My Thoughts on Pathfinder


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Grand Lodge

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blahpers wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Because people won't buy your fixes, but they will buy Paizo's.
Most of us aren't selling rules; we just want to play.

But it's a big difference between playing Paizo's rules and playing Joe's rules. Look at everyone pitching their own house rules or homebrew on the forums.


Ring_of_Gyges wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
So what do you do if you are sick of 3.x gaming and don't like 4E?

There are so many options. Games I've played and enjoyed include:

Seventh Sea: Swashbuckling alternate Europe with the abstract modern design the cool kids like.

Fading Suns: Fantastically deep and immersive feudalism in space, the setting is ridiculously rich.

In Nomine: Noir Angels and Demons in the modern world as PCs, it's great.

GURPS: The best historical sourcebooks and most flexible character generation I've ever seen. It can stat up a farmboy looking for adventure and a psychic twig with equal ease.

West End Game's Star Wars: So simple, so good.

Big Eyes Small Mouth: Super quick, super flexible, runs anything from Anime, remember how many genres 'anime' covers and you'll get an idea of the flexibility.

Amber: A diceless game about feuding immortals based on a psychadelic fantasy series from the 70's.

Marvel Universe RPG: A diceless (but totally deterministic & mechanical) implementation of super heroes, it's a totally different design from almost anything that came before it, it's fascinating.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Palladium's giant, messy, clunky, random table strewn, mutant animals game from the 1980's. This game introduced 7 year old me to the original TMNT graphic novels (which if a) you're 7 and b) have only ever seen the PG cartoon are a real trip).

What I'm saying is that there are *so* many games out there. With PDFs and things like DriveThrough RPG they can be had so cheaply, you don't have to choose between D&D and slight variants of D&D, the world of possibilities is so much more vast. The differences even between 1st edition D&D and Pathfinder are like the differences between Crimson and Scarlet compared to the whole color spectrum of stuff that exists.

Keeping it going...

Call of Cthulu: Great Sanity system

Paranoia: Great system of Skill trees.

Fantasy Hero (v2.0) Best system for customizing magic spells. Great way of simulating wizards being distracted by powering "up" spells. Great fatigue rules.

RuneQuest: Simply Lovely.

Tunnels & Trolls: Fun. Combat system for crap.

Elric: Great system for binding demons, elementals into weapons.

Chivalry and Sorcery: Best alchemy system.

Gamma World: Fun.

Travellers: Generating a character was more fun than playing the game.

Arduin Grimoire: Great system for dealing with the idea that mages were inherently unbalanced.


I confess I really don't understand the whole "I will only play this small list of games" thing.

Unless I have a pre-existing reason to not want to play a given game, I'll play anything. Show up with some game I've never heard of before and I'm game. I had a blast with that "you are space aliens from whatever race David Bowie was, come to save the Earth with Rock and Roll" game whose name I forget (I was a space Bootsy Collins).


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Personally I am very much in the "No 2nd Edition" camp. I'm fine as things are but I would like to see more books like Pathfinder Unchained.

To Me Pathfinder is currently Rule system + Options to build the game my group wants to play. Replace things that don't work for us, with things that do. If there is a particular style of game Iwant to run I swap a few bits in and out (Example Gritty Horror game: I want sanity rules in, I want a more in depth injury system than just hps, etc...). I would rather have additional options than a whole new version of the game, because having the options and alternate rules gives me what I need to make MY version of the game.

I would like them to start collecting stuff from those thin little player guides into more robust and expanded books. There are like three or four of those little booklets that are a must have for the fighter now, so why not gather it all together along with a bunch of other melee stuff so it's all in one place.

Grand Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I confess I really don't understand the whole "I will only play this small list of games" thing.

Time spent learning to play. I don't play Eldritch Horror often because despite having 5 or 6 sessions in I still don't have the process down. It works when there is someone who does know running it, but I never break out my copy.


I suggest trying Kirthfinder. Probably the closest thing to a "Pathfinder 2E" that you will ever get. It actually makes an attempt to balance out the classes, and it's pretty fun.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
blahpers wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Because people won't buy your fixes, but they will buy Paizo's.
Most of us aren't selling rules; we just want to play.
But it's a big difference between playing Paizo's rules and playing Joe's rules. Look at everyone pitching their own house rules or homebrew on the forums.

I'm not advocating that a GM who perceives a problem with rule X play Joe's rules, where Joe is some other person who published a fix for, possibly among other things, X--though that's fine. I'm advocating that a GM who perceives a problem with rule X and already has a suggested solution in mind (as OP seems to) fix the problem themselves rather than wait for Paizo to evaluate, approve, and publish the fix.

You're the GM. If you see a problem with the rules, and if you know how to fix it, and if your players are okay with the fix, . . . fix it.

Grand Lodge

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It's that 'if the players are okay with it' that is the sticking point. You asked why it mattered if Paizo published the fix, and the reason is that some people have an irrational belief that official patches are better than unofficial.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I confess I really don't understand the whole "I will only play this small list of games" thing.
Time spent learning to play. I don't play Eldritch Horror often because despite having 5 or 6 sessions in I still don't have the process down. It works when there is someone who does know running it, but I never break out my copy.

While I certainly wouldn't be comfortable running a game I don't know very well, I do feel like a lot of what learns from playing one game is applicable to a large family of games, so at this point I don't think there would be anything I haven't played which is so unfamiliar as to be unpleasant.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
It's that 'if the players are okay with it' that is the sticking point. You asked why it mattered if Paizo published the fix, and the reason is that some people have an irrational belief that official patches are better than unofficial.

In my experience, players usually object to a house rule when they don't think the house rule makes the game better; that's the case whether it's a Paizo-blessed house rule or one made up whole-cloth. Are there that many players who would look at a house rule that they themselves believe makes the game better but still object on the grounds that it wasn't stamped with the PDT seal of approval?

Grand Lodge

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Yes.


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Well, you can't fix stupid stubborn.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tableflip McRagequit wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Well, you can't fix flip stupid stubborn.

Well, you can, you just have to get the right leverage.

*shows themselves the way out*


Paizo themselves did say they hped Pathfinder would last 10 years. Its been 9, even if they started working on pt 2 tomorrow you are looking at around 2 years minimum so you are looking at an 11 year run, 12 if you count the beta.

Obviously some things are subject to change, I looked at the 10 year thing as a goal not a cast in stone promise. From the sounds of it thought they have cut back on releases and some of the PFS groups have gone bye bye.

Eventually they will have to address the decline and that is either a new edition, Starfinder or that online Kingmaker game which looks interesting.

Paizo themselves seem to have a good amount of residual goodwill from ex PF players as well. They could always convert RotRL to 5E and probably expect to do well.


Rysky wrote:
ScrollMasterRob wrote:
Pathfinder is suffering from 3.5 problems. Every new class is more powerful than what came before. Every new monster is cracked out to deal with the new classes. A core character has serious problems with the new mods. A new character class steamrolls through the old mods.
... no?

Yep, most certainly not. If anything Pathfinder is doing the opposite. They seem to have this fear of power creep which has them produce an abundance of things that are both weak and mechanically forgettable.

One of the most interesting and popular classes they've produced in some time is the Kineticist, it's not particularly strong and I've made a thread about how some of the elements have mechanically boring powers for a large chunk of the early game but people love the theme behind the class.

We then had the Shifter, people had expectations of some sort of multi changing shifting class and paizo produced an extremely mundane animal shifter, by their own admission, a newby shapechanger (this late in the edition)

At this stage I think they should be making more experimental classes, even if they are harder to balance they can put them out there and make the community aware that long term balance can come from their feedback, I don't think the community would mind.


NoTongue wrote:
Rysky wrote:
ScrollMasterRob wrote:
Pathfinder is suffering from 3.5 problems. Every new class is more powerful than what came before. Every new monster is cracked out to deal with the new classes. A core character has serious problems with the new mods. A new character class steamrolls through the old mods.
... no?

Yep, most certainly not. If anything Pathfinder is doing the opposite. They seem to have this fear of power creep which has them produce an abundance of things that are both weak and mechanically forgettable.

One of the most interesting and popular classes they've produced in some time is the Kineticist, it's not particularly strong and I've made a thread about how some of the elements have mechanically boring powers for a large chunk of the early game but people love the theme behind the class.

We then had the Shifter, people had expectations of some sort of multi changing shifting class and paizo produced an extremely mundane animal shifter, by their own admission, a newby shapechanger (this late in the edition)

At this stage I think they should be making more experimental classes, even if they are harder to balance they can put them out there and make the community aware that long term balance can come from their feedback, I don't think the community would mind.

Late 3.5 most classes were weaker than core.


NoTongue wrote:
Rysky wrote:
ScrollMasterRob wrote:
Pathfinder is suffering from 3.5 problems. Every new class is more powerful than what came before. Every new monster is cracked out to deal with the new classes. A core character has serious problems with the new mods. A new character class steamrolls through the old mods.
... no?

Yep, most certainly not. If anything Pathfinder is doing the opposite. They seem to have this fear of power creep which has them produce an abundance of things that are both weak and mechanically forgettable.

One of the most interesting and popular classes they've produced in some time is the Kineticist, it's not particularly strong and I've made a thread about how some of the elements have mechanically boring powers for a large chunk of the early game but people love the theme behind the class.

We then had the Shifter, people had expectations of some sort of multi changing shifting class and paizo produced an extremely mundane animal shifter, by their own admission, a newby shapechanger (this late in the edition)

At this stage I think they should be making more experimental classes, even if they are harder to balance they can put them out there and make the community aware that long term balance can come from their feedback, I don't think the community would mind.

Late 3.5 most classes were weaker than core.

I have around 80 3E books on the shelf, towards the end of 3.5 I stopped buying the splat especially class related ones. When Paizo started to go down the same road I think I bowed out.


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Zardnaar wrote:


Eventually they will have to address the decline and that is either a new edition, Starfinder or that online Kingmaker game which looks interesting.

One of the more annoying things in the world is people making subjective or unfounded statements based on information they simply don't have access to as if it were an obvious truth.

If you want to see what a company does when its property is in decline look at AEG and L5R.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:


Eventually they will have to address the decline and that is either a new edition, Starfinder or that online Kingmaker game which looks interesting.

One of the more annoying things in the world is people making subjective or unfounded statements based on information they simply don't have access to as if it were an obvious truth.

If you want to see what a company does when its property is in decline look at AEG and L5R.

Lisa and Co generally know what they are doing. I would not expect PF2 before 2020 and I am not really concerned if they don't make one at all.

I have been through 5 D&D editions changes, eventually there will be a PF2 or no Pathfinder. Might be in 2-3 years might be 10 IDK.


I'm referring to the claim that there is a decline in need of addressing. Maybe there is, but i haven't seen anything resembling hard evidence of it.

The slowed releases are easily explained by them releasing a new game system and not indicative of any significant decline in sales or more than anecdotal claims of group dissolution.

Most companies, in a financial pinch don't take risks like developing and releasing a new rpg system. The development of new properties is either indicative of a pretty healthy business, with excess resources to devote to expansion, or a business completely on the ropes. Given that as of spring 2017 pathfinder was the second best selling tabletop rpg, either they're doing well, or the table top rpg market has disappeared completely and everyone's in trouble.


Ryan Freire wrote:

I'm referring to the claim that there is a decline in need of addressing. Maybe there is, but i haven't seen anything resembling hard evidence of it.

The slowed releases are easily explained by them releasing a new game system and not indicative of any significant decline in sales or more than anecdotal claims of group dissolution.

Most companies, in a financial pinch don't take risks like developing and releasing a new rpg system. The development of new properties is either indicative of a pretty healthy business, with excess resources to devote to expansion, or a business completely on the ropes. Given that as of spring 2017 pathfinder was the second best selling tabletop rpg, either they're doing well, or the table top rpg market has disappeared completely and everyone's in trouble.

There has been a big decline in the % of PF games o the VTTs. 5E has basically replaced it. Anecdotally a few PFS groups have also ceased.

So I think there has been a decline, combination of newer simpler system, PF not being that newbie frineds, saturated market and PF coming up 9 years old.


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

Starfinder Society is huge in my town, they run games pretty much every night at Misty Mountain Games.


Zardnaar wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:

I'm referring to the claim that there is a decline in need of addressing. Maybe there is, but i haven't seen anything resembling hard evidence of it.

The slowed releases are easily explained by them releasing a new game system and not indicative of any significant decline in sales or more than anecdotal claims of group dissolution.

Most companies, in a financial pinch don't take risks like developing and releasing a new rpg system. The development of new properties is either indicative of a pretty healthy business, with excess resources to devote to expansion, or a business completely on the ropes. Given that as of spring 2017 pathfinder was the second best selling tabletop rpg, either they're doing well, or the table top rpg market has disappeared completely and everyone's in trouble.

There has been a big decline in the % of PF games o the VTTs. 5E has basically replaced it. Anecdotally a few PFS groups have also ceased.

So I think there has been a decline, combination of newer simpler system, PF not being that newbie frineds, saturated market and PF coming up 9 years old.

Uh, the data does not back up your conclusion. Pathfinder games on Roll20 at least have increased. They have not outpaced 5th ed which has a massive media blitz behind it and is "the new hotness" but year by year more pathfinder games are being played on at the least Roll20.

Polygon piece with graph


5e has been out for over three years. The full run of 4e was six. The full run of 3e and 3.5 together was eight.

To credit anything to 5e being "the new hotness" is simply denial.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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Removed some posts. We have a pretty firm "no edition warring or posts that incite edition wars" policy. Games and what people like or don't like are really subjective and its important not to derail threads with getting into discussion of the merits or flaws with very specific and particular rules.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:

I'm referring to the claim that there is a decline in need of addressing. Maybe there is, but i haven't seen anything resembling hard evidence of it.

The slowed releases are easily explained by them releasing a new game system and not indicative of any significant decline in sales or more than anecdotal claims of group dissolution.

Most companies, in a financial pinch don't take risks like developing and releasing a new rpg system. The development of new properties is either indicative of a pretty healthy business, with excess resources to devote to expansion, or a business completely on the ropes. Given that as of spring 2017 pathfinder was the second best selling tabletop rpg, either they're doing well, or the table top rpg market has disappeared completely and everyone's in trouble.

There has been a big decline in the % of PF games o the VTTs. 5E has basically replaced it. Anecdotally a few PFS groups have also ceased.

So I think there has been a decline, combination of newer simpler system, PF not being that newbie frineds, saturated market and PF coming up 9 years old.

Uh, the data does not back up your conclusion. Pathfinder games on Roll20 at least have increased. They have not outpaced 5th ed which has a massive media blitz behind it and is "the new hotness" but year by year more pathfinder games are being played on at the least Roll20.

Polygon piece with graph

I was looking at the % of games played and PF used to be over 25% now its 15%.

If there has been an influx of gamers (who don't play PF) that could explain it.

I think I may have to pick up Starfinder and one of the latest APs.


Want a better feeling?

mix everything you want from any edition you like or try Runequest (the real successor of AD&D2E).


Runequest was published in 1977, more than a decade before AD&D2E.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Runequest was published in 1977, more than a decade before AD&D2E.

Yes, but i meant that if he doesn´t like how 3.X and needs a new way of how to roleplay Runequest is an amazing variant


I don't know if the 'd100' system holds up, but it's certainly got a very distinctive setting - bronze-age technology, shamanistic religions, etc.


The only old system I play (that is not D&D is the occasional game of D6 Star Wars. Its usually the revised version.


I wouldn't mind a PF 2e, or Revised. The game could use some clearing up and simplification.

However, I don't want too much simplification. There's 5e for that. I'd rather continue to have a game with much more in-depth simulation aspects and actual character-building options beyond 3rd level.

If they can keep a balance, then, I'm not against a new edition, or half-edition, or any kind of update. But i want PF to remain the game it is, in it's core, the torchbearer of the 3e legacy.

I also don't want to lose how Paizo's supporting their setting, unlike WotC.


PMárk wrote:

I wouldn't mind a PF 2e, or Revised. The game could use some clearing up and simplification.

However, I don't want too much simplification. There's 5e for that. I'd rather continue to have a game with much more in-depth simulation aspects and actual character-building options beyond 3rd level.

If they can keep a balance, then, I'm not against a new edition, or half-edition, or any kind of update. But i want PF to remain the game it is, in it's core, the torchbearer of the 3e legacy.

I also don't want to lose how Paizo's supporting their setting, unlike WotC.

My overhaul of 3.x would be htings like.

Saves across the board increase faster, the difference between a good and bad save by level 20 would be +3 or 4 no more.

Dumping +16/+11/+6/+1, once your BAB gets to +16 you just get 4 attacks at +16 (great weapons might be nerfed a bit ie power attack or +50% more strength bonus)

Capped ability scores (20 or 25 IDK)

Overhaul the feats and perhaps skills.

Overhaul of spells (some might just get cut).

Mostly it would be tweaking the math, make it more steamlined, make the numbers smaller.


Zardnaar wrote:
Capped ability scores (20 or 25 IDK)

I think this could have a huge effect on game balance. Essentially, limit the size of the bonus you can get from an ability score.

For example, you can use up to a +4 through fifth level, then it bumps up to +5 at sixth, and an additional +1/5 levels beyond that.
Bonus spells would likewise be limited. You should probably never get more then one bonus spell of a given level for ability scores.


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People gotta stop acting like "or look stuff up online" is some sort of inconvenience when you can get to what you need way faster than thumbing through a book 9 times out of 10 thanks to the ability to look stuff up online on your magic handbrain tricorders that most everyone has.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
People gotta stop acting like "or look stuff up online" is some sort of inconvenience when you can get to what you need way faster than thumbing through a book 9 times out of 10 thanks to the ability to look stuff up online on your magic handbrain tricorders that most everyone has.

<massive applause> -- That, in fact, is exactly where the game should evolve.

The core books are horribly long-in-the-tooth and groaning under the weight of multiple layers of errata bondo. You never know what thing has been superseded by that other thing in that other book you don't own that a campaign updates its rules from and expects your to know...or at least expects some mustered GM to know at a PFS table (and most of those guys own fewer books than I do).

Suggestion: transition from meat-space product model toward a database model. Physical books have pretty cover art and do look sweet sitting on a shelf, but that's about all anybody likes about them. They're heavy, they fall apart, and you can't find anything in five seconds flat just by tossing in a search-term let alone cross-reference. PDFs are nice, but there's a billion of them now and they have the same overlapping bondo problem as the hard-copies.

Database the game and sell it through PFS thusly: legal characters require owning either old stuff (hardcopy or PDF) or for some nominal amount per game or per year (or however you want to do it), they can download an expanded ruleset onto their tablet, and it will continually update. It will also include a character-sheet generator that does all the inscrutable maths. I.e., you click a button for "Sickened" and all the affected numbers change. I.e., nobody at the table needs to know anything about status effects or look at rules because they'd be built-in. That, and helpful stuff like helpful alerts for "You now have 2 Channels/Panache/Ki Points/etc remaining".-- Can you imagine how much that would speed up play? Too many "fun" classes (like Swashbuckler, because everybody wants to be a pirate at some point) currently require so much system-mastery that they're an utter bog to play, and the pace-of-the-action continually slows down due to interruptions and you-can't-do-that's and 'you-should-be-out-those-by-now' and fifty flavors of re-rolls and whatnot. And of course there's the twin big elephants in the room: spells and critters, which nobody enjoys adjudicating on-the-fly.

-- We are playing a fantasy game in which a noob who wants to make a knight can't stat a light horse for his 1st-level guy, or make a sorcerer with a guard dog knowing what it does, without pouring through multiples books or going on-line.

Imagine, instead, going down the list in a character-app through Equipment > Goods and Services > Animals, hitting "Dog, guard 25gp", and a side-sheet immediately pops up in your tablet, completely filled in with everything you need, including your PC's current Handle Animal score probabilities. (Pro tip: dogs are loyal to sorc masters, dwarf wizards with dumped Cha...not so much.) -- Imagine it was that way for just about everything in the game. All the mindnumbing crap would be handled by the engine. Players who've abandoned the creaky 3e platform for years would avalanche back in.

People would actually volunteer to GM.


All RPGs have their strengths and weaknesses.

Pathfinder's strength is that it's so well supported - by websites like this one and a vast array of adventures and campaign settings that save the GM work.

Its weakness is its complexity. Even when running a published adventure, as a GM I often spend more time preparing for a game than my group spends playing it. This is because there are so many different rules a GM needs to know in order to run the game smoothly.

While I like playing Pathfinder if it wasn't for the support products I wouldn't GM it at all.


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Moonclanger wrote:


Its weakness is its complexity. Even when running a published adventure, as a GM I often spend more time preparing for a game than my group spends playing it. This is because there are so many different rules a GM needs to know in order to run the game smoothly.

For what it's worth, I regard that complexity as one of Pathfinder's core strengths. I've played a bit of 5e, and while it is definitely easier to pick up, the principal reason running it is not to my taste is that IME it feels like E6 stretched over 20 levels; it feels like it would quickly become boring for me personally to DM precisely because there is not that range of things to look up, and I have similar feelings about the OP's suggestions overall.

I would love to see a 3.5-derived variant that made the last quarter or so of the level range (and ideally on into epic) more fun and playable, but I am unconvinced that drastic simplification is the way to go, and for so long as there is a sizable (or at least vocal) contingent of players who both regard C/MD as a major problem and object to martial characters being powered up in ways they deem unrealistic/too anime-like, that seems fairly intractable.


the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Moonclanger wrote:


Its weakness is its complexity. Even when running a published adventure, as a GM I often spend more time preparing for a game than my group spends playing it. This is because there are so many different rules a GM needs to know in order to run the game smoothly.

For what it's worth, I regard that complexity as one of Pathfinder's core strengths. I've played a bit of 5e, and while it is definitely easier to pick up, the principal reason running it is not to my taste is that IME it feels like E6 stretched over 20 levels; it feels like it would quickly become boring for me personally to DM precisely because there is not that range of things to look up, and I have similar feelings about the OP's suggestions overall.

I would love to see a 3.5-derived variant that made the last quarter or so of the level range (and ideally on into epic) more fun and playable, but I am unconvinced that drastic simplification is the way to go, and for so long as there is a sizable (or at least vocal) contingent of players who both regard C/MD as a major problem and object to martial characters being powered up in ways they deem unrealistic/too anime-like, that seems fairly intractable.

I just want to say, I totally agree with that. I don't like how "complexity" became a curse in the last... Decade?

Everyone (ok, tha majority of RPG developers)want "more streamlined" and "easy to pick" games and that's fine and cool. To a point. After a point, it's just dumbing down and losing depth, plain and simple.

I get that everyone has little time nowadays and I get that more complex games are harder to pick up for newbies but... come on, we started with these games back in the days too. There's seriously something wrong with the people now, who are saying WoD, for example is rules-heavy...

You don't exactly need a doctorate to understand the more complex games, it's just a bit longer learning curve and in the meantime, it's rewarding, if you don't like handwawing, or want your character concepts reflecting in the rules to the minutae and if you want meaningful character customization. Also if you want more interesting critters and npcs. Also if you like more in-depth simulation, etc.

However, I think there should be a middle road between PF and 5e, because yes, PF is sometimes just too much to remember, albeit, i'd still have something and not using it, than not having it.


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PMárk wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Moonclanger wrote:


Its weakness is its complexity. Even when running a published adventure, as a GM I often spend more time preparing for a game than my group spends playing it. This is because there are so many different rules a GM needs to know in order to run the game smoothly.

For what it's worth, I regard that complexity as one of Pathfinder's core strengths. I've played a bit of 5e, and while it is definitely easier to pick up, the principal reason running it is not to my taste is that IME it feels like E6 stretched over 20 levels; it feels like it would quickly become boring for me personally to DM precisely because there is not that range of things to look up, and I have similar feelings about the OP's suggestions overall.

I would love to see a 3.5-derived variant that made the last quarter or so of the level range (and ideally on into epic) more fun and playable, but I am unconvinced that drastic simplification is the way to go, and for so long as there is a sizable (or at least vocal) contingent of players who both regard C/MD as a major problem and object to martial characters being powered up in ways they deem unrealistic/too anime-like, that seems fairly intractable.

I just want to say, I totally agree with that. I don't like how "complexity" became a curse in the last... Decade?

Everyone (ok, tha majority of RPG developers)want "more streamlined" and "easy to pick" games and that's fine and cool. To a point. After a point, it's just dumbing down and losing depth, plain and simple.

I get that everyone has little time nowadays and I get that more complex games are harder to pick up for newbies but... come on, we started with these games back in the days too. There's seriously something wrong with the people now, who are saying WoD, for example is rules-heavy...

You don't exactly need a doctorate to understand the more complex games, it's just a bit longer learning curve and in the meantime, it's rewarding, if...

For myself, it is not at all about new players and the learning curve. I want my games to have a healthy player base, but that is a secondary concern. A good basic game and good rule writing (or re-writing) can take care of that.

The problem with the complexity of the 3.x games is playing and running them. We recently finished Rise of the Runelords at 19th level, and we're in the last big fight of Way of the Wicked right now, at 20th. And let me tell you, if it wasn't for HeroLab, it would be almost unplayable. Even WITH HeroLab, we make mistakes constantly just trying to keep everything straight. Yesterday, we played for about 11 hours, with minimal sidelining, and we covered round 6 to round 13 of our struggle against the Mitrans. And we are experts, playing with the same group members since 1987 in 1st Ed., 2nd in 1989, 2.5 in '95, 3.0 in 2000, 3.5 in '03, and PF in '09.

However, I agree that 5E is too simple, or rather, too shallow. Which is why I keep hesitating to launch a 5E campaign. I agree with your last, that a middle ground would be preferable.

-Cheers

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As someone who used to play Star Fleet Battles, I giggle uncontrollably at the thought of Pathfinder or 3.5 AD&D being 'complex.'

Then again, I think chess is annoyingly complex, so what do I know? :)


Can'tFindthePath wrote:
PMárk wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Moonclanger wrote:


Its weakness is its complexity. Even when running a published adventure, as a GM I often spend more time preparing for a game than my group spends playing it. This is because there are so many different rules a GM needs to know in order to run the game smoothly.

For what it's worth, I regard that complexity as one of Pathfinder's core strengths. I've played a bit of 5e, and while it is definitely easier to pick up, the principal reason running it is not to my taste is that IME it feels like E6 stretched over 20 levels; it feels like it would quickly become boring for me personally to DM precisely because there is not that range of things to look up, and I have similar feelings about the OP's suggestions overall.

I would love to see a 3.5-derived variant that made the last quarter or so of the level range (and ideally on into epic) more fun and playable, but I am unconvinced that drastic simplification is the way to go, and for so long as there is a sizable (or at least vocal) contingent of players who both regard C/MD as a major problem and object to martial characters being powered up in ways they deem unrealistic/too anime-like, that seems fairly intractable.

I just want to say, I totally agree with that. I don't like how "complexity" became a curse in the last... Decade?

Everyone (ok, tha majority of RPG developers)want "more streamlined" and "easy to pick" games and that's fine and cool. To a point. After a point, it's just dumbing down and losing depth, plain and simple.

I get that everyone has little time nowadays and I get that more complex games are harder to pick up for newbies but... come on, we started with these games back in the days too. There's seriously something wrong with the people now, who are saying WoD, for example is rules-heavy...

You don't exactly need a doctorate to understand the more complex games, it's just a bit longer learning curve and in the

...

I get what you1re saying and I essentially agree. That's why I'm saying I wouldn't mind a PF 2e, or Revised, with some clearing up of superfluous rules and infinite fiddly modifiers, trap class options and all that. Regardless, I'd want to keep the bigger depth of simulation and he depth of character management.

And yes, 5e is shallow. It's a good beginner game, or a good game, if you like that style, but for me, it's shallow and don't get me starting on the setting treatment. :/

For what it's worth, while i can appreciate complexity and options and simulation, PF and 3.5e is the ceiling of what I'm willing to play in that regard. Shadowrun is a step lower, but close second. I like these games, I can, as I said, apreciate the complexity, but yes, they can be a serious headache.

Conversely, 5e is the bottom of what I'm willing to play. I'm really not into true rules-light narrative games, not my taste.

I like games most, which are in the middle somewhere. WoD, 7th Sea 1e and such.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I clicked on this thread thinking it was a necro from 2010.

I wish someone had pointed out how PF is complex and that's bad before I started playing. Now it's too late...

-Skeld


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

I have the following list of demands.

I absolutely will not buy Pathfinder 2.0: The Pathfindering, unless they are included, or everyone else is.

1. Faster Halflings, without different weapon size damage.

2. Radioactive Wrecking Ball Dwarves, again, another thing Starfinder did right!


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I'm long winded, so I'll try to keep my thoughts concise.

I agree with you OP. I think Pathfinder in its projected end years has a lot of bloat, much like its predecessor 3.X had before it's end. I do still like Pathfinder, though after 5e, there are quality of life issues I have with the core rules.

When I try to discuss any of these issues, the result is never constructive discussion or feedback, but a lash out. "If X gets changed then Y is too powerful", "If you change X, then where do you draw the line?".

There are a dozen threads here about which classes need reworking, caster/martial disparity, and over/underwhelming options. I honestly believe the best answer to all of these would be refining the core rules. If a fighter didn't need to stop everything for a full attack, his standard action damage at higher levels would leave him more on-par with a wizard. If an archer didn't need to have a miriad of feats to pop out of cover for a shot and move back to keep the advantageous ground. If spells were less overwhelming with damage and more flexible in function.

I understand people's aversion to change. Who've spent hundreds or more on books and supplements. Making a new edition doesn't take those away. You can still play 3.0, AD&D, Elves and Chainmail... But for the health of the game overall, much like D&D, WoD, Shadowrun, Call of Cthulhu and many others, I think it needs a 2e, or a Pathfinder: Revised 1.5e.


PMárk wrote:


I just want to say, I totally agree with that. I don't like how "complexity" became a curse in the last... Decade?

Maybe a little more than that; or at least the first time I can recall seeing that really being contentious was around when Civilisation IV came out in 2005, the design philosophy there was explicitly "do not put a new element in without taking an old one out". (I am still a Civ III player more than any other version; it has its flaws but it's by far the high-water mark of the series IMO.)

Quote:


You don't exactly need a doctorate to understand the more complex games, it's just a bit longer learning curve and in the meantime, it's rewarding,

I would argue that there is a place for games that people with doctorates can stretch their brains enjoyably with, for what that is worth.

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