My Thoughts on Pathfinder


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Definitely not being sarcastic wrote:
Naw see apparently if they make a new edition you have to sell all your old stuff its in the rules somewhere.

Sell? Pfft. Weaksauce. Round our parts, we sacrifice the GM from the previous edition in the Ancient Way, on an altar of the old rulebooks. Only through the blood of a grognard can the mistakes of previous editions be purged. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Gygax Lake Geneva wgah'nagl fhtagn!!!


GRuzom wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
GRuzom wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
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...
While I respect your position (and agree with some of your practical points) I'd hate to see books go - I spend FAR too much time looking at screens in my line of work. I love books and would stop playing Pathfinder if I had to look at a screen in order to do so.

You look are your character sheet, right?

-- Imagine your tablet or "phablet" laying flat on the table showing your character sheet. Except it's like a boss character sheet that updates evolving conditions affecting your alter-ego on the fly. Because it's an engine.

You're still going to have your dice and your table-tent and your minis and all the rest.

I get you - totally!

I just happen to LIKE books - a lot ...

I also like physical books. They have a pleasant smell. I do have a tablet with digital copies I use for games away from home, as carrying them is an ordeal and a half, however I do still like them.

I'm still in the Pathfinder: Revised camp though. The game's growing bloat is why I can't really haul all the books around anymore. That and avoiding water damage in the winter.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
The Thing From Another World wrote:


It's not to say 5E is perfect by any means. I disliked that they brought back making certain creatures immune to attacks unless they are targeted by magical weapons etc. I prefer Damage Reduction as one is not obliged to carry magic weapons I wish their were more releases for 5E.

Most things that have resistance to non-magical weapons just have resistance in 5e - the damage is halved. In some ways, that's a better mechanic than DR because even low damage attacks can whittle away a few hit points whereas they probably wouldn't penetrate DR.

But even in PF, you need magic weapons to affect non-corporeal creatures, so I'm not exactly feeling not obliged to carry a magic weapon in PF...


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The Thing From Another World wrote:

The first I will probably never take especially if I don't have access to either or skill. The second is not tied to any skill and worth taking for everyone.

Not really though, since feats are a huge premium in 5e and for most of your character's life your 'quality' options are pretty much already set in stone.

And that's assuming you even get to take them at all.


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Slim Jim wrote:


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.

Turning the game into a database variant would mean that people without the right electronic hardware can't play it, people who can't afford the licence can't play it, and people who just want to try it out with a friend before committing to maybe buying the basic rules won't do so. Yes, PFS requires everyone to have their own copies of everything, but I am willing to bet that there are a lot of home groups where only one person has bought more than the core rulebook, and those groups would probably move to another game if they all had to buy a licence to play.

Then there are us old people who still feel a need to write everything down on bits of paper, because only then does it become a real character sheet... It's just easier than trying to find the information through three drop down menus.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Slim Jim wrote:
-- Imagine your tablet or "phablet" laying flat on the table showing your character sheet. Except it's like a boss character sheet that updates evolving conditions affecting your alter-ego on the fly. Because it's an engine.

How is this not Hero Lab, which already exists?


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Neriathale wrote:
Turning the game into a database variant would mean that people without the right electronic hardware can't play it, people who can't afford the licence can't play it, and people who just want to try it out with a friend before committing to maybe buying the basic rules won't do so.

Also, stuff will invisibly change without any clue or warning, as later editions or even new products over-write existing material. From personal experience, it's a little creepy to play with a rule for a few years and then have a machine tell you the rule is something completely different. If you don't have the physical book, it can feel a bit like being gaslit by HAL 2000. And if there's one thing I won't tolerate from my machines, it's gaslighting.


Joana wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
-- Imagine your tablet or "phablet" laying flat on the table showing your character sheet. Except it's like a boss character sheet that updates evolving conditions affecting your alter-ego on the fly. Because it's an engine.
How is this not Hero Lab, which already exists?

Honestly I can do this with spreadsheets and macros too. What I would like better than "a computer does the math for you" is more support in the rules for people who prefer to play with minimal emphasis on things like miniatures and a grid.

I like the crunch of pathfinder- the Customizability and the Complexity (within reason) but what I don't like is how the there doesn't seem to be official sanction for playing the game without visual aids. None of the other games (of the ones I'm familiar with) mentioned in this thread really suffer from lack of miniatures, grids, or terrain.

So what I'd like, more than a Pathfinder that just runs on a tablet, is a Pathfinder that runs better on a whiteboard sketch.


One of the few items in the PF core that surprises me is how much some dislike Leadership. I am surprised by it as in 2E at least you could get followers depending on character class and level. A Ranger at 10th level received 2D6 followers. With could enough percentile rolls one could acquire a Treant, Werebear/Weretiger, Satyr, Pegasus, Pixie or even other human followers. Nowhere does it say the DM had the final say on it not unless it was houseruled. The only thing the DM could say that creature XYZ was not common to the region and therefore not available as a follower.

A Fighter at 9th level became a Lord and was given a free keep with followers. With the added bonus of having a elite bodyguards as well. Again unless houseruled away by the DM the player receives all of what I posted before and the DM had no real say about it. So while Leadership is powerful in PF it's nowhere near as powerful as it was in 2E imo.


Sounds like what we need are Otterbox/Pathfinder covers for our tablets. (New Book Smell vials, $1.95, sold separately.)


The Thing From Another World wrote:

One of the few items in the PF core that surprises me is how much some dislike Leadership. I am surprised by it as in 2E at least you could get followers depending on character class and level. A Ranger at 10th level received 2D6 followers. With could enough percentile rolls one could acquire a Treant, Werebear/Weretiger, Satyr, Pegasus, Pixie or even other human followers. Nowhere does it say the DM had the final say on it not unless it was houseruled. The only thing the DM could say that creature XYZ was not common to the region and therefore not available as a follower.

A Fighter at 9th level became a Lord and was given a free keep with followers. With the added bonus of having a elite bodyguards as well. Again unless houseruled away by the DM the player receives all of what I posted before and the DM had no real say about it. So while Leadership is powerful in PF it's nowhere near as powerful as it was in 2E imo.

It wasn't free for the Fighter, they had to build the keep at their own expense. Not that if stopped my characters doing it, but there wasn't such a treadmill of upgrading gear to keep up with your enemies to worry about financing both. It was significantly easier for the Ranger, as you mention, and the Cleric (possibly the Paladin too) got their stronghold at a reduced rate.


Bluenose wrote:


It wasn't free for the Fighter, they had to build the keep at their own expense. Not that if stopped my characters doing it, but there wasn't such a treadmill of upgrading gear to keep up with your enemies to worry about financing both. It was significantly easier for the Ranger, as you mention, and the Cleric (possibly the Paladin too) got their stronghold at a reduced rate.

You are correct still one of the few things I liked for the Fighter in 2E expenses notwithstanding was being able to attract a band of followers.


There are certain problems with having high-level Fighters be able to attract bands of followers:

(1) Thematic. Why are Fighters the only ones who can command this kind of respect? Why can't a Bard? A Paladin? A Sorcerer?

(2) Narrative. Some stories are about building up kingdoms. Some stories are about exploring the deadly unknown. If this adventure takes place on a pirate ship, then the number of followers you have is likely to be an integral part of the plot, not something that happens abruptly at level 9 if and only if you have a Fighter in the party.

(3) Gameplay balance. How many low-level allies are worth as much as a feat? Are they all going to drop dead the first time a dragon comes along?

(4) Practical. Having a band of followers who actually act in combat is liable to slow down Pathfinder to a crawl.

Though I suppose with the Troop rules, it might actually be reasonable to have a bunch of people following you around.


Matthew Downie wrote:

There are certain problems with having high-level Fighters be able to attract bands of followers:

(1) Thematic. Why are Fighters the only ones who can command this kind of respect? Why can't a Bard? A Paladin? A Sorcerer?

(2) Narrative. Some stories are about building up kingdoms. Some stories are about exploring the deadly unknown. If this adventure takes place on a pirate ship, then the number of followers you have is likely to be an integral part of the plot, not something that happens abruptly at level 9 if and only if you have a Fighter in the party.

(3) Gameplay balance. How many low-level allies are worth as much as a feat? Are they all going to drop dead the first time a dragon comes along?

(4) Practical. Having a band of followers who actually act in combat is liable to slow down Pathfinder to a crawl.

Though I suppose with the Troop rules, it might actually be reasonable to have a bunch of people following you around.

Bards are too spoony, Paladins have follower restrictions, and arcane magic users are more often than not viewed with suspicion and a bit of distrust when follower quality people are represented in world.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Bards are too spoony, Paladins have follower restrictions, and arcane magic users are more often than not viewed with suspicion and a bit of distrust when follower quality people are represented in world.

"Spoony," for all its nostalgia, is not a word.

Between "dude with a metal stick," and, "the person who keeps the lore, history, and sacred tales of the dwarven people alive within the community," one of these sounds more leaderly than the other.


Did anybody actually make much use of the "you have people" rules in 1st edition? I recall it was mostly "you have a keep and your followers maintain and protect the keep" while you went off to the dungeon.

Since those hoary days, the game has sort of transitioned from one in which PCs progress in prominence, connections, and prestige to one in which PCs progress in wealth, gear, and acumen. In the latter having "people" is somewhat less appropriate.


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Omnius wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Bards are too spoony, Paladins have follower restrictions, and arcane magic users are more often than not viewed with suspicion and a bit of distrust when follower quality people are represented in world.

"Spoony," for all its nostalgia, is not a word.

Between "dude with a metal stick," and, "the person who keeps the lore, history, and sacred tales of the dwarven people alive within the community," one of these sounds more leaderly than the other.

Spoony


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

If we are going all the way back to 1st edition, then the reason Fighters got followers was to compensate for them not getting much of anything else. Of course, that doesn't explain why Clerics got a similar benefit.


David knott 242 wrote:

If we are going all the way back to 1st edition, then the reason Fighters got followers was to compensate for them not getting much of anything else. Of course, that doesn't explain why Clerics got a similar benefit.

IIRC (and this may be 2nd ed and not 1st) clerics had "sphere access" and didn't get full access to divine spells, like some spheres they could only cast like 3rd or 4th level on, some they couldn't use at all.


Omnius wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Bards are too spoony, Paladins have follower restrictions, and arcane magic users are more often than not viewed with suspicion and a bit of distrust when follower quality people are represented in world.

"Spoony," for all its nostalgia, is not a word.

Between "dude with a metal stick," and, "the person who keeps the lore, history, and sacred tales of the dwarven people alive within the community," one of these sounds more leaderly than the other.

Except the Fighter doesn't have to be only "dude with a metal stick" (although 3e and PF did their best to make that their only effective shtick) and the Bard can equally well be the guy who plays music for the strippers to take their clothes off to in a dockside bar.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

Did anybody actually make much use of the "you have people" rules in 1st edition? I recall it was mostly "you have a keep and your followers maintain and protect the keep" while you went off to the dungeon.

Since those hoary days, the game has sort of transitioned from one in which PCs progress in prominence, connections, and prestige to one in which PCs progress in wealth, gear, and acumen. In the latter having "people" is somewhat less appropriate.

I think it's gone the other way, at least as far as published adventures are concerned.

Yes, characters can now make their own magic items or failing that purchase them for a reasonable price, so you can now acquire items that optimise your build, but published adventures show a different trend.

In 1st edition modules you dungeon-delved for treasure, and the main reward of an adventure was a powerful magic item. In 2nd ed you saved the kingdom or maybe even the world, but all you really did was restore the status quo because heaven forbid you should be allowed to make a significant change to a published campaign setting! And your reward was often little more than a knighthood. Player characters never got the recognition they deserved. They never became kings and queens.

But in Pathfinder adventure paths you do more than restore the status quo, you actually get to change the world and you acquire a commensurate prestige. Player characters get to become kings and queens and the like.

For my money, adventure paths are the single best thing about Pathfinder. Yes, they're often flawed and I don't like the physical product, but the fact that each is a campaign in its own right, that there are so many to choose from, and the player characters actually get to shape the world they live in, is from a storytelling perspective a big step forward from the days of AD&D.


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

Why I love Pathfinder and all it's "bloated" glory.

Because without all the additions like Ultimate Intrigue or Occult Adventures, or even Ultimate Combat you don't get super cool and different adventure paths like War For The Crown, Jade Regent, Strange Aeons, or even the Curse Of The Crimson Throne hardcover.

Could they have put out similar adventure paths without all the extras? Sure! But they wouldn't be the same.


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I'm over Pathfinder's "bloat", but I don't need a new edition to get away from it. I'm playing a Ranger (trapper) 1/Fighter 1/Rogue (Spy) X

Sourcebooks I'm using for this character: CRB, APG (1 archetype only), UM (1 archetype only), Dirty Tactics Toolbox (1 feat only). The rest of the party is Cavalier, Oracle and Wizard with only the Wizard trying to utilize various splat books. It doesn't matter if there's hundreds of books, my group has self selected not to use them so they do no harm to our game.


Bluenose wrote:
Except the Fighter doesn't have to be only "dude with a metal stick" (although 3e and PF did their best to make that their only effective shtick) and the Bard can equally well be the guy who plays music for the strippers to take their clothes off to in a dockside bar.

Yes, it can go either way. That's the entire point of my statement.


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The Thing From Another World wrote:
Bluenose wrote:


It wasn't free for the Fighter, they had to build the keep at their own expense. Not that if stopped my characters doing it, but there wasn't such a treadmill of upgrading gear to keep up with your enemies to worry about financing both. It was significantly easier for the Ranger, as you mention, and the Cleric (possibly the Paladin too) got their stronghold at a reduced rate.
You are correct still one of the few things I liked for the Fighter in 2E expenses notwithstanding was being able to attract a band of followers.

Leadership was more or less tied to your charisma. IIRC an 18 charisma let you have 7 henchmen who could be up to 1 level less than you. Even at lower scores (12-14) you got around 3 or 4 leadership feats for free.

And that was on top of your followers you attracted when you built a keep. Your base saves also improved that you would make 75% of your saves without magic items, without magic items in PF/5E you can fail saves 75% of the time.

So they added all this complexity to the fighter class and the end
result was a fighter worse mechanically than the 2E fighter with a kit. Not a lot of point having lots of options if 90% of them suck.

With the various options I would cut all the gold ones and all the red type ones in online guides.

A high level fighter in 2E was useful to have around a high level fighter in 3.x can be replaced with a Druid or Cleric.

I think a 5E PC gets around 4 feats in PF terms for free. Dex to hit and damage, more or less spring attack, etc. Maybe they went a bit far in reducing complexity in 5E for my personal tastes but its attracted a lot of new players.

To fix Pathfinder I would be look at parts of 2E and 5E at least in concept (or even BECMI). They messed up a bit in the 2E to 3E transition and PF inherited that. I would not bother bringing back THAcO for example but fighter saves for example (in concept) could be looked at.

I think most people here can at least admit there is a problem, how to fix (or if) is the issue and 3.x is now 18 years old or the equivalent of AD&D in 1995/96. You can have a mechanically complex game with simple mechanics (eg Chess).


Zardnaar wrote:
The Thing From Another World wrote:
Bluenose wrote:


It wasn't free for the Fighter, they had to build the keep at their own expense. Not that if stopped my characters doing it, but there wasn't such a treadmill of upgrading gear to keep up with your enemies to worry about financing both. It was significantly easier for the Ranger, as you mention, and the Cleric (possibly the Paladin too) got their stronghold at a reduced rate.
You are correct still one of the few things I liked for the Fighter in 2E expenses notwithstanding was being able to attract a band of followers.

Leadership was more or less tied to your charisma. IIRC an 18 charisma let you have 7 henchmen who could be up to 1 level less than you. Even at lower scores (12-14) you got around 3 or 4 leadership feats for free.

And that was on top of your followers you attracted when you built a keep. Your base saves also improved that you would make 75% of your saves without magic items, without magic items in PF/5E you can fail saves 75% of the time.

So they added all this complexity to the fighter class and the end
result was a fighter worse mechanically than the 2E fighter with a kit. Not a lot of point having lots of options if 90% of them suck.

It's less that the options 'suck' and more that they're nearly all options that you could have taken at 1st level or sometimes a few levels higher and didn't (because they didn't fit your character concept or you didn't think they were very good). If you can imagine a Sorcerer class that didn't get any spells higher than 3rd level, just more choices for their low-level spells, then you've got the Fighter's position.


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Just ignore everything from 2015 and later. This will get rid of Unchained atrocity, terrible errata, "occult" psionics, hybrid classes, power creep spells and things like "Superior Sniper" talent that allows rogue to take Expert Sniper feat, feat that is already duplicate of Stealthy Sniper rogue talent.

Later books have some good stuff (and really good stuff), but should be approached on case by case basis. Viola, pathfinder fixed.


Bluenose wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
The Thing From Another World wrote:
Bluenose wrote:


It wasn't free for the Fighter, they had to build the keep at their own expense. Not that if stopped my characters doing it, but there wasn't such a treadmill of upgrading gear to keep up with your enemies to worry about financing both. It was significantly easier for the Ranger, as you mention, and the Cleric (possibly the Paladin too) got their stronghold at a reduced rate.
You are correct still one of the few things I liked for the Fighter in 2E expenses notwithstanding was being able to attract a band of followers.

Leadership was more or less tied to your charisma. IIRC an 18 charisma let you have 7 henchmen who could be up to 1 level less than you. Even at lower scores (12-14) you got around 3 or 4 leadership feats for free.

And that was on top of your followers you attracted when you built a keep. Your base saves also improved that you would make 75% of your saves without magic items, without magic items in PF/5E you can fail saves 75% of the time.

So they added all this complexity to the fighter class and the end
result was a fighter worse mechanically than the 2E fighter with a kit. Not a lot of point having lots of options if 90% of them suck.

It's less that the options 'suck' and more that they're nearly all options that you could have taken at 1st level or sometimes a few levels higher and didn't (because they didn't fit your character concept or you didn't think they were very good). If you can imagine a Sorcerer class that didn't get any spells higher than 3rd level, just more choices for their low-level spells, then you've got the Fighter's position.

Yeah I suppsoe you cold do scaling feats or just mnake the feats better ot put level requirements on the more powerful feats (instead of feat chains).

I would also make Golarion front and centre, make PF the Golarion RPG. Also tie monster stats (BAB, saves etc) to CR instead of HD. Why buy Pathfinder II if you like 5E or other games or are new? Well you can play a Red Mantis Assassin and here is this cool world. It also has some tings 5E doesn't that I like from previous editions such as LG only Paladins, no rapid over night healing, micro feats etc. There is a lot to like with Pathfinder and Golarion, its just annoying when you try and play it.

I think the timeline for less complicated games started around 10 years ago, and blew up with the OSR and indy games via Kickstarter perhaps 2012 and 5E rode that wave. Older players do not have time for it and younger ones/new players don't understand/want it.


There is very little content that Paizo's put out that is less balanced than the core rulebook.

Heck, if you ban the core rulebook classes, you've got a very good chance of having a more balanced game.


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Zardnaar wrote:

Yeah I suppsoe you cold do scaling feats or just mnake the feats better ot put level requirements on the more powerful feats (instead of feat chains).

I would also make Golarion front and centre, make PF the Golarion RPG. Also tie monster stats (BAB, saves etc) to CR instead of HD. Why buy Pathfinder II if you like 5E or other games or are new? Well you can play a Red Mantis Assassin and here is this cool world. It also has some tings 5E doesn't that I like from previous editions such as LG only Paladins, no rapid over night healing, micro feats etc. There is a lot to like with Pathfinder and Golarion, its just annoying when you try and play it.

I think the timeline for less complicated games started around 10 years ago, and blew up with the OSR and indy games via Kickstarter perhaps 2012 and 5E rode that wave. Older players do not have time for it and younger ones/new players don't understand/want it.

Your experience is utterly alien to me.


blahpers wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:

Yeah I suppsoe you cold do scaling feats or just mnake the feats better ot put level requirements on the more powerful feats (instead of feat chains).

I would also make Golarion front and centre, make PF the Golarion RPG. Also tie monster stats (BAB, saves etc) to CR instead of HD. Why buy Pathfinder II if you like 5E or other games or are new? Well you can play a Red Mantis Assassin and here is this cool world. It also has some tings 5E doesn't that I like from previous editions such as LG only Paladins, no rapid over night healing, micro feats etc. There is a lot to like with Pathfinder and Golarion, its just annoying when you try and play it.

I think the timeline for less complicated games started around 10 years ago, and blew up with the OSR and indy games via Kickstarter perhaps 2012 and 5E rode that wave. Older players do not have time for it and younger ones/new players don't understand/want it.

Your experience is utterly alien to me.

Can you be more specific please? Also mind if I ask have you played much 5E or TSR era D&D?

Out of the 7 D&Ds (8 if you count PF) I think there are 4 good ones I do not mind playing today

BECMI (its nice and basic, only 7 classes (9 with the advanced rules)
2E (settings and dials and knobs)
3.x (despite its flaws I think you can do a lot with it)
5E (nice mix of complexity and ease of use).

These days I DM a lot, the easiest D&D I ever ran have been d20 type clones of B/X or AD&D. They lack the complexity of course but the ease of use beats that I literally ran a great session with 1 page of reference material and did not consult a book once for a rule.

Basically if you can get the guts of your system down to 1-3 pages that is great. I use a 2 page cheat sheet I bought for 5E of the DMs Guild (cost $1). It has most of the combat rules and conditions you need to run 5E.

I ran 2E after a 12 year absence and spent about an hour of prep on it.

Over the years I have tested out a few hacks, houserules and things on 3.x to see what works. I would overhaul the math a lot with a theoretical PF2. Sure a lot of people played Pathfinder because they liked 3.5 and 4E was 4E but that was 9 or 10 years ago, generally takes a decade to get sick of an edition (assuming you like it), took me 12 years of 3.x to burn out.

Do you want new players to test out PF? I think they gained a few hundred online last year going by the numbers (400 per quarterly), that is not enough and Paizo has been cutting its production yes?

I'm willing to bet.
1. I have been buying Paizo stuff longer than most people on this forum (2002).

2. I own more Paizo stuff than most of the PF player base despite not having bought anything new since 2012. Hell I joined this forum back in the PF alpha or beta test. I still like Paizo as a company, I'm not fussed if they do not make a PF2. PF still does some things better than clones and 5E, or I at least like those aspects of the game.

Basically the main points.

1. Streamlined game.
2. Borrow good bits from OSR/5E.
3. Better balance

You can still have a complex game in terms of options, do you really need to be able to stack 4 or 5 modifiers as a requirement to have fun?


Zardnaar wrote:
Can you be more specific please? Also mind if I ask have you played much 5E or TSR era D&D?

Sure thing.

First, the part that isn't utterly alien to me: Older players do have less time to game in my experience. It's frustrating. However, I haven't found that more or less complicated mechanics has contributed much to the severity of that problem, as the biggest issue is getting everybody in the room at the same time--once we're there, we're generally good to go.

Now for the rest.

On Pathfinder being Golarion-centric: This would be a huge mistake. A lot--and I mean a lot--of Pathfinder players play in campaign settings other than Golarion, just as a lot of D&D players played in campaign settings other than whatever the showcase setting was for a given edition/era. Paizo would be cutting out their own entrails steering too hard in that direction. On the flip side, nothing prevents a player from playing in Golarion using another system--indeed, I've seen plenty of posts here about running APs in 5E, for example, and even I've toyed with the idea of trying out an AP using GURPS of all things--not because I don't like Pathfinder (you may have noticed I rather enjoy it) but because it'd be a crazy thing to try and I have some crazy friends.

Regarding "less complicated games": You say that as if complexity is a bad thing. I've toyed with a number of game systems in which a character's diverse talents are compressed into a scant few stats and it tends to crush diversity and granularity of talent. I don't want to play "Sammy the Dextrous", I want to play "Sammy Good At Dodging A Punch But Maybe Not So Much At Picking Locks". There's a reason some players don't switch to less complicated systems--they actually like complexity. This isn't an older-vs-younger thing--it's a matter of personal preference in the degree to which mechanics match concept.

(Re: experience, I played quite a bit of 2E Back In The Day™, dropped out of the scene for a few years, then came back for the very tail end of 3.5. I've also played other systems with varying degrees of complexity (Shadowrun, White Wolf, GURPS, some oddballs).)


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Quote:
Do you want new players to test out PF? I think they gained a few hundred online last year going by the numbers (400 per quarterly), that is not enough and Paizo has been cutting its production yes?

Just out of curiosity, where are you getting these numbers exactly?


blahpers wrote:
Quote:
Do you want new players to test out PF? I think they gained a few hundred online last year going by the numbers (400 per quarterly), that is not enough and Paizo has been cutting its production yes?
Just out of curiosity, where are you getting these numbers exactly?

The quarterly reports for the VTT's over on ENworld.

Well they announced a 2E.


Omnius wrote:
There is very little content that Paizo's put out that is less balanced than the core rulebook. Heck, if you ban the core rulebook classes, you've got a very good chance of having a more balanced game.

CRB classes aren't the problem. CRB spells are the problem (because they're the usual trigger for the saving-throw mechanic inherited from D&D, in which your character is always just a blown role away from utterly useless and/or dead no matter how careful you-the-player are otherwise.)


Slim Jim wrote:
CRB classes aren't the problem. CRB spells are the problem (because they're the usual trigger for the saving-throw mechanic inherited from D&D, in which your character is always just a blown role away from utterly useless and/or dead no matter how careful you-the-player are otherwise.)

Spells are a class feature.

Also, the fundamental structure of spells as a class feature is a problem. Most classes, a class feature is, "Here's a thing you can do." Spellcasting? "Here's dozens and ever increasing things you can do, in addition to your other class features, covering every situation imaginable."


blahpers wrote:
Quote:
Do you want new players to test out PF? I think they gained a few hundred online last year going by the numbers (400 per quarterly), that is not enough and Paizo has been cutting its production yes?
Just out of curiosity, where are you getting these numbers exactly?

RPGs in general have been moving away from complexity the last few years. I don't really play them but I have bought some like Numenera which is very simple from the look of it and it looks great (5E production values).

I like parts of Pathfinder that are more complex than say 5E and I have started to appreciate BECMI more (B/X even more than BECMI).

I think you can have a lot of complex things when it comes to character options that are mechanically simple. Think 5E perhaps with microfeats and fort/ref/will saves, the microfeats are in effect build your own class abilities on top of whatever you get in the base class (PF or 5E).

From what they have announced they are borrowing a alot of concepts from 5E. Hell OSR games have been borrowing from 5E to play a game completely different to 5E.

There is various things you can do to keep options in the game but tone down the mechanics such as capping ability scores at 20 or 25 or whatever number you want to use (25 max perhaps).

The main 2 things I do not like about PF.

1. Complexity
2. Bloat

Basically once Paizo went down the same path as WoTC and even TSR (at one point producing more than 2E AD&D material in a year) I got off the gravy train. Did not want to do it again.


I like what you don't like (complexity, bloat options). *shrug* But from the sound of things you won. Congrats. I hope it's everything you wanted.


Omnius wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
CRB classes aren't the problem. CRB spells are the problem (because they're the usual trigger for the saving-throw mechanic inherited from D&D, in which your character is always just a blown role away from utterly useless and/or dead no matter how careful you-the-player are otherwise.)
Spells are a class feature.

Spellcasting capability is a class feature.

-- Wizards aren't insanely powerful because they can cast spells; they're insanely powerful because the spells are dope. Dial back spell power, and the class is no longer god-like compared to the rest.

Nobody cares if the fighter gets every weapon in the game because none of them are that dope. None of them grant wishes, slay legions of the enemy without twitching a muscle, then raise their corpses as an undead army under your command.


Slim Jim wrote:

Spellcasting capability is a class feature.

-- Wizards aren't insanely powerful because they can cast spells; they're insanely powerful because the spells are dope. Dial back spell power, and the class is no longer god-like compared to the rest.

Nobody cares if the fighter gets every weapon in the game because none of them are that dope. None of them grant wishes, bring back the dead, or slay whole armies without lifting a muscle.

That is thoroughly pedantic and you know it.

That said, the individual spells are not the issue. Having an animal companion is generally better than casting a Summon Monster spell overall, for a variety of reasons.

While there are specific problem spells, they are not the main issue in the caster problem. It's that the way casters are structured and the breadth of options available comes together into characters who are too good at too many things.

The problem is not a Sorcerer knowing Grease. The problem is a Sorcerer who has Grease, Color Spray, and Blindness/Deafness who can fish for weak saves to disable enemies.

The structure of having such a broad and flexible array of spells is what's so overpowering about spells, far more so than the individual spells themselves.

It would go farther to fixing the problem if the scope of what any individual caster can do were narrowed than if you were to weaken each individual spell. And narrowing scope would be an easier task, besides.


Well, if they decide to occupy the same design space as fifth edition then what is the point?


Omnius wrote:
That is thoroughly pedantic and you know it.
Oh, my goodness gracious! Is someone wrong on the internet?
Quote:
That said, the individual spells are not the issue. Having an animal companion is generally better than casting a Summon Monster spell overall, for a variety of reasons.
Well, I'd certainly agree with that at 1st level (where all the summon choices suck). -- But no animal companion is as good as bringing in multiple disposable critters by mid-level, to say nothing of Gate.
Quote:

While there are specific problem spells, they are not the main issue in the caster problem. It's that the way casters are structured and the breadth of options available comes together into characters who are too good at too many things.

The problem is not a Sorcerer knowing Grease. The problem is a Sorcerer who has Grease, Color Spray, and Blindness/Deafness who can fish for weak saves to disable enemies.

Rather than toning down grandfathered 3rd edition carryovers, Paizo's recent solution appears to be to place debilitating Dirty Tricks mechanics within reach of nearly every martial now, bringing that "disparity" thing back into somewhat better balance, but in a way that maximally reaffirms the primacy of going first in initiative.
Quote:
The structure of having such a broad and flexible array of spells is what's so overpowering about spells, far more so than the individual spells themselves.

I made a direct analogy to weapons, and why few are concerned about fighters running away with the game because they can use any of them with at most a -4 penalty, and that's because no weapons are sickeningly broke.

A bow can plink an arrow to 110ft and cause maybe 1d8+8 damage or some such if you're a mutagen-swigging rage-monster at 3rd level. Blindness/Deafness permanently cripples a hapless sod from 110ft away if he fails a save, and it's a 2nd-level spell. -- Is it broke? It is if your campaign permits the "five-minute day" scenario in which everybody goes to sleep as soon as the casters are out of juice.

(Blindness/Deafness is probably still broke, because permanent effects have no business being on a 2nd-level, let alone one with medium-range.)

Quote:
It would go farther to fixing the problem if the scope of what any individual caster can do were narrowed than if you were to weaken each individual spell. And narrowing scope would be an easier task, besides.

It's probably pointless to speculate, since fighter, wizard, cleric, rogue are likely always going to be in any CRB, and Pathfinder took off in the first place due to its promising to be 3e compatible -- but I actually would not mind it at all if magic users were shunted off into their own book.

I like E6 gritty fantasy, and think Gandolf works better as an NPC anyway (even if he is only a smart, high-level fighter).


blahpers wrote:
I like what you don't like (complexity, bloat options). *shrug* But from the sound of things you won. Congrats. I hope it's everything you wanted.

I don't view it as winning, and IDK if I will like the final product. I can recognise the signs when an edition reaches the end of its life (went from BECMI to 2E to 3.,0 to 3.5 t 4E, back to 3.5 then to Pathfinder, then back to 2E).

I'm mostly a DM so easier to run for me more or less supersedes any other requirements. I play 5E because I like it (its not perfect) but mostly because its what the players like. They let me run 2E AD&D or ACKs/C&C every 2nd or 3rd game.

No D&D really handles high level D&D that well, having something crunchier than 5E to play on occasion would be nice but my PF books (I bought 6 of them + PDFs have been gathering dust for a while except for the Inner Sea Guide.

I like simple but its not a strict requirement, BECMI on occasion is nice but I would not play it as a primary system or only system. Generally I only play Star Wars and D&D (+ variants) as RPG's.


Slim Jim wrote:

I made a direct analogy to weapons, and why few are concerned about fighters running away with the game because they can use any of them with at most a -4 penalty, and that's because no weapons are sickeningly broke.

A bow can plink an arrow to 110ft and cause maybe 1d8+8 damage or some such if you're a mutagen-swigging rage-monster at 3rd level. Blindness/Deafness permanently cripples a hapless sod from 110ft away if he fails a save, and it's a 2nd-level spell. -- Is it broke? It is if your campaign permits the "five-minute day" scenario in which everybody goes to sleep as soon as the casters are out of juice.

(Blindness/Deafness is probably still broke, because permanent effects have no business being on a 2nd-level, let alone one with medium-range.)

Here's why that analogy does not work.

It's not that the weapons are more or less powerful than one another. It's that they're all pretty much the same. Other than a couple oddballs like the net, all the weapons are almost exactly the same, with only the tiniest differences. They can be used to attack armor class for damage or attack CMD for assorted minor benefits that you have to buy with feats to make remotely decent.

Spells, meanwhile, do such an absurdly disparate range of stuff, targeting any defense a subject has or none at all for countless different effects while simultaneously being able to reshape the environment or grant yourself and allies countless various abilities.

But the greater point is not power. It's variety.

As to blindness/deafness, I agree it shouldn't be permanent, but in the context of PCs fighting NPCs, the distinction is arbitrary since once someone's actually fighting the PCs, their life expectancy is usually measured in seconds, not years.

Slim Jim wrote:
It's probably pointless to speculate, since fighter, wizard, cleric, rogue are likely always going to be in any CRB, and Pathfinder took off in the first place due to its promising to be 3e compatible -- but I actually would not mind it at all if magic users were shunted off into their own book.

You can have these classes without making them utterly absurd.

The Spheres system is a strong example of this. You can use the Incanter as the Wizard well and true and it's totally a legit Wizard without being nearly so broken, with them being the flexible master magical class without being the do-all.


Set wrote:

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? :)

Well that's only because you've never had to jump your Romulan bird-of-prey over a 10' pit, and innocently asked what the DC was.

Dark Archive

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Slim Jim wrote:
Omnius wrote:
There is very little content that Paizo's put out that is less balanced than the core rulebook. Heck, if you ban the core rulebook classes, you've got a very good chance of having a more balanced game.
CRB classes aren't the problem. CRB spells are the problem (because they're the usual trigger for the saving-throw mechanic inherited from D&D, in which your character is always just a blown role away from utterly useless and/or dead no matter how careful you-the-player are otherwise.)

More use of staged effects, and gating the stronger conditions off to higher level effects, would be a good way to balance this.

Low level spellcasters (and martials, for that matter) should have plenty of ways to sicken, stagger, cloud vision, make someone shaken, etc. Lots of 'save or sucks.' Not until 3rd level spells or so should they have attacks that will knock someone unconscious, or otherwise function as 'save or dies.' And every spell (or attack that imposes a condition) should be staged, IMO, so that at one degree of success, you are imposing some lesser condition, and with a great success, you get the good stuff, so it's less of a binary situation where you either win completely in one round, or you fail utterly with nothing to show for it. Hitting someone with multiple rounds of a spell that starts out by rendering a for shaken, and then progresses to a greater fear effect, would be one example, but hitting someone with multiple entangling web spells, hindering and slowing them first, and then finally entangling and 'pinning' them, would be another example.

And fighter and rogue types should have always had a similar (but not necessarily *identical*) set of options. Morningstar to the junk, on a success, foe is sickened for a round or three, on a *great* success, they are nauseated. I open a bleeding cut over her eye, she's dazzled for a short time, or, if I rolled really good, fully blinded for a round. None of this 'at 15th level I can take a feat that *if I critical* can blind someone, which the wizard could do at 3rd level at 130 ft. range!'


Set wrote:
Low level spellcasters (and martials, for that matter) should have plenty of ways to sicken, stagger, cloud vision, make someone shaken, etc. Lots of 'save or sucks.' Not until 3rd level spells or so should they have attacks that will knock someone unconscious, or otherwise function as 'save or dies.'

That risks creating a game where casters are underpowered in combat at low levels and overpowered in combat at mid-to-high levels. (Which, I acknowledge, is a situation some people like.)

Imagine if a battle between a Level 1 Fighter and Level 1 Wizard is like this:
Wizard: "I cast a spell."
Fighter: "I get -2 to all my attacks. I start beating the wizard to death."
And a battle between a Level 5+ Fighter and a Level 5+ Wizard is like this:
Wizard: "I cast a spell."
Fighter: "I am unconscious and helpless."

There are other options, like making low-level spells powerful, but only against weak opponents. Spells like Sleep and Color Spray traditionally work only against a certain number of hit dice / hit points.

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