What do you like about Pathfinder?


Prerelease Discussion

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With the announcement of 2e, and everybody talking about what they do and don't want to make it into the new edition, I figured it would be best to have a discussion about the most important thing of all:

Why do you play Pathfinder?

Why not 5e? Why not 3.0? Why not Star Wars d20, or Shadowrun, or Midgard, or any of the other RPGs out there? What is it that 2.0 really needs to keep in order for it to still feel like Pathfinder, and to maintain what it is you love about the system?

Personally, I love the complexity and the depth. I love looking for the best way to get an extra +1 to attack, how to maximize my ability scores, and looking for just the right options to make my character just the way I want it. Not *almost* the way I want it. *Exactly* the way I want it. It's the technical side of the game that I love about PF.

What about you all? What sorts of things keep you playing?


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I like that it is more complex than 5e, but less than so than parts of 3.5, and it could be a little simpler.

I like that characters evolve mechanically and refine their identity as they level up, through feats and menu optioslike rogue talents and alchemist discoveries.

I like building mechanics puzzle characters, like the dwarf with the dorn-dergar which cleaves every enemy in 35ft foot square.

I like the diversity of options and the multitude of classes: hellknights and investigators and slayers and magi (oh my!)

I don't get to play in Golarion that much, but I like the diversity of the setting: ifferent cultures, non-human peoples that aren't just real-life ethnicities or cultural groups with different bodies. I like that LGBT inclusivity is built into not just the culture but the divine metaphysics.

I like the wealth of 3PP options and the freelancers that work in the player companion line.


I like the feel of the entire system. It just feels... gritty, and... right. it's hard to describe. It's like opening a really old book and getting that great "old pages" smell. (My old Narnia rock this smell so much.) I dunno. I guess that the heroes sometimes have to make tough decisions, like a bit lighter version of the Dragon Age RPG published by the excellent Green Ronin Pub.


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Customization: Any character you can think of, you can build.

Breadth of Rules: I love that Pathfinder has rules for just about any possible circumstance you could find yourself in. Not only has rules, but usually has rules good enough that I find myself nodding in agreement as I read them, and that feel "real" enough that they maintain the immersion.

Community: These boards are awesome, the subreddit is great, and it's awesome that anywhere I move I've been able to find local PFS games or home games to play in.


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To me, the great advantages of Pathfinder is that it offers a lot more character customization than 5e ("good" complexity, if you will), and that everything's online in one convenient wiki (plus a lot of support that isn't but is very high-quality regardless, like the Adventure Paths and so on.) The disadvantages are that there's a lot of extra complexity that doesn't do anything, and a great deal of imbalance beyond just edge exploits, that are built into the system (though the latter less so if you ban a lot of core classes and add in a bunch of third-party ones.)

I think both the inherent promise and difficulty is of a second edition of Pathfinder is that, given some serious rethinking and its own ten years of the supplement treadmill, it could have all of the virtues of current Pathfinder but with far more elegance and balance. But achieving that elegance and balance would require throwing out backwards compatibility, which means that early-stage PF2 will lack the signal advantages of PF over 5e.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I like that there's an option for pretty much everything.

If I want to make a bard, but I want it to cast off Int instead of Cha, there's a (Inquisitor) archetype for that.

If I want to use Int for Diplomacy instead of Cha, there's a trait for that.

If I want to use Int for monk abilities instead of Wis, there's a (3.5) feat for that.

If I want a race with +2 to <ability>, +2 to <other ability>, there's a race for that, no matter what the abilities are.

If I want to play a wizard that wants to be able to cast Cure Light Wounds, there's a race for that.

What other people call bloat, I call the ability to do whatever character I want.

This is by far, far, FAR the most important reason I keep playing.

Any system that doesn't offer a comparable range of options is not an option for me.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Adventure Paths and the setting. Rules are of secondary importance.


i like the complexity like others already said. and the wide range of possibilities. the combat is fun and the rollplay part is also fun. just a great system.
char creation can be fast or rly tricky. but its always fun to dig in


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The primary reaason is the rules system. I'd been playing some minor variation of it since 3.0 came out. Saving throws, crit confirmations, class design, action economy, rolling dice for hit points - and most importantly the way character creation / classes, feats, etc work.
Gameplay at the table varies, but the character creation system is probably the single most important thing about the game to me.

Have no concern for setting (never have used a published setting in my life).

I moved to Pathfinder because it was pretty much the same game system I was playing, with tweaks. I didn't like 4E, although it was well designed. I don't do 5E, even though it is well designed. I like the way the actual mechanics of the system and character generation and advancement work. I love the huge amount of options (I don't think "bloat" actually exists).

Given I actually haven't played PF for almost a year - my tastes right now are runninga little different - but what I love about it is the mechanics, and when I return to playing it, it will be for that reason.

So yeah, with not having played it much recently, and the fact it is the ruleset/mechanics that I like, 2E is something I will enjoy reading about, and look at from a "this is a cool piece of game design" - I'll likely never play it - as they are changing the specific thing I came to Pathfinder for.


Gorbacz wrote:
Adventure Paths and the setting. Rules are of secondary importance.

:)

We are at the complete opposite ends there. Never used the setting, never played an adventure path.

Lots of reasons to like things.


Adventure paths and game aids.

System wise:
class system, alignment, skills, multi-classing, prestige classes, races, crit ranges, point buy, hero points, haunts.


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Go ahead and guess.

Spoiler:
And no, I'm not malfunctioning. I am a generator of haywire builds in perfect working order


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

There are two primary reasons.

The first of which is that it allows me to create characters I find interesting from a mechanical viewpoint. Lots of options, classes, races, spells, and other things to play around with and combine in ways I find interesting.

The second, and far more important reason, is that I have friends who play it and thus, I can play it. There are many systems that look potentially intriguing to me, but if no one's interested in playing it with me, there's not much point to it.

Obviously, they can't do much about the second beyond, perhaps, good marketing, though I hope to convince some of them to try out the playtest. For the first, I do recognize there's only so much that you can include in a single book, but I'm sure Paizo will have a decent amount. I am personally not much of a fan of the majority of the core classes, which makes me worry I may have to wait for a few more books to come out for me to have many options that actually interest me for character creation, but we shall just have to see.

I certainly hope that the Occult Adventures classes aren't too far off, though!

I also enjoy the number of different subsystems and races and other such that allow you to easily adapt things to the kind of campaign or setting you want to run, for the most part...but those things take time to build up...


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It's the only truly rules heavy game I play. So if they lose that status, then they wouldn't be relevant to my interest.


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I loved Dungeons & Dragons. I played 1st ed through 3.5 but 4E killed that game for me by destroying the game system. Pathfinder, being a continuation of what I feel is the best system for the game (personal bias and all) is the game that I love. I love all the so called sacred cows, including the Vancian magic system.

The Exchange

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Dαedαlus wrote:
Why do you play Pathfinder?

Basically for two reasons:

1. I once told the Paizo officials that no matter what they'd do, I'd stay a loyal customer as long as the would stay the awesome persons they are until today.

2. While I was still content playing 3.5, it just was easier to use the system, the products I worked with were written for. Then I found out that it was easier for me to go full Pathfinder than to switch between PF and 3.x every time I would return to the Realms or Eberron.

I do play other systems as well, if the opportunity arises, and still think about giving 5E a chance to become one of those systems, but with increasingly less time to play and run games at all, I'm just more comfortable using a system I'm using for 17(?) years now.

This said, I'm not so enarmored to the system that I can't see the benefit of a more streamlined rules experience, especially when that doesn't come at the cost of less options. So things like they hint at in the Action economy blog entry sound as they could be right up my alley and if that's the kind of changes they'll be aiming for, I can't imagine not at least givie it a try.


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Samy wrote:


What other people call bloat, I call the ability to do whatever character I want.

Having lots of options isn't bloat. Bloat is having tons of bad options to sift through to find the few good ones.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

I like the precision of the combat. Very little of the meat and potatoes of what players want to do requires DM arbitration. Compared to a more fluffy game, like FFG Edge of The Empire, this creates a more tactical board-game like experience for combat. I like the 5' grid, in squares.

I like that casters and fighters feel significantly different, running off fundamentally different mechanics. I liked 4E, but fighting and casting is the same thing, with different colours.

I like the breadth of choice available in both races, classes, and customisation of those classes. I like the depth of choice from spell lists, domains, bloodlines, etc. I feel like I could play 10 different characters of the same class, from 1-15, and still be learning new things about that class.

I like the core sacred cows of 6-stats, saving throws, hit points, levels, class/race and AC. It feels familiar, like a pair of comfortable old boots.

I like the class design of most of the core characters. I like the way you get something every level. I like the way that super-multi-classing is discouraged, through mechanics.

I like the way Pathfinder embraced new core classes, something that 3.5 was hesitant to do, and did it badly when it did try. Alchemist, Oracle, Witch, Inquistor, Kineticist, Arcanist, and even Gunslinger and Magus (with tweaks) are all excellent. Many others like Summoner, Cavalier, and others are excellent ideas that have merit if fixed mechanically.

I like Golarion, and pretty much everything in it.

I really like the APs. I like the way I can pick-up an epic story, split across 6 modules, and have a campaign with a beginning, a middle and an end.

I like the fact that monsters play by their own rules. (I tend to prefer monsters to NPCs with class levels).

I like the threat of death, but also the fact that there are ways around it.

I like the fact that most things are linear and well formed. We take this for granted now, but go back and look at 18/00 STR in 2nd Ed, or levels requiring different XP for different classes, and you'll remember what a structural mess 2nd Ed was. Slots for magic items, types of damage or buffs, templating on spells, these are all things that add structure to the rules and significantly help create a well-formed and balanced rule-set, something that is required for a "Tactical" game, which Pathfinder is.

That said, I also like the Skill system. I like the way that it is wide-ranging in how much choice people have. You don't just pick 3 skills (I can do this / I can't do this). You get to put points in them, and its up to you to decide how much to invest in each area. The Skill table covers most things pretty well.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Athaleon wrote:
Samy wrote:


What other people call bloat, I call the ability to do whatever character I want.
Having lots of options isn't bloat. Bloat is having tons of bad options to sift through to find the few good ones.

I suppose that's true, but I haven't seen an RPG yet that's managed to only provide good options, so sifting is always going to be a cost of doing business.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I found myself writing a wall of text, and decided I needed to be succinct. After some thought, I think I have the answer:

I like that Pathfinder is a game that's meant to be broken

Every problem, every challenge, every rule is just something that can be overcome with the right level of creativity and ingenuity. Magical door blocking your way to the prize? Teleport past it! Open a hole in the wall! Turn into a vapor and seep through the cracks! Or maybe just use an adamantine pickaxe to dig a tunnel underneath. If this were a video game, your only recourse would be to follow the breadcrumb trail of enemies down a suspiciously linear corridor to the bad guy who has the key. Who you'd have to kill; no bypassing that combat encounter with disguise or trickery. Pathfinder not only allows for players to break expectations, it provides them a trove of tools with which to do it. There is nothing I love more than audaciously creative solutions to problems.

Yes, a great deal of the caster/martial disparity does stem from this problem, since casters overwhelmingly are the ones that get those tools. However, I've come to realize that it's a problem I'd rather have than not. Breaking the game is a feature, not a bug. Of course there are other things I like, but if I had to pick one thing above all else, I think this is it.


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I haven't played PF1 in years. I like 5e much better.

That being said, things I like about PF:

- Wonderful company and people who make it.
- Excellent support on the flavor aspect (world design; I love golarion).
- One of the better forums I've been to with wonderful people here (and yes, that includes people I don't always get along with)
- Adventure Paths (although I wish they were a bit more free form and less rail road, giving more player empowerment and meaningful choices in game play)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Adventure support.
Customisable Player Characters
Varied challenge types
Mechanical expressions of fictional creativity


I'm really keen on the high degree of customizability of characters. One can play a large number of classes which are themselves generally customizable via magus arcana, rogue talents, etc., which can be further tuned by archetypes, additionally you can play as everything from a human, to a faerie plant, to a humanoid void, to a delicious sapient humanoid rhizome, to a person who is half octopus, and you can further tweak these to be exactly the person you want via alternative traits.

I'm also extremely fond of Paizo's commitment to inclusiveness and representation.

I also appreciate how steady the treadmill of new content is. Basically every month I end up with a new idea for a cool NPC or a new character I want to play.


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Starship combat.


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I like the complexity and depth.
I enjoy being able to make sacrifices to be amazing at one thing.
I enjoy the plethora of modifiers and the little edges that add together into something awesome.
I like alignment - I've never encountered the problems you read about here.
I like classes and the differences between them.
I enjoy the feeling that you actually get better as you level - some other systems you just don't feel like you are ever moving forward. (traveller I'm looking at you)


What I like: An ocean of non-linear yet meaningful options for brewing character builds that allows for unique options.

Distinct and cool places all over the map for settings.

Complexity that is not unnecessary, confusing or clunky in normal play. I appreciate depth in complexity, but there are times where I'm just saying to myself: "This could really be boiled down," and/or "This could be given further clarity."


Dasrak wrote:

I found myself writing a wall of text, and decided I needed to be succinct. After some thought, I think I have the answer:

I like that Pathfinder is a game that's meant to be broken

Every problem, every challenge, every rule is just something that can be overcome with the right level of creativity and ingenuity. Magical door blocking your way to the prize? Teleport past it! Open a hole in the wall! Turn into a vapor and seep through the cracks! Or maybe just use an adamantine pickaxe to dig a tunnel underneath. If this were a video game, your only recourse would be to follow the breadcrumb trail of enemies down a suspiciously linear corridor to the bad guy who has the key. Who you'd have to kill; no bypassing that combat encounter with disguise or trickery. Pathfinder not only allows for players to break expectations, it provides them a trove of tools with which to do it. There is nothing I love more than audaciously creative solutions to problems.

Yes, a great deal of the caster/martial disparity does stem from this problem, since casters overwhelmingly are the ones that get those tools. However, I've come to realize that it's a problem I'd rather have than not. Breaking the game is a feature, not a bug. Of course there are other things I like, but if I had to pick one thing above all else, I think this is it.

I agree except for one thing: you can break video games. Sometimes they break spectacularly, but sometimes you just sneak through that closed door.


I like that Pathfinder is versatile enough to be played by players of many stripes, whether they want to keep it simple, become unstoppable juggernauts of brokenness, or simply try to find the mechanics to fit their character concept. I like that it has rules to fit a lot of situations coupled with the ability to tweak those rules or toss them entirely and the shared understanding that the system was meant to be customizable in such a fashion. I like that it pings my nostalgia receptors, staying as true to the AD&D roots I grew up on while refining the more painful parts of that experience into something beautiful.

As a player, I like that I can feel my character developing over time into something shaped both by my concept, my choices, and the circumstances of the campaign. As a GM, I like that my long hours preparing for and running a session result in an immersive, one-of-a-kind experience for my players and that the system aids this far more than it hinders it.


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I am of the breadth that plays other games, and likes other games perhaps a bit more, but let me regale you with why I like Pathfinder.

Pathfinder was different, experimental. I stuck with 4e D&D running the Encounters program at my local store, and recommending it to new players (I now recommend 5th, as I brlieve it supports the core freedoms of tabletop roleplaying, even if it has its simplicities without the DMG optional rules). Though then I would recommend 3.5 to players wanting more.

My first Pathfinder game was suggested by one of my friends, when we were on the cusp between deciding whether to do 3.5 or 4th for our table. He offered to run instead of me for once, so I jumped at the chance to be a player. I played a 5th level Dhampir, Gunslinger. It was something so out there compared to anything I had played in D&D up until that point. And I loved it.

I would later drift from Pathfinder when that game ended, playing in WoD, Shadowrun and other systems. Then 5e came out and I migrated to it as my new fantasy game.

When I was invited to drift back in, the materials had more than tripled. My new characters right now are a blind wizard of the divination school, and a drow wildsoul vigilante who fights with nightmare fist and boar style (when she eventually hits level 9 anyway, it's a slow progression road for her). The vigilante is now officially, my favorite class of any RPG (at least for games that use a class system. I do like systems like Scion which have no such class system and it's just the collection of abilities you want to develop), and it represents what I like from Pathfinder.

Taking an idea, and being able to just run with it.

People consider my characters terrible, but they are the most fun for me. I know how to dig through options for the absolute highest optimization, but playing optimized flying griffon lancer +30 is not nearly as fun to me as taking an interesting concept and making it work. Like bad drow spiderman, blind prophet, bloodsucking charisma-based gunslinger. I've played them all, and my only complaint came down to needing feats to make them functional, rather than being able to use feats to make them diverse.


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I like Pathfinder mainly because I don't have to convert Paizo's great scenarios to another rules-set.

I also like that classes allows deeper concepts than a more open system. But this is a conflicted love, as I feel classes are a nuisance much more often than they are a benefit.

I love that Pathfinder uses the OGL, because that means that ALL Pathfinder rules can be found online. I don't have to worry about which book a particular spell comes from, I just do a quick web search.

I hate the complexity of designing/modifying monsters and mooks.

I hate the "lab environment" that means that characters past level 10 cannot really interact with civilians in a meaningful manner. The last 2 books in each adventure path are basically non-stop dungeons for this reason. This is the absolutely worst thing about Pathfinder.

I hate the nitty-gritty details of Pathfinder. I hate that there is a difference between being flat-footed and being denied Dexterity bonus to AC. I hate that touch AC (+ penalties for cover and shooting into melee) makes touch-attacks worthless at low levels, but that touch AC actually goes down at higher levels when you are better at hitting. I hate the overly large spread in skill bonus at higher levels. I hate the small spread of skills at low levels, making skill use overly chancy.

Liberty's Edge

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

I love the customization. The ability to make a concept, run with it, and tweak it to meet the exact idea you had when you came up with it. This makes skills and skill points one of my absolute favourite parts of the game. I really don't want them streamlined (D&D 5e I'm looking at you: lame skills system). To my mind, this is the core, the very essence of Pathfinder. That ability to turn your creative concept into something represented by the stats of the game, is what sets PF above all other games of similar design.

The setting (Golarion) is fantastic, as are the materials such as adventure paths and campaign setting books.

Some things are flexible, such as actions in combat, spell methods, etc. But the customization (skills, feats, skills, archetypes, skills, alternate classes, etc) are the very best of PF.


I agree! There has been quite a lot of negativity surrounding the second edition. The old pathfinder is still gonna be around guys! You can just stick with it!

What i love about Pathfinder is the flexibility. The customization and the infinite possibilities characters have. 4th edition made characters slide into exact archetypes, making very few characters different. Which is why i love pathfinder so much. But i also don't think it could not be made easier to understand.


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I love the customization I can do in PF that I can't do in 5E, 13th Age or other systems.

I hate that a lot of this customization involves feats and traits that give fiddly +1 and +2 bonuses that stack up all over the place and that you have to keep track of.

I love that there are options to solve pretty much any kind of in-game problem you can think of, given a GM not inclined to railroading.

I hate that 90% or more of these options are locked behind spell lists, and that non-casters often can't participate meaningfully as much in the narrative and problem-solving aspect of the game other than specialized scenarios like diplomancy, intrigue and exploration.

I love monsters and magic items, and love that Pathfinder has a lot of cool options here. I love that there are monsters from all kinds of cultures and mythologies, and inspired by all kinds of bits of pop culture. I love that most Pathfinder magic items don't feel as pedestrian as most 5E or especially 4E items. Monsters and items are actually what got me into D&D as a kid in the first place, I read the Monster Manual cover to cover before I ever even touched the Player's Handbook.

It annoys me that monster CRs are apparently just picked out of a hat and usually feel wrong in play. It annoys me that new monsters don't get added to summon tables and that there's hardly any good way to get monster mounts or cohorts. I hate that item pricing formulas, inherited almost directly from 3.x without examination, often put fairly basic things at crazy prices. I hate the "big 6" and that cool items will just get overlooked unless they also incorporate one of the big 6 into them, and that definitely doesn't help the pricing formulas.

I love that the game really supports any kind of campaign "mood" from standard heroic fantasy to comedy to horror.

I wish there was more guidance on creating your own campaign settings and stories and mythologies and maintaining a mood. I don't need the help, but maybe I wouldn't have to be GM literally all of the time if the game itself provided more help in these areas so one or more of my players could pick this side of the game up more easily. The only times I've been able to be a player, I've had to help out significantly on the back end as de facto co-DM anyway. Which really isn't the same feeling or release as getting to just sit back and play for once.


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Lord Mhoram wrote:


So yeah, with not having played it much recently, and the fact it is the ruleset/mechanics that I like, 2E is something I will enjoy reading about, and look at from a "this is a cool piece of game design" - I'll likely never play it - as they are changing the specific thing I came to Pathfinder for.

Time to eat crow. lol.

Based on all the info we are getting, between resonance, class structure, and the flexibility of everything we have seen, I am more excited about PS2 than I was about PF1.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lord Mhoram wrote:
Lord Mhoram wrote:


So yeah, with not having played it much recently, and the fact it is the ruleset/mechanics that I like, 2E is something I will enjoy reading about, and look at from a "this is a cool piece of game design" - I'll likely never play it - as they are changing the specific thing I came to Pathfinder for.

Time to eat crow. lol.

Based on all the info we are getting, between resonance, class structure, and the flexibility of everything we have seen, I am more excited about PS2 than I was about PF1.

One of us! One of us!


Many good things. But the two best things are:

1) Great APs.
2) it gave birth to PF2


I don’t play pathfinder but I do play 3.5 with some pathfinder rules thrown in. I did try pathfinder did use it for a while then went back.

Still the adventure paths I have used are awesome, some of the best pre-written adventures I have ever seen.

And if I had to pick one rule that just made me thrilled to see was the inclass skills get a base +3 when taken. It really fixed an issues I had with 3.5 and it has been part of every game I have played since that used that skill system.


Why I came to PF:
- Kept all the good of 3.5, was compatible with existing material.
- Fixed some of the worst quirks of 3.5. Improved balance between classes. More customization thanks to more feats etc.
- Paizo. Those were the guys behind Dungeon Magazine, consistently produced great quality material. Notably, the AP concept was a great innovation.

Why I stayed with PF:
- Consistent rules, known mechanisms reused from existing classes to build new ones.
- Huge diversity of playable characters. New classes, archetypes, traits, races, etc. Growing feat and spell base.
- Tactical possibilities in combat.
- Great APs.
- Solid, rich, varied game world.
- Great community and support (hi, Dudemeister... your Kingmaker additions are a fine example of that).

Why I'm now thinking PF is ripe for an update:
- Growing classes, feats, spell lists are becoming unwieldy, with diminishing returns on added complexity.
- Higher levels remain daunting.
- Hard to teach to new or less deeply engaged players.
- Class balance was improved but never really fixed.
- Magic Christmas Tree syndrome was never fixed (I'm now thinking of switching to ABP in the middle of my campaign).
- I came to realize that the ability damage and ability boost mechanisms, even though I love using them, introduce too much complexity in the midst of combat (my barbarian player needs a spreadsheet open in front of him during fights, that's OK but not great).
- This is an opportunity to fix minor annoyances which I have learned to live with but would much prefer to be rid of: complexities of maneuver rules, what actions trigger attacks of opportunity, what's a move action and what's not, encumbrance rules, little-used skills, stacking bonus rules.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sadly, as a GM, I don't like much anymore about the system itself, that's why I switched to a different one a bit more than year ago. I'm still subscribed to the APs and purchase other products regularly though, because stuff like flavour, plothooks, encounters, art and so on will be always useful to me, no matter what system I'm GMing.

But I'm intrigued, and hopeful so far, to see what Paizo is doing with PF2 and maybe I can see myself GMing it again at some point.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I like the relatively consistent internal world, where you can use the game rules as a decent approximation of a fantasy world's physical laws. I like how everything is built around the same basic principles. I like how Pathfinder is the closest I have to a modern version of the old school AD&D 1e and BECMI games I played as a kid. I like Paizo as a company, as I find its employees are friendly, communicative, and helpful. My other modern option to scratch that D&D itch is from a company that with its every action makes it clear it couldn't care less about its fans and customers (I blame Hasbro more for this than WotC).

Back to gameplay, I like the sheer granularity of character creation and how many concepts are supported in some way. I enjoy how low level play is distinctly different from mid level play and that is yet again different from high level play. Heck, I like mythic, I just think it needs a little CR tuning.


Not in this thread: Wands of CLW, Broken Power Attack, having +50 on skills but being beaten by commoners at things. The things I see people love most about the game in all of the other threads.

PF is really a great game, my favorite by a lot! Have taught many players how to play. It has some bad things here and there, which are being removed with the PF2 revisions. Happy to see that people in here don't think they are "essential features".

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

ChibiNyan wrote:
having +50 on skills but being beaten by commoners at things. The things I see people love most about the game in all of the other threads.

I enjoy being able to mechanically build a character who isn't good at some things. For example, a desert nomad who can't swim, or character who is oblivious to the world around them, or a character who is a hopeless clanking noisy mess in full plate. It remains to be seen if this option will still be available in PF2e.

This, however, isn't core to my PF1e experience. I tolerated "everyone is great at everything" in Star Wars Saga edition, and I'll tolerate it in PF2e if I have to. I'll just complain about it and poke fun at it. :P


I'm going to be a bit more extensive on my preference and Pathfinder. I started playing D&D in 77. With the Holmes basic, and when the Advanced D&D came out, natural assumed it was the same game. Whups. I was 10. I played D&D and Gamma world, and I was aware of other TSR games, and that was about it.

In '85, I went to university, and discovered a whole host of gaming options. It was shortly after this that 2nd AD&D came out, and I really didn't like it (removed some elements I really liked, and kept elements I really didn't). My game of choice became Champions - I love the superhero genre, and it allowed me to play any character I ever wanted to. More work, but the results were worth it.

I tinkered around with other systems as a secondary system to HERO off an one for quite a while, but never found one I really liked until D&D 3.0 came out. I loved the freedome of multiclassing, and prestige classes, and such. That became the secondary system of choice, and for years I only played HERO and D&D3.x.

4th came out. Didn't like it. Left D&D for a few years, and came back later with Pathfinder. Again tinkered with other systems for a different feel (WOIN, Fantasy Age, Savage Worlds) - never found one that was what I wanted. Until last year when FFG releaased Genesys.
PF2 announced and I was feeling "I have genensys what do I need PF for" Then reading the previews I was excited.

I play HERO as it fits my playstyle perfectly, and is still my primary game. It still takes a lot of work, so it isn't suited to solo play between me and my wife.

I play Genesys, as it is a wide open system with lots of options, and the dice are narrtive (even if the system isn't exactly). Lots of freedom, and very uncomplex. My "light" system.

But D&D is my first gaming love, and I still like to play variations of that system. As HERO is build a character from powers, and Genesys is all in the dice roll, I like a system that is more limited, but still allows much freedom, and to be honest I actually like "pick an ability from this list" in character creation - the list needs to be large enough for me to get what I want - but the structure of a leveled system with that approach is very appealing to me. I looked at 5E D&D for my "old love" fix, but found it too simple for me - I like more complex systems, and it just wasn't, fo Pathfinder is much better for that for me.

So three games with three very different approaches and feel, each for it's own niche.


I'm one of those folks who started role-playing thanks to the good ole Red Box D&D set back in elementary school. Played a bunch of D&D, with occasionally poking my head over to Marvel (FASERIP) and Star Wars. Moved into AD&D 2nd Ed as well.

Then sometime around High School, I got bored with FRPGs. I tend to prefer my fiction to be within one step of the "real" world. So I played Vampire and Champions and a whole host of RPGs that came and went too fast.

Right around the time I was starting back to college, 3.0 came out. I dug it, but my gaming group at the time was all GURPS, all the time. I eventually moved them to Mutants & Masterminds. But I think I managed to play a whole two games of 3rd edition.

And then last summer, on my 40th birthday, I wanted to do a dungeon crawl. I wanted a robust system so that my players could do more than just be the fighter, wizard, cleric and rogue. And I had seen Paizo and Pathfinder all over the place at Origins and GenCon. So I picked it up.

I was hooked. I loved the depth of options, the complexity, and the setting - oh, did I love the setting. And while it wasn't exactly the D&D I grew up with, it was close enough that I could squint at it and recognize it. I'm all in.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

1. The setting. Kitchen-sinky by design, and allows a lot of conceptual freedom in character creation.

2. The people who make it. Paizo is easily among my favorite gaming companies in terms of how they interact with their customer base. Maybe my absolute favorite.

3. The freedom to avoid the insane levels of theorycrafting the system technically allows while still playing a fun game with mechanically solid characters.

4. Goblins. I feel I need to unpack this, 'cause opinion is divided on PF's take on these little goons... See, for me, growing up in an AD&D 2E milieu, goblins had always been essentially lame mini-orcs (remember when orcs and goblins were both Lawful Evil? Pepperidge Farm remembers). Statistically, the differences had been minor, and there was seldom any reason to use a goblin. Even after 3E turned Orcs chaotic and played up their more freewheeling cultural style, goblins kinda... lacked much identity. And then along came Burnt Offerings, and, uh... yeah. Boom. A distinct niche, an actual reason to use these weird little pyros.

4a. By extension, several other tweaks on existing critters have demonstrated an effort to leave fewer unloved bestiary residents- Flumphs. For Pete's sake.


The SRDs (official, d20, archves of nythys) are great. Me and my friends have played both PF1 and 5e and actually find PF easier to understand, because we can read the rules online.


In general, I approve of the changes that Pathfinder made to D&D 3.5, which was my game of choice for years before I realized I fundamentally didn't like what it had done to AD&D.

I think the changes to racial abilties made sense and opened up more interesting character opportunities. The addition of alternate favored class bonuses (while screwing the concept of "favored class" all to hell) really made the races and each race/class combination stand out.

The Archetype system is head-and-shoulders better than D&D's Alternate Class Features and Prestige Classes at doing the things those things replaced.

Pathfinder Unchained is as good as Unearthed Arcana.

And some minor quibbles aside, I really appreciate the improvements Paizo made to the Fighter and Sorcerer classes-- and I am head-over-heals in love with the Witch.


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1. Paizo. It's the company over everything else. They've got a fair use policy, an electronic product policy, and a community mindset that meshes well with the other companies I tend to favor (Posthuman, Evil Hat, MCG).

Everything else comes after that. I've done my tours with more systems than I care to count, as well as my share of time with great games from outright terrible companies. I don't want any more time with terrible companies.


Dread Moores wrote:

1. Paizo. It's the company over everything else. They've got a fair use policy, an electronic product policy, and a community mindset that meshes well with the other companies I tend to favor (Posthuman, Evil Hat, MCG).

Everything else comes after that. I've done my tours with more systems than I care to count, as well as my share of time with great games from outright terrible companies. I don't want any more time with terrible companies.

Agreed. One of the things that brought me on board of D&D 3.0 was the OGL. WotC always seemed reluctant about it - I love the Paizo embraced it, metnioning 3PP on their store blogs, and in some cases referring people to their products because Paizo wasn't going to do anything in that vaid (DSP psionics).


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

The large variety of character concepts you can create. (Although in the interest of full disclosure I don't like the level of system mastery needed to make some of the them).

The Adventure Paths. (Campaigns of this quality are rare, to have the number paizo has put out even more so).

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