The best thing about Pathfinder

Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I am 48, a casual player (about ten hours per month), and I have heavily invested in Pathfinder material. I have been collecting Pathfinder stuff for almost five years, but have only recently begun to put it to good use. I have a somewhat limited knowledge of old school D&D. Played it from the Red Box, but never as much as I would have liked.
I will be sticking to Pathfinder, quite possibly forever, at least when I DM with my playgroup. (Not looking to stir up that debate, just saying.)

I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about how I wish to craft my game. My players are almost all casual and inexperienced, so there is a good amount of wiggle room to create the game as I wish it to be. As we wish it to be. My players are energetic, but so far very easy as far as rules and how they are applied. In short, my table is a fresh start and a clean slate.

Currently, as I sift through the mountains of material that I have, I am trying to find and focus on those elements of the game that I like the best.

So far, without doubt, the one thing that I love best about Pathfinder is the Bestiaries, and specifically the monster stat blocks. I have little doubt that these tomes alone will keep my group going with this version for quite some time. I feel that the monster stat blocks are well developed, and easy to use and when necessary, adapt. Also that the monsters are all unique within the statistical framework, crafted to be what they are supposed to be, and outfitted with the power and abilities that they should have.
In other words, the Bestiaries and the monsters within are awesome and definitely to my liking.
Which all and all is a very easy one to single out and shout about.

So....I would love to hear from long time players what rules, mechanics, tables, charts, etc are tried and true and loved the most.
Also feel free to add house rules, including those that modify an existing by the book rule.
Also, I am equally interested in 3rd party material as well as stock PF material. (I have a fairly extensive Frog God collection going as well.)
It is worth mentioning that I fully expect my game to be heavily modified as it develops.

I would prefer to keep it positive. If I get some feedback that really helps, maybe I will start another thread focusing on what doesn't work for other DMs and players.

Thank you for your input.

I‘m in a similar position and similar age, moved to Pathfinder from D&D5 mainly because there‘s lots of material available in my local language, too. Nevertheless I own both, english & local language material in many cases.
I started with the Core Rules and we‘ve recently added the Advance Players Guide. As our group is geographically split apart, we use VTT software to dimish long distance and timing issues. As time is limited to create adventures ourselves, we play the original Pathfinder adventure (path). As such, the Inner Sea Guide contains valuable information, and you might find out references to other material in the beginning of each adventure, often requiring it to complement necessary information.
At least Bestiary 1-3 is recommended. More, if you are interested...

If we're just picking random mechanics we like, I'm partial to the random ioun stone resonance table. : D

Yes! The short version would simply say...

Now that it is basically a complete system, what are your favorite rules, game mechanics, charts, etc. of the Pathfinder game?

Or...what is the best thing about the Pathfinder game?

Also...what are some house rules that you use to tweak existing by the book rules, game mechanics, charts, etc?


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I don‘t have the alternate rules, therefore I cannot comment on this. The strategy guide is a valueable help for beginners to quickly create characters and the Rules Reference Flash cards can assist you to understand rules better on demand. I like the skill system, combat is going well quickly because I run it on VTT with automatic effect placement and keeping track of duration. If you don‘t run it online, the Combat Pad is really useful to speed up fights.
Generally use the rules you want and get familiar with them one by one. I have no different rules to choose from, and just use the ones which are needed to run the game. I found the harrow cards to be an interesting, but time consuming addition. The chase rules are my latest favorite rules. As far as character development goes, we are just at beginner level, so no multiclassing, archetypes, or prestige classes, either.
Regonwise I like the Varisia setting, as it gives room for plenty of adventure paths, and scenarios.

House Rules:
For weather I use the Harnmaster weather chat, which is not only considering different weather by season, but impact of weather by terrain type, e.g. muddy roads, or blizzards, which gives a more realistic view of adventurers fighting through the environment, instead always wandering through shiny happy hippo land.
Harmaster‘s travel distances fit into the weather chart and I found it to be the most appropiate figures.
For encounters, I tend to share the view of AD&D 2nd Ed. Elminster‘s Ecologies (there need to be a reason/food source/etc. for a monster).

Ability chains. Taking an action that causes another action that causes another and so on. Though it would be nice if the chain triggers were more generalized so that other players didn't need to be specifically designed in order to ride on your chain.

I'm also very fond of spells and abilities that radically alter the purpose or abilities of another ability. Something as simple as enlarge person giving a martial battle field control, or seeing through smoke/fog giving you a cheap super invisibility/vision that isn't directly thwarted by most vision spells and abilities.

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For 3pp I'd recommend path of war by dreamscarred press. It gives several martial classes that are close in power to a 3/4 caster.

Also background skills from unchained are almost essential.

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I love Path of war. Sadly, none of my players are interested in it. Doesn't stop me from making NPCs to throw at them with it, though.

For me the best thing about PF is the unparalleled versatility offered when it comes to building characters. Feats galore, traits, and the stunning array of spells assure that no two characters need be alike.

Skuttzilla wrote:

So....I would love to hear from long time players what rules, mechanics, tables, charts, etc are tried and true and loved the most.

Also feel free to add house rules, including those that modify an existing by the book rule.

Archives of Nethys and d20PFSRD are both very helpful secondary sources when the official PRD doesn't suffice.

As a GM, I am a fan of the class templates for monsters. They are easy to add, have an obvious impact and keep your players on their toes. A common recommendation is the advanced template - I second this.

The bestiaries are great, I agree - it's just a pity some monsters are scattered over additional books, so you have to rely on secondary sources (see above) or make up your own lists. Personally, I like to keep a list of monsters I find interesting, sorted by CR.

When it comes to houserules, I try to follow the guidelines "no needless micromanagement" and "in doubt favor the players". So there is just gold in my campaigns (no platinum, silver or copper), insignificant expenses (like a round of beer) are ignored, all your ranged weapons have unlimited ammunation and encumbrance isn't tracked either (unless the Str 7 wizard starts collecting fullplates to sell them later). If two creatures have the same initiative count, PCs go before NPCs, and multiple PCs on the same count can choose who goes first (no fiddling with the initiative modifier). Both sides gain full HP for their HD, which rather favors the PCs than the NPCs with their higher Con scores.

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The part I like best has nothing to do with mechanics. It's the setting. I love all the nations, the history, the lore, the cultural clashes, and the different beliefs and philosophies you can encounter.

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