most part, when he says GWM Frenzy Barbarian, all he looks at is GWM and the rest go into ASI. He does try to minimize variables. He also has stated goals of what things "should be" (in his opinion), and had developed house rules (some available on the DM Guild) to bring the damage into line.

My favorite thing he does, however, is determine the average AC at each level based on what a party would be expected to fight.


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bookrat wrote:
My favorite thing he does, however, is determine the average AC at each level based on what a party would be expected to fight.

I think this is a good baseline to set, although it's probably worth remembering that this is happening. AC makes a huge difference to DPR calculations when it comes to the -5/+10 feats.


I don't know anyone that requires the two light weapon thing, but I guarantee the rule was set there for legacy reasons.


I got an AL fighter who uses two weapons. I want him to use two battle axes, but he's not level four yet (and therefore doesn't have Dual Wielder). So he has to use two hand axes.


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So, this is a reply a long time in the coming, I had a lot of things to do in the interim. But when I posted that I was dissapointed in the alck of content 5th edition had, someone told me that it was a decision by the devolopers because of complaints of rules bloat.

To which my reply is that they went too far in the other direction. Now there is nowhere near enough content, and as a result the number of builds and their differentiation is nowhere near as good as it is in other systems. As a fighter, thoughout my levels, 1-20, I choose

1. What my wepon will be
2. My sub-choice, with some additional choices dependign on which one.
3. Fighting Style
4. Feats or ASI, of which there will be five over the entire career of the character if he lasts that long.

Now, other classes get it better of since they can throw what spells they want onto that list as well. But still, the majority of choice in character creation is front-loaded into the first few levels, and even then isn't that large. Most fighters I've seen are practically defined by the weapons styles, I always see Halberd, Greatsword, Dual-wield Rapier and Longsword/Shield at the tables I've played.

I also read that this was done to counter "Munchkins". Which makes the choice baffling, because really the ebst way to do that is make every choice viable, but instead we still have choices that are obviously better than others, and limited options for people who don't go for them.

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Fighters actually get more ASIs/Feats than any other class, 7 overall.

And as you mention, your archetype will lead to additional choices in either spells or maneuvers, unless you specifically wanted the archetype which has fewest choices/things to remember as a feature.


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bookrat wrote:

GWM out-damages DW past level 11. In previous analyses I've done, two possible solutions are to remove the -5/+10 or to give DW an extra attack on their bonus action at level 11.

My preference is to add an attack. Kryx (the gentleman who has done more dpr analysis than anyone else) prefers to remove the -5/+10.

I prefer the 2H Specialist to outdamage the Dual wielder, personally. I think a build focussed on 'nothing but massive damage' should be unequivocally (even if only marginally) best at doing damage.

Are you (or Kryx?) accounting for the 'wasted' hit points fewer, more powerful attacks gives you? I think that's worth something even if it costs some DPR.

To me the standout 'overpowered' fighter build damage wise is the single handcrossbow wielder (with sharpshooter and crossbow mastery feats including the Sage Adviced "yes you can bonus attack with the same handcrossbow you attacked with") - especially if you're using rolled stats and are lucky enough to begin with an 18 dex. They have pretty much no drawbacks and can pump out huge damage.

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One thing to remember is that you can multiclass in 5th Edition without losing any "BAB." Depending on the timing of the multiclassing, you don't even lose feats/ASI or Extra Attacks. And some classes' low-level abilities are pretty fun for a fighter-type, like Tempest clerics and rogue sneak attacks. A fighter (eldritch knight) 5/rogue (arcane trickster) 4 is ALSO a 3rd level caster with access to a varied selection of spells, and 9th level cantrips. Not too shabby.


I'm actually not a big fan of how Proficiency Bonuses work in this game. I like that they don't get penalized for multiclassing (though the fact that ASIs ARE irks me to no end) but everybody being equally good at fighting as another class with the same Str or Dex is weird. The Wizard should not have as accurate a swing as the Fighter.

That's really more an issue with the bounded accuracy on everything in general, though. The very narrow progression in numbers chafes and makes me less enthused about trying out new characters since a lot of them get very similar things, all in all.

Mostly because of how Feats work. They're the main build differentiation even in this game, but they're so few and far between (particularly if you multiclass) that class abilities are it.

Unfortunately, class abilities beyond Archetypes (or their equivalent) are very same-y on a lot of classes. Fighter-y classes get extra attacks and usually some kind of defensive boost. Casty classes get spells, and things that make them better with spells.

This wouldn't be as bad except this brings back the problem with the lack of options. The Fighter has 3 archetypes, with one being dull as dishwater (Champion), another being a poor hybrid of caster and fighter (Eldritch Knight), and the third having a bajillion options (comparatively) to choose from.

All but one of these will play exactly the same way on any character besides Feats, which again you don't get nearly enough of.

There either need to be more archetypes, or more options within each archetype.


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GreySector wrote:
In 5e I find that I make all of my meaningful character design choices at level 1. In Pathfinder I find that I make a meaningful choice at most levels.

That's odd. In Pathfinder, I find I make my meaningful choices once per level. In 5e, I make my most meaningful choices every game session.

But, then, that's the fundamental difference between the "rules as limits" design of most Pathfinder tables I've played at and the "rules as methods" that seems to describe the 5e (and 1e and 2e games 20+ years ago, for that matter) tables I've played at recently...


Sundakan wrote:
I'm actually not a big fan of how Proficiency Bonuses work in this game. I like that they don't get penalized for multiclassing (though the fact that ASIs ARE irks me to no end) but everybody being equally good at fighting as another class with the same Str or Dex is weird. The Wizard should not have as accurate a swing as the Fighter.

Except I've never seen a 5e wizard with as good a STR/DEX score as a 5e fighter.

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I like the interplay between character and mechanics. 5E has the same problem I have with point-buy systems. While I've played and continue to play the same point buy systems for years, I recognize that a large number of players I play with have characters that feel far more mechanically shallow than any character I've played in Pathfinder, where the class/skill based system forces your character to do more than one thing better than a human commoner.

Dustin Ashe wrote:
Hard to compare. Pathfinder has been out much longer and has way more content. It might be better to compare Pathfinder back when it was just the CRB, MM, and maybe the APG to today's D&D.

5th has been out since August 2014. That's two and a half years. There are a few campaign setting releases, 12 issues of Dragon,

After two and a half years, Pathfinder players had the Core Rulebook, Advanced Player's Guide, Ultimate Magic and Ultimate Combat. Combined with very liberal archetyping and multiclassing, a more aggressive Adventure Path release schedule and Player Companion's chock full of new options, there are just far more characters I can make that feel like I've made my own. Which I understand is a delusion, but its a small part of why I enjoy tabletop roleplaying.

But most of what 5e releases or what I see released are board games, a small handful of adventures harkening back to second and third edition, and a couple video games I see coming out soon.

I like to sink my teeth into world-building character options that let me expand upon a unique set of lore. The character I play is more than just their stats, but their abilities help create a mirror that shows something about their personality or backstory that reflects who and what they are.

When I went to create a character for my friend's Ravenloft campaign, the description of the setting gave me a number of fun ideas. All of which the DM responded with "oh let's make a homebrew thing for you". We had fun. Heck, we have fun when we make characters for diceless story-telling sessions. But the character felt pidgeonholed into the ideas I had for him. It wasn't the back and forth conversation I'm having now making my Devoted Muse.

"Oh you get Swashbuckler abilities? I was going to go straight paladin but now that I think about it, dipping into Swashbuckler would be absolutely a blast. Oh you work off Critical multipliers? What would my Tian Noble feel like if he kept a pistol in his kimono sleeve? Huh. I kinda like that. Kinda go for this Battle of Nagashino feeling...

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